“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV
God loved me before I loved Him! He chose me, before I chose Him. The fact that He loved me while I was still living in willful sin and rebellion blows me away. It should also help me see others with compassion. It’s easy to become frustrated and lose hope with people who refuse to surrender their lives to God. We must continue to love and intercede for those who reject God. Trust the Holy Spirit to melt their hearts of stone.
As I read Romans 5 today it talked about how it is rare that someone would die for a good man, much less a sinner. As Jesus journeyed life on Earth He was scolded by the religious leaders for associating with sinners. He broke religious rules, yet remained completely righteous. He understood the difficulty of reaching people outside the context of relationship.
He knew something else … He knew those claiming to be righteous were hypocrites! Romans 3:10 tells us, “There is none righteous, no . not . one!” The religious leaders were counting on their position of power to save them. They claimed to “observe all the law” and yet failed to observe the most important law of all – to love God and to love others as yourself.
Without Christ we are powerless against our sin nature. We cannot accept the call of God on our life until we are willing to acknowledge our need for Him. In Luke 5:32, Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Lord, thank You for loving me while I was (am) still a sinner. Help me to show that same love and compassion towards others who aren’t ready to surrender their lives to you. Let me be a reflection of You rather than a stumbling block to them.
Forgive me if I’ve ever come across like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. I am not better than anyone. Like Paul I recognize that: I am a chief of sinners. (I Timothy 1:15)
Lead me to those who are “ripe for harvest”. Help me to be a friend of sinners. Lord, here am I, send me!
Do you know God’s not shocked or shaken by anything you say or do? He saw every thought and action, before you ever took a breath. (Psalm 139:16, Isaiah 66:18, Hebrews 4:2) Unlike humanity, God isn’t constrained by time. Given this knowledge the Bible also tells us Jesus was slain before the foundation of the World. (Revelation 13:8) It’s mind boggling, right? He KNEW we would be evil, yet He not only created us but provided our redemption.
Have you ever seen a movie based on a book you’ve read? I generally find the movie disappointing. I can’t ‘read’ the thoughts of actors on film, the way they are generally revealed in writing. God doesn’t have that dilemma. When He sees our life He sees past, present and future; He knows our intent and motives. Still, He assures us, His plans stand firm forever, His intentions can never be shaken. (Psalm 33:11)
I admit, this has often puzzled me. People often ask, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” If He knows someone is going to commit an atrocity, why allow them to be born in the first place? Just because God knows something, doesn’t mean He approves of it. As parents, we know before our children are born that they will do things we do not approve of. No matter how wonderful our parenting skills are, we know they will choose to be disobedient at times. Does this knowledge keep us from having children? Of course not. Love drives us to endure the hardships of parenting.
The better question might be, “Why does God allow good things to happen?” Knowing that the heart of mankind … all of mankind … is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), He still chooses to bless us with life.
This life is simply the womb of eternity.
A few years ago God gave me a nugget of truth I cherish. This life is simply the womb of eternity. It is not an end but a beginning. God endures the hardship of parenting creation in order to spend eternity with those who choose Him. His plans do not change. He created you with eternity in mind. His intentions are not shaken by your sin. He waits patiently for you to repent, in order for your fellowship with Him to be restored. God chose you, because He knew you would respond.