Responding to God’s Goodness

            God is so good. He loves, cares for and chooses people who do not even deserve His consideration. He even sent His Son, the Messiah Jesus Christ, to die for us, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God is so good. When I think about God’s goodness, I am so overwhelmed. Many times I am speechless. I don’t know what I can say or what I can do because nothing I can say or do is worthy of what God has already done for me. How in the world can I possibly respond to God’s goodness?

“If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil. I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied. Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, worship, and bow down to other gods. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will close the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce, and you will perish quickly from the good land the Lord is giving you.”[1]

In the book of Numbers, we read that God led the first generation out of Egypt and to the promised land. This first generation rejected the promised land, saying they would rather die in the wilderness, so God allowed them to die in the wilderness and promised to give the land to the second generation

Now in Deuteronomy, we notice that Moses writes this book for the second generation before they go into the promised land. So far we have learned that all people are law breakers when it comes to God’s law. We have learned that God loves us even though we are law breakers. He does not love us because of who we are. He loves us as we are because of who He is.

Responding to God’s love

In this passage, God calls for His people to be obedient. God is good to us, and He desires us to be obedient as we respond to that goodness. More than this, God promises more good things when we are obedient! For Israel, God promised a good harvest, good wine production and good oil. They would be satisfied in the land that God had given them.

For us it might be peace or success in our pursuits. God may provide for us and give us satisfaction. The amazing promise in Scripture is: we can’t lose when we strive to obey God. We are promised goodness on top of more goodness.

Importance of obedience

So, obedience here seems to be the greatest act of worship. In fact, it becomes impossible for us to worship if we don’t strive to obey God. We also read that God is angry when we don’t strive to obey him. So many times, obeying God can be simpler than we might think. For instance: We know we shouldn’t murder. We know we should always tell the truth. We know that we shouldn’t discriminate. We know we should love people. We know we should tell everyone about Jesus. We know that we ought to provide for the ministries of the church when the church is doing God’s work. We know we ought to be in church, not forsaking the assembly of believers. We know we ought to be modest as we get dressed and humble as we interact with others. We know we ought to be servants. We know we ought to care less about what we want and more about what God wants for us. The more we study God’s Word, the better prepared we are to live in obedience to God throughout our lives. We wonder how we respond to God’s overwhelming grace. We strive to obey Him. If we are in Christ, God is pleased with our striving.

After all this, I only have one question. Who are we that God; the holy, perfect Creator of the universe who rules over all things and holds all things together; would even think of us? Yet, God loves, cares for and chooses us to be His people. Our response to God’s goodness is so simple. We strive to obey Him. We show our love for God in our striving to obey Him. Even Jesus stated that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21). God’s will is that we would place our trust in the Messiah: Jesus Christ. This is where obedience begins. God’s love is a free gift to us, but our response to that love is so important. We respond to Christ and accept God’s gift of eternal life. We respond to God’s overwhelming love by striving to obey Him. He promises even more goodness.

[1] Deuteronomy 11:13-17 (HCSB)

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