Psalm 146:8 proclaims the Lord loves good men.
If you’ve ever watched the movie Saving Private Ryan you are no doubt moved by his powerful question to his wife, ‘was their sacrifice worth it.’
Nearly every man wants to know that he is good, that he has done good with his life. It is only after repeated bad decisions as a husband or father or business man does our conscience become seared, we lose hope, and surrender to the despair of failure.
The Good News from God is that He loves good men and every day is a new opportunity to be redeemed and begin anew. God forgives the past of the repentant and invites us into an eternal future of hope and glory.
But here’s the deal. God is the definer of good. In our rebellion, our desire to be lord of our own life, we like the freedom to define what is good. In this scenario we almost always measure ourselves to be good.
Only One however will judge all men after He raises all from the dead to stand before Him to be measured by His standard. It behooves us then not only to pursue what is good but to pursue what is good according to God.
Unlike the god of most religions where good is hard to define the One True God has made clear what is good and what He requires from humanity. God requires men to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.
To do justice means we always strive to do the right thing regardless of cost to self or the behavior of others. Again, the right thing is defined by God in the Bible, but He expects us to obey everything He has commanded us.
To love mercy is to seek such from God for our personal failures and to give mercy to our neighbor who also fails us. Our expectation of others is that they will fail to do justice, the right thing always, and so we must give mercy remembering that we too will fail often.
Finally to walk humbly with our God means to surrender to Him relationally through Jesus Christ then love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
These things are not difficult to understand, are communicated clearly in the Bible but are very difficult to do without absolute surrender and dependence upon God.