“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.” (Malachi 3:16)
We continue to look at the nature of God in His Word because this is part of what it means to “meditate on His name”. Remember that the name of God, Yahweh, reveals and expresses His character, the essence of His being, which is: “compassionate and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7). We have already given some thought to the LORD’s compassionate and gracious nature, and have touched lightly upon His mercy and longsuffering. Now let’s consider His overflowing “goodness”.
First of all, it’s important to understand that God does good because He IS good. We tend to reverse this, especially when it comes to ourselves, and think that doing good is what makes one good, and, thus, acceptable to God. NO! Goodness is an inherent quality which is natural only to God. Jesus said: “… ‘No one is good except God alone.’ ” (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) Thus, the idea that man is basically good is also false! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). But Jehovah is intrinsically and infinitely good. “For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5) He always has been good, and He always will be (Malachi 3:6). “The goodness of God endures continually.” (Psalm 52:1b)
But just what is it about the LORD that is good? His goodness is certainly evident in His creation. God could have made the world without beautiful colors, melodious sounds, lovely fragrances, delicious flavors, etc., but He chose to “(give) us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), and declared His creation, “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Old Testament prophets testified that God’s providential “hand” of protection and provision is good, as is His “Spirit” of instruction (Ezra 7:9; Nehemiah 2:8, 9:20). “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.” (Psalm 25:8) Solomon prayed that when the people sinned and repented, God would hear and forgive them, so that He “may teach them the good way in which they should walk” (1 Kings 8:35-36); the “good way” being God’s way of righteousness and holiness. Since God’s plan is for us to reflect His good image and character (Romans 8:29), that is what He is teaching us, and what Jesus modeled for us (Acts 10:38). “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Furthermore, because of His infinite goodness, the LORD is selective in what He remembers and what He does not. “Remember Your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of Your goodness, O LORD!” (Psalm 25:6,7)Read more ...
By Collin Zweigle
This summer I had the privilege of going to Belize on a mission trip with Guitars for Glory. The plan was to show up, run a worship camp and teach a whole bunch of kids how to play guitar. At the end of the trip we were going to give all of the instruments we brought with us away to those whom we felt led to give them to.
The first night, the church we worked with was having their Saturday night service and we were waiting for our bus to take us back to the school where we were staying each night. We were standing outside listening to the music. As they played our entire team felt drawn into the church building. It was like the Spirit of God was saying, "Come in. Come in!" They began to play Agnus Dei and that did it! Our whole team walked right into the back of the church, hands went up, tears flowed and God ministered to us as we sang. God was there washing over us through His people in Belize. It was so refreshing. As a music-focused ministry, we are normally the ones playing for worship. We aren’t normally on the receiving end, so being there, experiencing that before we had even plugged a guitar in was exactly what we needed. We felt the passion these people worshipped with and we saw that Belize was exactly where we were meant to be that week.
The rest of the week was incredible. We spent our afternoons training worship leaders. We taught guitar lessons as well as cajón, keyboard, and vocals. These times quickly became our favorite part of the trip. I remember thinking, "I could do this every day for the rest of my life." That thought was echoed by many of our team members. Ever since we started Guitars for Glory it's been our vision to travel and train worship leaders around the world. Our tagline is, “Equipping the world for worship.” For the most part we’ve been doing that by sending guitars to the four corners of the globe, but there is so much more work to be done. The time we spent in Belize showed us the future of what God has for us. We are just seeing the beginning of this, the tip of the iceberg.Read more ...