But Wait! I’m A Good Person

Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.”

There are many who are deluded into thinking they are good people. You hear them say it all the time; “I’m a good person.” Interestingly Jesus who truly is good was once called a good person by someone and had this to say about it:

Luke 18:19 NLT “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good.

So if Jesus–the only human to never sin–didn’t let people call him good, who are we to make such a claim? Being what we call, “A good person,” is not enough to please God. The next passage illustrates this well:

Luke 18:18‭-‬30 ESV “And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

WOW! There’s so much to learn from this passage. But one of the things we glean is here was a man who didn’t steal, didn’t commit adultery, wasn’t a murderer, honored his parents, and didn’t slander others. Still he wasn’t good enough to please God. Because good works alone can never gain his approval the Bible says. The man started his conversation with Jesus by calling Him, “Good Teacher.” But when the Good Teacher taught him what he must do to receive eternal life he couldn’t accept Jesus’ teaching. Instead he became very sad. Jesus told him he was only lacking ONE thing. But that one thing was a doozy. It occupied the man’s heart. This is evident by his response (becoming very sad) about what Jesus commanded him. Though an ethical person the man’s true heart was uncovered. He was devoted to his riches and despised Almighty God. He loved his money and hated God:

Matthew 6:24 NIV “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Here’s another example that proves our perceived goodness; our own righteousness, will get us nowhere:

Luke 18:9-14 NLT “Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: [10] “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people-cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! [12] I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ [13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ [14] I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

WOW!!! There it is again. The Pharisee seemed to be doing everything right; it appeared he had his act together, but he totally missed the mark. He too depended on his own good works instead of God who makes people righteous. And here we have a known sinner; a tax collector, who doesn’t claim any goodness or righteousness of his own, but depends on God, and winds up pleasing Him. God justified this sinner, not the religious Pharisee. WOW!!! Isn’t God cool? He puts down the arrogant but shows grace and favor to the humble.

None of us can truthfully make the claim that we are righteous. We sin way too much.

Romans 3:23-24 KJV “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

And lastly, one of my favorite examples of how a person who is not good can be made right with God by simply believing in the one who is good; Jesus Christ:

Luke 23:39-43 NIV “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” [40] But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? [41] We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” [42] Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” [43] Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

YES! YES! YES! 😂 Don’t you see it? God is so good! And He makes righteous whom He declares righteous! No puny human can ever step to him and say, “I am good.” It is blasphemy. But those who come to God with a contrite heart, and humble spirit like the man on the cross, and like the tax collector, WILL receive a righteous standing before Almighty God, because God is that good and kind!

Romans 4:5 NIV “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

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Hidden Treasure

Proverbs 4:7 KJV “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

Wisdom is indeed prime, and so is understanding. Without these a person is lost. You can’t discern matters correctly. Hence you can’t make good decisions. In our troubled world we need wisdom and understanding. Many claim to have them but these precious jewels belong to them that travel into the strait gate. (Matthew 7:13-14) Wisdom and Understanding are hidden treasures. Some work is involved in getting them. God explains it this way:

Proverbs 2:1-6 KJV “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; [2] So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; [3] Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; [4] If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; [5] Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. [6] For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

God gives wisdom and understanding. It is obtained from no one else. Many claim to have it, but only a few rarely find it, even though God tells us exactly how to get his knowledge. A person must receive God’s words. To receive something means to accept it willingly, without putting up a fight. It also means to believe a thing or recognize it as truth. This is how we must view all of God’s words, even those we do not fully understand yet, because they come from God who cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) There should never be a moment when we argue against what God says. We must receive His words even when they show us our faults, and repent.

We must also hide or store up God’s commands within us. This means we commit the things we learn about God to memory through meditation of His word. We take time out to study the Bible and seriously think about what God says, with a view to applying His words in our lives. Our hearts and ears must become tuned into wisdom and understanding. We must look for it and enjoy hearing it. Just as we would look for and tune into our favorite TV shows or music we once listened to we now are on the prowl for wisdom and understanding.

God says that our efforts alone are not enough. We must cry out to Him (pray) for knowledge and understanding. This is very important to remember. We can’t get these hidden treasures without the help of Almighty God. Yet when we do search for them God says to seek them like we would seek silver, and to search for them like we are searching for hidden treasure. If we do not obey God in this we will never find His hidden Wisdom.

SEEK HER LIKE SILVER

The word, “silver,” in Proverbs 2:4 simply means, “money.” God says to search for His wisdom like we seek money. How do people seek money? Is it the most important thing in the world to them? Most folks yes. Do people go to work daily in order to obtain money? Yeah. Do they risk their lives in order to get it? Yes. Do they feel like they’re nothing without money? Yep. Do they risk their health for money? Yes. Does the average person want to be rich? You betchah. The same way people view and seek after money God is saying we must seek out His Wisdom and Understanding. Can anyone count the many ways people search for money? Probably not. Just imagine having the same attitude towards obtaining God’s Wisdom.

Matthew 13:44 NLT “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”

SEEK HER LIKE HIDDEN TREASURE

God says to look for His understanding like we search for hidden treasure. How do people seek hidden treasure? Don’t they make many sacrifices in order to obtain they’re treasures? They sacrifice hours, days, weeks, months, and even years to gain their treasures. They sacrifice relationships too (even close ones) to obtain their treasure. And like the man described in Matthew 13:44, they will sell everything they have in order to possess their treasures. In other words nothing can stop them when it comes to owning what they desire, no matter who or what gets in the way. They are like Michael Jordan going after another NBA championship: unstoppable! Do we accept this view, and do we exhibit such diligence when it comes to obtaining God’s Wisdom and Understanding?

“THEN SHALT THOU UNDERSTAND…”

If we seek after God’s Wisdom and Understanding the way He Describes in Proverbs 2:1-6, “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” YAY!!! 😁

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Don’t Get Sucked In

Proverbs 14:29 ESV — Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

If you saw someone laying a trap for you, would it be wise to walk right into it? That would be stupid. So why do people get sucked into (or suckered into) foolish arguments and fights so easily? Could it be they don’t see the trap?

PRIDE

Pride blinds us to many things. It makes us feel invincible. It is the chief reason why people get into quarrels and fights. When you have an inflated view of yourself you are very touchy and sensitive. The least thing can set you off. This person is out of control. No wonder God hates pride.

Proverbs 16:18 KJV “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

People easily fall into all kinds of traps due to arrogance (haughtiness), including the fussing, cussing, and fighting trap. In order to not get sucked in we must learn the opposite of pride.

HUMILITY

Proverbs 17:28 KJV “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Zephaniah 2:3 NIV “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

Proverbs 22:4 KJV “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”

Proverbs 18:12 KJV “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”

Humility is no joke. It brings the very opposite of pride; riches, honor, and life. The funny thing about humility though is when seeking it you sometimes feel like you’re always getting the short end of the stick. Sometimes it feels like the proud of this world are always prospering. These feelings are normal. You’re definitely not alone if you feel or ever felt this way. Asaph once did. Asaph is a servant of God who became envious of the wicked for a brief moment. But he regained his footing. He thought that the care free way of the wicked landed them on easy street. It seemed like they were living it up. But he soon learned that their way wasn’t free from pain as he thought. Read the words of Asaph below and see if you can relate.

Psalms 73:1‭-‬28 ESV “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”

Does what Asaph said sound familiar? Asaph almost got sucked into the trap of believing that the wicked have it better than the righteous. But as he meditated on the matter he saw how wrong he was. This type of thinking can produce depression, quarrels, and fights. It’s called envy. Envy is a burning desire for something we believe will be beneficial to us. Usually it’s desiring things others have that we feel we deserve too. If not careful we can become trapped by envy.

James 4:1 ISV “Where do those fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your selfish desires that are at war in your bodies, don’t they?”

We must believe God when he says:

1 Timothy 6:7-8 NIV “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. [8] But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Brothers and sisters let’s keep fighting not to get sucked in.

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All Do Not Have The Spirit

How often do we hear preachers tell crowds of people, “All of you have God’s spirit living in you?” And yes, they are talking about The Holy Spirit? This is the furthest thing from the truth. The below passages prove it:

Romans 8:9 KJV “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

John 14:17 KJV “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

God makes it plain how one receives The Holy Spirit:

Ephesians 1:13 KJV “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”

Ephesians 1:13 says after a person hears the word of truth, and believes the gospel of salvation–truly entrusting themselves and their spiritual well being to the Lord–they become sealed and filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyone has not done this. Just look around you. Most do not believe the gospel that can save them. Most show by their conduct they are on the broad road that leads to destruction:

Matthew 7:13-14 NLT “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. [14] But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Jesus says only a few ever find the narrow road that leads to life. That’s scary. It is wrong to tell people that we all have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. Some even say you can activate the God (Spirit) within you through meditation, doing good deeds, learning certain prayers, etcetera. This is all witchcraft. And it reminds me of another lie: telling people that we’re all God’s children:

John 8:44 KJV “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

1 John 3:10 KJV “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

God makes it very plain who belongs to Him and who is a child of the Devil.

2 Timothy 2:19 NIV “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

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