bits from bob....

Have You Seen God's Heart?

by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Our society does not know what to do with murderers, assassins, hardened criminals! Should there be a "death row?" Should Christians be for or against capital punishment? What should be our attitude? How does one justify killing?

One obvious answer is that such persons deserve the fullest punishment the government can give. Just because God can forgive doesn't erase the earthly consequences of sin, especially cruel sins such as murder and rape. We frequently distance ourselves and let others wrestle with the inequities. Our problem is not just forgiveness, but justice. We often reflect the spirit of Jonah, "That is why I did not want to come to Nineveh, because I knew you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity."

Jonah knew the heart of God but did not like what he saw. What if God forgives someone who doesn't deserve forgiveness? The cross is the declaration of God's heart. The cross, in our saner moments, we flee because our hearts are so little. Are you ever afraid to fully embrace his grace for others, for you?

The cross brings us face to face with the dynamics of forgiveness, or God's graciousness toward us when we are undeserving. God's love for us is beyond words. Perhaps you struggle with sharing the gospel with someone who has wronged you or others. Perhaps this person has no intention of apologizing or repenting. This is the tough side of Christianity.

May we not flee from the heart of God, but hold to it dearly because of its compassion and hope. I pray we might develop the heart of God in our lives today as we rethink the difficult challenge of understanding God's forgiveness at Calvary!

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Last updated February 21, 2001.