Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The God who gives second Chances

Some months ago, I read about Charles"Tex" Watson, one of Charles Mason’s cult members who murdered Sharon Tate in 1969. She was an actress, and at the time of her death, was 8 months pregnant. 

She and her friends were killed in her house, in an attack that was very random, unprovoked and very barbaric. It  was evil in its purest form.

At the time I read that story, I was heavily pregnant just like Sharon. I imagined what she felt at the time of the attack, and my heart just broke. I wept like a baby.

This tragedy happened even before I was born, to people I didn’t know, yet I was overcome by intense emotions. One of those emotions was hatred and anger. I even prayed that God would not forgive the killers, especially the leader of the pack, Watson.

It just so happened that He did. I was enraged!

The man became saved while he served his life in prison sentence.“How can this man become born-again O Lord!” I wailed.

It seemed so unfair. This despicable soul who so brutally stabbed this pregnant lady and her friends, despite their pleas and innocence deserved nothing short of eternal damnation in Hell.

For the first time in my life, I felt angry that God saved someone. Through the haze of my anger, I began to remember some things I have read in the Bible and other Christian literature, about the nature of God.

·     God hated the evil that was done to Sharon, her unborn baby and her friends. If I, a total stranger, could feel such pain at her death, how much more her Heavenly Father who made her, her baby and her friends? He even saw the horrors of that attack and felt their agony.

·     Still, this man who misused his free will, is also God’s dearly beloved child. If you are a parent, you will agree with me that your child doesn't stop being your child just because he/she disobeyed you. Even if you disown them, your blood still flows in their veins.

·     God doesn’t punish us as we deserve. "He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." - Psalm 103:9,10. 

·     Yes God hates and abhors violent sin, but He also loves the sinner (His child) passionately. 

·     God’s justice is not always revengeful, but to save a person’s soul eternally. "A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. – Isaiah 42:3. God's greatest justice is His love - salvation of our souls.

·     God can use the messed up soul for greater good. Today that killer serving life in prison is proclaiming the Gospel to other prisoners of violent crime.

These points finally made me understand: God is a God who offers us second, third, twentieth…chances. He never gives up on us, even when we give up on Him. The Bible says that God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him, it might be saved.-John 3:17

When we expect revenge, but get mercy instead,it humbles us. It makes us realise how worthless we are and how great the Giver of mercy is. This prompts us to live right, because our hearts (the source of our actions) has been changed. 

 It is for this reason that that once vile man is preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. He has seen first hand how intense the love and mercy of God is. And even though he acknowledges his crime and accepts his prison sentence, he serves his sentence to the glory of God,helping others to live right.

This same message is relevant for us today. It doesn’t matter how repulsive our sins are, God hasn’t given up on us! The Bible says his love is from everlasting to everlasting. 

Yes He hates disobedience to His laws (sin) but like a loving mother, He doesn’t banish us forever. The Bible says His anger lasts for a moment but His love is for a lifetime. If we will return to Him, acknowledging that we have sinned, He will forgive us and restore us back to sonship/daughtership.

Like the father of the Prodigal Son, He is waiting, looking out, hoping that we will come back. And He will enfold us in love and hold a celebration saying, “My son/daughter was lost, but now is found!”

Such love and mercy will propel us to live our lives in appreciation of what He has done. It will force us then to say. “Lord what will You have me do?” And whatever he tells us to do at whatever level, we will happily do it with meekness and humility.

Besides that, it will make us more understanding of others who are yet to accept the love of God, rather than being judgemental. Because we know we too were not so different, but for His grace. 

Image1 courtesy:http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/second-chance-just-ahead-sign-37121821.jpg
Image2 courtesy:http://neverhopeless.com/wp-content/uploads/second-chance2.jpg

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