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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Lord is holy, righteous, just…

Nothing takes Him unawares. Nothing shocks or surprises Him. He is as aware of what stirs in the hearts of those who call Him Lord as He is of those who spew His holy name like venom or insert it into their conversation with the same level of reverence as that given to a paper clip.

The Lord is abundant in lovingkindness…

From His high and exalted place, He pours out His blessings on the earth, making provision for His own dear children, as well as those who hate Him with raging passion or those who are willfully indifferent. He gives us sunlight to absorb, air to breath, a stunning world on which to live, and move, and have our being.

The agnostic, the atheist, the ignorant, the apostate, the rebel—all of these enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Their breath catches at the deeply-hued sunset. They are stunned at the roar and power of the mighty water fall. They delight in the wonder of the sweet little baby . They relish the feel of sand between their toes, the sound of waves crashing on the rocks, the warmth of a gentle summer rain as it tickles their skin. All of the sights and sounds and textures and tastes of the good things of creation are relished and consumed with great appreciation—but without gratitude. They do not think to give thanks to the One to whom it is due: their Creator.

The Lord’s justice must be satisfied…

To not acknowledge the Creator is evil. It is wrong. It is sinful. But it is not without remedy. Facing the reality of sinfulness and turning away from it, humbly acknowledging that Jesus Christ as Lord and turning to Him, and then praying to Him for forgiveness changes everything. Forgiveness will be received, eternal life assured, peace that surpasses understanding given. Life will be different. It will be fuller, richer, deeper. It will not be suddenly, or regularly, or even mostly trouble free, but as those troubles are faced, there will be an awareness that they are not being faced alone, and the facing, the traversing the trail of that trial will not be a vane thing. It will produce perseverance, strength, understanding, gratitude, boldness, and a greater intimacy with the glory of God.

Though becoming a believer assures that there will be an eternity in the holy presence of God, where tears will be wiped away and sinlessness and worship and delight will be unbroken reality, this does not mean that the deep abiding joy will not start until then. It begins the moment of salvation and carries the believer through the hardest and the sweetest alike.

The Christian must spread the Gospel. The Christian must tell others that Christ died for their sins. The Christian must share this Good News so that others might hear and understand and believe. But it has nothing to do with notches on a belt. It has nothing to do with pride and increasing self-worth. It has everything to do with compassion for others and a desire to see them hear the truth, understand they are sinners, believe the work that Christ did on the cross for them (taking the punishment of death and separation from God in their stead), repent in the face of His holiness, pray for mercy, receive grace and assurance. It has everything to do with understanding that without those things, the alternative is punishment—justly meted out upon the rebellious and unrepentant. Eternal death. Eternal separation from God. Eternal damnation. Eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth. Fire. Brimstone. No relief. Ever.

Telling you about the truth of Jesus Christ is done out of deep compassion and anguish for your soul and a desire for you to finally and completely surrender your life to Him and be at peace. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

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