Faithlife Sermons

February 11, 2018 - Believe - The Kindness & Goodness of God

Believe: Living the Bible to Become Like Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:22
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Announcements:
Prayer
“God is Good....”
“All the time.....”
We know this....we’ve heard this....
It’s TRUE - yet it’s Christian cliche...
We as Christians SPEAK these words, yet STILL....at times we struggle with fully embracing their truth...
And if WE AS CHRISTIANS can struggle with these words, clearly an unbelieving world will struggle as well...
When we look at the Kindness & Goodness of God - in relation to this series that we’re walking through...
We understand that we’re LOOKING to see if we ARE BECOMING like Jesus...
Am I kind…as Christ is kind?
Am I good…as Christ is good?
Is this the path I’m on?
ALL important questions to ask…yet TODAY, i want to back up a bit...
and LOOK to OUR EXAMPLE...
I want to see HOW GOD uses Kindness and Goodness to His purposes...
so that we might also use this fruit of the Spirit the same way...
Sermon Title: The Kindness and Goodness of God: Displaying, Drawing, Delivering
So first up - How does God DISPLAY His kindness/goodness?
SLIDE: The Kindness & Goodness of God - IN CREATION

The Kindness & Goodness of God

In the very beginning, we read this:
Genesis 1:1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
And God said:
let there be light
And God said:
let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters
And God said:
let there the waters under the heavens be gathered into one place and let the dry land appear…Earth and Seas
let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed
And God said:
let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. The Sun and the moon
And God said:
let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth
And God said:
let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds - livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth
let Us make man in our image, after our likeness.
“And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good!”
Creation displays GOD…Creation displays His KINDNESS…GOODNESS
Job 12:7–10 ESV
7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
LOOK around this says - Let Creation TEACH you about God - the creator of ALL!
Creation displays God’s power and divine nature (we saw this last week)
Romans 1:20 ESV
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Jeremiah 32:17 ESV
17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
Creation displays God’s authority
Job 38:4–16 ESV
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, 9 when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, 11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? 12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, 13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? 14 It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. 15 From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken. 16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Creation displays God’s love and faithfulness!
Psalm 36:5 ESV
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Matthew 6:30 ESV
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Creation displays God’s power
Isaiah 40:25–26 ESV
25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
Creation displays God’s wisdom!
Proverbs 8:27–29 ESV
27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
And so in the beginning, God created...and creation points to all that God is.
God has written "God" across the universe, that it might speak of Him.
SLIDE: Creation is a mirror, placed to reflect our thoughts and our worship back to the Person whose image Creation enables us to see.
Creation is a mirror, placed to reflect our thoughts and our worship back to the Person whose image Creation enables us to see.
But Why?
Is it a GOOD thing that God created the Universe to POINT to HIMSELF?
We might say - YES of course....but why?
WHY is it a GOOD thing?
It’s because of the other POINTS of our sermon today...
it’s because of where this sermon is heading!
What was our sermon title today?

The Kindness & Goodness of God

Displaying, Drawing, Delivering
God DISPLAYS Himself in creation…that He might - DRAW men to Himself....
WHY?
That He might deliver them! - THAT’s where we’re headed!
So yes - The fingerprints of God are ALL around us - God’s kindness and Goodness are ALL around us...
God displays HIMSELF - that He might draw men to Himself...
WHICH MEANS - We display the KINDNESS and Goodness of God to those around US...
SO that THEY might be DRAWN to God!
So - the purpose of our Kindness and Goodness DISPLAYED to the world is NO DIFFERENT than the purpose of God’s Kindness and Goodness DISPLAYED to the world!
sacrificial kindness of Christ - sacrificial goodness of Christ...
BUT GOD doesn’t just display His kindness and Goodness....He let’s the world EXPERIENCE His kindness and goodness!
SLIDE: The Kindness & Goodness of God - Drawing through Common Grace

The Kindness & Goodness of God

Matthew 5:44–46 ESV
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
We see here that God’s Kindness and Goodness fall on both BELIEVERS and UNBELIEVERS...
Who in here today…is alive?
Well - how many unbelievers are out there right now....ALIVE?
LOTS! - why?
Because God gave them air to breathe today...
Because he allowed them to wake up this morning...
He allowed them to see the Sun today...
OpenAir (Active User check-box)
Another chance at LIFE today...
Another chance to SEE Him in creation today....for what reason?
that they might SEE God in it - and worship Him FOR IT!
His Kindness and Goodness all around us - we’re BREATHING it in right now...
All of it meant to - DRAW us to God Himself...
Romans 2:4 ESV
4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
God’s KINDNESS is poured out on the UNJUST everyday, giving them ANOTHER chance ...
to see themselves for who they really are before God…NEEDING a Savior...
God desires that His kindness would confront the wickedness of man, and cause man to TURN to HIM...
Did you know that the ONLY way to come to GOD…is thru REPENTANCE…!
How is that?
Jesus says - I am the way, the truth, and the life…NO ONE comes to the Father but by Me.
Well what does it mean to come BY JESUS...
*the cross (have to acknowledge that OUR sin put Christ on the cross)
And so the only way to come to God is through REPENTANCE...
If there is no CONFESSION of sins, if there is no repentance, then there is NO coming to God...
And LISTEN - God’s KINDNESS and GOODNESS are meant to BRING US TO REPENTANCE!
Do you know anyone who owes their Salvation to YOUR kindness?
Is anyone in here’s salvation due, IN PART, to another person’s kindness?
If your salvation, is due, in part, to another person’s kindness toward you....please stand!
I’m standing here - let me tell you about it.
We used to have church at the YWCA in Southland...
I remember sitting in Children’s church one day - and I remember receiving Christ...
trusting in Him as my Lord and Savior!
The teacher in that class was Ron Wenzel...
He chose to get in the teaching rotation for children’s church...
…and he was teaching that day...
His kindness (Christ’s kindness in him) won me to the gospel that day...
Every NANOSECOND that goes by, for a heart that is WITHOUT Christ....is an eternity of UNDESERVED Mercy from God....
1 Nanosecond is to 1 second, as 1 second is to 31 years...
God’s LONGSUFFERING holds off His wrath....
Every day that goes by where the sun rises on the Evil of this world is an immeasurable mercy of God...
His unmatched KINDNESS on display - offering chance after chance…after chance...
....to those who don’t KNOW Him…in order that they might turn TO Him!
AND so that Kindness (His Kindness) displayed in Common Grace extended to all those who are lost...
…is meant to DRAW men to Himself....
…to draw men to REPENTANCE before God.
AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS....we come to the 3rd aspect of our sermon title today....
SLIDE: The Kindness and Goodness of God: Displaying, Drawing, Delivering

The Kindness & Goodness of God

God’s Kindness and Goodness, ultimately meant to DELIVER mankind - from what mankind deserves - DEATH...
SLIDE: The Kindness & Goodness of God: Delivering Through Calamity

The Kindness & Goodness of God

We seen:
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Displayed through Creation
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Drawing through Common Grace
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Delivering through Calamity
Calamity toward us - and calamity around us...
Titus 3:3–7 ESV
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the Kindness and Goodness of God...
v4
But when the kindness and goodness of God our Savior appeared, HE saved us...
The Kindness and Goodness of God referenced here as a “HE”...
HE delivered us...
HE saved us!
KINDNESS & GOODNESS - in the form of Jesus Christ - delivered us from the wrath of God...
But let’s think through this - and see how POWERFUL this kindness and goodness really are...
Genesis 37:27–28 ESV
27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.
Joseph here is sold into slavery…by his brothers.
BUT AS WE KNOW - that’s not the whole story!
Joseph ends up waiting 13 years, before he is delivered from prison in Egypt, and made 2nd in command...
But he later describes this situation this way:
Genesis 50:18–21 ESV
18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph’s brothers wanted to commit EVIL against him…so they SOLD him into slavery...
But God wanted to commit GOOD to Joseph....so God had him sold into slavery....
SO THAT 13 years later, many people would be KEPT alive by Joseph...
Do you see how the KINDNESS and GOODNESS of God changes our perspective on life…with all it’s suffering and trials!???
It was for HIS GOOD that he was sold into slavery...
and waited for 13 years...
And so as we make our way through life - we MUST know...
It’s FOR MY GOOD that this is happening to me...
It’s for my good that this disease has come upon me...
It’s for my good that my car just broke down and i had to pay $600 to get it fixed...
It’s for my good that she broke up with me...
That I DIDN’T get the job...
that I DIDN’T win the superbowl...
that I’m going through this trial...
It is God’s KINDNESS and GOODNESS toward me that this suffering is taking place! - YES - EVEN suffering of our own...
BUT what about the tragedies we see in this world?
earthquakes
tsunamis
tornadoes
school shootings
Luke 13:4–5 ESV
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Most times we see tragedies like this and we say - How dare God do such a thing…!?
when instead we should be asking - why didn’t that building FALL ON ME?
Even the tragedies around us - the 9/11s of this world…are meant to turn us to - REPENTANCE!
GOD - in His mercy, REMINDS us that reality is coming for us...
And when we get to a point where we NOT ONLY say this .... but BELIEVE it and EMBRACE it...
we’ve been DELIVERED....
Delivered from our BONDAGE to this world…in HOPE of the next!
What have we seen today?
We’ve seen:
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Displayed through Creation
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Drawing through Common Grace
The Kindness & Goodness of God: Delivering through Calamity
And so this all now points to us:
Do i display the kindness and goodness of God?
sacrificial kindness: always considering others as more important
If so, is your kindness and goodness drawing people to see God?
does your kindness initiate conversations about God, with people who do not know Him?
If so, is your kindness and goodness delivering people from ultimate suffering / eternal suffering?
has your kindness DELIVERED someone from the clutches of hell?
has your kindness brought someone out of the grave and into the light of Christ?
it takes intentionality: to speak about Christ
Let’s pray
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