One of the things I have felt strongly about is that in the days we live in, there will be an intensified war over the subject of the goodness of God. Those outside the church will question His goodness outright, while many within the body of Christ will question it in subtle ways.
Many Christians have hit deep disappointments, so messages that help point us back to the divine goodness of our Father is incredibly important. Bill Johnson's newest book, God Is Good: He's Better Than You Think, contains many nuggets that cause me to underline and ponder them over and over. Bill has great perspectives that make you think and rethink.
At times, I wish Bill Johnson would dig into some of the more difficult Scriptures that confuse people, like the book of Job, but it's clear that dissecting those subjects in a deep manner is not what forms his unique identity and calling. In addition, the simplicity with which he sees things can be very refreshing. I am learning more and more that knowledge can just puff us up if it's not connected to heart-experience. In addition, our desire for depth in theology can remove a childlike faith that embraces mystery but relentlessly pursues more.
I appreciate Bill's focus to trust, no matter what, and keep his eyes fixed on God's goodness. It's an example for us all.
This book will challenge those who do not think healing is for today or have given up on growing in healing. Living a life that believes in the miraculous is certainly a challenge. But it must have a premise that lives in the eternal goodness of our Father.
Here are some thoughts I highlighted and am pondering:
- Saying God allowed a terrible thing to happen is pretty much the same as saying He caused it.
- "It's not the belief in His goodness that threatens us. It's our definition of this goodness that has brought much debate and sometimes conflict and turmoil into the family of God" (p. 32).
- "Creating doctrines of no miracles today not only contradicts His Word, it is a sneaky way to avoid responsibility" (p. 32).
- His brief teaching on Eph. 3:20-21 is insightful on the power of our prayers and the impact of our imagination in relating to God.
- "We will know our mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical" (p. 38).
- I was challenged when he addressed how the church pushes most great promises in Scripture to the millennium, removing us from experiencing great manifestations of the kingdom right now.
- "God's people are to be known for their hope" (p. 98).
- "The one with the most hope will always have the most influence" (p. 99).
- Speaking to today's culture, he says, "Unsanctified mercy has taken the place of true mercy" (p. 107).
- The church experiencing many parallels to what Israel faced in the dessert was spot-on.
One of the best quotes I pull from this book is one that resonates with my heart to see God restore our relationship capacity in the church: "It's a Father's kingdom. In other words, all conversation about kingdom is about family. And once we've left the subject of family, we've left the subject of kingdom" (p. 164).
- "It's a theological crime to change the intent and message of the Scriptures in order to make me feel comfortable with my ministry experience" (p. 170).
- "What we don't know is sometimes as important as what we do know" (p. 187).
Bill Johnson discusses his father getting cancer and passing away, a story that brings me to tears every time I read or hear it. How Bill and the rest of his family responded to that illness and loss is an incredible testimony of engaging God's goodness in the midst of having it challenged in what you see.
I've been challenged to my core regarding the goodness of God through many situations and trials that have come in my life. Some challenges have gripped me so deeply I wasn't sure I could make it. But leaning hard into the simplicity that God is good and the devil is bad has anchored me to a deeper trust. I don't blame or claim Him in regard to the storms in my life, but I look to use everything that happens to me for God's glory.
I appreciate the fact that Bill is living a life that dwells in God's goodness and takes responsibility to spread that goodness while undoing the works of the devil all around the world.
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family: his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many forms of media, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside-out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for his teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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