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Devotional Week 2 | Our God is Good

Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God

Our God is Good, Day 1

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;

his steadfast love endures forever,

and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)

What is good? I think pepperoni pizza is good, but my children hate it. My wife thinks Gray’s Anatomy is good, but I think it’s of the Devil. Some think it’s good to carry a gun and others think it’s not. Some think it’s good return violence for violence and others think we should always remain peaceful. What “good” is is a pretty big question.

Our God is good. Theologian Wayne Grudem teaches that “the goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval.” All definitions and standards of what good is come from who God is and what he does. Christians must learn, more and more, what God calls “good” and we must learn to approve what God calls “good.”

What follows is a brief list of just some of the things God is, does, and calls good:

  • Holiness: “...but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16) God is righteous (sinless) and he calls it good when his people follow him in his moral action.

  • Generosity: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) No one is more generous than the God who creates an entire universe and gives it to us. God is good in his generous giving and we reflect his goodness when we’re generous and approve of generosity.

  • Mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) It’s terribly good that God is merciful and forgiving. Likewise, it’s good for Christians to learn and enact mercy on others.

  • Justice: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) God says it’s good to do what is right, and his people ought to imitate him in right action.

1. Take some time with your Bible (and Google, if it helps!) to find Bible verses about what God says regarding: humility, truth, patience, hard work. Pray and commit yourself to learning goodness as God is good.

2. In what ways has God shown you his goodness over your life?

3. What sort of godly goodness has God grown you in and what goodness do you know God is urging you to grow in now? Pray for this and commit yourself to imitating God’s goodness.


Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God

Our God is Good, Day 2

O, taste and see that the Lᴏʀᴅ is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:8)

Many Christians don’t actually have a problem with God being totally in control (sovereign). But, a problem can arise for those who only see God as sovereign--we can forget that God is good. The goodness of God is a special kind of goodness. It’s a level of being good that no human can achieve. We call this attribute of God’s goodness omnibenevolence.

God is good. Totally good. In every way, God is the most good a being can be. At all times, in all places, and in everything he thinks, feels, says, and does, God is good. That’s omnibenevolence. It’s incredibly important to carry God’s sovereignty and his omnibenevolence in the same hand, married to one another. We have a God who is not only totally and perfectly in control of all things, but he’s trustworthy in his goodness. This is partly why God has chosen to reveal his relationship to his people as a father.

Some of us have had good earthly dads. Some of us not so much. But, if you can possibly think of a really good dad, then God’s sovereign control and benevolence can be understood. A good dad is powerful and makes really good plans. He keeps the home organized, on track, and safe. He’s got the ability to provide and protect the family. All of his control and authority becomes, however, an expression of his loving goodness to his family. Mom and the kids can trust him because they know that the one with all this authority is good and will be only good to them, no matter what.

On the superlative, extreme end of the scale, that’s the omnibenevolence of our Heavenly Father, God. Open your Bible and then read and pray over Psalm 16 and then let’s count the ways God is good:

  • He is our refuge (verse 1)

  • He is the source of all good things (verse 2)

  • He gives us his people (the church) to be our people (verse 3)

  • The life God has given to you holds pleasantness that foreshadows an eternal inheritance (verse 5-6)

  • God gives us counsel (verse 7)

  • God will keep us from being shaken loose from eternal life and his love (verse 8)

  • God will resurrect all of his believing children to eternal life (verse 10)

  • God instructs us in how to live this life in a way that leads to our maximum joy (verse 11a)

  • We have eternity to look forward to with a God who will never leave us (verse 11b)

1. Think and remember God’s goodness over your life today. How he’s protected you, provided for you, taught you, forgiven you, healed you...whatever it is, “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:12).

2. Thank God in prayer for these things as you name them. ““I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1).

3. Tell someone about God’s goodness in your life in the past or recently. Our enjoyment of something is never complete until we share it (that’s why we feel compelled to share our food with others when we really find it delicious!). Fill up your enjoyment of God’s goodness by sharing your testimony, even if it’s only a small thing or two.


Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God

Our God is Good, Day 3

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 7:24-8:2)

Don’t make the sinful mistake of estimating the worthiness of having God in your life by:

  • The amount of money in your wallet

  • The quality of home you live in

  • The level of physical health you enjoy

  • The number of friends around you

Don’t measure God’s goodness by only the circumstances of the world around you. The unbelieving world only estimates the value of Christianity and Christ by how many soup kitchens are opened, how many works of social justice we engage in, and by how rarely (or often!) we end up unpopular with culture. A paraplegic person may have his legs healed, but unless he has the saving love of Jesus, he will sprint towards condemnation. We can fill people’s empty bellies with food, but unless they are filled with the joy of belonging to a good God, they will starve for God’s love in eternal separation from him.

How Christian’s measure the goodness and worthiness of God is by seeing and approving and relying on what he says is good--by trusting in what ultimate good he has worked:

The goodness of God is put on display and lavished on us--the best good anyone has ever done to anyone--when God assures us that “there is no condemnation for those belong to Jesus!” There is no greater need that any human has ever faced than needing God to forgive him, have mercy on, and accept. The debt of sin that requires the penalty of eternal damnation has been paid by God and we can now be free. Hunger, sickness, war, broken relationships...these are all real and terrible problems we need God to handle. Above them all, however, is the war between God and Man...and in his goodness, God has ended it through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus.

1. People often think their lives will finally be good (that they’ll be rescued) if they finally get the love of another human being, if they finally have enough money, or if they can finally get the body they’ve always wanted--God’s greatest goodness is given when his Son Jesus lives and dies for us. What have you been tempted to find ultimate goodness in, over and above the gospel of Jesus Christ?

2. You’re surrounded by countless people who are in need of God’s goodness in their lives. How will your kind acts of generosity, service, or friendship be leveraged for them to learn of the greater goodness of God in the gospel? What do you need to say or do to point them clearly to the greatest good act of God?

3. Spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you feel the proper thankfulness and wonder that you should for being good to you--not just in giving you the things you have, but in giving you the life of his own Son.


Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God

Our God is Good, Day 4

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Possibly the best thing about having a God who is sovereign over all things and all people, in all times and in all places, is that God is good--better yet, he is loving. God is kind, merciful, gracious, patient, generous...all of these descriptors describe to us a God who loves. The goodness of God is most powerfully demonstrated in his love.

God loves everyone. Yes, it’s true. Even God’s enemies receive love from him. Theologically, we call this love of God toward his enemies common grace. NonChristians can enjoy tasty sandwiches, the warmth of the sun on their skin, the thrill of sexual pleasure, and the safety of friendships. God pours out loving kindness even to those who reject him. Every breath and every heartbeat is a loving gift, even to those who do not love God back.

God’s love is special toward his people--Christians. God shows his love in a multitude of ways to his people--ways that are exclusive to those who are redeemed by Christ:

  • He loves us before we ever could have loved him

  • He forgives us all of our sin--past, present, and future sin

  • He chooses us, especially on the days and in the moments we fail to choose him

  • He is patient with our fears, doubts, and weak faith

  • He provides us our every need

  • He gave us the life of his only perfect Son as a ransom to set us free from sinning

  • He secures us an eternal life and Universe with him in the future

  • He protects us from Satan and demonic spiritual powers

  • He sends his Holy Spirit to live with us, changing us day by day to become more joyfully holy

  • He never changes his mind about how feels about us and never back-tracks on his promise to keep us

  • He gives us to his people (the Church) and gives his people to us

  • He gives us his perfect Word, the Bible, to instruct us, encourage us, and bring us power and peace

There’s never been a person more generous, kind, and loving than God. In a life where we’re constantly seeking ways to find love--where some of our worst sins come from the attempt to love ourselves, God shows himself infinitely better at loving us than we are. Both condemned sinners and rescued saints receive the undeserved love of God.

1. Take time to go through this list and pray in thankfulness for how God has loved you. Which of the above most strike you with gratitude the most today?

2. How can you point out to non-believing friends and neighbors that God loves them with his common grace?

3. Think of at least one person that you can demonstrate God’s same kind of love to, praying that they come to know God’s love personally. Commit to loving that person today.


Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God

Our God is Good, Day 5

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)

“...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:3-4)

Ever stood in line at the bank or grocery store and recommended a restaurant to a complete stranger? Ever praised and then recommended a movie or Youtube channel to someone? Ever (practically) demanded that someone at your table try a bit or a sip of some food or drink you found amazingly good?

Pastor John Piper rightly claims that our enjoyment of a thing is never completely experienced until we’ve shared it with someone else. That’s partly why every fan in the stadium stands, cheers, and turn to high five their neighbor when the team scores--you’re enjoying the success so much you can’t help but express it to others around you.

God’s goodness is so good that, for those who’ve truly experienced it, we can’t help but express it. Share it. Recommend it. Throughout the Bible (and specifically in Psalm 34), the command to God’s people is first to taste and see that God is good. The motivation and fuel for evangelism is experiencing God’s goodness yourself. In 1 John, chapter 1, the Apostle John plainly states why he’s teaching the gospel in his letter: “so that (his) joy may be complete.” For the Christian, our enjoyment and satisfaction is God will never be complete until we’ve tried to express his goodness to others around us. As easy as it is to recommend a TV show, a movie, or a restaurant, people who have received God’s goodness should find themselves even more ready to call others to receive him, too.

1. After spending this week studying, reflecting on, and praying over God’s goodness...what seem to be the things most important about God’s goodness in your life? What are the best “tasting” things about how God has loved you? I suggest you jot down a list you can actually set your eyes on.

2. Yesterday, I asked you to think of and pray for someone you should commit to loving with God’s love--make a sticky note (or something like that which will work for you!) and place it somewhere you can’t ignore it. Write their name down and pray for them each time you look at it. Invite your community group members to pray with you and ask about your progress in expressing God’s goodness to them.

3. If you find yourself struggling to screw up your courage to speak plainly to others about Jesus and his goodness, I recommend you return to this week’s devotions to encourage more and more gratitude and satisfaction in God. Spend more time in worship, prayer, Bible reading, and even listening to worship songs that magnify God’s goodness. Our courage to share will come most strongly from our enjoyment of God’s goodness.

4. Take Saturday and Sunday as opportunities to read all of Psalm 34 (which should take around five minutes to read) and meditate on it. Just read it over and over, think about parts of it. Find God in that passage. Find yourself in it. Think of those you’re evangelizing and ask God to help you find ways to express God’s goodness to them from Psalm 34.

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