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Goodness Gracious!

We're talking about having An Established Heart with Upstream Home Church Guest Speaker, Barry Bennett. We started with the importance of having an established heart, one that doesn't fall apart when bad news comes and is dependant and confident in God. Then Barry taught us on the importance of understanding our position in Christ and having a heart established in righteousness.

Last week we talked about seeking God and how that will establish your heart free from fear. This is Barry's last week as our Upstream Home Church Guest Speaker and we are looking at how important it is to know and observe the Goodness of God in the world around us.

Many people, even Christians, read the Bible or listen to a sermon and all they get is condemnation. They're looking for judgement. They're looking for God to be mad at them for their mistakes. And yet the Bible is full of wonderful promises and the unbeatable, unchanging goodness of God. How you read the Bible depends greatly, I believe, on your revelation of the goodness of God. If you think God is changing, wavering and unpredictable then yes, I imagine you will find reading the Bible scary and condemning. But that's not Who God is.

God is Good! All the time! It's not that God can be good, sometimes. It's that He IS good!

Genesis 1:31 makes it very clear that God and all He produces is good, very good. 'And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.' God is not the author of evil. Adam and Eve were the author’s of evil by choosing poorly. When they chose to disobey God, to become independent from God, they released evil, suffering, sickness, poverty, murder, war, tragedy, disasters etc. into the earth. God did not allow it. He said ‘don’t do it!’. And, God has not changed. Adam and Eve were made in the image of God and therefore had the capacity to make that bad choice. In doing so, they unleashed evil upon the world. Not God. God cannot change who He is. Everything He does is good and brings life, hope and peace.

He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord - Psalm 33:5. If there was no goodness of God, there would be no life left on this earth. If anything still existed, it would be horrible. God has left a testimony of himself in the earth and it’s called Goodness. In fact, it’s the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning - James 1:17. He doesn't change. He was and is and will always be good. And everything that is good, is God! There is no goodness without God. We can abuse it. We can misuse it. But anything good has its source, its root, in God.

The fact that you’re breathing today is the goodness of God. If you have a car, can drive to church or to the restaurant or wherever, if you have a spouse who was willing to marry you (!) or kids or friends. All these things are the goodness of God.

We can see goodness everywhere if we choose to open our eyes to see it and when you’re heart is established in His goodness, you begin to see that goodness all around you. And then opportunities to do good start revealing themselves too. There is a confidence comes from this. From knowing that God is good and He is our source. It begins to establish your heart more and more.

We will come through whatever we’re going through because of His goodness. Knowing this will establish your heart! Then, when a negative reports come, we have a confidence, a trust, that although circumstances around us may change, He does not.

Let this word come alive in you. You can tell who has a revelation of God’s goodness. They’re thankful and constantly praising God. The more you understand the goodness of God the more abundant life gets, the more enjoyment you get from life, the better life is! Establish your heart. Get rid of fear and worry, condemnation and guilt, by establishing your heart in righteousness, by seeking Him and having a revelation of His Goodness. Then, you will live long in the land and prosper.

It's been a huge blessing to have Barry with us for the last month and we look forward to welcoming him back sometime. But, we are excited to have Pastor Richard bringing us a brand new teaching series beginning next week on the topic of Spiritual Warfare - so don't miss that!

Yours in His goodness,

Upstream Ministries


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