9th August 2013

Everlasting Grace 

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime.”
Psalm 30:5 (NIV UK)

A moment can seem to stretch out endlessly, especially when things are not going well. In reality it’s quick, but we replay events in our minds, as if in slow time, re-living each painful detail.

King David saw his problems as lasting relentlessly all night long until the dawn of God’s mercy broke. His view was that, when he sinned, he made God angry, and that the anger had to play out before forgiveness would occur. The worldview was that all of humanity had to give place to God’s wrath. The longer he lived, the more David’s perspective seemed to change. He realized that, comparatively speaking, God’s anger is fleeting whereas his favour or grace is long-lasting.

Other writers agreed that God’s grace has longer and thus greater impact than what we may view as his anger. Isaiah tells Israel to hide with God “for a little while until his wrath has passed away” (26:20). Later, when discussing the new covenant of peace, he explains that “the God of the whole earth” would forsake the world for “a brief moment” but would gather humanity “with deep compassion”. “With a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with an everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you” (Isaiah 54:5-8).

When we get to the New Testament the tone progresses, and God’s desire for us becomes more clear. God’s wrath, says Paul to the Romans, is against sin, “against all the godlessness and wickedness of people” (Romans 1:18). When it comes to us sinners, however, it is Jesus who “rescues us from wrath…God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). By sending his Son to bring us grace, God demonstrates that it is grace, not wrath, he wants for the world. And that unmerited favour, as David says, lasts a lifetime – Christ’s lifetime, of course, in which we participate – so it lasts forever.

Father, thank you that grace is victorious. Thank you that Jesus has released us from the power of our sins, and delivered us from their wrathful consequences. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


sep15About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is speaking at our SEP Summer Youth Camp on the banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland where over 100 teens are enjoying activities such as sailing, football, leatherwork and Christian Living.  The camp is staffed by volunteers who care about youth and help them to see Christianity in action for two weeks each summer.  Have a look at the website www.sepuk.org.
You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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One Response to “9th August 2013”

  1. Ian Woodley on August 9th, 2013 8:22 pm

    Hello James
    I read this and thought “wow!”, which was a great start to my day. Put so clearly and succinctly – thank you!
    Kind Regards

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