2023 is our ‘Year of GOODNESS!’ How might God transform us and our church as we focus on this theme of ‘Goodness’? “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8). “Those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.” (Titus 3:8).
Our 5th distinctive here at The Bridge Church, Radical God-centred Generosity, states: “Our faith in Jesus overflows in generous acts of service, so we are known in our community as a church that is eager to do good”. So, the more we taste and see the goodness of God, the more we will devote ourselves to doing good in our church and in our community. It’s that dual focus on seeing God’s goodness and doing good to others that I believe will transform our church family.
We will seek to do this in 3 ways:
#1: Teach about the goodness of God.
A.W. Tozer said “The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend.” Charles Spurgeon helpfully reminds us to “Remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity”.
Through our preaching this year, we will focus on God’s goodness. We’ll start with Titus in Term 1, with the big theme of ‘Devoted to doing what is Good’.
In Term 2 we’ll look at the historical narrative in Genesis 12-50, where we’ll see God’s goodness to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
In Term 3, we’ll look at a doctrinal series on the character of God based on our memory verse for the year, Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
Finally in Term 4, we’ll look at the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13-20. Scattered throughout the year there’ll be various Proverbs on ‘The Good Life’, looking at good words, good wisdom, good relationships, good friendships, good work.
#2: Experience God’s goodness.
Our desire is that people open their eyes to see all the many and varied ways God is good. Using your ‘Goodness Journal’ from church, we’d love you to take time to sit in silence and solitude each day, to marvel at God’s goodness to you, to reflect on what it really means for God to be good, and to call to mind the manifold ways you have experienced God’s goodness. It will only take 5 minutes per day, but as we open our hearts and minds to God’s goodness, I’m excited to see the radical transformation that will happen in our lives and in God’s church.
#3: Doing good.
Titus reminds us to learn to do what is good, to be eager to do good, to devote ourselves to doing good. So our desire is that our lives are overflowing with good deeds, good words, good actions, pursuing good healthy relationships, and looking out for every opportunity to do good.
We’d love you to use Open Mic time to share stories as to how you have tasted and seen God’s goodness, and how you have sought to do good to others.
For 2023, you could also consider using a catechism to help ground you in your faith. Catechisms are basically a summary of doctrines and principles in a question-and-answer form.
Psalm 23:6 reminds us that “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever”.
As someone said “I find joy in every day, not because life is always good, but because God is”. May that be true for you, your loved ones, and our church family in 2023, the ‘Year of Goodness’.