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The right of wrath

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Read: John 3:16-36

Those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants (John 3:21).

the-right-of-wrathIn October 2017, the Twitter hashtag #metoo reached epic status, but the movement began in 2006 with Tarana Burke’s efforts to bring the reality of sexual assault before the public eye. Recently, my husband and I met with a longtime friend who shared with us her own pain of having been sexually abused by family members at a young age. As we listened, we felt led to tell her that, while God is a God of mercy who could forgive those who had hurt her, He also felt deep anger toward the injustice of the pain created in her life by the violation she’d experienced.

John 3:16 tells of God’s unconditional love for a world replete with darkness, desecration, and destruction. Often quoted in isolation, this verse actually comes within the context of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, a religious leader of His time (John 3:1-2). Revealing how salvation is a work of the spirit and not of the flesh, Jesus explained that it would be love, not legalism, that would bring redemption (John 3:3-8,17-18).

At the same time, God’s compassion toward us doesn’t diminish the fullness of the wrath He brings against injustice. Jesus revealed that God’s anger is satisfied only through Christ’s blood, so the fullness of God’s grace has come in what Jesus has done for us. To believe in the presence of God’s wrath as well as the beauty of His gift of forgiveness is to recognize that Jesus accomplished on the cross what we could not. If we love the darkness more than the light, however, then God’s wrath remains on us because it remains on the sin with which we’ve identified ourselves (John 3:19-21,36).

May we believe in the God who sets all things right, whose testimony is faithful and true (John 3:32-35).

Our Daily Journey ©2018 ODB Ministries, 3000, Kraft Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49555-0001, USA. Used by permission. For this and other materials contact ODB Ministries at 322 P. Guevarra, San Juan City (Phils.); Tel.: 722-2010.

 

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