Friday, April 29, 2016

Our Loving and Just God (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)

Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Many have argued that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath while the God of the New Testament is a God of love.

But really? The God of the Bible is both love and justice. Throughout the Bible, God shows justice to those who fail to follow His commandments; He is holy, so He cannot abide with sin. And He rightfully punishes that sin. But also throughout the Bible, God shows love and compassion for those who follow Him. Seriously, read the book of Judges to see how God loves and forgives His people when they turn from Him … continually.

And the prophets remind us over and over again of how God will lovingly embrace those who repent and turn back to Him. Jeremiah wrote, “For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (24:6-7).

Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah who would be our once-for-always sacrifice and salvation from sin. And that prophecy came to fruition in the New Testament. The loving and just God who embraced His repentant people throughout the Old Testament lovingly embraces us now.

Indeed, “... there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV). And we will live forever with Him.

So, be encouraged.

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