If we have a problem with God bring a God of judgment, thinking of Him being a God of wrath is even more troublesome. We don't like to think of God in that light. We like to focus on what we consider to be His positive characteristics - love, goodness, kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness. We put a negative connotation on the concepts of judgment and wrath and even more so as they might apply to God.
We're happy to think of God being good and holy and His being a God of love and mercy and grace and truth. We like it that He is faithful and righteous, and if we don't think too much about the implications we feel pretty good about His being a God of commitment. His being a just God makes us a little uneasy since being just means that He is a God of justice; we want mercy and grace, not justice. If God being just gives us some twinges of discomfort, His being a God of judgment really sets off alarms.
To all fathers out there, Happy Father's Day! I can't think of a more appropriate time to ask the following question: "What will happen to a nation whose children grow up without a conscience?" One reason it's appropriate to ask this question now is due to the mounting evidence that such is happening in our nation, right now.
By: Dennis Stackhouse
A wayward young man ran away from home on one occasion. This boy didn't even bother to let his parents know where he was. As time went by, his father died. He happened to read about it in the newspaper and then came home. His mother received him kindly upon his return. The day came when the will was to be read. The family all gathered together and the lawyer began to read the deceased father's last will. To the great surprise of all who were present, the will spoke about the wayward career of the run away son in great detail. In anger, the boy rose up and stormed out of the room, left the house and was not heard from for three years. When he was eventually found, he was informed that after telling of his waywardness, the will went on to bequeath him a considerable sum of money. Can we imagine how much sorrow he would have been spared if he had only heard the reading of the will through to the end?
God is totally, absolutely, fundamentally righteous! Such a statement's a no-brainer, right? Right! But it's also a necessary statement, especially for the benefit of those who have weak faith. Knowing that God is righteous gives us confidence in all that He claims to be and in all of His teachings and in all of His assurances laid out for us in scripture.
Tomorrow our nation will observe Memorial Day, a national holiday. It is observed each year on the last Monday in the month of May. The holiday, formerly known as Decoration Day, commemorates military personnel - men and women - who have died while in service to the United States of America.
By: Dennis Stackhouse
How much fretting will we do today because of this or that or the other thing? It should come as no surprise to us that life is filled with irritations, and there are times when we try to rebel against them. Did you realize that the lowly oyster is wiser than we are in this regard? Whenever an irritating object, like a grain of sand, gets under the mantle of its shell, what does the oyster do about it? It simply covers it with the most precious part of its being, its very life fluid, and it makes a pearl out of it. The irritation that the grain of sand was causing is stopped by encrusting it with the pearly formation.
As should be obvious by this point in this study, God is multi-faceted by nature. When asking the question, "What is God like?," no single answer is sufficient. He exhibits many characteristics, none of which contradict any of the others. Rather, they complement one another, presenting the fuller portrayal of God. While He is a God of love, goodness, mercy and grace, He is also a Just God. The fact that God is just does not negate or conflict with any of those other characteristics. They go together perfectly.
A mother's love is special. It may be the best illustration we commonly observe of what agape love describes in scripture. A mother loves her child no matter what. In spite of how many pregnancies are terminated by abortion, a mother's love remains one of the strongest resisting forces against that procedure. A child may be born severely handicapped, but his mother loves him just the same, with all of the same affection and sincerity she bestows upon her children who are not handicapped. In observing her deep love and devoted care, without even thinking about it she serves as a graphic visual example of true, selfless love.
Truth, how elusive it can be! Truth is central to being able to live our lives effectively. We depend upon knowing truth in making decisions that guide and profoundly affect our lives. We assure others that they can trust us because we are truthful. We instill this principle within our children by teaching them to always tell the truth. Yet, as human beings, we struggle with truth.
Gary L. Hutchens