God as An Architect- William Blake
Tonight has been a peculiar night. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened but I feel as if God interrupted my night (perhaps because I was not taking time to give him room.) He interrupted my night and gave me some time to just sit and read. I've been perusing a book I read when I was in college called Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours? While flipping through the pages I looked at some different passages I underlined and during that time the Lord began to quicken my heart once again for a passion to share the Gospel with those who have yet to receive it. I began to search through the Scripture on verses pertaining to the Gospel, humanity's fallen nature and God's ultimate gift of grace. I quickly wrote down verse after verse and I was struck by two of them in particular.
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God..."
Depressing and heavy huh?!? But wait...there is more...
"And that is what some of you WERE. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (I Corinthians 6:9-11) Amen!!
Those verses just hit me and I was so in awe of the greatness of our God. We were enemies of the cross steeped in deadly sin. Our eyes were veiled to his sacrifice but by the grace of our Lord we were brought to repentance and were washed and sanctified, not because we deserved it, no...we were filthy and full of everything contrary to God's nature. We were washed because of God's great love for us!!
Piggybacking on that idea look at this next verse:
"...He [the Lord] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but every one to come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9)
God could choose to return to earth any day but all of these years has had been patient not longing for anyone to perish but for all to find grace in the sacrifice of his Son. I was humbled by that truth when I thought of all my loved ones and friends who do not yet know Jesus...God is patient with them...he is waiting...because his heart is for all people to be restored to a right relationship with himself!! In fact that is what the Bible is all about. Passage after passage of scripture tells truth of God reaching down into the ravaged lives of his Creation, bridging the gap and redeeming them.
I think some of this week I'm going to take time to look and reflect on God's nature of redemption and restoration. My heart needs to be burdened like the Lord's heart is burdened for those who are still lost. My lips have been quiet for too long...