“‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations. ’”
Numbers 14:18 NASB
Day by day I see the debauchery and perversity in the world and day by day I wonder why God has not destroyed us all. We are beyond the slippery slope and there is no end in sight to our level of sickness. The taboo as become the ordinary, the reprehensible has became lauded.
Yet He waits.
Then I remember the depths of my own sin. When I think back to my life before Jesus, I am sickened by memories I am unable to wipe from my mind. I am thankful that God did not strike me. For years I walked in sin openly.
I think we believers are struck with amnesia when we fail to consider what God has done for us as we judge those who have not been touched by His grace. We forget our own depravity.
Those of us who have grown up in “Christian” homes can be the worst. We have thought of ourselves as somehow better than others. Truth is, spiritual pride is the most wicked sin of all. We did nothing for our salvation, it is a gift of God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
The son of a pastor, the son of a pimp stand even if they have been saved by the work of Jesus on the cross.
I am also thankful that God is patient as I grow and develop in the faith. A while back I read of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu and how they were killed for bringing “strange fire” before the Lord. I am reminded of the grace I enjoy because Jesus, God in the flesh went to the cross to pay for my sins. When He died the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom, giving access to God.
I know I have brought strange fire to the Lord as I have approached Him with selfish motivation. He has not stricken me. He has waited as He transformed my heart and my prayers so that I seek His will. He waited for my desires to change and for my heart to mature.
Some of us are less than patient with the “baby christians” among us. We must remember that we were like that once. I regularly remind myself to love and be patient and refrain from mocking. We are all a work in progress. There are no stupid comments or questions as one learns the heart of God.
I am deeply saddened at the state of those who have not come to know the grace if God. I see the destruction that is present in their lives. I also see the consequences of that sin in the lives of their children, grandchildren and beyond. The sins are repeated and each generation seeks a new and deeper low, as the sin becomes baked in.
Only Jesus can break the pattern of sin. I strive to pray for those I know who need the Lord. It is a long and painful process, as I see no sign of change and in some cases, a worsening of behaviors. In those moments I remember my own mother. She prayed for years for me and I am sure that she had many a my tearful time as I seemed bound for hell. I will never forget the Easter Sunday morning in 1998 when I shared that I had accepted Jesus. Oh how she rejoiced!
I pray with urgency for the lost, but with the endurance of God. I keep praying and praying and praying. It is not over till it is over.
If you are praying for someone who appears to be a hopeless cause, do not stop! Keep praying, keep sharing, keep loving! Don’t give up! If there is life there is hope!!!
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9 NASB