(This is another one that I’ll probably post on Rejoice Always…)
Recently I’ve been thinking about how awesome it is that God loves us enough to allow pain and hard times in our life: He knows that sometime hard times are the only thing that will draw us closer to Him. Sometimes we won’t listen to His gentle whisperings–so, out of love, He must yell. He also knows that if sin did not have consequences, we would slide deeper and deeper into its jaws–and farther and farther from Him.
4“Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
5I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
6According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
7Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
8I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
9O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
10I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?” Hosea 13:4-10
This punishing of sin is a good thing. It is loving.
Would it be loving to allow us to continue recklessly selling what is most worthwhile and wonderful–knowing God–at the price of ruining ourselves and everyone around us??
Sin is EVIL. Sin is horrid. Sin is killing us. Sin keeps us from God.
21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. Romans 6:21
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14
God is Holy. In fact, He is holy, holy, holy. Completely, utterly, unfathomably other. Totally, fully, incomprehensibly pure.
2There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2
And He cannot abide with sin. It’s impossible. It cannot happen.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. Psalm 5:4
5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. John 21:5
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
(If we, as Christian humans, are not to be yoked together with “darkness”… how much more would that apply to God, who has no darkness in Him at all??)
Out of His holiness and justice, He must punish sin. And since He is an eternal God, our sin against Him is eternal. And we deserved an eternal punishment: total, hopeless, utter separation from God. Imagine that. Completely separated from your Creator for all eternity.
23For the wages of sin is death;…
But. [Such a glorious little word, isn’t it??]
…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But [There it is again!] God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans 5:7-9
But– He loves us! Why?!? I have no idea, humanly speaking. I certainly wouldn’t love us like He does were I Him.
8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:8
And therein lies the whole beauty and extravagance of God… He is love. Therefore, He loves.
9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18
And in His love for us, He made a way. He made the impossible possible. He paid for our sins for all eternity: and all He asks is that we accept that gift by faith and then walk out that faith.
This is our God. This is love.