January 25, 2013, 10:19 AM


I think that made me think! 

   I think one of the best ways you can tell if a sermon or a class is “any good” is to answer this question. Did it make me think? Too often the question we want answered is, “Do I agree with that?” I have appreciated our class on Sunday morning this quarter not because I agree with everything said but because every week I come out of class saying, “I need to think about that!” Thank you Justin for doing a great job Sunday mornings! If you are not in a class Sunday I would encourage you to make the effort to get to the Annex! You will be blessed and I promise it will make you think!

   We have been looking first in the Old Testament and now in the New Testament at the characters God used for His will and purposes. I have had to rethink some of my conclusions about some of the folks God was and is using to accomplish His will in this world. I think I have drawn some wrong conclusions about the people God uses. It’s easy to conclude God will use us but we really need to reach some level of goodness first if God is going to use us for His will. Now don’t get me wrong, I know God wants His children to be good people! But I have come to this conclusion; it is always about the Goodness of God and not the goodness of us.  Sometimes I have fallen into the trap of looking at other fallen people and say well I don’t look so bad compared to………….whoever! I call that comparative goodness. In Luke 15 Jesus makes a powerful point about comparative goodness. A wealthy man had two sons, one of which was rebellions and unhappy. He takes his inheritance and departs. It doesn’t take long; he loses everything and is far from home. Finally he comes to his senses in the pig pen and heads home. The father spends his evening looking down the road, searching for his lost son. When he sees him he runs to him and welcomes him home. Very quickly plans are made for a celebration. His older brother hears the commotion and becomes angry that a wonderful greeting was given to his worthless brother. He is so angry he will not come into the party. This parable has so many great lessons. We have often talked about the goodness of God shown here. What if we look through the eyes of the older brother? I think he was so impressed with his own goodness, he could not see the goodness of the Father. He used comparative goodness; he was good because his brother was bad.

   I am afraid I like to forget what Jesus says a litter later in Luke. “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do should say, we are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”

  I can never be “good enough”, but God is always good enough, to use even me! Have a great week serving our Good God!     Philip