Do You Fear God’s Goodness?
By Sister Marilynn Gazowsky
Founder and Pastor Emeritus,
Voice of Pentecost Church
San Fransisco, California
What a strange question to ask ministers: Do you fear the goodness of the Lord? “Not me,” we would all answer. Let’s see.
How would you evaluate your fellow ministers all over the world, if you saw them and yourself as God sees us? I can hear someone say, “Well, I know I have the power of discernment, and I know what God thinks.” Remember this: He said His thoughts were high above ours, as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:9).
When God Thinks Like You..
When your god thinks exactly like you, Then your god is not the “God of creation;” For His thoughts are high above ours’ And His ways come from a royal station.
When, from time to time, no cleansing is done, In the corners of our hearts; Then the dirty accumulation piles high, And we’re blocked from what God would impart.
If we think God thinks like we think, Then the god we serve is ourselves; For God’s constant shaping of spirits Corrects, reshapes, and develops.
So I stop, repent, and die daily. Then listen, as surprises come my way; I tear up old plans and again become, What the potter first did with this clay. by M.G.
The greatest conference sermon I ever heard was in 1996, when Rev. Billy Cole stepped to the pulpit and said four words: “Then Peter said, Repent.” As he kept repeating the same sentence over and over again, 20,000 Christians began falling on their knees repenting. Ninety-seven people were baptized and 300 received the Holy Ghost right there; you see, we all cleared the way so God could work with their hungry hearts. God was free to bring revival. The tenth verse of the third chapter of Jonah begins, “And God saw their works . . . ”
Some of the most prejudiced folks in the world are so-called “religious” people. We seem to know what everyone should do and how they must do it. I am not speaking about literal teachings of the Word that are clearly set forth such as; the “Born Again” experience and who God is, but rather about private interpretations of so many verses in the precious Book that separate the Body of Christ.
Many a servant of the Lord has already repented, made things right with God and been granted His goodness, before we hear the blown-up gossip against them, so must we bring the objects of our ire to the throne of judgment when they have already been to the mercy seat? Now, who needs mercy? You and I, who brought up things that God’s goodness had already erased.
Jesus called it one of the signs of the end time in Matthew 24:48-51 “But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, (not with his mouth, but in his heart), My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; (over indulging) the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him . . ” Well, you know the rest.
When one of us makes a mistake, we sin against God, not ourselves. The judgment you mete out will be found returning to you someday. Imagine, God said to Hosea that God’s people would, “fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days” Hosea 3:5.
America is on the brink of the greatest revival it has ever known. As Jonah preached through the streets of Nineveh, wickedness lay before his path and repentance followed behind him. Every revival starts with repentance. The only person who didn’t repent in Nineveh, was the preacher.
Isaiah repented before he preached, but not Jonah. Oh, he cried for mercy when he got into a tight spot, but, he did not clean out the corners of his heart. You see, in the book of Jonah, it proved that God loves the whole world and this fact did not please Jonah. God repented as soon as Nineveh repented. Not Jonah. Oh, he was holier than God. He would have rather had a henchman for a boss than a good God.
The reason Jonah headed for Tarshish was because he knew God was, ” a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of evil,” Jonah 4:2. In other words, he was afraid God would be good.
Can’t we humans be more like God than we are? If someone has repented, we should love them, ask forgiveness for every evil thought we had concerning them, be kind, merciful, and see that they feel needed. Paul said we should do this, “. . . ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow” II Corinthians 2:7. But why do we try to be the judge and sentence them so they can sorrow some more? Shun them and not use them? So they can really hurt? Then, like the Pharisees in the temple, we want to stone the one while the others get off scot-free.
Jesus told us a great message in a little story. The Lord hired laborers in the morning and they both agree, let’s say, on $100 for 12 hours work. Later, in the afternoon the Lord made the same agreement, with others, for the same price though half the day was spent. Then in the evening, just an hour before sundown, He hired a few stragglers that no one else wanted and they agreed to whatever He wanted to pay them. Now you see, the Lord’s wisdom was divine, not human. He knew every worker needed to feed, clothe, and house his family equally. So He decided to give them all a full day’s wages. Those hired first were mad at His goodness. Then the Lord asked them, “Is shine eye evil, because I am good?
In Luke 10:49-50 the disciples came and reported about another preacher who was working miracles and he was not in their fellowship. Jesus gave an order to them. “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” Matthew 20:15
How can God possibly work, like He desires, when we block His goodness with our pharisaical stares and judgmental minds. Certainly, we get much displeased with one another, as the disciples did with James and John, then notice what Jesus thinks about our actions.
But when Jesus called them to Him, He saith unto them, ‘Ye Know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all’, ” Mark 10:42. That admonition was recorded in three of the Gospels so I hope we understand that we must not be on power trips, and must not execute our own revenge on others.
My favorite Scripture on education is found in Proverbs 16:21, “Sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.” I’ve had several ministers, who did not know or agree with our main truths, preach for me. When they were through, they loved our church and the truth we stood for. That’s the reason we have baptized many pastors and they have, in turn, baptized their whole congregations. You see, as revival comes it will fill all of the existing church buildings in America and more will be built to hold all of the new saints.
I have never seen arguing convince one person. You see, when there’s a verbal fight each side is certain they’ve won. Because, when you are putting them down, they were not listening, they were busy formulating in their mind how they could discredit you.
Is it any wonder that three times in Jesus’ last prayer for us, before He went away, He prayed that we would be one? Then He begged us to love one another. So you might come back, “I’ve heard it time and time again, but he’s not my neighbor!”
Did not Jesus ask, “Who was his neighbor?” Luke 11:36. I guess, “He that showed mercy on him.” Can’t that always be us?
May we never again take up a reproach against anyone. You see, gossiping is still gossip whether it be from the pulpit or in the pew, in the home, restaurant, or traveling. In fact, it’s worse with us because we are examples, not only to the flock, but to our fellow man.
Let’s all clean out the corners of hearts, often. Then, and only then, can we be totally enthralled as we witness the goodness of the Lord at His Mercy seat wherever mankind may be throughout the world.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY CLARION, MAY 1998, PAGES 9, 10.