2017: Unlimited goodness, unlimited favor

Isaiah 43--19

As the New Year unfolds beginning with Sunday, January 1, we examine a Quote of the Day related to prospects for 2017, a statement from Pastor Marcus Gill:

“2017 will be a year of unlimited goodness and unlimited favor.”

As we reflect upon these two concepts in light of the coming year, lyrics from two original songs come to mind: one proclaims the goodness of God and asks a question; the other speaks of the subsequent favor of God flowing from His goodness:

The Goodness of the Father

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance,

and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God

leads you to repentance?

Romans 4:2 (NKJV)

Don’t you know the goodness of God leads us to repentance?

He has cancelled the curse and commuted our sentence.

By His gift of love and grace, Christ has taken our place

And redeemed us from the hand of the enemy.

Open your eyes and you will see

His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

 

O how good, He’s so good, beyond compare,

Exquisite and rare; He’s so good.

O how good, He’s so good,

Come join with me: O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

 

From his goodness flows his favor,

O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

He has promised goodness to his servants;

He has clothed us with salvation.

Let us rejoice in goodness, and declare that only the Lord, our God, is good.

Yes, the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance.

Don’t you know the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance?

Out of God our Father’s limitless goodness flows boundless favor. In a previous entry, we noted that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, His undeserved favor toward His people. The lyrics to the following song describe God’s super-abounding favor:

Favor upon Favor

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

 

Where we work there is favor

Where we live there is favor

Where we meet there is favor

Up and down each street there is favor

Where we pray there is favor

Where we play there is favor

Every day there is favor

In every way there is favor

Where we learn there is favor

Everywhere we turn, there is favor

Here and there and everywhere

There is the overflowing favor

Never-ceasing, ever-increasing favor.

There is favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor.

Let us savor each golden moment of the favor of God.

 

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.

As we think about the New Year and what it holds in store for us, we are also reminded of who God is and what He alone can do. A passage of scripture associated with the New Year comes from the Prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19:

16 This is what the Lord says,

He who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
“Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past.
19 
“Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even put a road in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

The Message Bible put it this way:

“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

Each New Year represents a new beginning, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new.  In thinking about a new beginning or a fresh start, this poem comes to mind:

All Things New

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;

shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert.

 Isaiah 43:19

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

Trust me and you will see. You will never be the same.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

I am God–I do not lie, I am faithful and true.

Almighty, God of the impossible is my name.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

Some thought it was over, but I am by no means through.

I cover and restore to remove all guilt and shame.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Never forget what I have already brought you through.

You have a divine purpose; your life is not a game.

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

 

In me you overcome—I am Lord of the breakthrough

Who offers boundless promises that you can now claim.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

 

Trust me, obey and see what I have in store for you.

With your life you will make known my goodness and proclaim:

Behold, I am the Lord God who makes all things new.

As you look to me, it is no secret what I can do.

As we embark further into the New Year, we will undoubtedly encounter challenges and difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. The Bible reminds us of God’s unlimited goodness and unlimited favor that reflect His power and strength to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a triumphant victory.

We conclude our comments with this song of encouragement from Israel Houghton. As the New Year unfolds, we are not looking back but moving ahead; indeed, we are “Moving Forward”:

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