Tuesday, November 18, 2008

an undivided heart

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name." Psalm 86:11

When Mariane sent me this verse throught a text message, it struck me. I realized that i should offer to God an undivided heart.

When i reflect on how the Lord has blessed us individually, i am reminded that it is only proper for us to give to Him a totally, undivided heart. To do so would be to put God first in everything, first in our thoughts, and in all things we do, bearing in mind His love, goodness, mercy and grace. I should not even attempt to compete with God's love for her. Even the idea itself is unthinkable. God wants our undivided attention.

Because we know "... that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28

"...for in Him we live, and move and have our being." - Acts 17:28
I remember what i wrote, quite a long time ago, that "God does require so much."

"I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing" - 2 Samuel 24:24

Monday, November 03, 2008

God is good all the time

Whenever i hear people in church say “God is good,” i hear a common response “all the time.” I believe it was influenced by one of Don Moen’s popular song. I get to hear it often. And almost always, when a response is said automatically without thought or hesitation, it somehow losses its meaning. When we say “God is good all the time” do we really believe it? Or do we just say it lackadaisically out of a whim? What does good really mean? And what does the phrase “God is good” mean?

The term good in itself is a very ambiguous one. Dictionaries offer different and wide definition of the term good from being morally excellent or virtuous, to having admirable, pleasing or superior qualities. Good, given in this context would be an adjective describing someone, in this case, God. Good in this instance would refer to God’s character.

Most often, i associate the goodness of God based on how much material things i have or how happy i am at that time. I know it’s not the right attitude but there is a natural tendency to thank God more when good things come. I admit that recent events in my life make me aware of how good He is towards me. I feel blessed and it makes me humble. In response, i am grateful to know that He granted me something i have desired even though i knew i deserved less. But in all these things, i do believe that the goodness of God doesn’t change. God is good even if things around us seem to dispel that fact.

If “God is good all the time, ” would it still hold true when sickness or trouble come my way? I dread for that event and i would pray that it would not come to pass. But even so, yes, i would still declare that God is good. He has many promises to us that are overwhelming, that if we only take time to read and understand, would surely amaze us. One of the most quoted is His promise in the book of Jeremiah which reads
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I believe that more than the “prosperity” promise, one that we should be thankful the most is His promise of “listening” to us and allowing us to “find” Him when we seek Him with all of our heart.

If we have a measure or test of goodness, God would be the standard. Everything else that doesn’t meet His standard would fail. In fact, because God is a Holy God and we have a sinful nature, we already failed to meet God’s standard. The apostle Paul mentioned in Romans that all of us have sinned and fell short of God’s glory.

But the goodness of God is still evident in that He is even the one who gave us a rescue plan. If the US government today would pay billions of dollars as a bailout plan for its failing economy, it fails in comparison to the rescue plan God has provided through the death of Jesus Christ, His Son. In this, I will forever be grateful!

The goodness of God surpasses time. It doesn’t change even if our society’s standard does change. The world would still need Jesus even if society says otherwise. God would still be God, and God would still be good, all the time, no matter what.