Is God Really Good

Is God Really?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  58:16
0 ratings
IS GOD REALLY IS GOD REALLY GOOD? April 19th, 2020 FVCC LOGO SPLASH SERIES INTRODUCTION (RELEASE THIS EARLY) WELCOME/ANNOUNCEMENTS Welcome to Fox Valley Christian Church, where every member is a missionary. Today we are going to be starting our new series, “Is God Really?” and we are going to be looking at different characteristics of God … we are going to be looking at what is going on in the world around us and we are going to be asking if the world around us and the characteristics of God really match up. Today we will ask, “in the face of our present circumstances … is God really good?” But first, let’s begin with prayer. PRAY IS GOD REALLY GOOD? The question that we are faced with today is God really good? Is God really good? Some of you, this is THE question. If there is this being out there … is He God or is He good, because I just can’t believe in our current state that He is both. We see people dying. We see those left to mourn them without the ability to mourn them properly. We see people losing their investments and savings. We see people struggling with mental health issues from being separated from the physical contact of the world around them. We see shortages, we see lies, we see corruption. If God is good … then what is going on here? We have a really hard time of making sense how God can be good and the world can be in such a disastrous state. Maybe there is a good being out there … but can we really call Him God? It seems as if He is either bad or He has lost control. So, is He God or is He good? Because I am having a hard time making sense of how He is both? NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS Others, you might be saying with your mouths that He is God and He is good … but in practice you are having a hard time living out that belief. I like to call it the, “not my will but yours” view of God. it is the view of God that says, “God I really want this, but not my will but yours.” And then in our hearts and in our minds we picture God’s will as horrible and disastrous. God, I really want my mom to survive this virus, but not my will but yours … Cause God I already know that your will is that she dies and I guess I’ll just be okay with that. God, I would really like to come out of this thing with money left in my savings and investments, I would like to still have a job, I would like to still own my business … but … not my will but yours. Cause God, I already know that you want me to come out of this homeless, jobless, and no hope for a sustainable future. So … not my will but yours. WARPED VIEW So many of us have a warped view of God. Especially when it comes to the goodness of God. Either we think that He can’t possibly be good while bad things are happening, or while good people are allowed to do bad things … or we think that God’s will is against me and I have no future with God in control. At least not a good future. A.W. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy says, “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” This is so true. If we don’t think we can trust that God is good, how can we ever trust Him with our lives. If we don’t think that He is really God, how can we ever go to Him and expect to see His goodness. I want you to try to imagine these pictures of God: 1. Imagine God sitting on a throne. A mischievous smile on His face. Knowing all He has in store for you, all that He is going to put your through. All the hardship, all the pain, all the tests and trials. Knowing that you are just a big failure and that you are going to fail the whole way through. And … when you think you go it, when you finally think you have come to a point of obedience … He is going to pull the rug, cause a plague, and make it harder. But … by all means … come to Him. Ask for His guidance, His direction, His will … while He just sits back, all powerful, grinning while holding the strings … like, “say it! Say it! Not my will but yours!” (Chuckles) Is that who you want to turn to? Is that who you want to put your trust in? Is that who you want to step into His presence with prayer? 2. Imagine God sitting on a throne. He doesn’t have time for you. Sure, He is God. Sure, He created. But, come on, He’s God. You are not. He did His work, He is done, leave Him be. Is that who you want to turn to? Is that who you really want to put your trust in? Is that who you wan tot step into His presence with prayer? 3. Imagine God sitting on a throne. Throne is the wrong word. God is sitting in His comfy chair. He is like grandpa … but for some reason He looks a lot like Santa. He has a big belly, a jolly smile, rosy red cheeks and He can’t wait to do good for you. He is going to bless you and spoil you and He is going to give you your best life now. But, try not to burden Him with your problems because … well … He’s not really able to do anything there. If you are on the good list, like really really really on the good list … then sure He can take those burdens and do you good. But that’s on you, not Him. He wishes you didn’t have to go through those things, He can give you a chocolate bar if that will help to distract you from your pain. He is a good God, full of goodness, but really He kinda only works a couple days a year and He really has nothing to offer you when times are hard. He doesn’t work on those days. Is that who you want to turn to? Is that who you want to put your trust in? Is that who you want to step into His presence with prayer? 4. Imagine God sitting on the throne. But not because He is trying to intimidate you. That is just His rightful seat, He’s God. He instead is leaning toward you with a smile of anticipation. He knows all that He longs to do in you and through you. He knows all the good He has in store for you. Sure, He sees the hardship … He’s God … but He is ready for it. Ready to strengthen you every step of the way. Ready to prepare you now for what is coming later. Ready to pour out His love, His goodness, His peace, His joy into your life. Sure it’s going to be a long road and difficult at times … but oh the good He has in store for you … and there He is … leaning forward, a smile of anticipation on His face … excited to lead you to what He has in store for you. Is that who you want to turn to? Is that who you want to put your trust in? Is that who you want to step into His presence with prayer? “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” When you think of God, specifically when you think of His goodness … Which one of these pictures really fits how you view God? Which one of these pictures is really an accurate representation of God? How do we respond to God then based on who He really is and based on His goodness? HOW DID WE GET IT SO WRONG? These images that have infiltrated our minds keep us from trusting Him. They determine what kind of relationship we have with Him. So how did we get it so wrong? How did we come to the view that we have of God? First, we have gotten into the practice of following hunches about God. Hearing a good word, a good sermon, a nice article, an interesting book or quote, a quick meme and we think … yeah, that sounds right. We don’t need evidence. We don’t need truth. We just base things off of what sounds right. We do this with everything though. It’s the G(j)IF G(g)IF conversation. Is it pronounced jif or gif? Well, when people have a good argument for gif and it sounds convincing … we just believe it. But the reality of it is, when you look at who created the word and how they say it is pronounced … they say it is pronounced jif. Shouldn’t we let the creator decide? Shouldn’t we go to the source? And that’s the problem. The problem is, as I am saying it and some of you are hearing it you are literally saying, “I don’t care what the creator named the word he created. I think he got it wrong and I think it sounds better this way or it should be this way here.” We have gotten God so wrong because we look for popular opinion or we look for what sounds right or makes sense to us and we have spent no time going to Him to see what He has to say about Himself. We haven’t ignored thousands of years of people being in the presence of God and reporting back to us … because … what do they know? So, what does God say about Himself and what does it mean that He is good? DEFINITION OF GOD'S GOODNESS Genuinely the best way for us to discern God’s goodness is to look at Jesus. JOHN 14:6-7 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Jesus says that if we know Jesus, we know God. If we know Jesus, we know God. The Israelites had gotten God so skewed. We have gotten God so skewed. That is why people still refer to Him as “the God of the Old Testament.” He is the same God. He does not change. Jesus just came to make known that which we had skewed. If you want to know God, you can know Him in light of Christ. 1 JOHN 5:20 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. So, what does Jesus tell us about God? Well, when Jesus was tired … He allowed the little children to still come to Him. This was not a “kids are fun” kind of thing. This was a “kids are lesser according to society, but I still love them and they are worth my time” kind of thing. When Jesus was confronted by a leper, He touched Him. A sinner, He ate with Him. An adulterer, He spent time with her and forgave her. When Jesus was beaten and crucified, He cried from the cross that we be forgiven. When confronted with sacrificing Himself and taking on the punishment of our sins so that we didn’t have to vs. us getting what we deserve … God chose the cross. Tozer defines God’s goodness as, “that which disposes Him to be kind , cordial , benevolent , and full of good will toward men . He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy , and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open , frank , and friendly . By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes total pleasure in the happiness of His people.” This describes Jesus, which means this describes God. He is good. The Psalmist writes: PSALM 34:8 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! PSALM 86:5 5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. PSALM 107:1 1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! God is good. GOOD TO ALL? In the beginning I gave you 4 pictures of God. God who is harsh and controlling, God who has sit back and He is indifferent, God who is Santa, and God who is good. Based on what we have seen, we can eliminate the first two. If Jesus is God and He stepped into our world to save us, then God is not indifferent. And if He took our punishment, so that we didn’t have to … then He is far from harsh and controlling. So then is He good like Santa (the all holy gift giver) who is good, but nothing more … or does His goodness have depths and a personal richness to it? (stick with us the next 7 weeks you will see God for all He is and your picture of God will become more clear, more personal, and it will shape your relationship with Him … but for now, we are specifically looking at His goodness.) Okay, so God is good, but is God good to all? PSALM 145:9 9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Alright. So, yes. God is good to all. When I say the Santa kind of God. You’ve seen the cartoons. Naughty or Nice. Present or Coal. Have you ever really seen Santa’s coal bag? Have you ever really woken up on Christmas and really gotten coal (and I don’t mean as a silly joke), but I mean really gotten coal? The picture we have of Santa is one that he gives gifts. Sure if your naughty there is the threat of coal, but Santa doesn’t really give coal. You can be naughty and he is so good that he gives presents anyway. The coal bag is just a big Santa scam and it doesn’t really exist. It is just trying to persuade you to do a little good. Santa is good to all. “The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.” Does that then mean that all are saved and we can default to the view of God that says that He is like Santa? Does this mean that when Jesus died on the cross … we are all good now? Does this mean that there really can’t possibly be a hell because … well ... God is good … ROMANS 11:22 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. The kindness and severity of God. And His kindness, His goodness … sure He is good for all … but His goodness is only going to last if you continue in His kindness. If you continue to trust Him. If you continue to have faith in Him. If you continue in obedience to Him. Otherwise … well … otherwise you too will be cut off and recognize His severity. Well … wait a minute. I really don’t like Bible verses like this. Let’s go back to the one that said that God is good to all. I like that Santa kind of God. Oh … so you would rather go back to His kindness, His forbearance and His patience? Yes let’s go back to that … ROMANS 2:4 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? God is good to all. His mercy is over all that He has made. WHY? Because His goodness is meant to lead you to repentance. It is meant to lead you to change. It is meant to lead you back to Him. J.I. Packer in Knowing God says, “God is good to all in some ways and He is good to some in all ways.” God is good to all in some ways. When we look at God’s divine generosity … His goodness … we see an overflowing of goodness to all. He is the one that gives rain to everyone. He is the one that created the sunrise and the sunset. He is the one that caused babies to be so stinking cute and bring a smile to our faces. He created laughter. He created love. He created us to have the full spectrum of emotions. In that … He is good to all in some ways. He is also the one that has given His life for ours. He has done what is necessary to take the penalty of our sins. He has given us the ultimate gift. But … but … we have to repent. We have to turn from our sin and turn to Him. We have to trust Him, but our faith in Him, express that faith through obedience. Because of that He is good to some in all ways, in every way … even in salvation from our sins. So yes, God is good to all … but He is not a Holy Santa … He is a good and just God. He is holy, sovereign, faithful, wise, and loving. God is leaning in, knowing He has what is best for us available. He is ready to overflow us with goodness. He is so good that He does what is necessary to get our attention and to draw us back to Him so that He can be good to us in EVERY way. I don’t know about you … but that’s who I want to go to when things are hard. That’s who I want by my side and leading the way in front of me. That’s whose will I want to see accomplished in my life. HOW WE RESPOND ... So how do we respond to God then? How do we respond in light of His goodness? WE TRUST THAT WHATEVER COMES INTO OUR LIVES IS COMING THROUGH HANDS THAT ARE KIND - We trust that whatever comes into our lives … even if it is hard, even if it is scary, even it seems to be anything but for our good … we trust that it is coming through the hands that are kind, that are benevolent, that are friendly, that are good. I had to punish one of my children this week. Does this make me bad? No. Because the punishment was out of love. It was out of my compassion and desire for my kids to have a good life that I punished them. I also do not let my kids have Ice Cream for breakfast lunch and dinner. Although Ice Cream for breakfast lunch and dinner sounds good … it isn’t and denying them of something that might sound good … really is me expressing my goodness. I also allow my kids to make mistakes and sometimes they fall. Sometimes they scrape their knee. I allow them, out of my goodness, to make mistakes, but I also am there to help them when they are suffering the consequences of their choices. Listen to what Jesus says: MATTHEW 7:11 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! I am a broken man and I know how to show goodness to my children … how much greater is God’s goodness for us. We need to recognize that He is good and trust Him in His goodness. No matter the season, no matter our understanding of WHAT is going on. We need to recognize underneath and above it all … God is good and He is working for our good. WE TRUST GOD AND IT CHANGE US When we trust God like that … it changes us. Doesn’t it? When we really trust that God is good, we no longer say “not my will but yours” and view it as a risk. Instead we view it as a risk to not ask for His will. To not seek His will. When we trust God it changes our relationship with Him. God is our all powerful creator. He is Lord. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is God. Because He is the all-powerful God that should arouse fear in us. But He is good and His goodness encourages us to not be afraid of Him. It is this incredible dynamic that leads us into a faith and a trust that is expressed through obedience. His greatness rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. PRAY OFFERING/ANNOUNCEMENTS It is time for our offering. OFFERTORY I have this little book called, “Take God at His Word” by Kregg Hood. I’m going to be honest. I don’t like every book I read. I genuinely did not think I would like this book, I judged it by it’s cover … I only read it because the lady that kept calling me and asking me to read it was so sweet. This is a little book, but it really is a great read. If you have questions about tithe and offering or would like to experience growth in your relationship with God in those areas … then I would encourage you to read a copy of this book. It is short, but powerful. I actually want to read an excert of this book for our offering today: (Read page 1-3a) PRAY COMMUNION It’s now time for our communion. I want to remind you again that it is not what you are eating and drinking that is significant. It is who we are gathering to remember. Jesus, our Lord and Savior. As we pause to remember Christ, I encourage you to remember that He is the exact representation of God. And the same one who went to the cross so that your sins could be forgiven is the same one that we are able to go to daily, the same one we are able to go to in the midst of our storms, and the same one that we get to go to when we are the reason for our storms. PRAY WORSHIP SONGS FVCC LOGO SPLASH
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more