By Cindy Goding
At Tuesday evening bible study we’ve been studying the attributes of God. This month we have been focusing on God’s goodness. We started in Leviticus reading through some of the procedures/protocols that had to take place when sin was committed by the high priest. The specific instructions of sacrificing animals was a little intense to read, but also brought to light the intensity of our sin. This passage also highlighted God’s goodness in the aspect that he still provided a way for the Israelite's to reconcile their relationship with him through the sacrifices the high priest would make. Even then, God desired a relationship with his people!
The next week we focused on Hebrews 7 where recognition is given to Jesus as being our forever high priest because of the sacrifice he made on the cross and the resurrection from death. We brought into focus that “We are NOT good enough”! But that’s ok! So instead of downcast faces when we hear this phrase “I am not good enough”, we should be acknowledging that and saying, “YES, you’re right. I’m NOT good enough. But JESUS is!” And that should lift our faces and refocus our gaze on whom it should be on. God displayed his incredible goodness to us by the act that happened on the cross. When we were rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into his glorious light.
Finally, this past week we talked about how we are called to imitate God’s goodness. Now here’s the thing, we cannot be God. So we cannot forgive sins, but we can forgive others. We cannot heal, but we can pray for healing or for those who are working in the medical field. What does it mean to imitate? To copy? To emulate? Did you ever want to copy someone or something? Or did you ever have someone copy you? We know that the word imitate is a verb, which means it is an action! Not just a thing, not just a thought, an action! When you imitate someone you are doing a physical representation of something. Others can hear, see, or notice you are imitating them. So my question is, ARE YOU IMITATING GOD? Can others around you physically hear, see, or notice that you are becoming more Christlike each day? Can others around you physically hear, see, or notice that you are growing closer to God through scripture and prayer? Can others around you physically hear, see, or notice that you are loving your neighbor? What does that truly mean to imitate God? We challenged the women of the bible study to take these next couple weeks and do some physical imitating of God. Because God’s goodness isn’t just a good thought that he has, when he shows us his goodness we HEAR, SEE, and NOTICE it! Whether it’s something small like the beautiful sunshine, the word of a kind stranger, or an open parking spot… or whether it is something absolutely life changing. We KNOW that God is good because we feel it constantly! So how can we truly imitate God?
Ephesians 5:1 (and backing up to 4:32) says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”.
So spread kind words, encourage others, build one another up in the faith. When someone asks for prayer- pray immediately so you don’t forget. When someone asks for help- be generous with your time and resources. When someone reports a praise- rejoice alongside them! God never withholds his goodness, or expects something in return. There’s no “catch” with God. He is GOOD, all the time.