Joseph Prince (April-06-2022) Daily Devotional: This Is Our God!
God is love. - 1 John 4:8
How we see God is important because a faulty perception of God can result in a lifetime of fear and bondage. Too many people have a wrong impression of God because for generations people have portrayed Him as hard, angry, unfeeling, and condemning, just waiting for man to trip up.
These portrayals of God cause many sincere people to have an unhealthy fear of God. And when they believe that God is against them and out to punish them, they find it impossible to break out of their sins, addictions, anxieties, and fears.
My friend, if you’ve been shown a God of judgment and anger all your life, let the Scriptures reveal to you His true nature:
- “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Ps. 86:15 NIV).
- “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving” (Dan. 9:9 NIV).
- “O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses . . . they are from of old” (Ps. 25:6).
This is our God! Our God is love! He is slow to anger, gracious, and patient. He is full of forgiveness, loving-kindness, and tender mercies. Thank God we can go to the Holy Word for the truth!
If you want to further understand the true nature of God, just look at Jesus. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father. . . . The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:9–10).
Have you ever seen Jesus provoked and angry with sinners, prostitutes, or tax collectors? Did He berate the woman at the well who had five husbands, or the woman who was caught in adultery?
Now, He was at times angry with the self-righteous, hard-hearted, grace-resisting scribes and Pharisees, but He was always kind and loving toward the sinners and outcasts of society. That’s the nature of your heavenly Father!
Jesus demonstrated such graciousness that His haters sarcastically labeled Him “a friend of sinners” to cast aspersions on His integrity (Matt. 11:19). But what was intended to be a derogatory label is really a beautiful picture of His grace.
Grace doesn’t shun the sinner; grace pursues the sinner. Grace doesn’t picket against those who fall short; grace embraces them into wholeness and brings about real inward transformation for them. Grace does not condemn those struggling against sin; grace produces holiness in them.
Sinners found hope, joy, and liberty in Jesus. He showed them His grace and His grace transformed them from living a life of sin to living a life of holiness. He never condoned their sins. A thousand times no. How could He, when He gave His life to save them from their sins!
We see an example of our Lord’s love for sinners when He befriended the corrupt tax collector, Zacchaeus. He invited Himself over to Zacchaeus’s home, loved him, and showed him grace. Before the night was over, Zacchaeus stood in the presence of all his dinner guests and said to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (Luke 19:8).
That’s the power of grace! Grace changes people’s lives from the inside out. Jesus gave Zacchaeus no commandments, no condemnation, no laws . . . just grace, grace, and more grace. And Zacchaeus’s heart was forever transformed. Grace produces true holiness.