Ephesians 5: 9      God’s word translation

Light produces everything that is good, that has God’s approval, and that is true.

Here is another verse on God’s goodness, His inherent goodness. We cannot look too often at verses which show God’s essential nature. So often people confuse God’s acts with the corruption of this world. It really bothers me because I know His heart, I sometimes feel His heart and He really is kindness, goodness and love. Everything He does, everything He feels is based in His enormous love for us.

There is an expression related to insurance that is so inappropriate but shows clearly how we think of the situations of the world. People talk about an “act of God.” They might be referring to a tree falling on your house because of a “natural” cause. First of all, we need to understand that the idea of “natural law” is a fairly new concept, especially in view of God’s life time. What is natural isn’t necessarily Godly. There is no direct relationship between “natural” and Godly. Remember that we are not of this world (John 15: 19). Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 18: 36). Jesus’ said that his kingdom was not in this realm so we should not judge God or Jesus by this realm. This world has pain in it and has been corrupted by the malevolence which is in the earth.

Everything good is of God. Everything of God is good. If a thing is not good, then it is not of God. Jesus is the light (John 8: 12) and light produces that which is good. Light produces that which is approved by God and that which is true. Everything in Christ Jesus is good, approved of God and true. Conversely, everything bad is apart from God and His son Jesus. This is the message for your own heart as well as the evangelical truth. We minister according to goodness and love. If we minister from any other motivation then we do not minister according to God. This is the truth of the gospel, that God so loved that He sent goodness into the earth; into an earth that was broken and corrupted by evil God sent light and love. Whenever there is hurt and darkness in your own life, understand that God is not the source of that but that He will, if invited, rush in to bring life, light, love and healing. When others are hurting, this is the truth they need. God is good, His every expression is of goodness.

Moving Day

John 16: 33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

This is more of that red letter text from the Bible. I always like reading the red text. It seems to me that in this verse Jesus is giving us the chance of either being in him or being in the world. He is saying that we can be in him and have peace or be in the world and suffer its tribulation.

Now it may take a little meditation for some of us to wrap our heads around this concept but once you start looking at the Bible you find that this idea is all over the New Testament. Jesus is drawing a line between the world and the kingdom. We are to abide in him (John 15: 4). We are no longer to abide in the world.

Jesus taught his disciples this very lesson. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15: 19). But let’s look at more of Jesus’ words. These are from his conversation and prayer with the Father. “I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were and Thou gavest them to Me (John 17: 6). “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17: 16). So what is Jesus saying here? I think it is pretty clear that he believes we are not of the world. We were chosen out of and taken out of the world.

Paul really had a revelation of this truth too. If you run a search of the Pauline Epistles for the words, “In him” you will see how much this revelation had permeated Paul’s understanding. We are in Jesus rather than of the world and this is a pretty huge deal. Believe it or not this concept actually existed in the Old Testament as well. David frequently wrote about God being his hiding place and refuge. He wrote about being in the Father in a similar fashion as Paul’s writing about being in Christ. This is a major precept for living a true Christian life. We are to abide in Christ rather than living in the world.

In him, Jesus, is everything we need. Further, if we are in him and since he has overcome the world, then we abide in world overcoming victory. However, this is an elective life. Just saying a prayer of salvation does not correlate to living in Christ. This abiding in Christ is a choice we make and a choice we usually have to make daily. We are constantly given the choice of choosing the world’s thoughts, words, way of thinking and behavior patterns. To live in Christ is to be aware of the choices you make daily and to choose to live in him and to him rather than to just passively float down the river of the world. Move out of the world and into him. It is like moving into the Promised Land. In him is where there is peace and victory.