How we see God is important because a faulty perception of God can result in a lifetime of fear and bondage. Many people have a wrong impression of God because for generations people have portrayed Him as hard, angry, unfeeling, and condemning, just waiting for man to trip up.
These portrayals of God cause many sincere people to have an unhealthy fear of God. And when they believe that God is against them and waiting to punish them, they find it impossible to break out of their sins, addictions, anxieties, and fears.
Scripture Reveals God’s True Nature
There is a place for God as judge, but He is more a God of love. If you’ve been shown a God of judgment and anger all your life, let these three Scriptures reveal to you His true nature:
- “But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Ps. 86:15, NKJV).
- “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him” (Dan. 9:9, NKJV).
- “Remember, O Lord, your tender mercies and your lovingkindness, for they are from of old” (Ps. 25:6, NKJV).
This is our God! Our God is love! He is slow to anger, gracious, and patient. He is full of forgiveness, loving-kindness, and tender mercies. Thank God we can go to the Holy Word for the truth!
Understanding the True Nature of God
If you want to understand the true nature of God further, just look at Jesus. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father. . . . The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:9–10).
Have you ever seen Jesus provoked and angry with sinners, prostitutes, or tax collectors? Did He criticize the woman at the well who had five husbands, or the woman who was caught in adultery? No.
Now, He was at times angry with the self-righteous, hard-hearted, grace-resisting scribes and Pharisees, but He was always kind and loving toward the sinners and outcasts of society. That’s the nature of your heavenly Father!
Jesus demonstrated such graciousness that His haters sarcastically labeled Him “a friend of sinners” to cast aspersions on His integrity (Matt. 11:19). But what was intended to be a derogatory label is really a beautiful picture of His grace.
Grace and the Sinner
Here are some things about grace:
- It does not shun the sinner; it accepts the sinner, but not the sin.
- Does not picket against those who fall short; it embraces them into wholeness and brings about real inward transformation for them.
- Will not condemn those struggling against sin, but encourages them to produce holiness in themselves.
Sinners found hope, joy, and liberty in Jesus. He showed them His grace and His grace transformed them from living a life of sin to living a life of holiness. He never condoned their sins. In fact, He told them to stop sinning. How could He when He gave His life save them from their sins?
This is how we need to be with non-believers as we bring the Gospel to them. They are spiritually hurting and need healing. Showing them our fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) can help turn them from a life of sinning to eternal life with Jesus, hallelujah!
We see an example of our Lord’s love for sinners when He befriended the corrupt tax collector, Zacchaeus. He invited Himself over to Zacchaeus’s home, loved him, and showed him grace. Before the night was over, Zacchaeus stood in the presence of all his dinner guests and said to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (Luke 19:8).
That’s the power of grace! Grace changes people’s lives from the inside out. Jesus gave Zacchaeus no commandments, no condemnation, no laws . . . just grace, grace, and more grace. And Zacchaeus’s heart was forever transformed. Grace produces true holiness, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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