GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY
- Key Verse
- What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Romans 9:14-16)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Believe it or not, God is perfectly good, just, and glorious beyond our comprehension! Who, then, are we?
ReflectionsAlmighty God my Father, You are holy, perfectly just, and merciful. I don't even know what good is, except from You. Your ways and thoughts are higher than mine, as the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:9). Yet, I'm tempted to tie a neat bow around aspects of Your sovereignty that I've merely glimpsed.
Why did You adopt me into Your family as a son? Not only was I a foreigner to Israel, I was dead in my sins. In Romans 9:26 it is written, "And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' there they shall be called sons of the living God." You say You gave the right to become Your children to those who received Christ (John 1:12). Separated from You and dead in my sins, did I receive Christ on my own? Or did You choose to have mercy on me? Should I boast of my own faith, or should my parents who trained me, or the disciples who trained them? You say Christ died for my sins to "bring" me to You (1 Peter 3:18). Thank You! I will boast in You (1 Corinthians 1:31).
How should I respond to your love? Should I respond by trying to earn the righteousness You have already given me by grace through faith? You say that if I pursued righteousness as if it were by works, I would only stumble and fall (Romans 9:30-33; Ephesians 2:8-9).
In 2009, Julie and I adopted three of our children from another country in an all-too-finite response to Your infinite, adoptive love for us. And You have used the last three fun, but challenging, years like a cauldron for removing impurities from gold to reveal sin in our hearts -- impatience, selfishness, and worldly values -- to a degree we had not realized. But in the process You've been faithful to conform us to the image of Your Son, painfully at times. Thank You that my righteousness is given, not earned or deserved. I would fall on my face otherwise.
May all glory in heaven and on earth be Yours forever. Amen.
Discussion Questions1. Where were you when God laid the earth's foundation while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Where were you when He said to the ocean, "This far you may come and no farther"? (Job 38:4-11, NIV) What role did you play in naming every star and ensuring that not one of them was missing? (Isaiah 40:26)
2. If you have not received Christ, on what are you staking your eternal future?
3. Who does God want to perish? (2 Peter 3:9) So what did He do? (John 3:16)
4. If you are a believer, have you crossed over from death to eternal life because you willed it, or because God had mercy on you and called you? (Romans 9:16, 23-24)
5. If you are a believer, God created you in Christ Jesus to do good works, which Almighty God prepared in advance for you to "walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). What now?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
Romans 8-12 (June 4-9)
Read Romans 12:1-8.
* What does it mean to be a living sacrifice to God?
* How does this show your worship of Him?
* In what ways are you tempted to copy the "patterns of this world"?
* What does it mean to let God transform (change) the way you think? (Read as a family 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Galatians 5:22-26.)
* The Scripture says we all have something that is useful for the church body, what is that "something" in your life?
* Do you know what your gifts and abilities are?
* How can you use these to bring glory to God?
Activity: Get two pieces of blank paper for every person. On the first piece of paper, draw the earth. Within the earth, write or draw the things that represent the "patterns of this world" (examples: being all about money, popularity, success, grades, wearing inappropriate clothes to be "cool," etc.).
On the second piece of paper, draw a bowl of fruit and write all the ways you can be transformed by God changing you.