When you think about God what words come to mind? (Did you say forgiving?)
Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Psalm 130:4. But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
King Solomon says that before we can really know anything we must fear the Lord. That means we must respect him. We must care about what he cares about and understand what he is like.
King David (Solomon’s father) says in Psalm 130:4 that we fear the Lord when we remember that he forgives us. This can sound a bit strange because usually people fear God when they think he is going to punish them and not forgive them. But the truth is that you can’t respect God, or understand God, or care about what God cares about until you see him as a forgiving God of grace and mercy.
Is that how you see God?
This is the difference between being afraid of God and fearing God. When we only see God as a punishing God we will be afraid of him and obey him only because we don’t want him to be mad at us. But when we see God as the God who has forgiven all of our sins, then we will obey him because we know he loves us and can be trusted. When we know that God treats us with kindness and forgiveness, then we can treat others that way too.
But how do we know that God has forgiven us of all our sins? Look at the cross of Jesus. That is where God forgave us. That is where God proved his love for us. Looking at the cross is the beginning of knowledge. Now when we look at Jesus we know what God is like.
Because of Jesus we can know that God forgives us and is kind to us.
With Jesus we can know how to forgive others and be kind.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Sing Amazing Grace together. Listen for this line: “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.” Talk about what those words mean.
Jesus, it is because you are always kind to me that I can fear you, obey you, and honor you. Help me today to forgive like you forgive. Amen.
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