Jun 16, 2021, 12:55 PM
God is the Father of us all, not just the good but the bad, the ugly and the wicked too. He “wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1Timothy 2:4) Rain does not fall on the rooftops of only the just, but on every rooftop! No one is left out on purpose when it rains; it is all-inclusive. Each and every one of us has been given a chance to change from his/her wicked ways in order to live.
However, we tend to put the ugly and wicked on an exclusion list and look at ourselves as those who qualify by the sheer outward expressions of goodness through charity. However, when we are not genuine, God sees the pretence in our hearts and will call us to repentance.
God’s patience is wide, high and deep as His love and compassion. (Ephesians 5:8) He does not want anyone to be lost or for anyone to die and go to hell. God’s love for us is all-compassing. He has accorded us enough time to turnaround before it is too late. We are reminded that there is no repentance beyond the grave. Let us seize this offer before the Master’s return. Except He tarries, He will return as the Righteous Judge to judge the sins of the world.
The parable of the Prodigal Son told by our Lord Jesus is explicit with regard to God’s compassion for all those who were lost and have had a change of heart, have turned their backs on their past, have repented of their sins and have resolved to embrace the right path. No one is condemned for life because of his/her sins; instead God stretches a hand of forgiveness to all who genuinely repent of their sins, never to lick their vomit again. It is after we have hardened our hearts to the good news of grace and mercy that the doors will be shut. The experience of one of the brigands that was crucified alongside Jesus received his salvation at the eleventh hour and made it to heaven. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
God demands total obedience from those whom He calls His own. He requires unflinching adherence to His Word. His children must make a definite choice and not waver regarding whom they serve. Our Lord Jesus declared: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6: 63) Joshua urged the people of God to “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve .... but as for me
and my household, we will serve the Lord. ” (Joshua 24:15)
God’s Word is infallible; that means, it is the absolute truth. The first step we should take is put into practice what it says.
I recall that in my rebellious days, I used to advance arguments like ‘How can I go to church where you find only the aged and the children, -- a time when none of my age group went to church. Those were just trite excuses to justify a crooked lifestyle. Only the devil is pleased to hear arguments like these. We are good at positioning ourselves when it suits us – it is a safe exit. I proudly advanced such arguments as the basis for ceasing to set foot in church during my early adulthood. It was convenient for someone who spent times in night clubs to use that as a subterfuge. However, the repercussions are serious. A mighty lot has slipped through my fingers that have prevented me from being able to seek to restore what the locusts had stolen.
Ever heard someone make the comment that the services are long and boring? Or another state, ‘I would rather listen to church services over the radio or the television.’ You could clearly see that these flimsy excuses to justify running away from making a commitment are nothing short of irresponsibility.
Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray and He did. There are people who go around requesting prayers for this, that or the other. It is true that the Bible recommends us to pray, interceding for each other. When this becomes a way of life, then we are on the right track.
The Bible is fraught with examples of prayers that should guide us how to pray. Prayer becomes a way of life, at best a lifestyle that we must adhere to if we are to follow the Master’s example. He got up early to pray to the Father so that He would receive instructions of how to go about each day. He conferred with His Father to stay in line with His schedule and be ready for whatever trials may come His way. We must emulate His example to ward off the fiery darts of the devil from whatever angle they may come from.
The best results are obtained when we open our hearts to God ourselves. When we come before God we should not be intimidated by His stature. God is our Father and we are not strangers; there is no prayer that comes from the heart that He would not listen to.
It is time we build a relationship with the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. A relationship is nurtured and entertained through prayer. “Ask and it shall be given to you ...” (Matthew 7:7) Nothing is hidden from God, Everyday God is beckoning to us saying; ‘My son, my daughter, return to me ... you have strayed too far away. I love you so much to offer my Son to die in your stead for the sins of the world which include yours.” Come to me, all those who are weary and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.