“MY GOODNESS !”
Verse of 2017 – Part 5 January 29, 2017 Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION. “Today’s Special”: “A Plaque Funny” One year on Boss’s Day, the workers got together and bought a beautiful small, engraved plaque telling their boss they appreciated his leadership. At the bottom of the plaque was engraved a scripture reference. He went to his Bible to look it up.
What they intended was 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
What the engraver put instead was 1 Thess. 3:1, which reads “So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves…”. Oops!
Today is our final message with our theme of faith and this year’s verse. Once again, please zero in on the underlined question of our memory verse: “when Jesus comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Today’s texts will show us how to understand the word “goodness” as it relates to, of all things, faith and prayer! PRAYER
#1 “My goodness” – what does it mean? (Exodus 33:12-23)
Note the intimacy Moses has with the Lord throughout this brief text – the same kind of intimacy available to all of God’s children
Note God’s offer (v. 17), based on Moses’ character and lifestyle: (1) I am pleased with you (vs. 13,16); (2) I know you by name (Jer. 1:5; John 1:43ff (Philip, Nathaniel, and Jesus)
Moses felt the freedom to be specific in his request, and God answered specifically: “show me Your glory” (v. 18); “I’ll show you My goodness” (19)
What is “goodness”, and why is God’s goodness so special?:
(OT): “beauty; glory; what is best”
(NT): of God: “kindness of heart or act; grace, tenderness, compassion.
of man: “what is upright; righteous” – i.e., God living in and through His children.
* ILLUSTRATION: “how many of you say, “my goodness!”” – Does it always refer to God, or to what you have because you are related to God by faith? Then might it be taking away from what only God deserves – an acknowledgement of Who He is, and who we are by faith?
* Moses saw God’s goodness, and from then on, God’s goodness was on display in and through Moses. Is it through us?
#2 “My goodness” and prayer (Psalm 27:13)
The word “goodness” appears in Scripture (19) times, (12) in the OT, and (7) in the NT. The greatest usage in any one book is in the Psalms (8) – and all on prayer!
In Psalm 27, a classic psalm of prayer, David, too, has a request of God (v. 4) – to dwell in God’s house, to gaze upon His beauty, and to seek Him. Period. That’s it! What would you request? Blessings? Safety? Provision? Money? David shows what the basic needs of true fellowship are. Are we content with that? But wait, there’s more!
Hear David’s voice of request – for what? – God’s presence! (vs. 8-9), the same promises we find in Hebrews 13:5 and Matt. 28:18-20
Finally, what was David’s confidence? (v. 13) He would see God’s…goodness in the land of the living! (read definitions again!).
Moses offered a request; David offered a confidence – when a need goes from a request to a confidence, we then have boldness with God in prayer!
The fruit of David’s prayer was to see God on display in his life on a daily basis, and among those with whom he rubbed shoulders that day.
I need to ask myself each morning: “What is MY plan for this day? What is God’s plan for this day?” And then ask, “are they the same, or different?”
#3 “My goodness” and the church (2 Peter 1:3-9)
There are many passages to choose from [such as Rom. 15:14 and Gal. 5:22, 23] — this is a classic one.
Peter says “add to your faith”! Jesus said, “will I find faith?” Peter says God has given us everything we need, especially His promises (vs. 3-4).
So ADD, what? Add to your faith GOODNESS! (v. 5). (see definitions)
What does Peter say we are if we DON’T add to our faith (v. 9)? We are nearsighted, blind, and forgetful of the work of the cross!
Oh may that not be said of us!
CONCLUSION Let’s wrap this up…
God alone has goodness – beauty, glory, what is best.
God’s goodness is on display through His children, and is an encouragement to prayer, as with David.
God says, ADD to our faith…goodness – an indication of our walk with God.
But note v. 10: make sure you belong to God through His cross!
THAT is how Jesus will find faith on earth when He comes!
close in prayer