Good Gifts from a Good, Good Father

A Good, Good Father…It’s who He is.

Chris Tomlin wasn’t joking around when he identified that we have a good, good father, but he also wasn’t the first to identify it.

The Psalmist cries out in Psalm 136:1:

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

Moses asked for God’s glory and what did he get? God showed Moses all His goodness instead, and it’s goodness overload. Goodness so good that Moses couldn’t be allowed to see the frontside of it, or else it would literally kill him with goodness and God loved Him too much for that. You can read the full account of this in Exodus 33:13-23. I’ll highlight verses 19 and 20 here:

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”

Jesus, in great humility, without revealing his position as God-in-human-flesh, clarifies that goodness can only come in and through God the Father, in Mark 10:17-18:

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Aka – “…you won’t find goodness elsewhere, kind sir. What exactly is it, you’re really looking for?”

What are we really looking for when we look for good?

Do we want stuff that’s good?

Do we want to feel good?

Do we want a good reputation or good job, good health, a good future?

All these things are nice, but they aren’t necessarily good, because good only comes from the Good, Good Father. We know this because we have the gift of the book of James, which will be our course of study over the next six weeks.

Let’s dig in to James chapter 1. If you have your Bible out, read the whole chapter. It’s a gem and we’ll be resting there all week long, so you can get a bookmark for it and get cozy. Here I will focus in on James 1:16-17 for today’s study:

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James connects some dots for us. God’s not just Good, he’s a Father to us, and He’s not just a Father to us, He’s a Good one. God’s goodness is wrapped in Fatherly affection and His Fatherly affection is all kinds of goodness.

The devil wants to deceive us on two accounts.

First, God is Who He says He is.

The devil would have us believe that because of our earthly experience, God can not be good and He surely can not be a good father. This is particularly hard for anyone with an extremely imperfect or even terrible father. God, is perfect in every way, including in His role as our Heavenly Father. There are many things in life that feel less than good. It’s easy to piece those things together and make-up in our head a God that isn’t for our good- disease, shootings, poverty, bankruptcy, family turmoil, and life turmoil all demand accounting for.

We can rest in the Truth of Scripture that tells us over and over, in the midst of chaos, in the seasons we are pummeled by storms, that He is Good. He is the Father of lights, not the Father of darkness.

“…do not be deceived, beloved brothers.” Trust in His Good Word.

Second, He is steadfast.

The devil is the shifty one, not our Good Father. God is unchanging in nature. This is attached to his goodness in the book of James. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He isn’t a shifting shadow of darkness. The devil aims to deceive us into believing that God is unsure, unsafe, because it’s more damaging that way- it pulls and stretches us to our limits, it leaves us feeling doubtful and questioning, but God is in the questions too.

“…with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth…”

He is steadfast, no variation. The Greek root word for variation in James 1:17 is parallage, which can mean a change, variation, or mutation. God does not mutate. The devil may make himself into a snake to fool us, but God does not try to trick us. James tells us that it’s not in His nature. God has His own will and He is subject to no one. He lays His Will out for us in the Word, particularly in the saving work of Jesus Christ. In Christ, all goodness is ours – redemption, forgiveness, life, and eternity.

As we study James, this will be our foundation:

A Good, Good Father, steadfast and true, with many-a gift for us to discover as we spend time with Him and in His Good, Good Word.

Good Gifts Study Scripture Engagement Tool, designed by Victoria Weaver

 

Discussion –

What do you think people want, when they want good?

How does God offer us good and then something more?

How have you seen the Good, Good Father work in your life, or when has it been hard to see Him working good in your life?

8 thoughts on “Good Gifts from a Good, Good Father”

  1. I find such comfort in that God doesn’t change … He is the one constant in a forever changing world! In the home, routines and systems can help ease chaos and the days run smoother, but only until something or someone changes again! Thank you for the reminder to look to God in His Word for security and strength.

  2. Now I will have that song stuck in my head all day! Great thoughts, especially about God vs the world. The devil is so sneaky…

  3. Our five-phrase mantra from the Beth Moore study “Believing God” — 1) God is who He says He is. 2) God can do what He says He can do. 3) I am who God says I am. 4) I can do all things through Christ, and 5) God’s Word is alive and active in me. Repeating it every day has been a Godsend!

  4. I find comfort in my Heavenly Father who chose me to be His child. I think that many people who do not hold the father in their hearts look for good gifts to be anything that their worldly hearts desire and when they don’t get the gifts they blame God for being unfair or not a good father. Well, you can’t have it both ways. He is either your father or he isn’t.
    In my life, the biggest challenge was when my husband had cancer – three times. Each time increasingly more challenging. In that journey I know I asked him why but God, my father, showed His love in so many ways. The outpouring of love and support from members of our two churches (another story) and our family and our pastors and even the medical teams brought forth the assurance that even in the darkest valleys God, my father is good. In the end God gave Robert, my husband, the crown of life. What better gift can God give?

  5. I think when people want good, they want what they desire. They don’t want bad things to happen to them.

    God gives us many things we desire and need, but He knows us and what we need better than we do. He gives us redemption from sin, death, and the devil. He gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation.

    It had been hard to see our good Father working when there is loss of life or health or relationships or resources. But I have seen our good Father bring forgiveness, repair relationships, grow faith, and heal broken hearts.

  6. Thank you Heidi! I am selfish and wish I received a message in my inbox daily year round. Your back to school study in September got me through the hardest time in my life this far and every day I feel as though you are speaking directly to me. Yoj have no idea how much I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks. Thanks again!

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