God is good – there are many that doubt this, even some Christians.
This though is the testimony of scripture – God is good, and he is good because he is love.
The problem is we live in a world that’s all muddled up with what love and goodness is
Goodness mustn’t be confused with softness.
Goodness mustn’t be confused with lots of presents.
Goodness mustn’t be confused with an easy life.
Goodness mustn’t be confused with lack of discipline.
At church (Gateway, Ashford, Kent, UK -) we’ve been looking at the book of Proverbs, which can seem like an awful lot of do’s and don’ts – a killjoys guide to life. Yet as we have discovered it’s about a Father who loves his kids and wants them to succeed in life, so much so that he takes the time to talk to them about the issues of life: finance, friends, sex, work, bullies …. the list goes on! (You can check out the podcasts here: http://gatewaychurchashford.co.uk/podcasts/)
And that’s the heart of the Bible, it’s about a Father who loves those he made in his image.
It’s about a Father God who was willing to enter this sphere of lowliness and brokenness, falleness and darkness, in the person of his Son Jesus Christ in order to bring us redemption.
It’s about a Father who loves his kids so much he can’t leave them as they are, but rather wants them all to know him fully and grow to full maturity.
Though he’s merciful and gracious, he’s not soft – a walkover.
Though he gives good gifts, he doesn’t spoil his children. The reality is we deserve nothing.
Though he said my burden is light, it didn’t mean that life would be cushy – there is a cross to bear.
And because he is good he disciplines every true child of his – or have we forgotten Hebrews 12:5-13 where it says that “he disciplines those he loves.”
Perhaps part of our problem is that we so magnify the grace of God that we have lost sight of the discipline of the Father, and yet that very discipline is a demonstration of his love and grace.
We frequently testify to his blessings/gifts, and of how he graciously uses us, but do we know what he is doing in us – is this where we struggle with his goodness?
Last Sunday we sang Brian Johnson’s song You are Good. We’ve hummed, sung and whistled it in the office all week, you might like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI3x7WLWpo8