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O My Goodness, O My Goodness

When I was a kid, my mom would ask me how I was doing, or how my day went, and I would answer “good.” She would immediately tell me she was not asking about my moral character. LOL – She was teaching me that good has more to do with WHO you are than HOW you are.

Next to my bed I keep a copy of the JB Philips translation of the New Testament. I have always loved that translation. And I find when I read in a different version, sometimes things jump out at me.

And you’ll never guess what I decided to read – that’s right Matthew 5 (OK, I am in a bit of a rut)

But something jumped out at me – check this out:

For I tell you that your goodness must be a far better thing then the goodness of the scribes and Pharisees before you can set foot in the kingdom of Heaven at all! (Matthew 5:20 Phillips)

When I get stopped like this, I take a moment to ponder, and in my pondering, I remembered that just a couple verses up the page lay this beauty:

Happy are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of goodness, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs! (Matt 5:10 Phillips)

And a bit further up this:

How happy are the humble-minded, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs! (Matt 5:3 Phillips)

Let me get this straight.

The Pharisees

These were the guys – remember this – who, when their wives came in from gathering mint from the garden, would lay it all out on the counter, and count the leaves – one for God – nine for the pantry – two for God – nine more for the pantry.

These were the guys who memorized the entire Old Testament, and all the commentaries ever written.

BUT – I want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

I am just not good enough!

Then I looked down at my goodness meter and much to my great surprise the needle was pinned on Jesus!

HAHAHA – that makes me happy.

God put His wonderful Holy Spirit inside me, and He let’s me know how to follow Jesus, and when I mess up, He shows me how to fix it, so that it actually helps me and those around me. He turns things I have done to hurt folks into stuff that actually causes healing for them and me. HOW COOL IS THAT! [Tweet This]

Thanks for reading today.

Come back soon.


0 thoughts on “O My Goodness, O My Goodness

  1. Caddo Veil

    I LOVE what your mom replied, Ben--wish I'd truly been your sister, with a mom like that! Looks like we're in sync again--this past weekend I watched "Annie" (movie version with Victor Garber and Kathy Bates) on, of all things, the Mormon channel. I love the story and the music, enjoy it immensely every time. God bless you abundantly--love, sis Caddo (hey, when you get a sec--come on over for a piece of birthday cake!)

  2. meetingintheclouds

    Your mother and I have something in common. It always grates on me when someone says they are 'good' instead of well, and my sons, like you, remember being constantly corrected. (They blame it on my being English)

    Romans tells us that there is no one who is good. I know that there is no good in me . . . but I praise my amazing Father because my goodness doesn't enter the equation. Since Jesus TOOK my sin in His own body and GAVE me His righteousness, I stand before God in HIS goodness.

    What an amazing God!

  3. creditaction

    I see you appreciated Graeme's post about the law. Perhaps you'd be interested in my response:

    Are you perfect Graeme or do you still find you need to confess? Greed, lust and pride are three of the challenges every man faces. How do we know when we sin without from the law? Let's not argue, it is no edifying and does not build up the body of the Christ's Church. Let's follow Jesus's approach, it is after all why we were written 66 beautiful love letters from God. Jesus used the law to show people their sin so he could call them to repentance. Paul asked why his flesh kept doing the things he did not want to do. Paul, though he was saved, had the mirror of the law to help him see the man he was and keep in every closer union with the living Christ. He who knew no sin became sin so that we may have God's righteousness. The Ten Commandments, God's just, loving, good and moral laws are still extant, it is a heresy to even suggest otherwise. What kind of father does not use discipline to correct, and build up and encourage his children? A doctor must offer a diagnosis before his patient will accept treatment. That is the role of God's moral law, the Ten Commandments, to help remind us we need our Saviour, and point the unsaved to the Saviour they so desperately need.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hi Brother,
      You make some wonderful points here. Please here my – non argumentative voice here (hard to pick up in blog comments.)
      I think if you scan through some of my blogs you will see that you and I are on the same page for the most part. I have come from a much more law based background, and the Lord is opening my eyes to understand and embrase the grace I long despised. Graeme’s writings always stretch me, and help me in that growth.
      I think if you read what I posted today (it is a bit long winded for a blog post – so I do apologize) “What is the relationship between the Law and a Christian?” you might get an idea of where I come down on it.
      Thanks for joining the discussion. I really believe these are big topics, and I do not claim to have them understood. My mind needs renewing and my life, transformation. I do find a need to confess, and God’s grace brings me there. I do find He graciously offers me repentance, and I accept and go for it when He does.
      You might also be interested in a few of my other posts that talk about such things like:
      Repentance – The path the comfort.
      The Un-Keepable Law
      One other note, you state in your comments “He who knew no sin became sin so that we may have God’s righteousness” which is actually a misquote. I checked a few of the major translations and NIV, KJV, NKJV and NASB all say we become the righteousness of God – not we may have God’s righteousness. God actually expects us to be a source of light – His light – not a reflection. “Let your light shine, so they may see your good works and glorify your Father.” It all is to God’s glory. (check out "could someone please turn on the light")
      Great stuff to think on – thanks for commenting – let me know how you react to all this. I do love the conversation – without it I get stuck in a cave of my own opinion.


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