The Heart of God…
Devotional THought of the Day:
“The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, “As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;”4 adding, moreover, this gracious declaration, “Repent, O house of Israel, of your iniquity.5 Say to the children of My people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder6 than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, yet if ye turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy7 people.” And in another place He speaks thus: “Wash you, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before mine eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if ye be willing and obey Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse, and will not hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.”8 Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations][i]“
Here he talks of repentance, but like many of us, he misses the heart of the matter, literally the heard of God.
In these precious passages, yet there is a call, even a cry for repentance, but a cry that isn’t just a prophetic warning to avoid wrath. Look at each in their context, look at the words that God uses, this is a passionate Father’s cry to come home, to return to the family, to receive the love that was meant to be yours!
If you are a believer, if you hope, your confidence is in God, then it is a cry that you have heard, that cry needs to be heard around you, you need to repeat it to them – not just a warning that people are headed to hell (which should cause our stomachs to be wrenched and our eyes to tear) but that God so desires them NOT to go..
Instead – to know the love of God, the fellowship of the Spirit, and the peace that comes to us who have been united to and in, Jesus Christ.
Lord have mercy!
4 Ezek. 33:11.
5 Ezek. 18:30.
6 Comp. Isa. 1:18.
7 These words are not found in Scripture, though they are quoted again by Clem. Alex. (Pædag., i. 10) as from Ezekiel.
8 Isa. 1:16–20.
[i] Clement of Rome. (1885). The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe, Ed.) (7). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.