What is God like? There are many wrong, or at least inadequate, opinions and speculations about God, even from Christians. Some deny His holiness and that He judges sin, while others view Him as angry without mercy or grace. The most significant benefit I have received in our recent study of Micah is a clearer understanding of God’s character. He is a just judge who hates and punishes sin. And He delights in steadfast love and pardons sin. What was promised through Micah was completed at Calvary. On the cross, we see the extent of both God’s hatred of sin and His love for us. Condemnation becomes forgiveness, judgment becomes restoration, and destruction becomes exaltation, all due to the character and promises of God. When He humbles us, and we place our hope in Him (repent and believe), Jesus becomes our peace.
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
Grace leads to growth. It is good to rest in God’s grace. Unfortunately, it is easy to wrongly think that God’s grace and our effort are mutually exclusive. We can become passive and apathetic rather than eagerly obedient or spiritually vigilant. After all, God is sovereign, and He is not dependent on us, is He? We skim the passages that remind us that we are ambassadors for Christ, slaves of righteousness, soldiers, hard-working farmers, and the like.
Growing as a disciple means we are increasingly working (laboring) to present everyone mature in Jesus Christ. It takes time, energy, thoughtfulness, money, and effort, completely dependent on His power working in us. As Jesus’ disciples, we have been tasked with making disciples. The question then becomes “how.” What am I supposed to do here and now to fulfill the Great Commission? (Matthew 28:19, 20)
I’m glad you asked! In September, we will explore Paul’s relationship with the Christians at Thessalonica. We will come out of the study with a blueprint for disciple-making that you can follow. Remember, together glorify God by making mature disciples of all nations, starting in the West End.
Fun days! God is good indeed!