Only God is Good
I think we’ve all heard the expression “I just want to know that there’s some good in the world.” Typically, it’s said by someone who desires to have hope that things will get better. Yet for all the good we try and do on our own, it only seems like we make things worse. Consider the story of the Rich Young Ruler:
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.- Mark 10:17-22
By rights this guy had it all together, didn’t he? Not only was he devout (by the standards of the day), he was wealthy, too! He just needed to Jesus to affirm that he was all right so he could keep doing what he was doing. Jesus, however, wasn’t fooled. Sure this young ruler was blessed. He was wealthy, but what was he doing to help those with this blessing God had given Him? This young man’s god was his wealth and status.
How often do we bow at Jesus’ feet, but instead of submission, we only seek affirmation? That’s where we go wrong! There IS not a thing that is good, only God is good. And so, instead of relying on the blessing, we need to submit each and every thing we receive to His care, His power, and His glory. It is only in doing this that we can find true peace, true glory, true joy. In the beginning, God defined what was good, calling it so. We, therefore, cannot label anything that He has not called “good” as being good. We need to run to Him, lay ourselves at His feet, and submit to each and every word He has proclaimed. It is there we shall find true good. It is in God through Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit that we will see good in this world, for only God is good.
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”