Lenient or Forgiving?
Death is an enemy we do not want to encounter. Most people are afraid of death, but one day we will undoubtedly have to face it. The French King Louis XV was terrified of death, so he ordered that the word death was never to be spoken in his presence. He sought to avoid every place, sign, or monument that would remind him of this inevitable outcome.
Whether we like it or not, whether we talk about it or do not even want to have it mentioned, just as sure as the sun will come out tomorrow, one day we will have to face death. It is in these moments when we incorrectly want God to be lenient instead of forgiving. But God is just as just as he is merciful. One characteristic of His character cannot erase the other one nor can they rule over each other.
The question then is, how are we going to face the fact that because God is just we deserve to be punished because of our sin, and, at the same time, we would like Him to forgive us because He is loving, forgiving, and merciful? At first sight, just as Louis XV, we would like to have the word death banished from our vocabulary, wouldn’t we?
But I have wonderful news for you. Jesus Christ conquered death for us. He took our place at the cross, and all we have to do is to put our trust in His work. The apostle Paul put it beautifully:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55–57) NLT.
There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of because nothing will ever separate us from God’s love. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Always remember that He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all. Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. That is why today, I want to encourage you to put your trust in Jesus and share the magnificent news about the victory we have in Jesus Christ. You can be certain of this: One day you will face death, but you can put your trust in Jesus’ work and accomplishments! We have nothing to be afraid of; He conquered death, and His merits are more than enough. Get ready to share your faith with that one friend you know is not aware of his desperate need of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. May your One receive God’s forgiveness and love!
This devotional plan is based on Who’s Your One? Series preached by Pastor Gregg Matte. To watch the whole sermon, please follow this link: https://houstonsfirst.org/message/heaven-or-hell