Incomparable God, Incomparable Grace

Anger is a tricky emotion. It can come out as a loud, violent and destructive explosion. But it can also simmer underneath the surface, quietly, almost unnoticeably.

When that happens, it’s not unusual for the anger to simmer for a long time. Bitterness kicks in. A deep-seated grudge develops. Like soup left to simmer for way too long, the relationship that is impacted by the grudge slowly but surely begins to dry up and evaporate, leaving behind only a hardened crust of the former relationship.

With both Israel and Judah doing the kinds of things that make God angry, it wouldn’t have been surprising had God decided to forsake them forever. It wouldn’t have been a shock if the LORD had decided to hold a grudge against them.

But it’s not in God’s character to nurse a grudge. And that makes him like no other. Because by his very nature, he is forgiving. He does not stay angry. His specialty is mercy and pardon. The thing that absolutely switches God on, that energizes him, is taking our sins and crushing them into dust and then throwing that dust into the deepest part of the ocean.

Our God — because of his grace — is incomparable.

Do you want to stand out in a crowd? You couldn’t pick a better way than to reflect the gracious character of God! And the way to do that is to pray and ask for God’s help and strength to make good choices about your anger.

With the Spirit’s help, choose not to nurse grudges any longer. Select forgiveness and mercy over wrath and justice. Let the thing that energizes you be the joy you get when you forgive someone who has hurt you — perhaps even hurt you deeply. Make showing compassion your daily pursuit.

And as you walk with Jesus Christ, realize that you need to wear steel-toed boots. Because part of the path involves treading sins underfoot and hurling iniquities into the depths of the sea.

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19, NIV).

Lord, you have been shockingly merciful and forgiving toward me. My sins have been tread underfoot by you. My iniquities have been hurled into the depths of the sea. Help me to forgive others as you have first forgiven me.

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, September 1, is Micah 5:1 – 7:20, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and Proverbs 21:17-26.

Header image based on "work boots" by Wayne Truong, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Incomparable God, Incomparable Grace”

  1. Our Bible reading for Tuesday, September 1, is Micah 5:1 – 7:20, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and Proverbs 21:17-26.

    “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
    ‭‭Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
    ‭‭Micah‬ ‭7:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
    ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭21:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, in your word you have shown me what is good. You ask of me the simple things in life, yet I fail you. Lord you know my heart and see every action I do. You know I am a sinner, I am just a man. Lord you treat me with highest regard, with a love that transcends all imagination. Your forgiveness is an amazing, a gift I far to often take for granted. Lord help me to better appreciate all you for me and those I love. Help with your Spirit to know every day your grace and peace. Help me to make better choices, to pursue actions that please you.

    ~Paul Montenieri

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