Goodness

The definition of goodness is moral excellence or virtue. It is not very often that you hear someone say that a person is really a good person. More often than not it is said of a person that does something special for another. But that isn’t the real question. The real question is how does a person become good. I have heard every expletive deleted about people. There are so many foul names someone can call another person you would blush. For the most part it is true. Man is so corrupt that you could easily lose faith in man ever doing anything good. But there is a way that man can change into a good person. Man doesn’t have the power to change himself. People may stop doing things because it isn’t convenient. That doesn’t mean they have changed. Goodness has to come from their heart to be real. And the only way I know that it becomes real in a person is when God changes their heart and mind. Jesus said it Himself, there is none good except God. That’s a damming statement if I ever heard one. How does a person become good? The bible says that the goodness of God leads us to salvation. Because God is good, He is willing to bring us to the place where we can accept Him into our lives. Thank God for that. Looking back at some civilizations in the Old Testament, God purposely destroyed them because of their sin. That is a place you don’t want to be. King David, when he was troubled by anything, would recount the blessings (goodness) of the Lord. It builds faith when you do. God can turn anything corrupt into something good if we only let Him. Then you would become a good person too.

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Gentleness

Most people think that gentleness is weakness. But it isn’t so. Gentleness takes great strength of character. I have found that men of great strength both physically and spiritually are gentle. I worked for a Christian radio station during the Year of the Bible in the United States. I interviewed leaders from most denominations. What I found is that these people were very kind and gentle toward me. It surprised me. I was expecting them to be corporate types, rude and arrogant. One day when I was running a Christian bookstore, a little old man walked in to the store. He was selling books. His name was Hubert Lindsey. I didn’t know that he was an important prophet of God. He was very gentle and kind to me. I enjoyed talking to him. He was a very powerful man of God. If you don’t know who Holy Hubert is just google it. God showed me many people and how they lived their lives for God. I have met so many great men and women of God. They all had one thing in common. They were gentle. It took a while for me to learn to be gentle. I always thought that being powerful wasn’t being gentle. Jesus always went about loving people. Seeing about their needs so that He could win them over. God doesn’t carry a big stick and hit you on your head when you sin. God calls our name and gently brings us back into the kingdom. When you look for a Christian, look for a person who is gentle. I tell you a truth, because that person who is gentle knows God.

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Longsuffering

You know how you put up with your older brother. Ever since you were a little kid. I thought this is longsuffering. As annoying as my older brother can be, this isn’t longsuffering. Having to put up with my stupidity all those years I thought I was the master of my destiny. Now that is longsuffering. Oh yea, I thought I was invincible. I was just showing how much I didn’t know. My parent tried to show me how to live the right life. I thought they were just stupid. It turned out I was the stupid one. That was longsuffering on their part. When I was 8 years old I gave my heart to the Lord. I didn’t know what had happen to me. I just kept living my life like I wanted. Of course, I get into as much trouble as I could. It wasn’t until I was 28 years old that I surrender to God. God put up with me all those years just so I could became a child of God. This is what I call longsuffering. Loving me through all those years and still accepting me back. Then I began to learn what longsuffering really is. God had me to love the unlovable, the socially unacceptable. People who would praise God one week and then get drunk or stoned. Then come back the next and praise God. If it has not been for God, I would have walked away from these people. One man God had me to love and he refused to listen to God. All his life I loved that man. He was so messed up he refused to change. When he died, it hurt as much as losing my brother. This is how much God is longsuffering toward us. He loves us all of our lives. He is willing to take us back after all the years of wandering. The love of God is beyond anything we can comprehend. It is because God is love and longsuffering.

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Peace

What is Peace? I can tell you what it isn’t. Peace is not the lack of turmoil. It isn’t a circumstance or situation. You can have peace in the middle of the worst possible situation. My peace has been tested a lot this year. I have an illness that I caused myself. I am taking medicine for it. My younger brother died two years ago. I have been discouraged by many circumstances this year. But the one thing I have never lost is the peace of God. I didn’t start out that way. God had to put me through the paces. You know if you ask God for something, you are liable to go through a trial. When I ask for boldness, God put me in situations where I needed boldness. When I asked for patience, God had mercy on me. I was deluged by annoying people. One in particular person used to insult me every time we met, especially at church. I wanted to lay hands on her suddenly and repeatedly. But God said I had the problem. So I begin to pray about this person. What happened is that she became a blessing to me.  And she never changed. But I had changed for the better. All through this trial, I still had the peace of God. People look at me and say I am weak because I don’t fight back. I don’t fight back because I don’t need too. God is my avenger. The bible says let the peace of God keep your mind and heart. You can only do that if you trust and believe in that person. I started out with one goal in mind, which was to get to heaven. My Father called me to go home to Him. And the peace of God will take me all the way home.

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Joy

In 1983, the United States Congress passed an historic bill. And how it got through Congress was also historic. This historic bill was sponsored by a congressman who was dying of cancer and he wanted to do something significant. He took his bill and posted on the wall of congress. Anyone who wanted to sign it could. There was no debate, no filibuster or no arm twisting. It just passed through Congress. This historic bill was The Year of the Bible. The first time since the time of Christ has a nation declare a Year for God. You wouldn’t believe what happen to this nation. The Gross Nation Product was higher than the pass 20 years. Prosperity came back to this country. Christianity became popular. Churches filled up. People were excited about being an American. Imagine trying to get that bill through this congress. It would take a miracle. Gallup Poll took a survey of the American people. They asked what are the three most important things in your life. The American people responded with a usual answer. It was as strange as the bill itself. The American people said that what was most important in their lives was love, joy and peace. If you don’t know these are the first three gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is what God gives to His children. It is what we need to live in this world. It is also what we do to show that God is alive and well. Joy especially in these times. Joy is that constant knowing that all is well in the world. That God is in control of everything. As God says, the Joy of the Lord is my strength. So rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has given to us.

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Free Will

Free Will is the ability to make decisions on our own. It doesn’t mean we will make the right decision. But we can make them. I have known many different kinds of people. Not all of them were Christian. Over the years I have tried to explain what Christianity really is. Some have understood what I was saying. Others have looked at me like I was crazy. However everyone has a free will to make a decision about God. Not everyone that proclaims that they are Christians are. Jesus said you would know them by their fruit. He was describing what man does with his life. If they are producing things in their life like, joy, peace, love, longsuffering, temperance, meekness, faith, gentleness and goodness. I worked for a man that ran his Christian business like a corporation. And he always wondered why his employees were always angry with him. There are Christians who measure their success by the world. And they wonder why they are so empty. God isn’t against commerce. God wants His children to succeed in all of their endeavors. Our free will isn’t a license to sin. We are to use it for God’s purpose. You have to understand that Adam lost paradise and Saul lost his kingdom with his free will. Pharaoh Ramses lost his kingdom when he chose to fight God and Moses. How many people do you know that lost everything because they used their free will the wrong way? I am talking about Christians and others. How many people do you know that surrendered to God and their lives were blessed over and over again. Free Will is a great thing, but without the power of God it can’t be controlled.

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Music

There is all kinds of music. I have my own preferences. I like jazz, not Dixieland but blues, like George Benson or Dizzy Gillespie. I all so like Gospel, Adult Contemporary Christian music. I also like Classical, like Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. Did you know that Mozart had a God given talent that he could write music in his head then transfer it to paper? Did you know that most people started singing or playing a musical in church? Jimmy Hendrix was a preacher’s son. Even Elvis started by singing Gospel. Most Country Western Singers and musicians sing Gospel. When you see a musical prodigy, it is a gift of God. Music began with God and actually will end with Him. Music stirs the soul of man for very real reason. Music was given to us by God and we being the image and likeness of God are moved. Unfortunately some people are moved by music to the other side away from God. Just as faith and unbelief are the flip sides of the same coin. Music can be positive or negative.  I was a music director for a Christian radio station. I listened to all the music sent to the radio station. Then I chose selection for the station. I like that job, because I listen to music all day long. It was interesting to me. I chose music sometimes that conflicted with what the Music Company wanted us to play. I got one guy so angry at me. He fused but I wouldn’t budge on the selection. I had a criteria for selecting music. He called back the next day and apologized to me. Music stirs the soul of man for a real reason. I pray that it stirs you to move toward God.

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Equality

It is a very common word. It is uses in almost everywhere. But what does it really mean? In the US Declaration of Independence it says that all men are created equal. It doesn’t mean that they will be treated equally. Although the US is the melting pot of the world and most people bring their national pride with them to this country. This doesn’t always make a harmonious situation. But I must say that as the rest of the world goes the US has comes as close as humanly possible.  People are separated by ethnic background, money, color of their skin, beauty, relative size or just plain stupidity. The US has legislated equality as far as it can be taken. It doesn’t mean that it works. You have to change the heart of man first. You look around and see so many programs to educate people or laws to stop human activity. You can educate people until they can’t stand it anymore and it means nothing. You can’t stop human activity until they want to. And the only way I know to do that is to change a person’s heart. You want to take a guess where you have to go to change your heart?  It ain’t your local grocery store. You know the place already. God is the only one who can change a man’s heart. This is the only way to stop the evil in this world. It doesn’t happen with the educated or sophisticated. But getting back to equality, the only place I know of is in the kingdom of God. God says that He is no respecter of persons. Everyone is equal is the kingdom of God. That is why you can’t take anything with to heaven. Being equal in God’s kingdom means that you will stand before God for yourself. There will be no excuses either. This is real equality.

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The Goodness of God

God says that He isn’t willing that any person should perish, but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. He also says that the end of the world should not come until everybody has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then He says who can separate us from the love of God? The answer is no one. Is there a picture starting to develop in your head? God also says that we are healed by the beating that Jesus took before the cross. Again He says that at the cross our sins were paid for. God made a way back to Him by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Then He says that He takes our confessed sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again. Then God says that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. God also says that if we have the faith the size of a mustard seed, we can say to the mountain be thy removed and it will be done by God Himself. There is a real picture developing here. Can you see it? God says that He isn’t a man that He should lie. He also says have I not said it and will I not do it. God also says if you believe you are a son of God. He goes on to say that He gives the power to become a son of God. God says that the goodness of God leads you to salvation. Have you felt that leading before? I will pray that you will again. God also says that no man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ. What I just wrote is a snapshot of what God has for you. It is like the photos of my clouds. You have to look closely to see all the details. What you can see is amazing. So do what God says, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

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Heaven

Many people have written books about going heaven. When they first came out many Christians laughed at them. They didn’t believe that anybody but a dead person could go to heaven. I didn’t believe it either at first. Then I began to see things differently. It always so fantastic it was hard to believe. If read a scripture that said, we are seated together with Him (Jesus) in heavenly places. I turned to God and said if this is true, then show me. Guess what, God did. I smelled heaven first. If you can remember what it smells like after a rain. That fresh smell of the earth where the air is clean. Then I heard children laughing and playing. Then I saw the rolling hills. They were green and full of trees. There were birds and animals everywhere. I looked down. I was standing on a golden road. I looked up there standing before me was my guardian angel. He said to me, come with me. Next thing I remember was standing before these big doors of the heavenly city. Then I was sitting on the top of the wall looking down into the throne room. Jesus looked up at me and smiled. Then the saints before the throne began to sing. I began to shake. They were singing the song of the redeemed. It is so sweet and so powerful. I shook as long as they sung. My Father was sitting on the throne. I couldn’t see His face. He was surrounded by a cloud and a rainbow. I ask Jesus why I couldn’t see Him. Jesus said no man has seen the face of God and lived. People have asked me how to see heaven. It is very simple. You have to live in the presence of God. The closer you to get to God the easier it is to go to heaven and back. Where do you start? You start by praying consistently. God said if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.

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