My daughter tells me I don't concentrate enough on the positive, inspirational stories about God and that I focus too much on the negative, scary side of God.
So, I have been thinking, praying actually, that the Father will give me THE word of encouragement that she needs today.
The book of Proverbs tells us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". It is a good thing to be in awe of God. He is, after all, the one who has the power to destroy not just your body, but to send your soul to everlasting torment. It is not until we begin to look at God with a healthy respect that we can truly begin to appreciate who He really is.
He's the creator of everything. Psalms 147:4 (KJV) says: He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names; or He counts the stars and calls them by name (NLT). Imagine that -- He knows exactly how many stars there are, and He has named each and every one of them.
I remember thinking one day just how enormous the world, the planet, the universe and the heavens really are. If you're like me, your brain can't really even conceive how large God's dominion is. That makes it easy to think that He doesn't really have the time or the ability to be concerned about little ol' you. But Luke 12:7 tells us: But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows, and Psalms 139:13 declares: You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. He knows us inside and out; He knows our every thought and deed.
Amazingly, though, He still loves us--especially since the Word also tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts are desperately wicked and who can know how truly wicked it is? He showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8) and how many people do you know who would die for wicked people? Someone might die for someone who is good, but I can't say as I know too many people who would die for every person who lived after you - especially the ones who rejected you, mocked you and tried to turn people against you (like Jesus did). Romans 5:7.
But, here's what is so wonderful about God. If any person anywhere, at anytime prior to drawing their last breath, calls upon the name of Jesus Christ, confesses his/her sin, and strives (yes, strives (because the Word says that we "work out" our salvation with fear and trembling"; with the help of the Holy Spirit) to live as set forth in the Word of God; strives to grow in the knowledge of God and to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and strives to love their neighbor as him or herself, God is faithful and just to forgive them from ALL sins and cleanse them from ALL of their unrighteousness. John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Picture that if you can. Jesus Christ is not sitting in heaven waiting to condemn anyone. He doesn't have to do that. God gave His laws for living to Moses up on Mount Sinai, and because man does not have it within himself to abide by the law, we are condemned at birth, before we even know what sin is all about.
I would like to encourage you to listen to this sermon about the Ten Commandments which was very eye opening for me.
No, Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to give everyone an opportunity to acknowledge that without Him they can't do it; they have no righteousness without Him. May God be praised! There wasn't anyone else who could do it but God, himself, by taking on a human form and being obedient to the point of being the scapegoat for our sins and suffering death on a cross.
So, see, there IS hope! God, who knows every thing about us, down to the smallest cell in our bodies and how many hairs are on our heads, loves us so much that he is just waiting to hear us call out to him, "Abba, father", and just like the father of the prodigal son, He comes running to meet us, throws His arms arounds us, and says, "welcome home, my child, let's celebrate!!" What a wonderful story, what a wonderful God!