Did you ever watch Jay Leno, the king of Late-Night television for many years?  He periodically ran a segment called “Jaywalking,” in which Jay himself would take to the streets of Los Angeles and ask random people questions.  Some of them are hilarious.  My son and I have watched YouTube videos of these Q&A’s and found many of them to be highly entertaining.  My son’s favorite is the question, “What keeps the earth rotating around the sun?”  The correct (and short) answer is gravity.  One person said it was the earth’s axis.  Another person simply said, “the moon!”


While thinking about these videos we watched, I wondered what people would have said if Jay had asked, “Do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die?”  And if they answered, “Yes,” it would have been interesting for Jay to ask, “Why?”


My guess is that most people who believe they are going to heaven would say it’s because they are good people. They might say they have never broken any laws (does speeding count?), have helped others, tried to keep the Ten Commandments, etc.  Maybe they have a list of rules—biblical or worldly or completely made up—and those have become standards for goodness.


I think about this in the context of being a wife and mother.  Am I good at either?  Maybe some days.  Some days, I feel I am careful with my words. I encourage. I don’t lose my temper. I am productive. I drive carpool, make dinner, do laundry, and when my head hits the pillow, I feel good about how I have cared for my family that day.


Is that “good?”  What IS good?


“Good” is a word that’s a moving target. There are many definitions and there are many applications.


For me, the defining meaning is GOD. The Bible tells us GOD is good.

  • For the Lordis good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100:5 NLT)
  • Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good (Psalm 135:3)
  • Taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8)


But perhaps most stunning of all are Jesus’s words, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone’” (Mark 10:18; italics added).


God is not only good. He is perfect.


If God is the standard of goodness, then all humans will fall short of that standard.  That is not a criticism, that is reality! We are all sinners. We may be made in God’s image, but we are not God.  Therefore, I may, by God’s grace, seek Him, obey Him, love Him, read His Word and even do commendable, benevolent works.  But that does not make me good.


In Matthew 6:33 (NLT), Jesus says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”


When asked what the most important commandment is, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).


So, Jesus Himself tells us how to live a “good” life.  It is by loving the Lord first and foremost and seeking Him with all of our might by His grace.  To do that, we must trust God above all else. We must spend time with Him, in His Word, because that is how we get to know Him and His will for our lives. He must always be first.


And, dear reader, if you are one of the people that would say, “I’m going to heaven because I am a good person,” please, pray and read the scriptures. None of us is good enough on our own. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8 NIV).


Growing in Grace



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Genesis 1:1 ESV
In the beginning,
God created the heavens
and the earth.

I think we need to hear this
truth yet one more time . . .
What does it mean
to really believe something?
We know that we believe
when we live it.

Do we believe that God is God?
That He created ALL THINGS?
That He is LORD OF ALL?

We really want to
take this truth to heart
and ask God to establish it
so that we will live
according to it.

What happens when
what we believe
affects our thinking
our deeds
our decisions
our words
our feelings…?

Today may not be the
day that we feel discouraged,
weak, wounded,
or overwhelmed…
but the challenge will come.
We are in a season when we
will be tested from one side
or another.

We want to reflect
the truths of the gospel with
our lips and with our lives.
If we believe that God
created the heavens
and the earth
and He is Lord of all things…
Where will we put our hope?
Where will we place our trust?

If God is God-
where will we put our focus?

We can get so down
on ourselves.
We can feel so defeated
when we lose our perspective,
when we forget God is God and
we are not.
The enemy presses in on one
point and doesn’t give up.
Like the bully next door
he taunts, he teases,
he torments…
pounding us about
our failures,
our weaknesses,
our sins,
turning all the focus
inward and downward to
We get bogged down.
We believe the lies.
He finds another flaw,
casts doubt,
zooms in…
and we hear the jabs begin.
We know the truth
but it as if we can hear nothing
of truth when he
begins to whisper…
he pauses and whispers again…
he pauses again and then…

We can confess and confess our sin
but as long as we have our eyes
focused on self we will remain

God the Father is LORD
of creation, and this truth
establishes who is in control
and Lord of ALL.
He is King over all kings,
Lord over all lords,
the Alpha,
the Omega,
the Beginning,
and the End.
no matter how dark it gets
He is LORD of all.

Nehemiah 9:6-7
“You are the Lord,
you alone.
You have made heaven,
the heaven of heavens,
with all their host,
the earth and all that is on it,
the seas and all that is in them;
and you preserve all of them;
and the host of heaven
worships you.
You are the Lord,
the God who chose Abram
and brought him out of Ur
of the Chaldeans and gave
him the name Abraham.”

In Christ we too
have been chosen
by God to be holy
and blameless.
God is GOD
and He is worthy of all
of our praise
and all of our worship.
Let’s worship Him
by proclaiming He is creator
and Lord of all by our love,
joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and
self-control in the midst of
a world ruled by the
Prince of the Power of the Air.

Taking the Gospel to Heart
and Bringing It to Life

Take each thought to heart
and carefully consider what
you believe. Live
according to faith
not fear.

Close in prayer and worship
with the following Psalm.

Psalm 22:23-31
23 You who fear the Lord,
praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob,
glorify him,
and stand in awe of him,
all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or
abhorred the affliction
of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his
face from him,
but has heard,
when he cried to him.
25 From you comes my praise
in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform
before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat
and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall
praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the
earth shall remember and
turn to the Lord, and all
the families of the nations
shall worship before you.

28 For kingship belongs
to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the
earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all
who go down to the dust,
even the one who could
not keep himself alive.

30 Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord
to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim
his righteousness
to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

In Jesus’ Name,