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God is Great & God is Good

“The world appears very little to a soul that contemplates the greatness of God.”

Brother Lawrence

            When I was a little girl I would sometimes say grace at meal time.  Typically I recited a children’s blessing that went like this: “God is great and God is good.  And we thank Him for our food.  Amen.”  One of the benefits of having attention deficit disorder is your mind can wander and go on many delightful rabbit trails.  Last week while doing my quiet time, this child’s grace popped into my mind and I began to follow the trail.  I spent time pondering God’s greatness and His unending goodness.

            The nature of someone is their essence; the essential qualities or attributes which constitute who they are.  Greatness and goodness are part of God’s nature.  Therefore, because being good and great is who God is, He cannot not be good or great.  He has to express these qualities to us; He can’t help Himself.

            The definition of great is chief, of vast power and excellence, supreme and illustrious.  The prophet Jeremiah describes God well in chapter 10, verse 6 when he says, “No One is like You, O Lord; You are great, and Your name is mighty in power.”  We’re encouraged to ”praise Him for His acts of power and for His surpassing greatness,” in Psalm 150:2.

            God being great implies He is all powerful and He will fight our battles.  This reminds me of the story of two little boys fighting, each saying their Dad is bigger than the other Dad.  Well, no one and nothing can beat the greatness of our heavenly Father!

            The goodness of God describes Him as being kind, benevolent, pleasant, virtuous, faithful, merciful and gracious.  Because He is good, we can trust Him even in the midst of trials.  Psalm 34:8a reminds us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  We’re to relish and savor God’s goodness in our lives.  The latter part of Romans 2:4 tells us what God’s kindness does; it leads us to repentance.

            We see God’s acts of greatness and goodness throughout the Bible.  The Israelites’ witnessed God’s greatness when He parted the Red Sea so they could escape from the Egyptians.  They experienced God’s goodness when God told them to take the blood from a sacrificial lamb and spread it across the sides and tops of their doorframes so the Lord would pass over their homes sparing their families from destruction, which would strike Egypt.  In the New Testament we see God’s greatness in the miracles Jesus performed and the goodness of God in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross.

            As I pondered the many ways God’s greatness and goodness has been displayed in my life, one in particular was highlighted.  My Dad’s mind began to deteriorate the last few years of his life and it became more difficult to have meaningful conversations.  One of the expressions of dementia can be paranoia. Lack of lucidity and tracking in a conversation are also common.

            On one of my visits, a few years ago, the Lord wanted me to share with my Dad once again how God loves, forgives, and desires to have a personal relationship with him.  Before I began sharing, Dad very seriously mentioned how he wanted my sister and me to call the police as he claimed every resident in the assisted living home had been kidnapped.  Three hours of lucidity followed that one paranoid statement.  I was able to share how I deal with the regrets in my life through repentance and receiving God’s forgiveness.  I shared how I became a Christian.  I shared a Billy Graham tract called, Steps to Peace.  I shared what to pray in order to have Jesus Christ  become the Lord of his life and have a saving faith, resulting in an assurance of eternal life.  I then asked Dad if he’d like to pray the sinner’s prayer.  He said yes.  Phrase by phrase he repeated it after me.  I have never seen him smile like he did afterwards.  This all took place on my fortieth spiritual birthday when my Dad was 80 years old.  Yes, I know all about God being great and being good.  Do you?

“God’s goodness is the root of all goodness; and our goodness, if we have any, springs out of His goodness.”

William Tyndale

Relevant Reflections: 1.  How have you seen God display His greatness in your life? 2.  How has God’s goodness been shown to you? 3.  Spend a few minutes thanking Him for His goodness and greatness.

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