O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16.34
Goodness and righteousness are two different things. Righteousness always does what is required, but goodness goes farther than righteousness and does what is helpful and productive even if it is not required. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Levite and priest who passed by the injured man acted righteously. They were under no legal responsibility to care for the man and each likely had some point of law that they felt would be breached were they to stop and help him.
But the Samaritan went beyond the demands of the law and gave assistance to the injured man. He did more than was required of him and the result was that the injured man got the care he needed. It is for this reason that the Samaritan is not called “The Righteous Samaritan,” but “The Good Samaritan.”
The LORD is good. Were He only righteous, He would not have saved anyone. Mercy and grace would not have been part of His character, purpose or works. God is, indeed, righteous. But He is also much more – He is good. Were He only righteous, we would all be lost, for like the Levite and the priest, He would have simply passed on by as we lay in the ditch dying.
But, The LORD is good, and from His goodness came forth mercy – not just momentary mercy, but eternal mercy. He saw us in our sin and rather than reacting with disgust and wrath, He pitied us. His heart was broken for our misery and He determined to save us. He came to where we were – in the ditch of fallen humanity – and by all His various works of grace, He lifted us out of our fallen-ness and made arrangements for our return to health. And the everlastingness of His mercy means He continues to save us from our multiplied sins. How good to know that as serious and repetitive as our sin is, His mercy outlasts them all. We cannot wear it out!
Oh, indeed, give thanks unto the LORD that He is something more than righteous. He is good, and His goodness has brought us Divine mercy that shall never fail!
— Joe Terrell
Little is that ministry worth that never chides you. If God never uses his minister as a rod, depend upon it he will never use him as a pot of manna, for the rod of Aaron and the pot of manna always go together, and he who is God’s true servant will be both to your soul.
— Charles Spurgeon
Why Must Every Sermon Be Christ?
- Christ is our Deliverer. (Col. 1:13) Why do we need deliverance? For we are captives of sin and Satan (2 Tim. 2:24-26). So I preach Christ, the Deliverer.
- Christ is our Reconciler. (Col. 1:20-21) Why do we need reconciliation? Because we are at enmity with God Almighty (Rom. 5:10). Can you imagine that awful fact? So I preach Christ, the Reconciler.
- Christ is the Bringer of Grace. (Rom 3:24) You do not go get grace; Christ brings grace. How will poor sinners get grace if we preach not Christ the Bringer? So I preach Christ, the Bringer of Grace.
- Christ is Completeness. (Rom. 8:2-4) Who does not want to be complete? So I preach Christ, our Completeness.
- Christ is our Comfort. (2 Thess. 2:16-17) In all the perplexities of life, people need comfort. It is found only in Christ. So I preach Christ, the Comforter.
- Christ is the Supplier of Need. I said need, not want (Phil. 4:19). How can poor sinners have any hope without Him who fulfills spiritual and physical need? So I preach Christ, the Supplier of Need.
So, there is not more than Christ. He is the whole counsel of God. Preach more than Christ? God Himself summed it up. Christ is all. What is more than all?
— Bruce Crabtree
The ancient Jews were renowned for Searching the Scriptures, but for all of their study and accumulated knowledge, most of them perished without Christ. By the same token, there are many in the world today who have a certain familiarity with the Scriptures, but who, nevertheless, are perishing without Christ. It is a saddening thought, but one may know much about the Scriptures and yet not know what (Whom) the Scriptures are all about! (John 5:39-46; Acts 13:27-29; Luke 24:25-27, 44-45; Acts 10:43).
–– Pastor Maurice Montgomery
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye will be judged;
and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
(Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:1-2)
Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view,
And the burden he bears, placed on your back,
May cause you to stumble too.
Don’t sneer at the man who is down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
At the self-same time in the self-same way,
May cause you to stagger too.
Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins
Or pelt him with word or stone,
Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
That you have no sins of your own.
For who knows, perhaps, if the tempter’s voice
Would whisper softly to you
As it did to him when he went astray
Would cause you to falter too.
– Anon (attr’d to I.H. Plemmons)
To be saved from sins is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God. It is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing. It is to forsake our way; it is to surrender to God’s authority; it is to yield to his dominion; it is to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him. One who has never taken Christ’s yoke upon himself and who is not truly seeking to please Him in all details of life and yet supposing he is resting in Christ is deceived.
— Scott Richardson