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March 24, 2008

The God who loves the sinner

Yesterday's Quiet Walk devotional reminded me of the conversation some of our best and brightest theological minds have been having under one of Regis's recent posts.

Many things about God are difficult to understand. But there is one thing about God which is easy to understand. He earnestly longs for the lost to be saved. In the parable of the lost sheep, we see a God who is willing to leave the multitudes to seek just one which is lost. In the parable of the lost coin, we see a God who will move heaven and earth to find a prized possession. In the parable of the prodigal son, we see a God who rejoices with great joy when a lost one comes home. As Christians, we should not let that which we don't know cloud that which we do know. We must focus on the roses rather than the thorns. God loves the sinner, and on that, we can rest.

When we can't figure out some of the theological puzzles life sets us (which for me happens pretty often), it's good to be reminded that God may have reasons that go beyond human understanding.

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Jason Taylor

Thank you for reminding me.

Jason Taylor

Not so much that I didn't "know" that statement but that it was an encouraging word.

Rolley Haggard

Could we with ink the ocean fill / And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill / And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above / Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole / Though stretched from sky to sky.
-- F.M. Lehman, adapted from the 11th Century Jewish poem, “Hadamut”

No where is the love of God for us sinners more clearly seen than in the cross. The cross shows to what lengths God was (and is) willing to go to secure the well-being of sinners. There is NOTHING consonant with justice, love, and His eternal plan that He won’t do for us. The apostle Paul said as much – “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us ALL things?” (Romans 8:32)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it requires the unbridled vehemence of a ranting prophet to jolt me into proper appreciation of such biblical profundities so easily taken for granted. Though current indications suggest he might not apply for the job anytime soon, Michael Savage – a newly converted Michael Savage, of course – would be my pick of contemporaries perfectly suited to expound upon the glories of Romans 8:32 with appropriate passion and potency. I can almost hear him:

“You idiots! If God did not spare His own Son, do you think He will withhold anything else from you? Your faith is smaller than an electron and your thoughts of God are pathetically impoverished. For you see that He gave up Christ, His dearly, dearly, dearly beloved Son, to horrific and intolerable suffering – for you miserable moral vermin! – and yet you have the temerity and incalculably, immeasurably great unbelief to suspect you can conclude “too much” about His love for you! Wake up, anvil heads! The cross proves there are no limits to His love for and delight in you. You cannot – it is not even possible – you cannot overestimate His love for you or the lengths to which He will go on your behalf to secure your ultimate happiness. He did not spare Christ – Christ! – how, then - how in the world can you flea-brains think for a moment that He will withhold anything else from you????”

To which I say, Amen, preach it, garbage-breath!

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

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