Reading my Bible recently this portion of Scripture forcefully caught my attention: A cardinal aspect of Jesus' messianic work was to go around doing good.
Then I paused to re-examine the meaning of the word "good." It is one of those simple, everyday words whose meanings we often take for granted. The Free Online Dictionary has 58 meanings or usages for the word. That shows how difficult it is to define it. As used in this passage, the word means that which is pleasing, useful or valuable; something that aids or promotes well-being. It refers to that which is beneficial or 'healthful'"
|Pastor Vincent Anane Denteh, National Head of Madagascar, and his wife Martha, in a pose wife me when they visited us recently in Hamburg|
When God came down in human form through Jesus, His intrinsic attribute of Goodness must manifest itself. In other words, the goodness of the God of Israel, must show through Him. From the announcement of His Messianic Mission, in what is often called the Manifesto of the Kingdom (Lk. 4:18, 19) to the Cross, we find Jesus engaged in doing good. Wherever He went, He met people at their respective points of need. He fed their hungry souls with the word of God, fed their human bodies with physical food, saved people from embarrassing situations (shortage of wine at the Wedding in Cana), forgave sins, healed the sick among them, delivered the oppressed from satanic bondage, raised the dead, and changed the eternal destiny of a hardened criminal. At a point, onlookers were so amazed that they declared, "He has done everything well"(Mk. 7:37)
|Pastor Isaac Nii Kotei-Djani, National Head of Botswana, and his wife posed this with me when they visited us recently|
This aspect of goodness that Jesus does for us, however, is not news to most Christians. We know it and appropriately rejoice in it, often declaring "God is good; All the time". The difficulty for many people, however, is the understanding of God's goodness in our daily lives, in the "Here-And-Now". Surely His ways are not our ways neither can our thoughts be compared to His.
Our difficulty is what we consider to be good. Sometimes our definition of good colors our perception to the extent that we do not distinguish between what is good for us and what is for our good. In His goodness, He still provides us with both. When He graciously provides what we consider to be good for us, we rejoice and give testimonies to His glory. Those that are for our good are mostly not palatable to us. We often whine and wonder why they happened to us. Usually it is at a much later time that we understand why they happened. At that time we are able to exclaim, "O yes, God is good"
|Elder James Owusu Sarfo, Leader of COP Prayer Center, Tanoso-Kumasi, paid us a short visit during his recent tour of Europe.|
On the other hand if the good comes to us in a form we do not like, we must simply keep trusting Him, knowing that it is for our good.
|Listening to the sermon with rapt attention last Sunday. By my side and ready to give me a helping hand is Bro. Samuel Asaye of Hamburg Central Assembly|