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Good enough

"And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician: but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:31,32

Last Sunday night, when I got home from church, I watched part of the third quarter and the fourth quarter of the AFC NFL championship game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a really good game, as both teams performed well and neither team quit. The lead changed several times in the fourth quarter, and a last second field goal by the Chiefs sent the game into overtime. The NFL overtime rule is that the first team that scores a touchdown or a safety wins the game. The Patriots won the coin toss for the overtime period and chose to take the ball first. Quarterback Tom Brady led his team to score a touchdown winning the game and sending the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

Now, I am not an avid NFL football fan and actually, I didn't know which teams were in the playoffs. When I first started watching the game, I was leaning a little more toward wanting the Chiefs to win; but, then one of the TV game announcers made the comment that earlier in the season someone said that the New England Patriots were not quite good enough this year to make it to the playoffs and that the team, he thought, was somewhat offended by that statement. After hearing that, I have to admit I began pulling for the Patriots to win.

There is something about the "underdog" that causes us to want them to do good; and, when accepted with the right attitude, there is great motivation and inspiration created in the underdog to exceed the expectations of others. Our text words from Jesus indicate that he is for the underdog too! These verses remind us that even if others don't think we are good enough, God does. Our Lord Jesus didn't wait until we were good enough to save, He saved us to make us good enough to see His goodness. Really, what matters the most when it comes to our assessing if we're good enough is what God thinks and not so much what others, or we, say.

"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." II Corinthians 10:12

To be a good enough Christian conveys the idea that we need to perform our roles skillfully enough to accomplish the challenges of a relationship with God and others. We need to understand and apply the techniques and attitudes that sustain positive relationships so we can be salt and light, bringing glory to God in this world. At the same time, we don't need to accomplish these challenges perfectly. We don't have to be number one or win a gold medal. We just need to be good enough. From there, we can enjoy our relationships and life, making mistakes along the way and learning and growing from our errors.

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For sure, God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called. If that wasn't true, none would be called because no one is good enough in themselves. The Bible says that there is not even one good one, no not one! The gospel's good news though is that Jesus came to seek and to save the "no goods" so that His glory, power, mercy and grace will be unprecedented. The paradox of Christianity is that we are good enough because the Lord Jesus Christ became bad enough when He took our sins upon Himself on the cross of Calvary. This glorious act of love and mercy should make the promise from God that all things work together for good; all the more precious to us. It's like the bright stars shining against the black back drop of the night sky. Although our sins and failures may have darkened our past, the light of the Lord shines through it all bringing glittering goodness out of darkness.

All of us probably go through periods in life wondering if we're good enough. I question whether or not I am a good enough pastor for a great congregation like SPBC. I wonder if I am a good enough husband to my beautiful, virtuous wife, or a good enough father and grandfather to our precious young ones? And truthfully, you and I both know we are not good enough. What we have to focus on though is that Jesus Christ is good enough, and as born again believers in Him, we are good enough because He is.

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"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

We are good enough because in Christ we aren't under any condemnation (Romans 8:1). A Christian is safe in God's presence; His great love attends every one of our life's needs and His love is good enough!

As a child of God, you are good enough to do whatever the Lord has called you to do. "You are not good enough" is a lie from Satan to steal your joy and to attempt to thwart your work and influence in God's kingdom here on planet Earth. Don't call unclean what God has cleaned, and don't say you're not good enough when you've been accepted in the Beloved. You are good enough, else you would not be where you are right now. You have a purpose and God has decreed according to Jeremiah twenty-nine verse eleven that His purpose for you has a good ending. What's good enough for God ought to be good enough for you and me. Good enough is good enough for a highly satisfying life when you have Jesus as Lord. To aim high enough to be good enough so that we do all things well, and at the same time to let ourselves accept our imperfections, is to live that good enough life. This good enough mentality should give us confidence, peace and energy in our relationships with God and others. Good enough parents, preachers, couples, etc. welcome honest expressions of feelings and concerns from their children, loved ones and church members because they know they will be received with understanding and love; and, this is critical for positive relationships.

I hope I'm not feeding anyone's humanistic pride by promoting the notion that you are good enough. In a world that caters to the theme of "everybody gets a trophy," it's difficult to suggest anything meritorious without it going to seed in the flesh. What we have to realize is that not only did our Saviour take away our sins (all of them), He also gave us His righteousness (to be good enough). So, if you still want to claim you're not good enough, and you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what you are really implying is that Jesus Christ is not good enough. Sometimes we try to put humility and pride in the same basket and that's not good enough. Maybe there is a little spiritual psychology here which prompts the power of positive thinking ideology; but, if "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" is not positive thinking, then pray tell me, what is? William Shakespeare said "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we might oft win by fearing to attempt."

The good in us was put there by God as a part of our response to His grace. He enables, even causes us, to work that good out, so that others, and we, will understand that His good is in fact, good enough.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

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Remember, God is the potter and we are the clay. He shapes us and molds us, perfects us, even bakes us. We may be vessels of different sizes, shapes and uses, but one thing is for sure, God doesn't make any junk. Did you know you are unique; fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and that all your life was planned even before you were born?

"Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:16

So, when you have thoughts that you are not good enough, remember that you were created in the image of the creator of the universe. Also, just because other people may not think you're good enough doesn't mean it's true. It may mean those people failed to notice what you have to offer. Don't wait until you feel talented enough to do what God wants you to do: you'll never make it if you do. The amount of the talent is not as important as your attitude about and action in using that talent to glorify God. In Matthew twenty-five, Jesus said the man's two talents were good enough. He was just as pleased with what the man did with his two talents as He was with the man who had five talents. In other words, two talents were good enough. Doing our best is good enough for God and it ought to be good enough for us. If when lay down to sleep at night and we can say we've given it our best that day, that's good enough.

Realizing that we are "good enough" because of our position in Christ requires us to exercise faith and to preach to ourselves every day the glories of gospel truth. This is one area of constant spiritual warfare that must be fought daily to experience the victory we have in Jesus. Putting on the spiritual armor God provides along with an attitude that the battle is His, will cause us to stand against all evil odds. David's brothers, and the Philistines didn't think he was good enough to do battle with Goliath. A sling and a stone though, proved to be good enough to take the giant down. David knew that God was good enough when he faced a lion and a bear, so surely He would be good enough to make him good enough to overcome this evil with good. Yes, God is good all the time, and that means you and I are good enough to face the giants of life, and to promote the righteous cause of God's kingdom on Earth.

"I'm not good enough" is probably one of the most popular excuses used today among Christians. But if we go to the Bible, we find that as born again believers, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit. You do realize that means God Lives within your body? It also means that the good that you do is a fruit of His Spirit. Enthusiasm means "God within," so thinking you are not good enough because of your past or present circumstances is a poor excuse. Nathanael asked Philip if anything good could come out of Nazareth? Yes, when God is in it, He brings the very best out from the very worst and makes them "good enough:

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." Acts 10:38

When Jesus called His disciples, they probably didn't think they were good enough, but they quenched their pride and left all to follow Him. Moses didn't think he was good enough to lead the Israelites, but God told him that even his weaknesses were given to him for a purpose and He wouldn't let him off the hook of service. Also, Solomon didn't think he was good enough to be King, but when he talked to God about it, God gave him the sense to be good enough and riches to boot.

One of the main reasons people don't join a local church is that they don't think they are good enough; and, they are correct if they haven't trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, confessed that they are sinners, and desired to follow Him. However, if they have done all of the above, they are good enough. The church is the place to worship with others, to be energized because we're not what we ought to be, but are encouraged that we're not what we used to be either. One of the questions I like to ask couples during premarital counseling is "do you think marrying this person will make them a better person?" If they tell me that the person they are about to marry is just perfect and could not be improved upon, I tell them that they should not marry that person because God instituted marriage between a man and woman to make both complete, to make them better. If Jesus uses the marriage relationship to describe our relationship with Him, then joining a local church for a believer should result in making the church better. One day our Lord Jesus, the Glorious Groom of Heaven, will come to get His bride, the church; and we can be sure she will be a most fitting bride, clothed in His pure white righteousness and good enough to cover any wrinkles.

Nothing will ever be good enough without God! I must end this newsletter message, but I'm not sure it's good enough. My heart's desire though is that you realize that you have been made good enough by God's grace and mercy. The shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has made your souls white as snow, your sins are forgiven and you are good enough. You are a child of God, now go and claim your inheritance! It doesn't matter that you have so little to offer the Lord in His service; give your best and that will be good enough. There once was a widow who had only two of the smallest coins to give, but she gave it and Jesus said that it was good enough.

"And he called unto him his disciples and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury." Mark 12:43

       Good Enough
By Belinda van Rensburg

God wants me to be myself
For He created me this way,
And since God made me who I am,
Myself I'm quite content to stay.

In His eyes I'm good enough -
It matters not what others say;
I need not act as if I'm tough
Or copy other children's ways.

God doesn't care if I'm not cool -
If I'm not stronger, thinner;
In His hands I am a tool
To reach out to another sinner.

Though I am still young and small
In Jesus Christ I'm strong and tall;
So when people look at me
May it be God's own Son they see.

From the bow of life's ship in the stormy sea, we look for the break in the clouds and through all the darkness and thunders of our past failures, heartbreaks, and disappointments, we see the blue sky of God's faithfulness and the bright light of the cross and we know that it's good enough.

Brother Randy

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