GOD-WHO-FORGIVES. “Now our modern notions of what is meant by the love of God are a great deal too sentimental and gushing and limp. Love is degraded unless there be holiness in it. It becomes immoral good nature, much more than anything that deserves the name of love. A God who is all love, so much so that it makes no difference to Him whether a man is a saint or a sinner, is not a God to be worshipped, and scarcely a God to be admired.” MacLaren’s Expositions
Psalms 99:8 NKJV
Praise God He is the God-Who-Forgives! Where would I be without the cross? I cannot even imagine my life without the Lord. By the way I was living my life, I would probably be dead by now. I would certainly not be who I am today nor where I am today. The Lord forgave all my sins, He picked me up out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a Rock so that I should not be moved. Hallelujah!
Yet, here’s the part that people do not like, being forgiven does not mean I escaped the evil and destructive seeds I had sown for years. I was broke and literally had nothing. I didn’t have a home, or a vehicle or a job; I had a few scraggly articles of clothing. I had destroyed most friendships and my reputation. I was starting from ground zero. Scripture tells us, “God will not be mocked. For WHATEVER a man sows, that and only that is what he reaps”.
Read the above Psalm again. Both Moses and Aaron “angered God at the waters of strife” (Numbers 20:12, 13). Aaron angered him still more by sanctioning the idolatry of the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-24). God pardoned both of them these and other sins, but not without inflicting punishment for the sins. Neither Moses nor Aaron were permitted to enter the promised land. The prophet Samuel’s judgeship seems to have been brought to an end through his undue leniency towards his sons Joel and Abiah (1 Samuel 8:1-5).
God will not be mocked. He is a loving, holy God who scourges and chastens every son or daughter He receives. If He does not discipline and punish you, then you are an illegitimate child. His chastening is His love. He is not an earthly millennial parent who lets their children do whatever they want and defends their bad behavior. Stop bringing God down to wicked men’s behaviors. God chastens those He loves.
You can be forgiven! But be sure your sin will find you out. You can still live forgiven and be so far in debt that creditors are taking out the bed from underneath your sleep because you refuse to obey God with your money. You can be forgiven and still be lazy and careless, thus producing the effects of laziness and reaping a field of overgrown weeds and thorns. Smoke cigarettes your whole life and you can be forgiven and still die of lung cancer. Have a past of drinking heavily and drug abuse and you can be forgiven by the blood of the Lamb but because of your past you could lose your family, health and riches.
A preacher who so defiles that which he has been given, mars his marriage and dumbs down the gospel can still be forgiven if he repents; but the damage has been done and he may reap those consequences for the rest of his life, including loss of ministry. No matter how much he repents, he may never get back that which he had. Drive drunk and kill someone, you can be forgiven but spend the rest of your days in jail. You will reap what you sow.
Can God restore? Absolutely! It is not too late to begin sowing seeds of righteousness. My life looks completely different than it did 27 years ago. I struggled for many years, but kept to the path of righteousness and obedient to the things God gave me. I am not only a different person through His patience and discipline; I am in greener and lusher pastures.
Here’s what you need to understand, God knows how to best discipline His children. Stop trying to interfere with the Lord’s discipline in another’s life. Stop playing at being an amateur Providence. People will reap what they sow, let them. Your interference will only hinder their growth. Parents, take note of Samuel. Leaders, take note of Moses.
Preachers, take note of Aaron. All people, take note of King David who was forgiven for his adultery but suffered for it the rest of his life. If someone is reaping a bad harvest, pray they repent and return to Jesus and for strength to endure. CS Lewis said, “Pity was meant to be a spur that drives joy to help misery. But it can be used the wrong way round. It can be used for a kind of blackmailing. Those who choose misery can hold joy up to ransom, by pity.” I see a lot of people that are reaping their bad decisions then play on people’s pity. Beware that you are not interfering with God’s discipline in another’s life.
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