May 11, 2015

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry for ever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Americans are not used to comparing Yahweh with other gods, because the cultural mindset has been monotheistic and for the most part Judaeo-Christian. However, with the recent explosion of activity from militant Islam, we have plenty of opportunity to compare Him with Allah, and Scriptures like this come into sharp focus. Psalm 130:4 comes to mind: “But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” No god postulated by human imagination is like the Creator who revealed Himself to Abraham and gave Himself in the Person of His Son Jesus. Recently I have seen several expositions of how if the physical universe were different even to the smallest degree, earth and all life on it could not exist. In the same way, if the Creator were different to the smallest degree, He would never have put up with all that mankind has done, or else He would never have created us in the first place. We have no real grasp of the extent to which we are blessed. Every bit of it is grace, that is, unmerited favor, because we haven’t earned it. On the contrary, we are all too likely to reject it at every turn. Hell was never designed as a place for human beings, yet multitudes persist in going there because of their rejection of the grace that is offered them by their Creator. All that is called for is repentance and faith, which naturally result in obedience, but so many so stubbornly refuse what is offered.

This is the major heartache of my life, and if it is for me, how much more is it so for Father God! I desire that everyone accept the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23, Revelation 22:17) that is offered to them, and the more I love them, the more strongly I desire it. God’s love is so strong it caused Him to send His Son! When I pray for people’s salvation I can do so with complete confidence that I am praying in God’s will, but at the same time I must remember that He has given each of us free will, and He will not force anyone into salvation. I am to pray for His mercy, that He would make circumstances as favorable as possible for a right decision, and I am to be active as His instrument in making the truth of the Gospel as accessible as possible to people, so that the Holy Spirit may convict of sin, righteousness and judgment, (John 16:8) and bring them to repentance and faith for salvation.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the opportunity I had yesterday to share Your truth with people who didn’t know me. Thank You for their reception. I pray that the words You spoke through me would remain with them and bear abundant fruit. I pray that I would not give up with the people here, however much familiarity might breed contempt. I pray that You would renew my love for them and their appreciation of Your truth through me, so that together we might grow into all that You intend for us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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