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The Measure of The Benevolence of God Pt 1
Stats: 4,865 words / Reading Time: 24.33 mins

Published: Monday 27th May 2019

The Measure of The Benevolence of God Pt 1 is read 1.1K times on CentreNDL.org 1.1K

The Measure of The Benevolence of God Pt 1

Discover What It Is

When we talk about the benevolence of God or when we talk about the word ‘benevolence’, what do we mean? Anytime we use a very robust English word like that, it’s better we break it down into simple terms so that we are be able to understand it and able to connect with what we are saying. So, when we talk about benevolence, when we say a man is benevolent or a woman is benevolent, we are talking about that person being kind, it talks about the quality of having well meaning, that is, a person is compassionate, it talks about the goodness of that person, it talks about the thoughtfulness of that person, it talks about the charity of that person.

So, when we are talking about the measure of God’s benevolence, we are talking about the measure of God’s kindness, the measure of God’s goodness, the measure of God’s compassion, the measure of God’s thoughtfulness and the measure of God’s charity which will also mean ‘love’. So, we are going to start our observation from Jeremiah 29, what God said Himself and we will read from verse 11 to verse 14. This is God speaking here and He said:     

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

                                             Jeremiah 29: 11-14 (NKJV)

Now this is not a prophet saying it, this is not someone saying it. This is God Himself making a profound statement and what I say to one, I say all. So, when you are listening to this word, don't assume that God is just speaking to Jeremiah here, He is also talking to you and I.

Now God started by saying to him, he said ‘I know the thoughts’ I am aware of my thoughts towards you, that means God has a thought concerning us. There is a thought of God. That thought talks about God’s desire and God’s plan, ‘I know my plans for you’. Now, if you have maybe, a sibling of yours that you love so much, or maybe a child or somebody close to you or a friend and you say to the person, ‘I know my thoughts towards you, the kind of desire I have for you, what I want to do,’ does it not express the state of your heart concerning that person? That's the same way God is exposing the state of His heart towards us here. He said ‘the state of my heart towards you is good, my plans for you are good and there is no evil in it’. So, when God sees you and I, God has a thought and God has not changed, He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. So, if the devil from the pit of hell comes to the believer and says to him/her ‘do you know God hates you?’ It's not true! ‘Do you know God has abandoned you?’ It's not true! because God remains the same. He said ‘My thoughts which are consistent, which has not changed concerning you, it is of good, it is of peace and not of evil’. I want us to establish that this morning.

And He said, that thought of peace and not evil is not to make you a mediocre on the earth, it's not to make you a riffraff but it’s to give you a future. So in my thought towards you, there is a future. In my thought towards you, there is a hope. So, my love for you is not limited to today, my thought towards you is not limited to now, I have a thought of the future for you, and there is a hope for that future.’ So, when God picks a man or woman and decides to go on a love journey with that person, God does not plan to use and dump him/her. There is a future that is well thought out and planned by God for you. And how do I know this and I am emphasising this? Let us see Psalms 8, to see that God is true, He is not a man that He would lie nor the son of man that He would repent.

4 what is man that you are mindful of him, nor the son of man that you visit him?’ 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels and you have crowned him with glory and honour. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands you have put all things under his feet

                                                       Psalm 8: 4-8 (NKJV)

In Psalm 8:4-8, this was a conversation that was going on. See the state of this conversation; verse 4 says ‘what is man that you are mindful of him?’  It's a question, but that question shows the state of God’s heart. If I ask a question, Mr Francis, why are you here? That means, you are here, right? That’s why I am asking for the reason behind your presence here. So, if God is not mindful of us, that question would have been irrelevant, it would have been false.  ‘What is man that you are mindful of him?’ That means God is mindful of us. Before you can pose that question before anybody, that means it is so evident, you can see it, that this is the state of this person concerning this group of people. And they asked God ‘what is man that you are mindful of him?’ This helps us to understand that God is indeed mindful of us.

He is mindful of us no matter our state or what we have been, God is mindful of man. And I know that he didn't say what is David or what is Omolara? He didn’t put a definite name there, ‘what is man?’ talks about a compound name. Man, in general. God is mindful of man. Whether that man is a believer or unbeliever, God is mindful of man. He didn't say ‘what is that righteous man?’ He didn't say ‘what is that holy man?’ He said ‘what is man?’ Basic! There is no adjective to qualify it. ‘What is man that you are mindful of Him?’ So, every man on the face of the earth, God is mindful of Him.

 

Listen To Podcast: The Measure of The Benevolence of God

 

‘...nor the son of man that you visit him?’  Now, he took it to another extent to make us understand. God is not just mindful of us and is absent. In the thoughtfulness of God, God is mindful of us to the point that He is present with us. ‘Nor the son of man that You visit him?’ shows the thoughtfulness of God. He is not absent, He is present with you but this time around, he said ‘the son of man that you visit him’.

Verse 5 ‘For You have made him a little lower than the angels’ and the new living translation says ‘you have made him lower than Elohim, you have made him lower than yourself, And you have crowned him with glory and honour, you have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands you have put all things under his feet’. Let us see the confirmation of this in Genesis 1:26-27. This is the beginning of God’s thoughtfulness of man, this is where it all started. We are going to look at a lot of scriptures today, we have to see it, because the lies of the devil is so much especially at this time, making us undermine the benevolence of God towards us, making us ignorant of the benevolence of God towards us, making us to refuse the benevolence of God that is available for us.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in His own image, In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.

                                                        Genesis 1:26-27 (NKJV)

Was His thought different from His action? No! God had a thought of creating man in His image and in His likeness, and what God did is that He went to work and this, we must not forget as a child of God and as a son of God, when God speaks about His love towards you. He does not stop in the realm of thoughts, God’s thoughts and actions are always aligned. So, when God speaks to you, He goes to work. When God declares His plans towards you, His thoughts towards you, He goes to work. So, because of what God has said, because of His intention, because of His well meaning, out of His compassion and His kindness the bible says ‘so God created man in His own image.  In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. then God blessed them, And God said to them; be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over everything that moves on the earth.’

Do you see the angels were not wrong when they were talking in Psalms 8:4-8, ‘what is man that you are mindful of Him, nor the son of man that you visit him, you made him lower than Elohim, the way you created him. You gave him dominion over all the works of your hands.’ And this is established here, in God’s kindness to us, God did not withhold all that we need from us. When some people believe that God is kind, God is merciful but God withholds good from His children, it's not true! God withholds no good from His children because His thoughts and His actions align, God can't have good thoughts towards you and His actions are otherwise. His thoughts and His actions always align. I want us to see Hebrews 13:5. We are going to read a lot of scriptures because I want us to see it, and not just see it but let the spirit of the scripture jump into your spirit to nullify all the lies of the devil.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

                                                     Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

Did you see that? He Himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you so let your conduct be without covetousness,’ don't covet what is your neighbours, because the thought of God towards you is of peace and not of evil, it's of good and not of evil. If you need that thing, If God so desires that you need it, He will provide. The scripture says ‘be content with such thing as you have for He Himself said I will not leave you nor forsake you’ that's the benevolence of God. The love of God is shown in His person. When God is with you, He shows His benevolence towards you. The company of God is not a broke company, you will say ‘God is with me, I know it, but I still drank garri yesterday’, It doesn't mean God can't provide fried rice and chicken, if you so desire it of Him and he sees that you need it. He will provide it. So the wrong idea that God is not kind or God is kind to some set of people and He is not kind to some set of people is not true! God is benevolent towards all people, God loves everybody. 2 Peter 3:9 shows us the heart of God. I want us to see this scripture so that it won't be just Lara saying it. We are seeing it from the pages of the scripture that it is true.

9 God is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness but He is long suffering towards us. But he is long suffering towards us not willing that we should perish

                                             2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

Some people say ‘God is slow, is God not aware?’ But the bible makes us to understand that the Lord is not slack, concerning His promise, God is not slack concerning what He has said concerning you, if He has said it, He will do it. If He has declared it, He will make it good. Believe him.  ‘He is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness but He is long suffering towards us.’  In the midst of our frailty and our inconsistency, God suffers long over us, there is a song "God waited, He waited for me, by Travis Green"  it talks about the long suffering of God, even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even when God did not know we are going to receive his love, He had shown it ahead of time, that is how God is. We have not yet come into the fullness of the understanding of what he has done, He has done it still.  So, God suffers long over us, He waits for us to come to Him.

Just like the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, I will just make references to it. That father was waiting, you will know the father was waiting because the bible says; ‘when the son was afar of’, that is how God is, some people talk about it as the ‘reckless love of God’, How God loves us with a reckless abandon, some people talks about it as ‘the excess love of God’, a love that is so much, a love that covers up all our shame. That was why the angels were asking, ‘is it not this men that we are seeing? See how they mess up, see what they do, but you are still mindful of them’, that's the benevolence of God. He loves you in spite of it, and it's not about what you have done and that's why when that boy came back, the bible says, the father’s hand was already waiting, he did not consider the things he had done and what he had been through, but rather his benevolence was waiting, and when he came, he ran into the open arms of his father that was waiting, that's the way God waits for each and every one of us. His arms are always open, that's how we go on our prodigal living and his arms are ever waiting for us to receive us back. And this is the reason, ‘for he is long suffering towards us’, He suffers long towards us, that's the nature of His benevolence.

That's why when we talk about the fruits of the spirit such as love, faith and endurance. Endurance talks about ‘perseverance, long suffering and patience’ that is the essence of the nature of God. ‘But he is long suffering towards us not willing that we should perish’. It is not the desire of God that people go to hell because I hear some people say if you claim that God is so benevolent, how comes people go to hell? He is not willingly doing it but it is the choices of people and that's why we are going to look at how to react to God’s benevolence because that's important. We can talk about the benevolence of God from today till tomorrow, if we don't know how to receive and react to that benevolence, we will not understand it and we won't come into the fullness of what God has made available.

Look at the story of the prodigal son, the father’s benevolence was at home waiting but the boy was at the wrong location. He could not access the benevolence; he could not access the love, why? He was not where the father was, he was away from the father’s house. But at the moment he came back, the father’s hands were open ready to receive Him. So, God is not willing that anyone should perish, God is not willing that you should continue in poverty, God is not willing that that sickness should continue in your body, God is not willing that you continue in that life that does not glorify Him, God is not willing that you should continue in that childlessness, He is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance and that's very key. When that boy came to himself and repented, the father’s arm was open, the father was ready to receive Him. And the bible says the father ordered ‘the fattest calf be killed, cover him up, put a ring, put a cloth cover him in my glory, he is back.’ He took of the portion of the father and squandered it, but the father did not chastise him for that, he welcomed him first. That's the benevolence of God, sometimes some people will call it the kind of love that is unexplainable.

As humans, how would we have judged it? we would have judged him so harshly, we would say after all, it was not the father’s desire to send him out, he was the one that came of his own will and said ‘Father,  give me my own portion, I want to leave your house’, if I am that kind of father I won’t receive him back oh, let him go and continue to suffer’, but God is not like that, because if He had allowed me and you to suffer after we have received our portion and squandered it, where would we be today? So, this talks about the benevolence of God. Many of us that are still carrying this mindset, ‘because I have gone astray, because I have gone away, how am I sure I can still partake of this?’ God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that we all come to repentance, if you change your thinking, if you change your mindset, if you come back to the fact that His hands are ever open and He is ready to receive you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

                                                          John 3: 16 (NKJV)


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Lara Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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No matter how spiritual you are, if you SOW to the flesh; from the same flesh you will REAP! If you could care enough to EAT rice, plantain and beans; then, you must be careful enough also to DEFECATE. It is from WHERE you sow that you must reap!


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Friday 20th December 2019


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I am a Woman of God's Purpose in Nigeria. I Coach Women in Leadership for true National Emancipation. I am a Spiritual Identity Mentor & ED, Flickers of Hope Foundation, Abuja-Nigeria!


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