And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Exodus 33:19 NIV)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)
In the 1970's there was a popular TV programme called "The Good Life" which was about a couple who abandoned the busyness of modern life and sought to become self-sufficient. They gave up their jobs, converted their garden to an allotment and began to live a simpler life. At first, their very middle class neighbours were outraged but eventually a great friendship grew up between the two couples. There was an innocence and vulnerability about them, an openness that took things on face value, something very uncomplicated and lacking any pretence.
There was a goodness about them. An inherent quality, not connected in any way to doing the right thing. Unselfish and motivated by something other than the normal rules of behaviour.
This, of course, is only a partial picture of the Father's goodness. The Psalmist reminds us regularly that the Lord's goodness is a result of his enduring love for us. He is motivated by love because he is love. He delights in blessing his children because he is love. His goodness releases mercy to us when we don't deserve it. His goodness does not come and go like the shifting sands. He is always good as goodness is the fruit of love.
We may do all the right things but that does not necessarily make us good. Goodness is the fruit of the spirit of love living in our heart. As we live in love we are transformed and our actions and lifestyle become motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. True goodness is not self-made but the outworking of the seed of love in our life which will cause us to 'love your neighbour as yourself' (Galatians 5:14). As the Passion Translation says, "love is revealed through a life full of virtue".
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Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU