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Anytime we talk about what the Word of God teaches, we make a decision about how we interact with God and what He says. That decision can be summed up with a simple question: do we want to feel good, or do we want to be good?

As an example of what I mean by that, take the subject of grace. If we believe God’s grace is only something that covers our weaknesses, we’ll feel good. But when we understand what the Bible actually teaches about grace—that it both forgives our sins and empowers us to walk in righteousness —we can begin to live in line with God and His good will. Paul writes about this in his second letter to Timothy:

…Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 2:1)

“Being good” isn’t about works or legalism or operating in our own strength. It’s about relying on the power God gives us to live in a way that shows we belong to Him.

The fact is, we decide what we want to believe about God. When we read Scripture, we can decide to heed only the things that line up with our way of thinking. We can interpret the Bible through the lens of our comfort and preferences. We can turn away from difficult messages and listen only to what we want to hear.

If we choose this path, we’ll often feel good! But there’s another option. We can let the Word of God shape what we believe. We can choose to listen to both comfortable and uncomfortable messages. We can believe that whatever Scripture says is true, even if it’s not what we want to be true.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Submitting yourself to the full message of Scripture is not a choice to be miserable. On the contrary, Jesus described His mission among humankind this way: “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).

There’s no doubt about it—lasting joy will always be found in Christ and in listening to what He says. But here’s the important point: God will never elevate our comfort over our good. Will we?

If you’re ready to forsake what may seem easier or more comfortable in order to enjoy life God’s way, express that to God in prayer:

Father, I believe that You are good. Therefore I know whatever You command is in my best interest, even if it’s not what I want or think I need. I want to embrace Your directives, not by my strength but through the empowerment of Your grace. I want to honor Your will and bring You glory, God! Transform me to be more and more like You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Source: Good or God? Why Good Without God Isn't Enough by John Bevere 
Excerpt permission granted by Messenger International. 
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

John Bevere
Web site: Messenger International
Over 30 years ago, John and Lisa Bevere met in college. John was a tennis-playing engineering student, and Lisa was a sorority girl. On their very first date, John shared the gospel with Lisa and she gave her life to Christ. Soon after, they got married, and they've been happily married ever since.

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