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For the week of July 8, 2024 God’s Grace as Embodied in Jesus

The way we relate to others often depends on how we perceive them to be. The same is true about God. There’s a huge difference between the way mankind operates and the way God operates. He thinks and works on a much higher level than we’re capable of.

God’s mindset is far above our natural minds. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts; neither are His ways our ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than ours.

What was true before the cross may no longer be true after the cross. In the Old Testament, God was angry with man because of the sin that Adam brought; approaching Him without permission meant certain death. However, God is no longer angry; Jesus took upon Himself all the punishment meant for man when He went to the cross. We can now boldly approach the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace when we need it.

The problem is that most people still see God as He was before the cross. Under the law, He was a judge; under grace, He’s our loving Father who wants a relationship with us. His merciful, compassionate nature was perfectly reflected in Jesus, who forgave the woman caught in adultery, as well as Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector who stole until he met Jesus.

If we don’t know God’s nature under the New-Testament covenant of grace, we’ll be afraid of Him. If we fear Him, we’ll never have the kind of personal relationship He wants to have with us and never receive the good things He wants to give us. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear. Knowing His nature and character—as He is now—allows us to commune with Him, and lets Him perfect us in love.

Prayer:

God, the world doesn’t know You because it sees You as a God who condemns and punishes. However, You’re no longer like that under the covenant of grace. Thank You for letting us get to know You through Your Son. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scriptures:

Isaiah 55:8, 9

Exodus 19:12, 13

Hebrews 4:16

John 8:1-11

Luke 19:1-9

1 John 4:18

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