|“You can easily become obsessive of that which God gives you, forgetting that He gave it to you to steward.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“…Sir, we would see Jesus.” John 12:21
A person’s perception of God is the product of the lens through which he reads Scripture. Some, as they read the Bible, see God through the prism of passages such as: “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”46 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”47 “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”48 Such people hold God in awe, but they tend to be somber, knowing little of the joy of the Lord.
Others see God through the prism of passages such as: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” 49 “There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”50 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”51 Such people tend to believe grace and fear are mutually exclusive and that forgiveness eliminates accountability.
To think biblically requires holding both views of God in clear focus. Grace and fear are quite compatible. God is good, but He is also just. Paul warned the Corinthian believers, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”52 Therefore forgiveness does not eliminate eternal accountability or the need for horizontal accountability.
The lack of balance between these two is the stuff of which denominations are made. When you read Scripture, let the text make its case. Seek to avoid reading into passages your preconceived biases. Much in Scripture appears contradictory, but the servant of Christ is willing to believe both pictures of God and seek balance.
46 1 Peter 4:18
Exodus 25-26 Matthew 20:17-34 (New King James Version)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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