The sheer goodness of God
by David Leach
The sheer goodness of God
Luke 15:11-24 The Parable of the Prodigal Son
While this parable has application to an unsaved person who turns towards God it also has great application to a Christian who has not been walking with God as they once were, but turns back towards God. The most revealing truth about the parable is the extraordinary goodness, forgiveness, kindness and love of the Father. And the Father in the parable represents our Father, God and reflects His unchanging wonderful nature.
11 Then He (Jesus) said: "A certain man had two sons.
12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.
13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose from restraint living. AMP)
Prov 29:18 Where there is no revelation (a deepening revelation of God), the people cast off restraint… Just like the Prodigal.
14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate,(but they could not satisfy his hunger AMP) and no one gave him anything. (And none of the prodigal’s misfortune was caused by his Father who he had left).
17 But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."'
20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight,and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants,'Bring out the best robe and put it on him,and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
24 For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry”.
God’s goodness draws people – Satan lies about God’s goodness to keep people away.
Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His (God’s) goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
The sheer goodness and loveliness of God has melted the hearts of many a hardened sinner and backsliding Christian. If you really wanted to stop people coming to God then your principal goal would be to try and deceive people into believing that God is mean, touchy, remote, harsh and unpredictable. And this is precisely what Satan does using thoughts that he gives us and the words of ignorant people to achieve his end. The truth is:
Ps 145:9 The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
Luke 18:19 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God”.
What is the best example of how good God is, to all?
Ps 103:10 He (God) has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
Ps 130:3-4 If You, Lord, should keep account of and treat us according to our sins O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, just what man needs..AMP
Rom 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Someone may say “Yes, but I’m not such a bad person compared to others” Really? The simple truth is that without God actively in our lives we are liars, thieves, foul-mouthed, self-absorbed, prideful, manipulative, and cruel, fully capable of the most ghastly and wicked deeds – and that’s our good side!
Isa 53:5-6 But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The love of God found a way to bring as many of us as are willing to Him and back to Him.
When we are at our absolute worst, unlovely and unlovable, yet God, who is love, still doesn’t stop loving us nor does His love towards us diminish one iota. What kind of love is this that is so far beyond any natural human love? It’s the love of our Father that He has for us, His own creation, the sons and daughters of His love.
Jer 31:3 Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.
When Satan is unsuccessful in preventing another soul coming to Christ does he quit? No. What does he do? He tries to persuade that soul to never turn its life completely over to God. How? By creating doubt, by raising questions about God’s integrity, by maligning God’s character, by twisting God’s words – just like he did with Adam and Eve. Why? Satan knows every fully surrendered Christian will win a lot of other souls to Christ.
The love of Christ towards me I understand but is this also the way the Father is?
1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus Christ the Son), and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do;…
John 14:9 Jesus said to him…He who has seen Me (God’s Word who became flesh) has seen the Father;
John 15:26 But when the Helper (The Holy Spirit) comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come… He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears (from the Father) He will speak;
Jesus Christ is the living Word, whose Word, the Word of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father. The Word and the Spirit are the Father, who is love, and They are one.
This is the unchanging nature of God our Father and it is the surest thing in life.
Ps 103:4 He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy… How can you not love Him for what He’s done and for who He is? THE MESSAGE