Sunday, June 5, 2016

God is Good and God is Love

     In a little church I attended for a while, the preacher started every service by saying, "God is good."  The congregation would answer, "All the time."    Then the preacher would say, "All the time" and the congregation would say, "God is good."  I enjoyed this little ritual and it even became a way of greeting between myself and several other church members if I ever saw them away from church.  For me, I think it was just a way of reminding myself that God is indeed good and by being good, He is a God we should love.  That love should be based on His goodness.  All to often, however, that love is based on fear.  It seems to me that fear should not be a motivation for love.  If you love because of fear,  then that love becomes something you feel you must do rather than something you want to do.  Which would you personally rather have, someone who loves you because that's what they want to do or someone who loves you because they are afraid of you?  God is good all the time.  Which do you logically think He would rather have.
     So many churches today hammer it into their congregations that God should be feared.  When Christ said the most important commandment under the law was to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, He was not whispering under His breath that we should be afraid. Jesus' entire ministry was centered around love.  It's amazing the impact He had upon this world with a ministry that barely extended through 3 years.  Even when He was upon the cross in agony, He asked God for forgiveness for those who tortured and persecuted Him.  That is love beyond the capabilities of mere mortal beings but we certainly could use the knowledge of it as an inspiration to let hate and prejudice go.  We could at least try to love.

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