By Your Goodness or God’s Goodness?

Starting & Living the Christian Life by the Goodness of God

We are obsessed with being good. This idea of being good shows up all the time in our culture:

Your Goodness or God's Goodness?

“Was he good?” (Asking the babysitter how your child’s behavior was…)

“How’d he do?” He did a good job. (Talking about someone performing in sports, academics, etc.)

When we do a good job, it means that we have lived up to and fulfilled the expectations set before us. Often, these expectations are unwritten and non-formal. Nonetheless, there is a bar to reach or a standard to live up to that is required in order to be good.

Other ways we show this relative goodness in our culture is by saying “he’s a good man,” or “she’s a good woman,” or “they’re a good Christian.”

Good Christian? Relative to who? Relative to what? Often, when saying someone is a good Christian, the thought process becomes one as follows:

“Well, they read their Bible more than most. They pray more than most. They go to church more than most. They dress nicer than most. They talk better than me. The give more money than me. Etc…”

What Defines Goodness?

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5 Amazingly Simple Words that Will Explode your Bible Reading Comprehension

How the Five W's Can Help You Read the Bible

Often, during times of my Bible reading, I get lost in the story. I become enamored with the people, the surroundings, the circumstances. Especially when it comes to the miracles of Jesus, I’m astonished at the things that happened.

5 Amazingly Simple Words that Will Explode your Bible Reading Comprehension

For example, one of my life long dreams would be to experience what it felt like to walk on water. For real, imagine jumping off a dock thinking you’re gonna drop in, then slam!! It’s impossible! It’ll never happen! But it did happen, and I can’t begin to imagine what it felt like. I wonder if Peter had a new understanding of “sea legs,” by the time he was finished walking on the water?

But, sometimes if I’m not careful, I find myself getting lost in the extraordinary and forfeiting what God wants to speak directly into my life.

Sometimes when I read the Bible, it’s a supernatural experience. I know God’s with me, I can sense His presence, and whatever He’s saying to my mind and my Spirit is sweet as candy. Other times, during my Bible reading, it feels like I’m smashing my head against a rock. Nothing I’m reading makes any sense, and I have no idea what it’s for. Learning to know that both are

Both of these experiences help us grow. In different ways, they help us deepen our relationship with God.

With that said, there’s something many of us have learned in elementary school that will radically change and improve our Bible reading. They are the five W’s (with a little twist):

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Has God Given You a Hope and a Future?

Jeremiah 29:11 - Out of Context Means it Doesn't Mean What we Think

As followers of Christ, we tend to believe that we should be protected by God from everything evil and blessed with everything good. So, we read the Bible and quote it saying, “God has promised me a hope and a future. He has plans to prosper me.” However, we fail to realize this wasn’t a promise to 21st-century believers.

Has God Given You a Hope and a Future? Does God plan to prosper you?

Here’s why we say that:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Other translations phrase it like this: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” And generally, whenever we hear money, I mean prosper, we tend to think money, money, money! Along with that money comes time and freedom that apparently can’t be found elsewhere…

When reading the Bible, there are certain rules of literature we must pay attention to. Historical happenings (what was actually going down at that moment in history) and original intent (what the author meant to say to his original audience) are a couple of things we need to consider when reading a passage from the Bible.

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Try to Read The Bible In a Year

An Alternative Approach to the Read Your Bible in a Year Program

Today’s post is from David Ramos. He is a Christian author and teacher passionate about communicating the life-changing truths found in the Old Testament. You can learn more about David and his writing at RamosAuthor.com.

If you’re a Christian, at some point in your life one of your New Year’s Resolutions will be to read through the Bible in a year.

The question is, should we attempt to read the Bible in a year?

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Try to Read the Bible in a Year

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Is The Door God Opens the Door We Should Go Through?

How to Know if God "Opened a Door"

Often times, we tend to make our decisions as followers of Christ by rationalizing with a phrase similar to this: “God opened a door.”

Is The Door God Opened the Door that We Should Go Through?

In the same way, when things seem to turn for the worst, we begin to rationalize that God is closing a door and there must be something else God wants us to do. We summarize that idea by saying, “When God closes one door, He opens another.”

But is that true? More than that, is it true that when God opens a door, it is the actual door that we are supposed to go through?

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Did The Devil Make You Think That?

Taking Responsibility for our Battle Against Temptation

As followers of Christ, we’ve developed a little cliche-Christian saying that helps shift the responsibility of our own thoughts. We say so often, “the devil gave me a thought, the devil made me think that.”

Did the Devil Make You Think That?

Did he? Did the devil make you think that? Was a little satan standing on your shoulder? Did he place a sticky note on his little pitchfork and then slam it into your brain at the most inopportune time?

Or are you responsible for all of your own thoughts?

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