Are you mad at me?

god-is-enoughHe was angry.  His eyes narrowed and his voice rose as he told me how terrible I was, describing me as a liar, a cheat – and those were the nice things he said!  I knew that what he was saying had no basis in fact but I still felt terrible, even afraid, because of his tirade.  All these years later, the memory at that encounter stirs up tension.  Most of us do not like to feel the wrath of another, do we?  It’s even worse when we know that we deserve it!

Do you know that humanity’s refusal of their Creator stirs up His wrath?  Nobody likes to think that God, the loving Father is capable of anger, but He is!  His perfect holiness is offended by rejection.  His wrath is righteous, not resulting from misunderstanding or some twisted ego. He sees evil and the terrible toll it takes on people and He hates it! In words that are hard to read the Spirit tells us the plight of humanity, one that we have brought on ourselves. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . . For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. . . .  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25, NIV)

God says that He makes Himself known as both majestic and benevolent in the very acts of Creation but people who are determined to live on their own terms, suppress the truth. Refusing to acknowledge God has consequences.  Worshipping the living God, something that makes humans noble, gets traded for religion, slavery to gods of their own making. “Exchanged” is a word that is used three times in that chapter.  God’s majestic glory exchanged for mere idols; God’s truth about who we are exchanged for a lie that turns life upside down;  God’s purpose for people which is to know and love Him exchanged for an animalistic pursuit of pleasure!  Those exchanges are not just regrettable, they are deathly. “Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth.”  (Romans 1:28-29, The Message)

The wonderful relief from the gloom of that passage breaks over me as I read that “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.” (Romans 3:22-24, NLT)  Evil’s power has been shattered by Christ Jesus.

Radical love for Jesus comes when we make no excuse for sin, when stop renaming evil, and admit our desperate plight. Yes the horror of His wrath makes the glory and wonder of His salvation all the more wonderful!  Here’s the word from the Word.  Christian, rejoice in grace. “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful kindness became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21, NLT)

No, He’s no longer angry with me.  I need not tremble at His wrath. Why?  Because I am safe in the arms of Jesus, forgiven, reconciled; a recipient of a righteousness I could never earn. How about you?

___________

Lord I Need You

Lord I come, I confess,

Bowing here, I find my rest.

And without You, I fall apart,

You’re the one that guides my heart.

 

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You,

Ev’ry hour I need You.

My one defense, my righteousness,

Oh God, how I need You.

 

Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more!

Where grace is found is where You are.

And where You are, Lord, I am free.

Holiness is Christ in me.

 

So teach my song to rise to You

When temptation comes my way.

And when I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You.

Jesus, You’re my hope and stay.

 

Lord, I need You, oh I need You,

Ev’ry hour I need You.

My one defense, my righteousness,

Oh God, how I need You.

Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher

© 2011 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Sweater Weather Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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