Thursday, May 07, 2009

No Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked

(by: me)

I get excited when I come across a great sale at a store, a new coffee drink at my favorite café, or a fabulous new book. I just cannot seem to stop talking about them to family, friends, and neighbors.

I get the most energized, however, about God and His precious Son. But it seems the response is different when I talk non stop about Him and His amazing grace. The interest so quick to overflow over a great sale just is not there regarding Christ. The engaging conversation that accompanies the new movie in theaters is lacking when Jesus’ name is mentioned. The heart so swift to adopt a new puppy appears to miss the mark when it comes to God.

When it comes to someone so special and something so beautiful it is hard to stay quiet and not share. No one gets offended by great savings except for the one saving that is worth the most.

Whenever I am feeling downcast about this God’s word reminds me, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9. ESV.)

Habakkuk 2:3: For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Hebrews 10:37: "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;

Ecclesiastes 8:11: Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

Revelation 2:21: I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

Luke 18:7: And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

Ezekiel 18:23: Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Ezekiel 18:32: For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."

Ezekiel 33:11: Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

1 Timothy 2:3-4: This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Jeremiah 31:3: I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Author Rose Marie Jones gives me further encouragement saying, “Look closely into the person that you are praying for. You will see the leaves moving. You will see the manifestation of [God’s] Spirit dealing in their life. But some trees must enter into many seasons before they are ready to respond unto [Him]….Beloved, never give up on the souls [God has] planted in your life round about you who don’t know [Him] fully. [He has] planted them alongside you. Please continue to water them with [His] love, patiently, as [He] is patient with them.”

Though I cannot see the heart of those in my life (family, friends, neighbors, and strangers alike), God can and He has it all under control. He knows what each person needs to stretch, grow, and repent. He perfectly orchestrates everyone and everything so each individual gets exactly what he or she needs. It begins with faith which leads to repentance and grace. From there is still much budding, pruning, and refining. Each time Christ’s image will become clearer and easier to see in the one for whom I am praying. It can be a rather long and drawn out process. So why give up now…especially if I have already invested so much time? I will wait for Him to do His great work.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18. ESV.)
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