Volume. XXVI, No. 51
Sunday, 17 June 2012


The Goodness of the Lord


God is good. What this implies is that God is morally upright. All His actions are just and fair. All His ways are absolutely perfect. There is no flaw in His character. In contrast, man’s character is completely blemished. He is totally depraved. When compared to God, man is evil, even as our Lord Jesus Christ said – “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11). And “ there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). Of course we do call some people good; even in the Bible some men are called good – for example, Barnabas was called a good man, as was the centurion. This was in relation to other men. Some people have a better character than others (by God’s grace) and so are called good. There is nothing good in man of himself, apart from what God has given him. I know that nothing good dwells in me (my flesh) – according to the Apostle Paul (Romans 7:18).

That God is good is demonstrated in His goodness.  According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary –  the Goodness of God is a perfection of His character which He exercises towards His creatures according to their various circumstances and relations (Ps. 145:8, 9; 103:8; 1 John 4:8). Viewed generally, it is benevolence; as exercised with respect to the miseries of His creatures; it is mercy, pity, compassion, and in the case of impenitent sinners, long-suffering patience; as exercised in communicating favour on the unworthy, it is grace. "Goodness and justice are the several aspects of one unchangeable, infinitely wise, and sovereign moral perfection. God is not sometimes merciful and sometimes just, but he is eternally, infinitely just and merciful." God is infinitely and unchangeably good (Zeph.3:17), and His goodness is incomprehensible to the finite mind (Rom. 11: 35, 36). "God\'s goodness appears in two things, giving and forgiving."

Beloved, the Bible says that “the goodness of God endureth continually” (Psalm 52:1)  – since the beginning of creation and for all eternity. Out of His abundant goodness, He filled the earth with all good things for all to enjoy. But then if God is good and full of goodness, then why is there so much of suffering. That my dear friends is because of the consequences of our sin – when sin came into the world - when our first parents rebelled against God’s Holy laws and so suffered the due consequences. But even in this world of pain and suffering and death we can see the loving kindness and mercy of our dear Heavenly Father. As David said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

King David also says in Psalm 119:68: “Thou art good and doest good, teach me thy statutes.” God makes the sun shine on everyone, believers and unbelievers – the just and the unjust.  He feeds the sparrow, He satisfies the longing soul, fills the hungry with good things, He is Father to the fatherless and protector of the widow, He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyful mother of children, He puts the solitary in families, He is our guide and protector, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we shall fear no evil, because He is there to guard us and comfort us. He is the God of all comfort who comforts in all our afflictions – He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Christ – He has made us His own sons and daughters – now we are God’s children, beloved  – joint heirs with Christ with an inheritance preserved for us. Oh, how much God has been good to us, how much He has been gracious toward us. He has cast our iniquities behind His back and forgiven us of all our trespasses, because of His great goodness toward us which has led us to repentance.

The Apostle Paul said that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). When I sinned against Him, He did not punish me immediately and cast me away, but He was patient with me, gently convicting me of my sins and at the same time continuing His goodness toward me. He disciplined me so that I would turn to Him and not go my own way according to the ways of this world and so perish along with the rest of sinful mankind. If the Lord had marked my iniquities, I would not have survived, but there was forgiveness with the Lord, because in His great love toward me, He Himself bore the consequence of my sins, through His Son Jesus Christ who died for me and gave Himself for me. God has expressed His goodness toward me since the day I was born. He looked after me, through my loving parents, He cared for me and bore me up on eagles’ wings, He was my refuge and underneath were His everlasting arms. I remember my childhood and teenage years, how God sustained me and my family through very difficult times even when we were not believers – how  He led me through High School and University and caused a Christian brother to lead me to Jesus Christ. It is because of His goodness, because of His mercy and grace, that I am where I am today. Even though life has been a struggle, which is true for every person, yet the Lord in His goodness has seen me through many sicknesses, financial hardships and uncertainties.

Beloved, taste and see that the Lord is good and praise Him for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. Allow Him to let all His goodness pass by You just as He did to Moses, when He hid him in the cleft of the rock and allowed all His goodness to pass by him and proclaimed – “The  LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”(Exodus 34:6,7)

How abundant is His goodness toward those who fear Him and toward those who trust in Him. His steadfast love never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.

Beloved if you are going through hard times now, remember that your hardship is not hid from His sight. “There is no pit so deep where He is not deeper still” are the words of Betsy Ten Boom who along with her sister Corrie, suffered tremendously at the hands of their German captors in a concentration camp during WW-II, but they never lost their trust in God and they demonstrated to their fellow prisoners that God is indeed a good God.

God is a very present help in time of trouble. Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation that He will work for you today. The Lord will fight for you and you only have to be still. That is what Moses told the Israelites when they were caught between the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s armies behind them. God may not perform supernatural miracles like He did then, but our good Lord will carry you safely through your red sea.

God is a good God whose works are perfect and all His ways are just. He expresses His goodness toward all men at the same time as His severity toward unrepentant sinners when they despise His goodness and His forbearance. So beloved, take heed that you do not take His goodness and love toward you for granted. God is being merciful and patient with sinners, not wanting them to perish, but that they should repent. If you have experienced many of God’s blessings and have still not acknowledged Him as your Lord and Saviour, then a time will come when God will judge you for all your sins. Even now when God is extending His goodness toward you, turn to Him with a repentant heart and you will experience even more of His abundant goodness.

And to you, who are a believer and a beloved of the Lord, never doubt the Lord’s goodness in any situation even in times of trouble. Your God is a solid Rock, a tower of refuge and strength; you can run to Him and be safe. People whom you have trusted may fail, but the Lord will not fail you, nor will He ever forsake you. He may discipline you when you sin, but that is for your good, that you may share His holiness. He is treating you as His son/daughter. One day our good and loving Heavenly Father will give you the crown of life which He has promised to all that love Him. (James 1:12) His goodness will extend to you eternally.  Amen.

Dn Edwin D’Mello

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Volunteer. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Daniel Volvricht.

*Hope Bookstore: Open 12:30 - 1:45pm

*RPGs (Jul-Sep Qtr) available on literature table.

*Vacation Bible School (VBS) invites available. Please invite children of your friends to come for Gospel message & activities. Also, volunteers required to contribute refreshments & lunch for the VBS. If able to help, please contact Sis Peng Ha Yeo.

*Please note: There will be a ‘Teens Sleepover’ at The Stone Mansion, 13-14 July.

*Reminder: Evening Service next Lord’s Day. Please invite your non-Christian family members, relatives & friends. There is no dinner before service.

*Next week’s Fellowship Lunch is catered: Adult $5; Child under 5 years FREE.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Deaconesses Joyce Gong & Purdee Yeo; Sisters Heng Yee Cheah & Yvone Kam (S’pore); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Adl); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (KL); Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl) & his parents (S’pore); & others who have arrived at their destinations.

2. Church Activities - last week.

3. Successful outcome with surgery - Sis Kathleen Creaser

4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

5. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Margaret Pearson & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Special prayer: Bro Len Pearson (severe shortness of breath).

3. Sis Nary Li’s pregnancy - normal foetal development.

4. Cambodia Missions -  Rev Srum Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro Thi Chhay & ministry (Kratie).

5. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

6. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry

7. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

8. God’s Comfort - those afflicted and grieving.

9. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim & Ministry (Melbourne, Vic).

10. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members; missionaries in India & South America.

11. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

12. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

13. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

14. Journey mercies: Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo (Bali/Adl); Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sis Audrey Yeo (Canb/Adl); & others who are travelling.

15. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

16. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

17. Uni Placement: Sis Felicia Tan (S’pore).

18.  Uni & High school students - preparing for exams.

19. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng.

20. Vacation Bible School - Speaker: Pr Hai Seng Lim; organisers & helpers.

21. Bro Jonathan Liao - God’s guidance to a Bible-believing church in Canberra.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063