Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 11, 2015

April 11, 2015 “The Lightning Rod Of Grace”

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18)

Good Morning Everyone, and a blessed new day to you all!

There is a story I’ve told about a boy who was given the assignment of certain daily chores that were to be accomplished prior to his engagement in more amusing activities. On one particular day, however, he decided to eschew the assigned responsibilities and go fishing instead. Upon returning home, his father, a loving yet fair man, was not at all pleased. He inquired of his son where he had been all day, and why the chores had been neglected. The son replied. “I heard the fish were biting and I couldn’t resist, so I went fishing.” Unmoved by his son’s explanation, the father replied, “Well if you enjoy fishing so much, come to the woodshed with me and I’ll take you on a wailing expedition.” 

I know of many Christians that understandably enjoy considering and talking about the unmerited love of God. While God’s love is supremely evident, there is another aspect of God’s character that is often overlooked in the proclamation of the gospel…the wrath of God. There are numerous references to God’s wrath in scripture, including warnings from Jesus himself. He was not at all hesitant about warning us about this wrath, saying on one occasion, for example, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” God’s standard for escaping his wrath is obedience. But, like the son who went fishing instead of completing his chores, we, too, have committed acts of disobedience and merit not God’s favor, but God’s wrath. The apostle Paul, reflecting on his own shortcomings, declared in Romans 7:24, O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He understood the weight of his sin, and the deserved punishment…God’s eternal wrath. But he also understood something even greater…God’s unmerited favor imputed to him through the sacrifice of his own beloved Son on the cross, and went on to declare,  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 

Christian pastor and author A.W. Tozer described the cross in this electrifying fashion:

“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.”

Though we are deserving of God’s wrath, when we come to the cross…to Christ… with contrite hearts and sincere repentance, we are delivered from the terrible righteous wrath of our Holy God and liberated by his love. The lightning rod of grace that is the cross of Christ has short-circuited that wrath , and we are set aglow by the light of his love. Do not suppress the truth. Do not underestimate the gravity of sin. Do not overestimate God’s tolerance of disobedience. Repent, receive, and believe. Let’s pray!

O Lord; You are altogether holy, altogether righteous, altogether just. We are altogether undeserving of your unmerited grace. Yet the cross stands as an eternal reminder of the depth of your love for us. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He alone is my Deliverer, my Savior, my Lord and my God. Praise be his name forever and ever. Amen!

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