August 14th – GOD IS GOOD

One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, “While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me.” In 1851, at the age of 57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”

Luke 18:18-30 “And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, looking at him with sadness, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” ESV

1. The question of mankind: “How can I live forever?” [WHY?]
a. By becoming a vampire?
b. By being the Highlander and “Being the Only One”
c. Finding the Fountain of Youth
d. Inventing some sort of electro-chemical process?
2. Far too many people think they can either work for or earn eternal life.
a. Be good enough
b. Be religious enough
c. Be legalistic enough
d. Be rich enough/give enough
3. In our text today, Jesus, in His humanity, tells us that only God is Good.
a. You may be good by human standards, but not God’s
4. You should keep the commandments – but cannot
a. All have sinned
b. I would have laughed out loud if I was Jesus and a sinful human told me they had kept all the laws
c. They are lying right there!
d. Jesus took this wayward man past the letter of the law he had broken and into the heart of the law: LOVE
e. Titus 3:14 “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” ESV
f. 1 John 5:1-3 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” ESV
5. We are not Good and cannot obtain eternal life on our own
6. We can only obtain eternal life through God
a. He alone is Good
b. All things are only possible through Him

Corrie ten Boom, Holocost survivor shared this: “Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!'” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsie, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: ‘For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.'” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available–there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love–whatever the circumstances?”