PSALM 136:1: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Where’s the good? When you look at the world around you this is a question that is often asked. The news is a constant barrage of what is not-good about our world. Every once in a while there is a redeeming story. However, it is soon overshadowed by more of the same.

Is there any good left in the world?

Years ago a fast food restaurant hit the jackpot with a commercial where an elderly lady looked at a hamburger and exclaimed – “Where’s the beef?” This commercial was brilliant because it not only made a striking comparison between their hamburger and the competitions, but it also created a catch phrase that is still used today. Perhaps we are missing the good in the world because we are looking in the wrong place.

Just like the lady who kept looking at the inferior hamburger for the beef, so we look to the wrong sources for the good. It reminds me of the conversation Jesus had with the rich young ruler. This man was an upstanding Jewish citizen. By all appearances he was a good man. He even thought he was a good man. He came to Jesus and asked Him,

  • “…Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Luke‬ ‭18:18-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus was not only pointing to Himself as the Messiah, but He was also striking at the heart of the young man’s problem. The rich young ruler was a very moral and ethical man on the outside but not in his heart. When faced with the choice of holding on to his riches, or leaving them and following Jesus, he chose his riches. He revealed that his goodness was not goodness at all.

When we look at this world, when we look at mankind, and more importantly, when we look at ourselves – we only see glimpses of good. It is a passing good. It does not endure. It shines for a minute but then is tarnished by the next bad thing we do. This is why we get so discouraged. We all need to know that there is good. Yet, we look for it in the wrong place. There is only one source of goodness that is constant.

  • “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Note, it does not say – “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He does good.” Rather, it says – “He is good.” Goodness is not something God does, it is who He is. He does good because He is good. Our basic nature is sinful. This is why we need a Savior. The good that we do now is because of Jesus Christ. It is His goodness working in us. It is His goodness transforming us. However, He is good, and He does good, all the time!

Not only is God good in His essence, He is also merciful. The Psalmist says that His mercy endures forever. Mercy is God’s goodness in action. Mercy is the lovingkindness and faithfulness of God reaching out to us in spite of our sin. God does not cease being good and doing good because we are sinful. In fact, God’s goodness is magnified by the fact that He does good even though we do not deserve it.

  • “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.” Romans‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

John writes in his Gospel, “He came to His own and His own received Him not.” The goodness of God is manifested in His willingness to die for our sins when we were positioned as enemies of His love and grace. He did not die in our place because we were good enough. He died in our place because of His mercy that endures forever.

His mercy is not simply extended to us only in salvation. His mercy is also extended to us in our sanctification. Sanctification is simply becoming more like Jesus. As we walk with Jesus we abide in His light. This light, the light of His goodness, reveals the areas in our life that are not good. And, it is His mercy and goodness that extends His ongoing forgiveness and cleansing to us. The Holy Spirit is always at work, changing our lives, transforming our hearts, through the goodness and mercy of God!

  • “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (His goodness)” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When Moses asked to see the glory of the Lord, the Lord told him to stand in the cleft of the rock. As Moses did this, the Lord told Him that He would pass by Him with His goodness. God’s glory is His goodness. He is good, and He does good. That is who God is. When we wonder where the good is, all we have to do is remember,

  • “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

This morning Lord, help me to give You thanks for Your goodness. You are good and You do good. Your mercy endures forever. Your mercy not only saved me, but it will also bring me to the fulfillment of all that You have purposed for my life. Today I choose to give thanks. Today I choose to proclaim – the Lord, He is good!

  • “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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