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On goodness


I wanted to post on something that bothered me earlier in the week out of Psalm 84:11, “No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right.” It is not the first part of the verse that I have a problem with–I know every goodness that comes to me is a gift from my Father in heaven. Psalm 103:2 reminds me to never forget all the good things he does for me and in verse 5, the Psalmist says, “He fills my life with good things.” In fact, I am overwhelmed with all the glimpses of goodness that God has enabled me to experience–I could never say thank you enough. But, I also am very aware that all this goodness comes as a gift–not as something I have done or earned. Only God is good said Jesus to the rich young ruler and I say yes! Only through God is goodness revealed–the way things ought to be, something like the shalom of the OT. On the other hand, I do want to do what is right, I do want to obey but my obedience is not even remotely close to the goodness I receive. Back again to this divine-human cooperation. We work it out says Paul but it is God who is at work in us, giving us the desire and ability. He wants me active and involved but compared to what God does, my activity is really not needed. But he wants it anyway. That is the message I picked up from The Beautiful Fight and it continues to wiggle it way down to my heart, hands and toes!

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