God is love; His patience, our salvation

devotion column Erasmus Makarimayi

OFTENTIMES, I hear sinners not willing to turn to God, fearing that God’s anger is waiting to devour them.

I did this piece three years ago and adapt it now to stress God’s attitude towards sinners. Not everyone knows that God will accept them if they repent and confess Jesus as Lord. There are some who think God has a whip prepared for them once they come under His banner.

Over the years, I have met people who were so fearful of God’s wrath should they desire to turn to Him. Their argument is that God will pounce on them once they surrender to Him. They think it’s better to remain in wickedness, far from the eye of the Lord. They feel exposed and vulnerable to surrender to God’s domain.
God is love. He doesn’t have love as one of His characteristics, but He’s love itself. Love doesn’t keep a record of evil. Speaking of love, 1 Corinthians 13:5 records in the New International Version: “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

So, without fear, but with boldness, move over to God; He doesn’t hold a garnish order against you. Believers and nonbelievers are all under the umbrella of God’s love. He says in Matthew 5:45: “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” So sinners still get married, buy cars and build mansions.

Born again believers will concur that they still made it in life before they turned to Christ.

God’s grace covers all His people. You may remember how you got yourself into trouble and the arm of God pulled you out. There are many things that fell to your advantage not because of your wisdom, but God’s grace. While you were yet in sin, you enjoyed divine opportunities.

It’s a fact that Christ died for us not because we were righteous, but because we were sinners without hope. Romans 5:8 clarifies: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We, therefore, have the assurance that we can approach God regardless of the type or magnitude of the evils we committed.

While we’re in sin, God’s mercy allows us to see that He is keeping us. It’s this love that draws us to Him. When we’re in Him, we sin not because we’re appreciative of what He did for us. God loves the world and it was for that reason that He gave up His Son. He doesn’t wish anyone to perish.

The very famous verse in John 3:16 records: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It’s a personal choice and decision to perish. God desires that we all have eternal life. The very verse reads loved the world, it doesn’t say born again believers.

God is, therefore, good to sinners and wants to lead them to repentance. If you were in sin, please switch over to Jesus. Romans 2:4 implores, Amplified: “Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?”
Because God spared you while you were deep in sin, repent and seek Him. 1 John 1:7 assures acceptance. It reads: “[7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse us irrespective of the depth and duration we had been living in sin; even repetitive sins won’t overpower the efficacy of His blood. Please, understand this: Jesus never had any problem with sinners, but religious leaders and pretenders who wanted to block salvation.

God is always patient so that we realise our wrongs and turn to Him while there’s time. Apostle Peter says, (New Living Translation), in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back, but He’s delaying so that we all should have turned to Him. He doesn’t want anyone to miss heaven. He died for our salvation and it’s common cause that this was so that all should go to heaven. 1 John 2:1-2 declares:

“[1] My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: [2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Believers and those not yet born again have a place in Christ. Please, make a decision now to accept the love and patience of God. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

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