Love in Judgment

Ezekiel 11:16   (KJV)   16 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Even when God finally judges us or disciplines us, even when we’re suffering the unpleasant consequences of our foolish choices, even when we find ourselves in non-ideal situations, God’s love and grace never stops.

Ezekiel 11.16 - Love in JudgmentThe immeasurable abundance of God’s love and grace can’t be denied; they’re very obvious; we’re surrounded by them and our experiences are inundated with them. But there comes a time when He finds it wise to discipline us, or judge us.

He doesn’t delight in resorting to punishment; He’s slow to anger and He doesn’t execute judgment right away the moment we sin. He patiently does so many things in so many ways to get our distracted attention and correct our brazen rebellion. He tries—over and over and over… He’s a God of second chances; that’s so true, and yet in so many cases, that’s a very obvious understatement.

When we sincerely repent, He forgives us; He doesn’t hold grudges. But I admit, despite our most earnest intentions, we still fail Him. From the time we’ve surrendered our lives to Him until now, how many times has He forgiven us? Second chance—it’s more like millions of chances. So His love, mercy, grace, patience—all these can’t be questioned. When He finally judges people or nations, it’s because that’s the only recourse left if there is any possibility of waking up to the reality of their utter ungodliness.

Even in the middle of judgment, and/or punishment, and/or discipline, God is still calling, wooing, drawing, expecting the rebellious to finally come to their senses and turn back to Him. Of course, there are those who persist in their stubbornness, but there are those who wake-up and realize the terrible state they’re in.  But as for God, He longs that His people be restored instead of destroyed. Even in the middle of judgment, there’s mercy, there’s grace, there’s a promise, there’s hope. What a God!!!

Advertisements

Love, Rebuke, Chastening

Revelation 3:19   (KJV)   19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

God’s love neither contradicts nor eliminates rebuke and chastening; in fact, it’s His love that necessitates them. We don’t hate or reject those loving actions of our Father, as unpleasant as they may be while we’re in them. Instead, we welcome them with open Revelation 3.19 - Love, Rebuke, Chasteninghands, heart, and mind. And we take the necessary actions to correct whatever needs correction.

We’re not only accepting of God’s rebuke and discipline; we’re humbly grateful and appreciative of them. We don’t just tolerate them; we celebrate them. And we don’t drag our feet forcing ourselves to respond and to change; we’re zealous of growing in the likeness of our precious Lord Jesus. We willingly and quickly turn away from thoughts, actions, and choices He forbids. We understand: lack of desire and passion to leave ways that break our Fathers’ heart needs dumping in itself.

Hmmm; let’s see; we repent from Lukewarnness; we want to be hot—on fire for God—passionately loving and serving Him. No, it’s not cool to be “spat out” by Dad; that’s horrible. We repent from materialism, from close-mindedness, from spiritual ineptitude; we pursue Him, eternal and imperishable treasures, wisdom, and spiritual maturity. We repent from evil, unrighteousness, and ungodliness. We choose the good, right, and godly.

Happy People

Psalm 144:15   (KJV)   15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Joy characterizes the life of God’s people. There’s a lot of unhappiness going on around us. There’s a lot of unhappy situations people find themselves in. There’s a lot of people who cause pain and sadness. There’s a lot of ways to respond.

Psalm 144.15 - Happy PeopleWe as God’s people act and react to people and situations in our lives in godly ways. Yes, we experience tough times, but our joy is untouched. It’s our choice whether or not we’ll rejoice; and we choose to rejoice—always, no matter how bleak the circumstances and how nasty our surroundings are.

We can’t control what others do and we don’t want to control people either, but we have full control over our own actions and attitudes. We have a beautiful perspective about life. True, we’re treated unfairly and we suffer for being godly, but even that becomes a joy for us.

Danger makes people worried and scared; we have the Lord Who is our impenetrable shield. Wars and rumors of wars frighten others; but the Lord is our victory; He trains our hands and gives us the skills necessary to live victoriously. The mightiest of our attackers are but a mist before God.  He Who hurls lightning bolts from the heavens can scatter our most powerful foes very quickly.

So yes, we live in joy—it’s very reasonable for people like us whose God is the LORD.

God’s, Good, and Godly

3 John 11   (KJV)   11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

It’s good to have examples we can humbly imitate and instructions we can follow. And praise God, we have a great cloud of good and godly witnesses—faithful followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who have left us with footprints we can walk on, lives that inspire us to 3 John 1.11 - God's, Godly, Goodshine our lives for God’s glory and honor. We also have the inerrant and eternal Word of God lighting our feet and illuminating our path.

God has lovingly given us eyes to see and ears to hear. He has even given us the inner witness of the Holy Spirit so we can discern those we can’t physically sense. We see very clearly that not everyone who teaches practices what they teach; not all who say they’re Christians are Christians. Good tree bears good fruit; bad tree bears bad fruit; true Christians bear the image—the character of Christ.

We aren’t blinded by hypocrisy, duplicity, lies, and deception. Through God’s Spirit living in us, we can spot the fake. Some of them are extremely easy to identify. There is no disconnect between who people are as God’s children, and what they do. God’s children are good and do good. Those who produce rotten fruits—ungodliness or anti-godliness—be they attitude or actions—prove they’re not Gods.

For His Glory

Psalm 79:9   (KJV)   9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.

Our salvation, deliverance and forgiveness are of indescribably glorious benefits and blessings to us, but it’s first and foremost for the glory of His Name. He’s the One Who’s Psalm 79.9 - For His Gloryable help and He’s always willing to.

We often find ourselves in need of His intervention. We make decisions that cause us to find ourselves in very unpleasant situations. Many times, it’s not because of our careless actions and decisions but because of the recklessness of others. But in all circumstances, we have hope.

Our God is closer to us than we can imagine or describe. We can call on Him anytime; we don’t have to wait for an appointment; His schedule is always open for us. And that’s very good; there are things and situations that can’t wait—life emergencies are real.

So we pray. It just makes sense. And for us His children, our prayers are faith-filled. We know that we know: He will always come through for us. And as assuring and comforting as that may be, us receiving His help isn’t our end desire; our ultimate purpose is to glorify our God and Dad through our experiences.

Worship: It’s Good for Us

Jeremiah 32:39   (KJV)   39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

The Lord’s command and expectation for us to worship Him, serve Him, obey Him, fear Him is meant for our good and not for evil, to bless us and not to harm us—not only us, but even our children.

Jeremiah 32.39 - Worship - It's Good for UsWe hear of others who take offense on the truth that God is a jealous God who doesn’t want us to have any other god or gods. Praise God for the understanding He’s given us. His jealousy is not due to His insecurity. It’s because He doesn’t want us to live in a lie—worshiping those not worth worshiping, missing out on our best.

We pray that we others will open their minds and hearts to this reality. God existed in absolute perfection and contentment in eternity past without us. He doesn’t need us for Him to be whole. He has much to bless us with. As for us, we’re enjoying this awesome and indescribable privilege.

Thank you Lord for giving me—us, your children—hearts of worship.

On God’s Side

Psalm 118:7   (KJV)   7 The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

No matter how hard our problems, no matter how numerous and how powerful our enemies are, we don’t fear. We believers no longer live for ourselves but for Him Who Psalm 118.7 - On God's Sidegreatly loves us and Who mercifully saved us. We’re for Him; He’s for us. He helps us and will never fail doing so.

We’re sincerely committed to living uprightly; we strive to walk faithfully before our Lord. We don’t selfishly pick and choose which part of His Word we would believe and obey. Loving our enemies is not an easy task, but we do. Given a choice, we would rather not have enemies in the first place. But we can’t deny the obvious reality and increasing presence of evil. No matter how much we treat everyone lovingly, there are those who see us and treat us as their enemies.

Because we choose God; because we abide by His ways; because we refuse to be a part of lawless and godless systems, we experience indifference, disapproval, hatred, and even violent attacks from lawless and godless people. That’s natural—not pleasant—but that’s the truth. What’s interesting though is how we see our loving desires and prayers come to fruition. They get saved; we see them undergo even drastic and unbelievable but genuine changes.

Praise God, He can make friends an families out of our enemies. The moment they turn away from their godless ways, place their full dependence on our precious Lord Jesus for their salvation, and bow their hearts in surrender to Him, they become children of God—our spiritual brothers and sisters. But you may ask, “What about those who decide to continue in their crooked ways: what about those who continue to attack you?” We’re neither worried not afraid. Our victorious Lord has made us overcomers—more than conquerors.