Monday, July 8, 2013

The Dark Side of God #3

Woe to you

‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild’ is a nice warm fuzzy prayer taught to children. Nice sentiment. Tells only a fraction of the truth! As we mature we need to add some deeper wiser insights to that prayer. Only then will we save ourselves from sliding into spiritual apathy and Biblical ignorance. There are those who imagine they can play with the Devil and when they cross Death’s divide they’ll feast in God’s heaven. The Bible has news for them as summed up in ‘Woe to you!’ Three passages outline this aspect of God’s nature.

In Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus present a frightening assessment on cities who saw and heard Him yet scorned His teaching, miracles and essential being. Jesus said to Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum they were in for a severer judgement than three other well known cities. Why? Because if such places as Tyre, Sidon and Sodom had seen what the other three cities had seen they would have repented! If those Old Testament cities had been overthrown because of their unbelief what was in store for Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum? Greater knowledge of who Jesus is and more verifiable testimony to what He has achieved offers great blessing of if rejected, terrible judgement.

Children have a special interest to God. (See my Devotional ‘Children – God’s Special Interest’– in all good Christian bookshops).  Abuse them, exploit them or destroy them is to place oneself in eternal jeopardy. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 ‘If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you it a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Jesus was revealing His dark–side. In other words, don’t corrupt or destroy the life and destiny of children.  As I read the papers, watch the news I tremble for those especially in religious garb who will find a millstone more inviting than God’s wrath.

Some of the strongest opponents to the ministry of Jesus were the religious orders of the day. They put on a great show and ritual for being outwardly spiritual. Jesus however could see their hearts and read their minds. In Matthew 23 you will read the Lord’s assessment of their inner workings. It is chilling. The moral and spiritual descendants of these play actors are with us now. Jesus would say the same thing to them.  ‘Woe to you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!’

Across the Scriptures comes the warning it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. How then can any of us escape from falling under the Dark side of God? How can we cross over into His realm of Light?

The key word is ‘repent’. Don’t make excuses. Don’t downplay the things perpetrated. Don’t try and bluff the Lord God by promises to be a better person. Confess the horror of your deeds; repent, which means asking God to help you change your ways as they now make you sick; and believe what Jesus Christ has done for you at the Cross and through His resurrection. It is only by a personal conviction and act of faith in Jesus that you will be carried by Him out of God the Father’s dark side and into the light of His glory. Then fear is transformed in forgiveness and acceptance.

Maybe then we could add to our childlike prayer: ‘Almighty Jesus, fearsome in wrath and true in judgement look on me through your grace and cross. I admit my dishonourable inner and outer behaviour but plead for your mercy and forgiveness to save me from your dark side and bring me into your life and light. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

Ray (dwelling now in the Light) Hawkins

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