Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Church Signs



Now here is a sign I can deal with. This one is actually on a church sign next door to my work. People who do not regularly attend church, and people who do can surely be encouraged by this sign's message.

For a long time, I used to think God was mad at me. I even thought He was disgusted with me at one time.

Many times, we see God as a mean stepfather who is just waiting for us to mess up so he can strike us down. To be sure, the Bible does make reference to God's wrath, and even Jesus is depicted as angry when He cleared the temple. He wasn't angry just because He was in a bad mood; He was angry at the way His temple was being used for profit and financial gain (let's not even go there right now).

What the church and the unbelieving world need to see is God as a loving Father. One who invites us to crawl up in His lap and just sit while He holds us. The Bible depicts Him as "gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in great kindness. Psalm 103:10 says that God has "not dealt with us according to our sin, nor punished us according to our iniquities." Why? Because He is gracious and merciful. His mercies are "new every morning." That means every day begins with a fresh supply of God's mercy, untainted by our failures of yesterday.

Might I add that all of the above exists because God chooses it to be that way. He is not angry at us. Now, don't go wild and get all sinned up because of this wonderful truth of God's grace. Grace is not license to sin, it is freedom to live.

For me this was a huge relief of many years of guilt and shame. I couldn't even pray, because I felt God was disgusted with me and couldn't even stand the sound of my voice. Quite the opposite, He can't wait for me to pray. In the same way I can't wait for my children to get home from school, God cannot wait for me to come to Him, only His love is immeasurably greater than my own.

He feels the same way about you. Don't take my word for it, ask Him.

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