I loooove thunderstorms!!! It may sound crazy, but to me the sound of the thunder claps and the rain beating down are both very relaxing and soothing, especially when I am in bed at night. Whenever I hear the boom of the thunder, I often think about God's voice thundering as He gave the children of Israel the Law at Mount Sinai. Needless to say, Moses, Aaron and the Israelites were all pretty frightened during and after this powerful encounter with the Almighty! I think we'd all be kind of freaked out after such an event! God can be big and scary, and because He is a holy, righteous and just God, standing (or kneeling) before Him can be quite intimidating at times. God is good, loving and kind for sure, but He is not safe, and if you're not a little afraid in His presence you are standing before an imposter. The real God IS big and IS a bit scary, and our sin does separate us from Him, which is the reason for the Incarnation. God became man and dwelt among us, and He loved us so much that He, innocent though He was, died a criminal's death on a cross, paying our sin debt in full once and for all and granting the promise of eternal life for all those who would believe. Is God awesome or what?!!? God made a way when it seemed there was no way. And now, because of the cross, we as His children can "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV). Indeed, because of God's amazing grace, nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39b, NIV) God's grace is so awesome and radical that for the believer "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."(Romans 8:1b, NIV) And no condemnation means no condemnation! Period! You truly are free, and "therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36, NKJV) The works of the Law could never save anyone, and obsessing over our lack of obedience only leads to more disobedience. Am I suggesting that this gives us a green light to sin and that God doesn't have anything to say about how we live our lives? In the words of the Apostle Paul, "Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:2, NKJV) Grace does not mean that it's okay to lie, cheat and steal. But it does mean that if you belong to Christ, God will never be angry with you again. You've been forgiven and Christ's righteousness has been "deposited into your account". You are free and dearly loved, my friends. And so while we may tremble before the throne
of our holy, awesome and Almight Creator, who created the majesty of a thunderstorm, let us always remember the words of that beloved hymn, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see. "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed." I think that says it all. Oh, and did I mention, "no condemnation"? I think that says it all, too.
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