Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Large Part of God's Heart.


We just cannot understand God can we? Throughout the Christian church we hear of this harsh Creator who is waiting to zap us. Pastor Shrank today mentioned how he met a Christian family who in conversation told him at their church they were taught if you missed worship during one week and died that week you would not go to heaven. He was amazed at that. As a life long Lutheran he has never heard of such a thing. As a pastor he would never dream of saying such a thing. He was hoping they were misunderstanding or misinformed in this. Well those of us who were raised in other parts of the holy Christian church have heard similar things. Obey God or else!

Exodus 20: 1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. ESV

In the above passage I have heard many Christians concentrate on God visiting the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generations. This is certainly true. Approaching God from His attributes of Sovereignty and Holiness we are toast. This is how all religions in the world try to approach God apart from Christianity. However, we see the next statement that He shows steadfast love to thousands who love Him and keep his commandments. We must resist the temptation to make God like one of us. We are more judgmental than forgiving. We keep a record of sin against others. How sad when we think to ourselves and say to others that God is like we are in this way. So He allows us a glimpse inside His heart where there is justice and judgment but also much more mercy and grace.

God in His kindness has gone through the trouble of bringing us out of slavery to sin. Jesus by taking on Him human flesh, living the life for us He requires, taking our sin upon Him and suffering our just punishment and rising from the dead for our justification He shows His heart for us and frees us from slavery to sin. Jesus having gone through all that it does not follow that He would look for opportunities to zap us as if that opportunity would be difficult to find. No He gifts us with His righteousness and in His sight we love Him and keep His commandments by His grace through the gift of faith.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen †

1 comment:

steve martin said...

David,

Once again you have nailed it!

That is the gospel. You left us with nothing to do...but to say thank you Lord!

"If you love Me you will keep My commandments.", Jesus said.

In the gospel of John, the question comes up "what is it to do the will of God?"

The answer..."Believe in the One whom He has sent."

You want to do God's will? Trust in Him!

Thanks St. David, and thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ, without whom there is no authentic life.