Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 103:8-14

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. 9 He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.

10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. 14 For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.

The Original Intent

1) What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Fear of God does not mean a cowering, shaking, fright. The term “fear”, as used in this passage, means “reverential awe.” It’s basically a recognition of God as the most holy and most powerful, and then obedience to His commands.

Our Lord is not like the Wizard of Oz, invoking terror on anyone who would dare approach Him. He wants a relationship with His people, so when they come to Him for help, He is compassionate and gracious.

The Everyday Application

1) What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Fathers – and mothers – are our earthly example of God. His design for the family was meant to give children a fairly clear picture of who He is, provided the parents are in relationship with Him. But humans have free will to choose whether or not to be in relationship with God, plus sin and Satan have done a good job of destroying the family unit.

The result is a lot of people with father (and/or mother) wounds. If there is abuse or neglect or any sort of self-imposed rule, children grow up to be distant from God. They don’t want anything to do with Him if He is anything like their parent.

If this describes you, let me reassure you: God is not at all like that. In fact, He longs for you to come to Him so that He can comfort you and heal your wounds. Take a step of faith…even if timidly…and reach out to Him for help.

The Original Intent

2) What do our sins deserve?

Some may see this as an easy question, but the answer is nothing trite. In fact, our eternity is bound up in what we do with this central truth. Our sins deserve death.

Romans 6:23 states it plainly. Because of sin, every person will experience physical death, brokenness, hurt, anger, and destruction in their lives and in the world around us. Additionally, if not for the Lord’s mercy, sin would also mean eternal separation from Him when our physical bodies die.

Because God, in His holiness, cannot associate with sin and is also entirely Just, the punishment for sin is death by eternal separation from His holy presence. Hell is a physical place, and without Jesus, it’s our automatic destination after we die.

The Everyday Application

2) What do our sins deserve?

Even though our sins deserve death, God loved us so much that He sent Jesus (John 3:16), so that our belief in Him would enable us to be forgiven and have eternal life with God. But He left this as a personal choice to accept His merciful free gift.

He loves us all, but will not force us to love Him. Still, He wants each person to make an informed choice, and that is why it’s important for us, as believers, to share our experience of life-change attributed to Jesus.

 

The Original Intent

3) What do we learn about God in this passage?

Based on the traits of God included in this passage by the writer, we learn that God is worthy of our adoration, our worship, and our trust. It is obvious that He has our best interests at heart and does not will that we should be destroyed.

His is a covenantal love, not contractual. We do not have to meet any qualifications or agree to perform any duties in order for God to love us…it’s all on Him, and He gladly takes that up, proving it by sending His Son centuries later to die in our place, offering forgiveness to each of us.

The Everyday Application

3) What do we learn about God in this passage?

If you’ve spent any time at all in this world, you surely have come into contact with people who will only love you if you meet their demands. Gain a few pounds and they’re gone. Make friends with that girl, and they no longer want anything to do with you. Take a job that is more satisfying, but pays less? How dare you!

Isn’t it comforting to know that God doesn’t require anything from you in order to gain salvation? He will never love you any less than He does right now, and He could not love you more.

Asking Jesus to be our Savior costs us nothing, because we can do nothing to earn it, but surrendering to Him, will also cost us everything as He begins His beautiful work of removing our bent towards sin and awakening us to new, abundant life in Him! Now this is a God that I want to know…how about you?!

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