Summary: God's goodness is a favour. It draws us to Him. Rest and rely on His goodness.
Our knowledge of God affects our relationship with God and the way we live.
• And it is affected by: (1) HOW YOU SEE GOD
(2) HOW YOU THINK GOD SEES YOU
To really know Him, then we need to look at what God has revealed.
• The Bible mentioned 3 ways God reveals Himself – through nature, His Word and in the clearest form, Jesus Christ.
• I want to talk a little about nature –
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
By looking, observing and studying nature (creation – nature, animal, human), we can come to the understanding of the existence of God.
• That is the reason why many scientists and doctors are usually theists.
• It is really difficult for one to enjoy nature, study animals and the human body, and not see the hand of a Designer behind it.
• It takes more faith to believe that all these existed by random chance.
But nature is not a complete revelation. We need God to speak. We need to get into His Word (revealed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) and through Jesus Christ.
• The God we worship is a GOOD God. We are going to look at the GOODNESS of God today.
There is an old story about a Chinese man who lived on the border of China and Mongolia. In those days, there was constant conflict along the border. The man had a beautiful horse, but one day she leaped over the fence and ran across the border, and was captured by the Mongolians. His friends came to comfort him – “That’s bad,” they said.
“What makes you think it’s bad?” asked the Chinese man. “Maybe it’s good.”
A few days later, the horse came back into his farm, bringing with it a beautiful snow-white stallion. His friends crowded around, “That’s good!”
The old man asked, “What makes you think it is good? Maybe it is bad.”
Later that week, his son was riding the stallion, trying to tame it. He was thrown off and he broke his leg. The neighbours came. “That’s bad,” they cried.
“What makes you think it is bad?” asked the Chinese man. “Maybe it’s good.”
The next week, war broke out with Mongolia, and a Chinese army general came through town drafting all the young men for the war. He took them all, except for the young man who couldn’t go because his leg was broken.
The Chinese man said to his friends, “You see, the things you thought were bad turned out good; and the things you thought were good turned out bad.”
Everything is circumstantial to them. But God cannot be understood from the circumstances.
• God is good, because His character is such. It is His nature, it is His being.
• God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
How do I know that? He reveals Himself that way – through the Scriptures.
• God’s goodness is taught and implied on every book of the Bible.
• God’s goodness is proven through the acts of God in history, through His dealings with His people.
I have chosen Jeremiah 29:10-14 to highlight the goodness of God.
10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
(1) God’s goodness is a FAVOUR
It is not dependent on you. It flows from His very nature.
• It is unmerited and spontaneous. You cannot buy it, you cannot earn it; it is God’s kindness bestowed to men freely.