You know, if someone wrongs me, maybe I can forgive them. Maybe I can mumble a half-hearted prayer or blessing for their life.
What I cannot fathom is not only the forgiveness and love our God extends to us, but His great desire to bless us and shower us with His kindness and mercy forever after.
We have sinned against God. As we look inside or around there are reminders everywhere. And if there still remains any doubt, the Bible is full of verses that show us how evil, how sick, how sinful we are.
Why is that? Isn’t God loving? Doesn’t He accept us as we are, doesn’t He get us? I mean we are doing the best we can.
Why does He point it out, in writing, over and over?
Romans 2:4 “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
He, in His great kindness, shows us how far we are from Him; how sinful we are, not to make us feel bad or hopeless.
Not out of a desire to show He has a reason to squash us. Not to remind us and dangle in front of us the truth that we could never be good enough; that He could never be near us.
Not so He can judge us and shame us. That would not show His kindness, would it?!. (Now, those may be things we as Christians do. And that is so unfortunate. We certainly did not learn that from our God.)
His kindness leads us to repentance. It leads us to Him. To our hope to be made clean and alive.
Now if He just stopped at salvation we would celebrate and be eternally grateful. That would be more than enough from our human perspective. Way beyond what we would do for someone who had wronged us.
After He saves us He doesn’t zap us off to someplace where we can live in perfection. We continue living; we continue to sin against Him. We get distracted and forget about Him.
We rebel against Him and His authority in our lives. We don’t treat this God who saved us with the respect or honor He deserves. With the love and devotion that are due Him.
Even so, in His kindness He still calls us. He still draws us close. Anyone else truly perplexed by this?
There is more. I mean, with God there is ALWAYS more.
He doesn’t look at us as just a nice “collection” of people He has saved and made clean. He is truly kind.
He says, “Come, I want you to see Me. I want you to know who I am. The God you think I am; the Savior and King you see? I am more.”
He doesn’t just forgive us; He blesses us. He extends mercy and kindness to us. He showers us with grace. He adopts us and lets us share in His inheritance. And, we get to spend eternity with Him.
I don’t know how you picture heaven. When I think of standing before Him, this God for whom I was created, who loved me and saved me, and seeing Him face to face–I can’t see past that.
To be in the presence of One whose Being defines purity, love, light, kindness, mercy, grace, …to actually be in His presence, face to face. To be overpowered by all that He is and spend an eternity there?!
I believe that for all eternity He can, and will, continually show us “more”. Just when we think that all we have already seen is so incredible and we are in such awe of Him that there couldn’t possibly be more …there will be more. Always more.
This is our God.
Note: I do believe we are called to forgive and able to do so fully when submitting to God and His power. My point in the beginning was simply that on our own, it is very hard for us to forgive. Who am I kidding? Even with God’s help it is very hard for us to forgive. But, hard or not, we are called to forgive and able to forgive. My point was to simply contrast God’s amazing love and ability to forgive us with our feeble attempts at forgiveness.