A Good Life
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~This excerpt comes from Chapter 1~
God is always good
To imitate God, as we are instructed, we must know Him. We cannot emulate what we do not understand, and true understanding only comes when we take the time to find it.
Being honest, I didn’t take the time to know God until I was so weak that I could not function alone. My circumstances forced me to it, but I am grateful for that now. Though my mind wanted an instant healing, I am much stronger for steadily having to learn and experience Him.
Let me state this clearly. There is no better portrait of God than in His Word. Though many men held the brush over thousands of years, God directed each stroke, never altering in His purpose. He is not fickle and swung about by emotion. He never breaks His promises.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
God gives His word, and it is 100% reliable. What He has said that He will do, He will always fulfill. (Num 23:19 CEV) And He always makes the end result GOOD.
This is God’s desire in every situation. With every act of His creativity, God declared what He’d created to be good. (Ge 1:10, 11, 18, 25, 31 VOICE)
GOOD. Pleasant. Agreeable. Rich. Becoming. Prosperous. Happy. Understanding. Kind. (H2896) Good is all these things.
The word “good” has been overused in today’s culture. Something “good” is not considered necessarily to be at its best. As a writer, I was taught to not use trite words like “good” in descriptions.
I want you to toss all that out. Because “good” as God intended it to be is perfection.
James 1:16-17 in the Voice Translation says: “Don’t be misled. Every GOOD GIFT bestowed, every PERFECT GIFT received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows.”
There isn’t anything not good in Him. He creates only what is good, and He is perfect, or complete, in that goodness. (G5046) He is consistently good.
God described Himself this way. In Exodus 33, where we read of Moses seeing the glory of God, God replied, “I will make ALL MY GOODNESS pass before thee.” (V19) Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions says of this word “goodness” that it means “fairness, beauty, joy, prosperity; goodness (of taste, discernment).” (H2898)
Think of the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen, the most incredible work of art, and God is still more beautiful. He exceeds anything we could possibly dream of.
A sculptor might create His one perfect sculpture, the one piece of artwork we look at and say, “That was a Michelangelo.” Or a Renoir. But God created and created and created and created, and ALL OF IT was good. Every man, woman, and child. Every flower, every landscape, every ocean, every animal and sea creature, was good and capable of creating more good things.
This opens our vision to how fantastic the garden must have been, how extremely good, birthed from the vision of the Creator. And know this—He wasn’t surprised by how things turned out.
He didn’t say, “Oh, look, I made it good … somehow.”
No, He’d planned it to reflect His goodness fully and completely.
“Then God surveyed everything He had made, savoring its beauty and appreciating ITS GOODNESS.” (Genesis 1:31 VOICE)
We’ve limited our view of Him. We’ve seen Him as good occasionally. But God is always good. He’s never not good. Man is a good thing, and man was meant to walk in God’s goodness all the days of His life. Woman was created out of Man as another essence of God’s goodness, and their union was meant to be good.
Fast forwarding to the New Testament again, Jesus came to do the will of the Father (Jn 5:30), and His will was to bring good to men. What does it say in Matthew 4:23?
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching THE GOSPEL of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
The word “gospel” means “good news.” (G2098) Jesus preached good news AND healed. Healing is an essence of God’s goodness. Mark 1:1 in the New Living Translation puts it this way, “This is the GOOD NEWS about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”
That’s so very clear, but now stir in Peter’s words from the book of Acts.
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about DOING GOOD, and HEALING all that were oppressed of the devil; FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM.” (Acts 10:38)
God desires good things for you and me. His good will, through Jesus Christ, was to heal sickness and disease and to relieve the devil’s oppression. He anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit’s power to do good.
Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely GOODNESS and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
There isn’t a more moving statement. In God’s house, in His presence are GOOD THINGS. From His first-begotten Son, comes good life. Abundant life. Because His goodness isn’t idle. It’s active, always working to do more GOOD. His GOODNESS must multiply and change for the better whatever it touches. It is living, growing GOOD.
“Spread my goodness throughout the earth,” Jehovah said to Adam. (Ge 1:28)
“Tell them I am good,” He spoke through His Son. (Jn 10:11, 32)
God’s goodness is far beyond anything we could ever ask or think. (Eph 3:20) Though we can never fully grasp this, we must know it about Him and allow this image of Him to settle, firm, in our thinking.
God is good, and we can know Him by His goodness. (Lk 6:43-45)