One of the most thrilling messages I’ve ever heard was preached just a few nights ago. In the middle of the Manifest Presence conference, Bill Johnson preached on the goodness of God. He started with this scripture:
The law and the prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. (Luke 16:16)
What did Jesus reveal that the law and the prophets could not reveal? He revealed the Father. The good news of the kingdom satisfies the universal ache for a good Father. Do you know that our heavenly Father is a good God? Have no doubt about this. God is not good some days and bad others. He is good “all the way through.”
Jesus said that the good news of God’s kingdom is being preached and everyone is forcing his way into it. In my experience with outreach and evangelism, everyone has not been forcing their way into it. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been preaching the wrong message. The right message gets the right response. And what is the right message? Well here’s a hint. It’s good news. It’s not good and bad news. It’s pure, undiluted good news!
The good news? God is good!
The good news is that God is unfathomably good in word and deed. He has already shown his goodness and grace to us through Jesus Christ. God loves you so much that he sent his Son to die for you and your son. You don’t have to strive or perform to earn his good approval – you just have to receive it. Isn’t that good?
When the world sees the goodness of God on display in his church – his favor, his blessings, his healing – they will sit up and take notice. They’re not going to learn how good he is merely because we tell them. But they will learn when they see it:
God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us. Selah. That your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations… God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him. (Ps 67:1-2,7)
Some of the prophets foretold that in the last days, we would get a revelation of God’s goodness.
They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days. (Hos 3:5)
I don’t know about you but this is certainly true of me. I’ve walked with God for four decades, but it has only been in the last few years that I’ve begun to realize that he is off-the-scale good. Of course I always knew he was good, but I’m just learning that his goodness has no shadow, no defect, no qualification. He is the very definition of good (Mk 10:18).
If you’ve been following this blog, you will know that God’s goodness is probably my favorite subject. Jesus wouldn’t be Jesus, except that God is good. The gospel wouldn’t be good news, except that God is good. We would not be forgiven, redeemed, justified, healed, blessed, or anything, except that God is good. All of these gifts are only good, because the One who gives them is good.
Perhaps you have hoped, like David did, that you might see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Well just open your eyes! Unlike David, you live under a new and everlasting covenant based on God’s promise that he will never stop doing good to us (Jer 32:40)!
I wonder if the human mind can really grasp just how good God is. Well, if anyone can, Bill Johnson probably can, so here are 12 of his best quotes on the goodness of God.
Top 12 Bill Johnson quotes on the goodness of God
1. “God is good all the way through. He is as good as he is holy.”
2. “The cornerstone of all theology is the goodness of God.”
3. “The greatest vacuum on the planet is the goodness of God in the heart of man.”
4. “I finally discovered something – it’s all about Jesus.”
5. “The law and the prophets could not reveal the Father, but Jesus revealed the Father. Why is this important? Because this is an orphaned planet.”
6. “In the old, sin contaminates. In the new, righteousness contaminates. It’s a different day.”
7. “We don’t pray to a deaf God. It’s impossible to pray and have nothing happen.”
8. “God has an answer for everything.”
9. “His goodness doesn’t come with small print… There’s no shadow about him.”
10. (On Hosea 3:5) “What would it be like to have a nation tremble in absolute terror, not because of judgment, but because of underserved kindness?”
11. (On Psalm 67) “To not pursue the blessing of the Lord, is one of the most selfish acts of the church.”
12. “There are no tricks to the trade. He’s good.”