Monday, September 15, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Indiscriminately Kind

Why is God kind to the ungrateful and wicked? What is it about grace that is so amazing?

Podcast version here

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Years ago, I had to make pastoral visits to a highly successful businessman who was dying of cancer. We talked about life in general and how the world had changed throughout the years. The man expressed his sincere faith in God, but often wondered why some wicked people became rich, whilst faithful people remained poor. He had seen this happen time and time again in the business world, which made him question God’s wisdom in dealing with the world. Surely, if people were loyal to God, He would bless them? So why did so many good people fail to become successful?

I really couldn’t answer that question, but I asked him to take time to read over Psalm 73, which deals with the problems of a faithful, religious person becoming upset with God because the proud, brazen, and wicked seem to get all of the breaks. After reading the psalm, the businessman seemed to understand God’s ways a bit better, and he let go of his doubts.

If I had remembered, I would also have included today’s verse in our conversation. God is kind to both the ungrateful and the wicked. We might think that to be unfair, unreasonable, and ungodly, but it reminds that God is in control. His ways are not always our ways; His thoughts are not always the same as ours.

Why does God do this? Because He can, and because that’s how grace operates. Grace is applied to the least deserving; if it was only give to the good, then it would be called reward or merit. That’s what makes grace so amazing and so divine. We couldn’t do it – we would favor the good and cast aside the bad, whereas God applies His grace in ways that we do not understand and to people whom we would never accept.

The older I get, the less I know about God. Not because I forget, but because He is infinitely more than I can ever comprehend. That is both amazing and wonderful to me. How about you?

Prayer: Lord God Most High, we often underestimate Who You are and what You can accomplish. Your ways are often mysterious to us, so we need Jesus to positively reveal to us Your love, Your mercy, and Your grace. As we journey together in faith, teach us more about Yourself. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

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