What an encouragement for weary souls! Duane read from John 9 - the story of Jesus healing a man who was born blind. John 9:1-2 says:
"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him,"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"So often when calamity strikes, the question is "who sinned?", "what is your sin?", "have you confessed and repented?". The problem with this thinking is that it shatters God's sovereignty, his grace and his love for us. in addition it says - "it's all up to us". If we sin we get bad things, and if we do good we get good things. How often upon hearing about something "good" in a friends life have you or have I said "God sure is blessing you", or my favorite - "Obedience brings blessings!". Wow, what a great reminder from Duane that Gods' ways are so far above mine. He is altogether different - no mind can comprehend his ways! Our sin does not bring about his anger, and our good works don't muster up more love from him. But, you say "isn't he sad when we sin? isn't it wrong to sin and doesn't the Bible tell us his anger and wrath are fueled by our sin? Yes, but that's not the end of the story. Had not our Savior come our ending would be different. Had he not given himself by his sacrificial death on our behalf we'd be lost - eternally. But, by his death we live. By his victory on the cross we are risen with him. By his great love for sinners we are reconciled to God and have peace with him eternally. If you know God in Christ your sins are forgiven, you are whiter than snow and God loves you - not any more because of the good you do and not any less because of the bad you do - he loves you no matter what because of Jesus!
Thank you to Pastor Duane for reminding me of this precious truth this morning!