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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

God Relents from Doing Harm

Posted Friday, August 19, 2011, at 11:14 AM

"... I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." (Jonah 4:2)

God is more lenient, compassionate, and forgiving than our sinful nature deserves. The very character of God is to have a softened heart towards his people although we as a generation are a people of wickedness and perversion. Mankind is sinful by nature and just when we think we have conquered our temptations, we fall short, every time.

However, God's love is greater than the bondages that entangle us. He does not abandon us nor deal with us harshly. He is gracious enough not to give us as our sins deserve. He is a God whose love and compassionate heart overtakes us like a hurricane. His heart is ours.

Yet, God's grace is no excuse to continually and methodically sin. Although we serve a gracious and loving God, sin does have consequences and those consequences can be life altering, fatal even. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"

We are to be dead to our sin. If not, those sins may not only cause our natural death, but it will surely cause our spiritual death. A death in which the heart becomes so hardened, it shrivels and "dies" out. The result? The voice of God becomes harder to hear and His presence, harder to feel. If our physical bodies can feel the repercussion of an accident or injury; how much more our spiritual bodies?

Nevertheless, God delights in us and wants us to walk in His unmerited favor. His redemptive mercy is a stark contrast to the debt our sins owe. We are surrounded by the proof of God's grace daily. The sun still rises and sets, the trees still bear fruit, the birds still break out in song, and the fruitfulness and faithfulness of God's blessings upon the earth still remain. It is His loving kindness that leads one's heart to repentance.

The Lord's grace is a greater grace that should lead us into humility and away from conducting ourselves in a manner that grieves His heart. God's constant generosity is a continual gift out of His burning love and affection towards us. Such gracious acts, only a loving Father can do.

That being said, we must keep in mind that God is just and He has the right to extend His graciousness in His own sovereign way and will, to whomever and whenever He chooses.

Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email chollensbe@mac.com .


Comments
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The problem I see with a lot of "So-Called" religions is the loss of the repent portion of coming to Jesus Christ. We all must "Turn Away" from our past and do those things that God would approve of. It is not our lot in life to judge someone else, but when a fellow Christian is doing things that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus we must talk to them. Talk to them out of love and try to get them to understand the fruits of the Spirit we are all supposed to be exhibiting. Helping a brother or sister back on the right road is something special. If the brother or sister does not listen or gets angry at what they consider 'sticking your nose where it does not belong', then at least you gave it an effort. It is better than doing nothing at all and let your brother or sister continue to be the wrong example of a Christian to others. I hope and pray that my brothers or sisters in Christ will do this for me if I fail to be a proper example to others.

-- Posted by bhobbs on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 2:55 PM

@bhobbs-Thank you for your comment. Repentance is an individual choice and reveals the condition of the heart. We all sin DAILY. Matt 5:28 says "...anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." So by this scripture, even our thoughts cause us to sin. We should all be "teachable" and humble enough to receive correction. If not, the consequences (as depicted in my column) can lead to "death".

-- Posted by Christina Hollensbe on Sat, Aug 20, 2011, at 9:13 AM


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