Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand John 10:28-29.
During my sophomore year of college, I took a class on religious literature. We studied a variety of poetry, sermons and even the Psalms. One piece of literature I remember most was written by Jonathan Edwards called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The professor told us that Edwards did not preach this sermon from memory but held his handwritten notes inches away from his glasses, straining to see the words in a dimly lit church. The intensity of the message moved the listeners so much that they crawled up the center aisle with hearts of repentance and remorse, longing to be saved. Jonathan Edwards is still known and quoted for the message he delivered that day.
I have seen a lot of play on words with Edwards' title like, "Sinners in the hands of a loving God." But the remix is not nearly as powerful or life changing as the original. We are all sinners held in God's hands. This God we serve is known as a consuming fire, all powerful and holy. If not for His mercy, we would all be consumed. If we understood who we really are, we could not get out of bed in the morning. God's mercy allows us to handle our own thoughts. We try to justify ourselves as we compare the extent of our sins with others. But the Book of Romans says that only Jesus can justify us. It is Jesus' justification that covers our sins, forgives our sins and blesses us despite our ability and extent to commit sin.
Many Christians are walking around thinking that they have crucified their flesh, and that they are living a Spirit-filled life. They feel good about themselves because they do not think they are committing any of the top sins (murder, adultery, stealing). But they have no power; they just have their own rationalizations. God knows better because God sees the heart. If we really understood our sinfulness, we would be flat on our faces every day begging for forgiveness, understanding that God has every right to be angry.
We serve an awesome God. Praise God that He desires for us to live in hope and not in condemnation. His mercy surrounds us and His love blankets us. God wants to give us life in abundance. He does not desire for any to be destroyed. God desires to hold us up, not to push us down. If you are having thoughts that bring you away from God, that is condemnation. If you are having thoughts that are leading you towards the Lord—to be forgiven and restored—that is conviction.
God wants to show you His loving kindness and mercy. Turn to Jesus to be saved from your sins. Being in His hands is the safest place of all.
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