3 April 2014
One of the most challenging things for me about reading scripture is reconciling the seemingly paradoxical nature of God. Or the opposite ways in which God reveals his nature.
In the Old Testament, God is often seen as a stern, powerful and magnificent judge. There are many instances of retribution for the sins committed against God. But in the New Testament, even though Jesus was supposed to be the exact image of God, Jesus came in the weakness and vulnerability of human flesh, born and living in humble circumstances.
Even the parables given by Jesus gave very different accounts and expectations – on one hand there are parables giving very serious and stern warnings to us like the parable of the ten talents, the great banquet, the wise and foolish builders, the cost of following Jesus, the rich fool, the narrow door and others.
And then there are the encouraging and assuring parables, like the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son.
There is inescapably a warning and an encouragement in the word of God. But it serves to keep me on my toes. I can never live complacently in his grace, nor live in fear of his wrath. I am called to live in confidence with my faith in Christ, but in humility and honor to God. I tend to need this kind of warning and encouragement in my life because without it, i could easily develop a skewed view of the truth.
Thank you Lord, for your warnings and encouragement. I pray that my heart is molded by your word and i do work out my salvation in reverence and in joy. The two are not mutually exclusive. They are both needed for me to work through my faith healthily and steadily.