God’s Compassion, God’s Desire

After a good night of rest, I felt refreshed and strong. I believe getting into a consistent exercise regimen is going to show significant benefits. After some work at home and some home exercise, I went to the fitness club to try out the swimming pool. It was good to be back into the water and swim some laps and do some water exercise on an off day from my weight and cardo program.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!.. For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”              Ezekiel 18:31,32

I always find people’s idea of God and His ways interesting. Especially those whose view of God is one who is ready to dish out divine retribution on a whim. They say, “If God doesn’t want me to do this, He will stop me!” They view  God as one who delights in “sending people to hell.” Really!?

We see God’s pronouncement of judgment in the Old Testament balanced with His desire for people to turn to change their ways and turn to Him. Ezekiel has lived as a human object lesson before the Children of Israel. His prophetic words show through several images how God’s people have turned away from God’s plan and have chosen a path of their own choosing and to suit their own desires.

The statement needs no interpretation or theological explanation, the Lord says, “I have no pleasure in the death of anyone…” In the New Testament Peter declared, “The Lord is…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9  The Apostle Paul said, “[The Lord]…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4

The proper response, “turn and live.” That is a good description of the call to repentance. It requires humility and confession. Confession simply means, “to agree with [God]”  That is often a difficult step, but the consequences of ignoring the Lord’s invitation are grave. Proverbs sounds a sober warning, “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” Proverbs 29:1

The father of the prodigal son, when he say him afar off, ran to him. In the same way when someone takes a step to the Lord, they will find a Heavenly Father waiting and “running” to them to receive and embrace them. No judgment, no questions asked, just grace and forgiveness.