God is Good (8/24/14)

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

Rev Bolton 2014-08-03 _0646 Pastor Jim’s sermon on August 24 continued our look at the Attributes of God. So far we’ve seen that God is Awesome, Holy, and Faithful.  This morning we looked at God’s Goodness.
Click on the “Play” button below, then scroll down to follow along…



The text for the sermon came from Psalm 86:1-13 and Nahum 1:7.  Click on the arrow to open up the scripture…

Scripture Readings

Ps 86:1-13

Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.  Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord,for I call to you all day long.

4 Bring joy to your servant,for to you, O Lord,I lift up my soul.

5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord,abounding in love to all who call to you.   Hear my prayer, O Lord;listen to my cry for mercy.   In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;no deeds can compare with yours.  All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord;they will bring glory to your name.  For you are great and do marvelous deeds;you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.  I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;I will glorify your name forever.  For great is your love toward me;you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. NIV

 Nahum 1:7-8

7 The Lord is good,  a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him, 8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh];  he will pursue his foes into darkness. NIV


What is Good?

We frequently hear a pastor shout out, “God is Good!”  And we then instinctively give the response, “All the Time!” and then the pastor will respond, “All  the time,God is Good!”

But what does that really mean?

In fact, there are a lot of “God is ____” statements.  “God is Good.”  “God is Holy.”  “God is Faithful.”  “God is Love.”  The important thing to keep in mind about all of these things is that they aren’t statements of the things God does.  He doesn’t just do good, or holy, or faithful things.  God IS Holy, Faithful, Good.  These aren’t adjectives that describe things that God does.  They are terms that make up God’s attributes.  They overlap.  They must be taken together.  Each one is a key part of who God is.


When’s the last time you heard a sermon on Nahum?!?  Here’s some background on this “minor prophet” (he’s called “minor” only because the book is short).

The word Nahum means “comfort.”  The city in Galilee where Jesus spent so much time is named after Nahum: Capernaum (“the city of Nahum”).

Nahum was a on a mission to Nineveh.  Some 150 years before his time, Jonah was sent on a mission to this city. God wanted him to call Nineveh to repentance.  But Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians,  had done much harm to the Israelites and Jonah sure didn’t want God to show them mercy.

But after a detour of running away and getting swallowed by a fish, Jonah gave God’s message and the people in Nineveh repented.

But they relapsed and went back into their sinful ways.  Their sin found them out.  They went backward instead of forward.  So God sent Nahum to give them one more chance.  The Babylonians were on their way to attack Nineveh, but “the Lord is slow to anger,”  and God continues to call to them. In the midst of doom and gloom, there is hope in God.

The Bible describes God as a Tower of Strength, and Anchor, a Rock.  God wants us to take refuge in Him.  Even in our sin and in impending judgement, God wants us to turn to Him.  This all comes from His Goodness.  Yes He is Holy, but in His Goodness God longs for us to return to Him.  The reason He is good to us is so we may repent (Romans 2:4).

Romans 11:22…

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. NIV

God doesn’t punish!  Sin does!

God doesn’t stand over us ready at all times to hurl flaming arrows at us.  But “sin will find us out.”  When sin takes us off of God’s path, we suffer the consequences.  But God in His Goodness, still wants us to return.  Like Nineveh, God tries to warn us and caution us.  Here are some other verses about God’s Goodness:

  • Exodus 19:9  God empowers and helps His servants.
  • Exodus 33:19  God is too holy for Moses (or us) to see His face, but He causes His goodness to pass in front of us.
  • Numbers 10:29  The Lord has promised good things to Israel.
  • Psalm 68:10  God provides for the poor.
  • Isaiah 63:7  Talk about the deeds of compassion and kindness God has shown to Israel.


Four  things to remember about Goodness…


1:  God is Good- He Can’t Do Anything Evil

“Good” is an attribute of God.  Because He is “Good” there are things that aren’t part of His character and there are therefore things that God Can’t do.  Humans can lie, but God can’t!  God can’t cause evil; He didn’t cause the events of 9/11.  Even if He wanted to, He couldn’t!  God can’t lie, God can’t sin… He can’t go against His character.

  • 1 John 1:5      God is light and in Him there is NO darkness.
  • Psalm 92:15  There is NO wickedness in the Lord.
  • Job 34:10     “Far be it” for God to do any evil.

Nahum 1:3  says that “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.”  The Hebrew word for “slow to anger” pictures a bull which is snorting and pawing the ground.  There is power, but he doesn’t charge.  He keeps giving warnings.



2:  God’s Goodness is Evident Everywhere

We’re all surrounded by God’s goodness as seen in His creation.  The world didn’t have to be this beautiful or intricate.  And yet God surrounds us with His amazing creation.  In Genesis, after God created each part of the world He said “It is Good.” (such as in Genesis 1:31).

The one thing about this is that we can’t earn God’s goodness; God’s goodness is available to everyone! He just gives it to us, just like a good parent who wants to give what is best to his children.  Psalm 145:9 says that God is good to all.  He has compassion on all He has made.  He can’t help it! It’s who He is.


3:  The Goodness of God is Personnel

We sing, “God is so good… He’s so good to ME.”  Do we really believe that?  Can it be that the almighty righteous Holy God of all creation can show goodness to little ‘ole me???  In the Christian life, God isn’t calling us to learn a religion; it’s not about learning how to do good things.  Growing as a Christian is about learning to know God; to grow in a relationship with Him.  Jesus died for a relationship, not a religion.  God is good… to each of us.

Close your eyes and think of the times this past week where you have seen the goodness of God.

True story:  God can use a dream to give us a warning that can save our lives. 
God is so good to me…

If we only have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, we will be able to experience God’s goodness.


4:  God’s Goodness Serves as a Model

No matter how “good” we may think someone is, there is always someone who has even more goodness- Jesus.  Paul, in Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be “imitators of God.”  Can we say we imitate God in everything we think, say, and do?  What would the world look like if we all made a concerted effort to be an imitator of God?

A special day has been set aside to be “Random acts of Kindness Day.”  Really????  One day???  God calls us to be a testimony to His goodness by performing acts of kindness all the time.  If a check out person at a convenience store is having a bad day, or if a gas station attendant (we do have them in NJ!) is upset about something, or if a waitress seems worried… tell them you’ll pray for them (and then really pray!).  Show some empathy and concern.  Give thanks when thanks isn’t expected.

Why? Because the God who saved us… the one we call “Lord”- does the same thing.  In 3 John 11, the apostle John tells us to imitate what is good, because anyone who does what is good comes from God.  If we we return evil for evil or ignore opportunities to do good, then we have not “seen God.”


How do We Respond to God’s Goodness???

What is it you and I can do to give thanks to God for gifts that we don’t deserve?

The story is told of a doctor who performed an experimental procedure in an effort to save a boy’s sight.  The procedure was expensive and the boy had to be flown to the hospital.  So his church and community raised the funds needed for this operation.

The boy had a favorite teddy bear; well-worn and tattered.  To calm his nerves, the doctor obtained the bear, dressed it in a hospital gown, and made sure it was in the operating room with the boy.

They didn’t know if the operation was successful until they removed the bandages from the boy’s eyes.  But as the bandages came off, the boy could see the faces of his parents for the first time!  And he could also see his beloved teddy bear for the first time.

Before leaving the hospital and flying home, the boy wanted to express his deep appreciation to the doctor for restoring his sight.  He had nothing of value to offer the doctor, so he gave what was of the most value to him.  He gave the doctor his teddy bear. 

The doctor protested but the boy insisted.

The bear is now in a glass case in the doctor’s office.  Beneath the bear is the sign, “This is the highest fee I have ever received for professional services rendered.”

Goodness begets goodness.

How can I say thanks to God?  We may only have a stuffed animal, but it’s like gold to God.

In our sinful states as humans, we can’t match God’s goodness.  But through His grace, God helps us to grow closer to Him; to become more like Him.  By imitating Jesus and by giving our best, we can take on part of God’s immense goodness and become more like Him.

God is Good!


Quiz Time!

Just for the fun of it, try out these True/False questions.   Don’t Worry- there’s no gradebook!

When you’re done, click the “Review” button to see the right answers.  If you missed any questions, re-read the scripture and try it again.  If you’re stuck (or disagree with the answer!), feel free to post a comment.



God is Good.. A Song of Praise in this Heart of Mine…

Our closing song was Don Moen’s “God is Good All the Time.”  Click the arrow below to open a You-Tube video of this uplifting (and challenging) song.  Consider how “God is good all the time” to you; even through the valleys.

Hear God is Good





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