“God is Good” – this core value runs through the Bethel culture like a river runs through a forest, bringing life to every area where we let the belief take hold. The Bible talks a lot about how God is good, even describing him as “the only One who is good” (Mark 10:18). What does it mean to be “Good”? How do we determine what “Goodness” is, or how to measure the goodness of God?
As I explored the question of why I believe God is good, I started with the journey of finding where God called Himself good. God promised Moses that “His goodness” would pass in front of Him. When God revealed Himself, He revealed His compassion, graciousness, long-suffering, mercy, truth, and forgiveness – all of these attributes that are summed up are His goodness (Exodus 34:5-7). God described Himself as good, and then showed Moses the characteristics to look for as a measure to determine goodness.
Skipping ahead to the New Testament and the life of Jesus, we find the exchange between Jesus and the young ruler. When Jesus is approached by a rich young ruler, the man greets him as “the good teacher”. Here’s the passage, as found in Matthew:
“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16-17)
Jesus corrects him and says, “no one is good except God” – which is funny as a reader because we know that Jesus is God. Jesus proclaims his own goodness in this conversation, and declares that God is good!
I can find many examples of people in the Bible proclaiming God‘s goodness, but I’m not sure about “possessing” God’s goodness (except for Jesus of course).
Let’s start in Genesis, when Abraham was so convinced that God was good and only do good things that he was willing to take his son to the top of a mountain as a sacrifice. Abraham was led by the faith that he had in God’s good plan for his life, and for his son’s life.
Then we read that Noah believed that God would be good enough to spare his entire family, so he obeyed this crazy command to build a boat – even though he had never seen rain. Noah believed in God’s goodness.
After that we read about David who is regularly singing about God‘s goodness, and proclaiming that He is good above all. I love how David proclaims God’s goodness throughout the Psalms.
“Good and upright is the Lord.” (Psalm 25:8), “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8a), and “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting.” (Psalm 100:5). David understood the goodness of God, it changed Him. David proclaimed the goodness of God and it impacted how he led his people, how he fought his battles and how he approached hardship. David is an example to me of how the goodness of God should be reflected in my decision-making and my worship.
In the New Testament, Apostle Paul consistently reminds his congregations of the goodness of God.
In the book of acts, Paul tells a group of unbelievers, “He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with good and gladness“ (Acts 14:17)
Paul teaches us about God‘s goodness in the book of Romans, sharing that “the will of God is good and well pleasing and perfect“ (Romans 12:2).
How can we see the goodness of God demonstrated in the life of Jesus?
I see the goodness of God in how Jesus healed the sick.
I see the goodness of God in how Jesus broke down the religious barriers in the minds of the people, giving them a path to freedom.
I see the goodness of God as He sacrifices Himself for our salvation.
I see the goodness of God as He gives mercy to the woman caught in adultery.
I see the goodness of God as He raises the dead (even though those same people will die a physical death later, He raises them up to demonstrate His love for the families of the deceased).
I see the goodness of God in Jesus as He frees people from demonic possession.
God is good. Jesus is good. Jesus walked out the goodness of God. He is a living example.
How do I demonstrate the goodness of God? I believe we can find the answers in Jesus’ last command to His disciples in the “Great Commission”:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20, NIV
I demonstrate the goodness of God as I pray for the healing of the sick.
I demonstrate the goodness of God by sharing the good news of the Gospel to those who do not believe, showing them a path to freedom (making them disciples)
I demonstrate the goodness of God by loving sacrificially.
I demonstrate the goodness of God by giving mercy to those who wrong me or don’t show love to me.
I demonstrate the goodness of God by praying for resurrection.
I demonstrate the goodness of God by praying for people to be freed from demonic possession (what does this look like? I don’t know).
I feel a specific call on my life to demonstrate the goodness of God by being a father to the fatherless (through foster care), and providing for those who are in need.
I believe that God has called me to be a leader of leaders, and minister to the entrepreneurs and business leaders that are in my life.
All the time, God is good! God is good, all the time! Amen.
I wrote this as a part of my homework for the Bethel School of Ministry, and wanted to share it to my audience. I hope it blessed you!