One of things we see in the prophets in judgement.

God stands before the people and says – you have worshiped idols.  You have done wrong. You have departed from my ways.

It is because of that, you have been punished. And it is because of that punishment is coming.

Your idolatry has caused terrible judgement to come.

We see that a lot in the prophets.

And it always gets me.

As I told my Small Group Connection here at Asbury Church last night, I understand how sinful I am, I understand the things that I do wrong, I understand how much I miss the mark.

And that keeps me from being too judgmental of others. I know right from wrong and I still choose wrong. So, how can I want grace for me and judgement for you?

That is why I love reading the prophets.  The notion of deserved judgement is there.  But, so is something else. We read this today in Micah 2:

12 “Someday, O Israel, I will gather you;
I will gather the remnant who are left.
I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture.
Yes, your land will again
be filled with noisy crowds!

God is a God of Hope. God is a God of restoration. God is a God of forgiveness and grace.

Do we deserve the grace, mercy, and hope He gives?  No.

Do we deserve the forgiveness He offers?  No.

Do we deserve any of this?  No.

The only thing we’ve earned is judgement.

Yet, time after time after time, He gives grace. He gives love.  He gives forgiveness.  He gives hope.

Today, hear the words of Micah. God longs to gather you up. God longs to love you.  God longs to restore you.

No matter what the past was.  No matter what has happened.  No matter what you’ve done.

You.  Are.  Loved.  Today.

No matter what.

God is a God of restoration.  God is a God of Hope.

God is a God of love.

Let Him restore you today.  Let Him bring you life today. Let Him bring you back home today.

You are His.  He won’t let go.  He loves you.  No matter what.

Hope for a Monday

So many of the Psalms have built into them a chorus.  A phrase that repeats itself throughout the Psalm.  I really like this about the Psalms.  It makes us keep coming back to the same point, it makes us keep remembering what is important; what is the thing that we need to remember.

In a Psalm I read today, Psalm 80, this was the refrain that kept coming back, over and over again:

3 Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

The Psalm walks through the triumphs and defeats of Israel’s history.  It walks through the times when they had been faithful, as well as the times they had fallen on their face.

And, in both cases, this refrain is given – restore us oh God, Show us your light, and we shall be saved.

Today, our salvation doesn’t come from ourselves.  It doesn’t come from us being good enough.  It doesn’t come from us being perfect. It doesn’t come from anything we can do.  It comes from God.  All of it.  It all comes from God.

So, whether we are perfect and obey and do everything we are supposed to do.

Or,whether we mess up, fall down, stub our town and blow it.

It’s not about us.  It’s about God. It’s about what He’s done.

Place your hope today not in yourself and your might and your power.  Place it in God.  For it’s through Him we are saved, it’s through Him, we have hope, it’s through Him, we are restored.

Not of our own strength.  But from the light of countenance.

Rejoice in that today!  It’s gonna be a great day and a great week!  Rejoice in what God has done, rejoice in what God is doing, and rejoice in what God will do!