AMPLIFY: God’s Righteousness
Lesson 26: The Good God
Lesson 26, Devotion 1
Grab your journal or a piece of paper (and make sure you have something to write with). Make a list of ten things in this world that are good. They can be anything you consider good: a friendship, your favorite sport, etc.
James—who also happened to be Jesus' brother—wrote a letter to a group of Christians who were having a difficult time because they were being persecuted for their faith. As you can imagine, they struggled with the fact that bad things were happening to them, even though they were trying to follow Jesus faithfully.
Grab your Bible and read James 1:16-18. You might never have been persecuted for following Jesus, but there may have been times in your life when you struggled with the fact that things in life were difficult, hurtful, and sad, even though you were trying to follow Jesus faithfully. During those times, it can be difficult to remember that God is perfectly good. That's why during tough times, it's important to intentionally recall God's goodness toward us, even in a world that seems broken.
Think about this:
Read the list of good things that you wrote down at the beginning of your devotion. When things are difficult in your life, or bad things happen, is it hard to remember good things in life?
Have you ever asked God, “God, I’m trying to follow you; why are bad things happening in my life?” If so, journal about one of those times in your life.
Finish your devotional time by saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the good things that are on your list. If you feel comfortable, say it out loud, such as, “God, thank you for ______________________________. You are good. God, thank you for ______________________________. You are good.”
Lesson 26, Devotion 2
Today’s devotion is pretty simple, but you have to agree to do it several times today. Ready?
Set an alarm on your phone or watch to go off every hour all day long (make sure it's on vibrate if you're in school!). Every time you hear or feel the alarm go off, pray, God, I know that you alone are perfectly good. I want to be dead to sin and be alive to righteousness through you. Would you help me obey you today and choose your goodness over my sinful desires?
At the end of the day, take five minutes to ask yourself if it made any difference in your day today.
Lesson 26, Devotion 3
Read this quote:
“God is the only being who is good, and the standards are set by Him. Because God hates sin, He has to punish those guilty of sin. Maybe that's not an appealing standard. But to put it bluntly, when you get your own universe, you can make your own standards.” ¾ Francis Chan
God hating sin and punishing those who sin (which would be all of us, in case you were wondering) isn’t a very popular idea in our world. But when you really think about it, if God doesn’t hate sin, if sin isn’t something that needs to be punished, then there’s no need for Jesus.
In your next Bible study session, you’re going to hear how Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection brings us from our being sinful rebels who ought to be punished by God to being declared righteous before God. It’s a crazy thing, and it’s only possible through Jesus.
Think about this:
Why do you think people are uncomfortable with a God who hates sin and who punishes those who are guilty of sin? Does that kind of God make you uncomfortable?
Reread the quote from Francis Chan and write a paragraph in your journal responding to his statement. How does it make you feel? Do you agree? Do you disagree?
Spend at least five minutes in prayer simply confessing to God how you have rebelled against him through sin in the last week. End by thanking God that Jesus has taken the punishment you deserve on himself.