Our God is all love and all good—always! Throughout His written Word, God declares to us His goodness.
Psalms 107:8 and 9:
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
We sing praises to our God for His goodness! He is the One Who satisfies and fills our souls, a God Who is good to all. As we open our hearts to our God, we experience the richness of His goodness in our lives. Let’s learn more about God’s goodness from His Word and how it leads to repentance, a change of heart for the better. We will see that as we put God’s Word in our minds it helps us continue to make this positive change. And as we manifest God’s love and forgiveness to others and direct them to His Word, they too can turn to the Lord and make a change for the better.
We’ll see examples of God’s goodness in the Word. A zealous Pharisee experienced God’s goodness and turned to the Lord to become the Apostle Paul. A woman under a life-threatening attack was shown God’s love and forgiveness by the Lord Jesus Christ. And as God’s sons who walk in His goodness, we love, forgive, and direct others to His Word so that they can make a change for the better—a change of heart.
Let’s learn more about God’s goodness.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness [chrēstotēs] and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness [chrēstos] of God leadeth thee to repentance?
“Goodness” appears twice in this verse, translated from two related Greek words. The first “goodness” is chrēstotēs: from God to man, it is benevolence, meaning “a disposition to do good”; from man to man, it is “benevolence and sweetness of disposition.” It is also described as kindness. The second “goodness” in this verse is chrēstos, which means useful, kind; manageable, mild, pleasant, as opposed to harsh, hard, sharp, or bitter.
God’s goodness and all that it provides to us is what leads us to repentance. According to E. W. Bullinger’s A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, to repent is “to change one’s mind and purpose. This change is always for the better, and denotes a change of moral thought and reflection;…to have a genuine change of heart and life from worse to better.” To repent is to have a change of heart!
God declares in Malachi 3:6 that He never changes. There is not even a shadow of turning with Him (James 1:17). Our God is all love and all good—always! Our lives, on the other hand, require consistent change. The new birth is the greatest change we can ever experience in life. After that, it’s up to us to decide to change for the better and align our thoughts with God’s Word.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Our lives are transformed, changed for the better, as we renew our minds to God’s Word. When we put His Word in our minds, we are guarding our hearts, the innermost part of the mind.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
We are to keep—guard, maintain, protect—our hearts. The heart is part of the mind, and we protect it by keeping our thoughts on the Word.
Hebrews 4:12 [The Amplified Bible]:
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
God’s Word is living and energetic. It is powerful! It helps us sift our thoughts—right from wrong, good from best—so that we can act according to God’s Word. We keep the Word in our minds, allowing it to direct our hearts so that we change for the better and experience His goodness.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him….
This is an excerpt from the November/December 2014 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2014 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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