Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"...among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved"-Ephesians 2:3-5

 "Read that again. See if something disturbs you. It's talking about nonbelievers as "objects of wrath." This was the verse that came to mind this morning after I drove away from our neighborhood Shell station. The owner, a delightful man from Amman, Jordan, had just finished telling me how much he was enjoying reading the Joni book in Arabic. "You're a great gal," he said, slapping the door of my van. I replied, "Oh, but that's only because we have a great God." He shrugged his shoulders. I could tell he didn't get my point. Perhaps through prayer, time, and a few more pages of the Joni book where I share the plan of salvation, he will. 

Until he does--and this is what came to mind as I drove away--he is an object of God's wrath. But wait! Christ did not die in order to force God to love us: God the Father came up with the plan to rescue fallen man. "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love" (1 John 4:16). Praise the Lord, that's good news for my Arab friend!

                               Galatians 3:13 makes the good news great: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who hung on a tree.'" Should my Arab neighbor come to Christ, God has no more wrath or anger against him--all His anger was poured out on Jesus. Hallelujah!!

Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing the father's wrath against my sin. Hallelujah, Amen!"-Joni

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