God’s Good Will; Our Free Will

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And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2: 13-14).

On the night that Jesus was born good tidings were given to some shepherds in a field. These were tidings of peace and God’s good will toward men.  God’s good will toward us is truly amazing and certainly worthy of discussion. Let us look at four things that God’s good will toward us entails.

Firstly, it is God’s will that we repent of sin in order to be saved. II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” No sin is too great for God to forgive because He desires so much to save us. After all, that is why Jesus came to this world.

Jesus knew His mission well and fully accomplished what he set out to do. Isn’t it wonderful to know – even before we were born – Jesus came looking to save us. He even declared this in Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Secondly, it is God’s will that we establish a close relationship with Him through prayer. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (I Timothy 2:8) God wants to hear from us. He cares, He listens and He answers.

Thirdly, it is God’s will that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. Speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him” (John 4:23). Surely, He is worthy to be worshipped and there is no better time to worship Him than right now.

Finally, it is God’s will that we live holy lives. I Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…” As we endeavor to live free from the sins of this world, we bring glory to the One who saved us. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our actions, words and thoughts need to reflect our commitment to our Heavenly Father.

God’s good will toward us is evident throughout the Bible. It is also true that God has given all of us a free will. He allows us to decide whether or not we desire a relationship with Him the way He desires a relationship with us.

During their wandering in the wilderness God told the children of Israel, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). He placed the choice before them; He places the choice before us.

Since we know that God’s will toward us is good, we should be able to make the choice that Joshua made. These are the words from Joshua himself:

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the Flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

So, let us surrender our free will to God’s good will. He desires the best for us and will prove that to us throughout our lives.

Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.

Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children  — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter  — Breanna. 

Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.

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