What is…”GOOD?”

Good Morning Brothers…

I have bid you a “Good Morning”, once a week, for the last 4 years or so, and never once…did we stop and think about the word “Good”. I mean, don’t get me wrong, “Good” is a good word, there is nothing bad about it, unless…”Good” is subjective and not concrete in it’s definition. Then, I suppose, there could be differing views on the word “Good”. When a Head Football Coach says, “We had a “good” practice today”, he means that everyone worked hard and covered their assignments, the players learned new things which will make them a better football team. Their cause was advanced today because they had a “good” practice. Now I’m sure there are players on the roster who would not call that practice “good” because they really didn’t want to run that hard or work on those new plays that long. For them…the practice was not “good”. So who’s correct…? Call me biased but I’m going to agree with the Head Coach and here’s why. The Head Coach is the only member of the team that can see the whole field. He sees every position, every situation, every potential scenario, and analyzes the best possible routes around and through potential obstacles. Typically, the best work a Head Coach does is not seen by anybody else. His judgement on what “good” is for his team is more complete than what anybody else thinks.

“And 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

I love this verse. I hear a lot of people using this verse. In fact, I hear a lot of people clinging to the first part of the verse and ignoring the last part of the verse. I hear songs on the radio championing the beginning of this verse and like so many others…forgetting the end. Before we pick apart this particular verse, lets throw in one more. In James 1:16-17 it says, Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”  In both passages, “good” things are the property and a gift from our Lord. He gives “good” things. These “good” things aren’t kind of “good” or have some “good” qualities, they are “good”. They are “good” because they come from Him. But more importantly, they are “good” because they are for His purpose…not ours. I say this understanding that His purpose and our purpose should be the same thing but often times are not. Many of us believe that God will cause “good” for our purpose, meaning that we have the creative freedom to define what “good” is. I realize that last sentence is “bad” English and not “good” English but the definition of “good”, as God defines it, is at stake.

Our enemy is very good (that word again) at taking blessings and making them look like curses and crafting curses to make them look like blessings. He is the father of lies and will twist the “good” blessings from above when he is able to do so. The twisting happens in our own mind and becomes our perspective. The key for us is to understand what “good” means from God’s perspective. In Romans 12:2 it says, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Conformity to the world precludes us from discerning, or understanding, God’s will. God’s will is “good”. What we can learn about “good” from this passage is simple…if the world says it’s “good”…it’s not. If the world says it is a blessing, then it is a curse.

What we have to remember is that “good” is for God’s purpose. God’s purpose, God’s desire, is that all men come to repentance and follow Christ with their lives. God gifts us with grace, love, power, to insure that His message, His purpose, is communicated and lived out. When we surrender to His purpose, to His gifts, then “good” becomes an adjective that describes our life. When our motivation is about pursuing God, and not more money, or more stuff, or more acclaim, or more work, or more free time to be spent on earthly pleasures…then God truly is causing all things to work for good, because our purpose and God’s purpose are in sync. When our adversary twists God’s purpose within our mind, then we see surrender in a warped perspective. It becomes a war of wills. Our will versus God’s will…when in reality…it is Satan’s will versus God’s will. When we find ourselves so busy chasing…stuff, that we no longer have time to serve His purpose. We have to realize that we have become warped and are regarding blessings as curses. We have conformed to the world.

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”    Psalm 127:1-2

If you find yourself this morning feeling rundown, feeling like there isn’t enough time in your day to do everything that needs to be done…ask yourself if you labor in vain. Then ask the Lord if you labor in vain. Spend time today praying this question. It is not to late to turn away from a life in vain. It is not to late to turn to a life described as “good”. God is the only one who sees the whole field. He sees every position, every situation, every potential scenario, and analyzes the best possible routes around and through potential obstacles. He is the only one who can say whether or not it is “good”. Seek His purpose today.

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