4 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 11
2 Corinthians 4
Ezekiel 18
Psalms 62-63

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Ezekiel 18:23 (CSB): “‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

This past Sunday evening, I taught through the entirety of the book of Revelation in a sermon I titled, “What’s This World Coming To?

But, as I prepared to take the congregation through the horrific drama of God’s wrath and judgment pouring out on planet earth, I mentioned in the introduction why God had the book of Revelation written. God wanted the readers of Revelation to see how seriously He takes sin and to be motivated to fall at the foot of the cross and ask for forgiveness so that no one need ever experience God’s wrath. That’s why Revelation was written. It was written as a warning. It was written as an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness (Revelation 22:17) before it’s too late.

This is the heart of our God. While He has no choice but to administer His judgment upon rebellious sin, He thoroughly delights to extend grace and love. Just read again the Old Testament verse that I have chosen for today.

Ezekiel 18:23 (CSB): “‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?’”

Now, read a New Testament verse that demonstrates that God’s love and grace do not change. Our Lord continues to delight in saving rather than judging. Right before talking about God’s final judgment upon planet earth, we read about the desire of God’s heart.

2 Peter 3:9 (CSB): “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”

Friend, God is holy and so He has no choice but to demonstrate His wrath as He pours out His judgment upon sin where He sees it. Yet, the Bible is filled with principles and illustrations that make it clear that God desires much more to extend His grace (give us good stuff that we don’t deserve) and mercy (keep us from bad stuff that we do deserve).

How do we become recipients of His grace and forgiveness and blessings rather than His wrath and judgment? Repentance! Turning from sin and turning to Him.

So, friend, how long has it been since you repented? How long has it been since you sincerely and passionately turned from some sin in your life and turned to Jesus in order to enjoy Him?

Your answer will also answer one final question: How long has it been since you’ve experienced God’s grace and love and blessings?

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I have observed over and over in my Bible how seriously You take sin. But, I have also observed how ready You are to forgive and cleanse and bless the one who turns from sin and turns to You. Lord Jesus, I want to live my life in such a way that I am regularly repenting of sin and experiencing Your favor. Please help me in this endeavor. Amen.