God’s Goodness and Severity

Romans 11:22   (KJV)   22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

God is good and severe; God is loving and just; God is Father and Lord; God is gracious and holy; God is to be loved and feared. All facets of God’s nature are true; one ought to not be sacrificed for the other; one ought to not be rejected in preference of another. All Symbol of scales is made of stones on the cliffof them have to be embraced. I’ve observed so many people becoming very passionate about one of God’s natures and in doing so undermining the value of another, perhaps unawarely.

“Behold;” take a look; observe it; notice: God is both good and severe. He is loving, gentle, kind; He is also holy, stern, strict, serious. His Fatherhood is a good, balanced Fatherhood. He loves and disciplines. He doesn’t rear spoiled kingdom kids.  It’s clearly explicit: “on them which fell,” to those who live in disobedience, He is severe. That’s not birthed out of thoughtless and angry emotion or passion. That springs forth from His wisdom and patience.

On the other hand, “if thou continue in His goodness,” if we continue to live faithfully in the light of His goodness, He continues to pour out more goodness to us than we deserve. What God gives to us is always way more abundant than what our actions merit—He is gracious, that is. And it’s important that we heed these words soberly. He is more serious about it than how a lot of believers think and teach. If we fall and don’t stay down, if we don’t continue in His goodness, we “also”—which could mean it’s been true to others already—“shalt be cut off.”

Instead of being quick to interpret those words away to fit our emphasis on the doctrine of love and grace, my loving encouragement is that we please consider the severity of those words more than we probably have been willing to before. In the first place, our loving and gracious God included them in His recorded Words for loving and gracious reasons. He’s not hating on us in recording those words.

Blessedness in Fearfulness

Psalm 128:1   (KJV)   Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.

There is blessedness in fearing the Lord. This clarifies the fear issue. Is it godly or ungodly to fear? Perfect love casts out fear; because of this, some see fear as evil and ungodly. But there are many Scriptures commanding us to fear the Lord. This shows that there is a godly kind of fear, apsalm-128-1-blessed-fear fear that we don’t just permit, but a fear we pursue. This kind of fear is coupled with and proven by a surrendered life to Him. Fear of God that doesn’t walk in His ways isn’t real.

True believers obey God’s commands and follow God’s ways. This naturally brings blessings for choosing the best way of living. A life of wisdom is life that brings much reward. We reap what we sow. Life in fearful high respect for God’s greatness, His awesome being and power is a life that knows its freedom and boundaries. We enjoy our freedom to the utmost but not carelessly and recklessly. God Who lovingly and generously gives us this freedom is also the most powerful Entity in existence. It’s wise living in His pleasure, valuing Him above all, and treating Him with utmost respect.

There’s no life better than that lived in blessedness. We are blessed with righteousness; although we’ve sinned and we sin against Him; He forgives those of us who come to Him in repentance; He restores our souls. Although spiritual blessings are infinitely more important than any material blessings we receive, He doesn’t neglect our material and physical existence. He gives us health, wholeness, mobility, and healing. Even as we sleep, when all our natural senses are suspended, when our minds are not aware of its surroundings, the organs of our bodies keep functioning. There’s no sickness He can’t heal. We’re blessed with beautiful families. We’re blessed with hope; we’re blessed with an indescribably glorious eternal home. We can go on and on, but we’ve made the point. Nothing beats our lives as true believers.

Praise you Lord for a life of love, joy, peace, and freedom, a life of blessedness found in our precious Lord Jesus.

Blessing for Blessing

2 Corinthians 9:14  (KJV)   14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

Generosity attracts. It attracts good responses; it attracts good things. People are naturally inclined to be deeply grateful to those who invest in them. They feel “indebted.” They desire to return the favor and do good to those who bless them. In  a sense the “giver” becomes a “receiver.”

We don’t lose anything when we give. If we understand this, we will be givers. As sowing and reaping is a natural principle, so it is also a Biblical one. We reap what we sow. In fact, we reap much more than what we sow. Yes, with the same measure we use it’s also measured back to us. Whatever seed we plant, that’s the kind of harvest we have. But the great truth about giving to the Lord and giving to the Kingdom is not only that we reap 30, 60, or a hundredfold of the same kind; we reap above and beyond the same kind. We may be giving our financial resources, but we’re receiving more blessings than finances. One of those awesome blessings: people who experience our generosity get to “long after” or “yearn for’ us. There’s an increased affection and closeness from the recipients of our gifts. And to some, that’s way more than financial harvest.

Our most gracious and generous Father, please give us wisdom that we may approach this truth with godly balance. Please help us that our pursuit will be on lovingly giving to Your Kingdom work and to others. We also believe what Your Words say about the blessings that flow from it. May it never be our ambition to feed any kind of greed by emptying others of their resources, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Jesus – Son of God

Luke 22:70  (KJV)   70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

The ruling council interrogating Jesus had already made up their minds. It didn’t matter what Jesus could have said and done; they were determined to put Him down – to kill Him. They were just waiting for a viable excuse to justify their intentions and actions. Of all their efforts, nothing has worked so far – until this question. Should Jesus stay silent knowing that the truth will lead to unimaginable pain?Jesus didn’t cower; He gave His unwavering answer: He is the Son of God.

To proclaim the truth that Jesus is the Son of God is to mean hatred and rejection from the world. The world doesn’t like Him; it doesn’t like His teachings; His teachings show so much of righteousness, sin, and judgment. No, the world wants to do whatever it wants to do – good or evil without being seen as bad and without regard for possible consequences. It wants to dictate and define what’s good and what’s bad – in ways that will cater to its wild and wicked lifestyle. The world is a majority. To stand for Jesus is sure rejection, shame, embarrassment, and even pain. But this is a  no-brainer; it isn’t a matter of struggle or negotiation for true followers. Our Master declared the truth, He suffered much; we as followers ought to declare Him as He is, and suffer much if need be. Just remember: His interrogation, suffering and death wasn’t the end of His story; He rose again and now reigns. After our steadfast stand for the truth that He is the Son of God, after all the sufferings we will experience, we too will reign with Him.

Dear God, thank You for this glorious experience of knowing You – the only true God, and Jesus – the only begotten Son of God. Please give us the boldness and the courage to proclaim Him without compromise or fear of the possible painful consequences. After all, what awaits us is in exchange is worth gloriously and immeasurably more.

Greatest Reward

Genesis 15:1  (KJV)   After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

When our gracious God called the then pagan Abram, He made a very appealing promise – that He will make Abram a great nation; that He will bless Him; that He will make his name great; that Abram will be a blessing (see Gen. 12:2). But with all these amazing sovereign provisions, God presented Himself to the highly favored Abram as the best of all the offers. He will be Abram’s “exceeding great reward.”

Greater than becoming a great nation, greater than having a great name, greater than being a blessing – God is. Of all the bountiful blessings and benefits of being a believer, our Beloved beats the best of the best. if we may, He is the Best of the “best/s.” It is foolish to deny, reject or dismiss the amazing graces of God; it is also foolish to accept, embrace, and pursue them more than the God of grace. In what many believe as a noble posture of humility, some would innocently say that all they need is God; they don’t need or want His blessings. Conversely, in many cases of careless Christianity, some have gravitated towards the promises of God; they have forgotten the person of God. To reject what God offers is not humility; it may be ignorance, even pride. To miss God’s best offer is not gain; it’s to miss it all.

Dear God, our exceeding great Reward, may we be wise not to choose either You or Your blessings and reject either one or the other. May we receive everything You offer, but help us to wisely prioritize. May our hearts be single in longing for only You; may our hands be open in accepting all that’s Yours. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.