THE CYCLE OF OUR SIN AND GOD’S GRACE

July 15, 2020

THE CYCLE OF OUR SIN AND GOD’S GRACE


“But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You. Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion. (Nehemiah 9:28)

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” The hymn writer captured in a sentence what is universally true of man. Our humanity is weak, the devil is strong, and the world pulls us relentlessly away from God. Even those who have come into a relationship with Christ still wander at times.

God made us, so He knows this truth. And, He has made an incredible provision. It’s called “grace.” Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is His goodness extended to us in spite of our rebellion. This compassion makes possible a cycle that occurs over and over again with people and nations. It’s a cycle that we are in right now and if we don’t properly understand it we may not cooperate with God in the ways He desires.

WE SIN

“But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You.”

This happens over and over again. Even when we know better, we find ourselves moving away from God’s goodness. The constant temptations of this world have a hard pull on our affections. If we are unwise, we yield to them and find ourselves losing the greatest gift—the presence of God—as we follow after the gods of the world.

GOD DISCIPLINES

“Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them.”

When God’s children wander, He disciplines us. His main tool is to let us feel the weight of seeking another master, another god. These gods begin to “rule over us.” Think of every person (including yourself) and the weight of every addiction we have. It’s because we love those false gods and keep returning to them. And God lets us feel the pain of that dominion.

His judgments are always perfect in righteousness and goodness. They are remedial, i.e., designed to bring a remedy. His discipline is like the good gift of pain. Without this gift, we could put our hand on a hot stove and never know it. We would suffer increasingly worse consequences of our foolishness. So God has designed something to help us see our wrong. And the greatest judgment is to lift His protecting Hand and let us go our own way.

WE CRY OUT AND HE RESCUES

“When they cried again to You, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to Your compassion.”

When we get desperate for change—so desperate that we realize we cannot save ourselves and cry out to God—He always hears and answers. Our soul, our church, our nation receives the gift of God’s reviving. He saves us as we turn to Him.

We have known 4 or 5 nationwide spiritual awakenings in our history as a nation, depending on how you count them. The first Great Awakening (1735-1742), the Second (1800-1825), the Prayer Revival (1857-58), the Welsh Revival (1904-05) and the Jesus movement (1969-72). These moments when God hears from heaven and sends a nationwide revival and awakening are what bring a course correction to nations and put them back on the right path.

Could it be that the whole explanation for what is happening in our world right now is that we have forgotten God? That He is lifting His protecting Hand? That He is wanting us to see our helplessness and return to Him?

Everyone who knows God would agree: the need for such moment right now is great. It is time to admit our sin and our father’s sins. It is time to cry out. It is time to repent and ask God to heal our land. We cannot endure our rebellion much longer or we will lose our place as a light to the nations.

Oh Father, be merciful to us once again. Bring Your people to desperation. Do whatever is necessary to make us willing to turn from every false god and return to You. And then, in mercy, Lord, send the reviving that we do not deserve. Send it so mightily that everyone will know that it has come from Your hand alone. Return us to serve You and accomplish Your purposes of taking the gospel to every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Do this so that You will be glorified, and Your people will be saved. Do this, Lord, to take us nearer to the end, when every knee will bow and tongue confess that You are Lord!

 





Also in Graceful Truth

HOW DO YOU MAKE EACH DECISION IN THE COMMON DAY AND HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU?
HOW DO YOU MAKE EACH DECISION IN THE COMMON DAY AND HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU?

June 29, 2022

Your life is made by multiple decisions. So, what do you do first as you face the choices of each day? Sadly, most of us do not do what Jehoshaphat recommended. “Please inquire FIRST for the word of the LORD.” The word “first” literally means “as the day.” It could mean “today, right now.” But it also implies “for this day, in this particular moment.”

Continue Reading

GOD’S LIMITATIONS
GOD’S LIMITATIONS

June 28, 2022

Our limited thoughts about God are our most limiting condition. What we believe about Him determines everything about us: what we think, how we respond, and what we will accomplish in life. It even determines what we believe about ourselves, for we were made in His image. To think less of Him is to dramatically decrease our understanding of our own potential.

Continue Reading

THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM
THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM

June 22, 2022

A wise man is not only knowledgeable but has the unique ability to apply the right truth at the right moment in the right way. He is the one you seek when you don’t know what to do. He is the one who speaks little in a meeting, but when he opens his mouth, he has the word that everyone has been waiting for; that clarifies the entire issue in a sentence. As opposed to the brashness of the arrogant, his words carry a depth and solidity and warmth that is unusual and profound.

Continue Reading