The Heart of God

God loves

Jeremiah 5/Gen 18 Have you ever felt your heart so sad that you thought it would break? That is why, like Jeremiah, we begin to wonder, is there any good news? Is it all bad news? And there right front and center in chapter five, we see the heart of God. 

God tells Jeremiah, “See if you can find a single person who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. If you can, then I will not punish this city.” [Jer 5:1] Flashback: Return to Gen 18, where we encounter Abraham and the Lord God as they converse about Sodom and Gomorrah. In His mercy, God had quietly shared with Abraham: “I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. If NOT, I want to know.” [Gen 18:1]

Even though God is omniscient, He still “wants to know.” And that is because God is a personal God, not an arbitrary idol god. One of the marvelous things we can count on is that God always thoroughly investigates a situation before passing judgment. He cannot nor will He arbitrarily destroy because He is a fair and judge. As He did with Sodom, He does with us.

We can count on the fact that the God we serve is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” It is because His “lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.” [Lam 3:22] 

Do we have these same character qualities? Do we judge before we have evidence? God’s heart is clear: He is fair and just and He expects us to be the same.

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Are You a “Why” person?

Psalm 9-12 God’s Longsuffering Patience

We are learning more and more about the power of prayer in the lives of believers. Yet there will always be those who rebuff God and refuse to bow the knee or utter words of praise to Him. They are like the men in Romans 1:20 who see the evidence of his power and His love, yet deny him. Just like the psalmist, we go before Him to ask: “Why, Lord, do you stand afar off?” Why do you not remove these evil men?

The answer is that God is full of compassion, mercy and his patience is far beyond ours. He continues to offer evidence until like Pharaoh; they have hardened their hearts beyond the point of no return. Then, He allows the waves of death to come, and like the people in Noah’s day, they realize it is too late. Their ears were seared beyond hearing the gospel message and so they die and enter Torments where they meet the rich man of Luke 16, who said, don’t let them come here. 

But, even as believers, we also often fail to stop and praise God for things like pandemics. We are like Peter, whose eyes were on Jesus as he stepped out of the boat but then let the winds whistle and the roar of the water take our attention. We see the evidence of his power, yet hear God ask: Why don’t you trust me and my plans?

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God’s Post-it-notes

joel 1-3 post it note2as

Joel 1-3  If you just read the first chapter of the Prophet Joel’s message you would just groan and say no more, no more! Like the nation to whom Joel is writing you too may be facing a time of crisis. Yet, Joel starts by listing all of God’s post-it-notes, the first of which is:  “He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, relenting of evil.”   Be convinced that He Is the Lord your God! He is the Lord who dwells in Zion. Joel reminds the people that God will have compassion on His people and then asks, did you forget? He promised long ago to restore your grain as well as fresh wine and olive oil and you will be fully satisfied! Those words remind us of one of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” [Matt 5]

So after all of the locusts who devour and the priests who are in mourning and the farmers who are wailing, God reminds them that they are to proclaim a holy and sacred assembly and call out for help from the Lord.

Have you forgotten the message of Joel? God is speaking directly, personally and urgently to you to call unto Him and seek His face.

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