“Good” Isn’t Good Enough!

 

*   (Mark 10:18 NIV)  and  (Luke 18:19 NIV)  "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.

 

Good as used here refers to the intrinsic nature of a person or thing. Clearly then we are not and cannot be, “Good.” In that sense only God is Good.

 

But good also has these meanings: Satisfactory, suitable, useful, skilled, or desirable. When understood like that certainly we can be good. But even when we are good or do good it may not be good enough. We can see such examples all around us, the losing pitcher dad and I rooted for is a very good pitcher but he still lost the game. Frequently we say of such things, “He gave it a good effort.” But if we are good, maybe even very good, but fail to accomplish our goal perhaps it could be said we were not good enough. Especially when it comes to the physical world. People may even applaud our performance, our skill, our determination, and the fact that we gave our all. We may even be seen as the winner in some cases because we had spirit.

 

Spirit? What about the spiritual world? That is to say the world of morality, of right and wrong, of good and bad? Do the same rules apply?

 

Here is the story of  a good man. Do you think his goodness was good enough?

*   (Mat 19:16-23 NIV)  Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" {17} "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." {18} "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, {19} honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" {20} "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" {21} Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." {22} When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. {23} Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

There was a time in my life that I had a real problem with the idea that I might not be good enough. People thought of me as good and spoke of me as good. When I thought of myself it was the same thing. Here is how I justified myself. I’m a good person, I have a good heart, I like people and they like me, I am kind to children and animals, I am a generous person and I believe in God. I am not a thief or murderer. I don’t sleep around or lie about people. Isn’t that good enough? I had an “I” problem with a capital I.

 

Here is the problem with goodness; it isn’t sufficient to save you.

*    (Rom 3:22-24 NIV)  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, {24} and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

*   (Rom 6:23 NIV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*   (1 Tim 2:5-6 NIV)  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

*   (Acts 4:12 NIV)  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

*   (Heb 10:19-27 NIV)  Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, {20} by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, {21} and since we have a great priest over the house of God, {22} let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. {23} Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. {24} And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. {25} Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. {26} If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

 

When you are in love you want the world to know it. When you are in love you want the one you love to know it. When you are in love you feel compelled to proclaim it. Proclaim it to the one you love and to the world. Shout it from the rooftops people sometimes say. You are not ashamed!

*    (Mark 8:38 NIV)  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

*   (Rom 6:20-23 NIV)  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. {21} What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! {22} But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*   (2 Tim 1:8 NIV)  So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,

*   (Heb 2:11 NIV)  Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

 

If you love God, if you are proud to be called His child, if you are not ashamed then I invite you to come forward now and kneel before your Lord and Savior and profess to Him your love. Do not be ashamed. Here is a chance to prove your love in a public way. Do not be ashamed.

 

You are the Bride come to the Bridegroom, the lover of your soul and your salvation.  Join me here as I go on my knees before the King with you. Join me up front. Do not be afraid to stand up and do not be afraid to kneel down. Do not be ashamed! Let us pray.