MONTHLY ARCHIVES: August 2014

Life or Wrath

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Karah

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Ponder this quote to begin your time with God:

“You’re not adopted as God’s child until you confess and turn away from your wrongdoing and receive the freely offered gift of forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus purchased with his death on the cross. Until you do that, you’ll always be on the outside looking in.” —Lee Strobel

Pore over John’s words in John 3:27-36. Underline any words or phrases that show you why Jesus is so important.

“The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.”

—John 3:36

Re-read verse 36 again, then consider what this passage teaches you about what brings God’s wrath and what brings eternal life. Record your answers.

Wrath                                                               Eternal Life

• According to John 3:36, there is no middle ground between God’s wrath and eternal life. You can only be saved by trusting Christ. How do you sometimes find yourself trying to earn God’s favor?

Respond

Consider in what ways you still strive to avoid God’s wrath and earn His favor through your own merit or actions, rather than resting in what Christ has done:

Actions:

Words:

Thoughts:

Attitudes:

Today, instead of trying to earn God’s grace, live in thankfulness for the grace you have already received.

Behind the Story

By affirming Jesus’ identity, John explained the monumental role belief in Jesus plays in a person’s eternal destiny. Only Jesus can remove the wrath of God. Apart from Him, we have no hope of ever escaping it.

The Point

Those who have accepted Christ have received eternal life, but those who reject Him continue to live under God’s wrath.


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Not Hidden

Posted on August 19, 2014 by Karah

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If weather permits, go outside for a few moments. Listen to the sounds. Breathe in the scents. Take note of the details in nature. As you do, praise the God who created it and is revealing Himself to us through it.

The world’s definition of wrath ranges from extreme anger to annoyance. When Scripture talks about God’s wrath, it does not describe minor annoyance. If you were writing a definition for God’s wrath as described in the Bible, what would it be? Write it below.

Read Romans 1:16-20, then re-read verses 18-20.

“For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.”

—Romans 1:20

In verses 16-17, Paul pointed out that God had revealed His righteousness through the gospel. In verse 18, he begins discussing God’s wrath. What is the relationship between God’s righteousness and His wrath? Explain.

Verses 18-20 stress that no one has an excuse for not knowing God because He has revealed Himself generally through nature and specifically through His Word and through Christ. This is the truth that humans have suppressed (v. 18). Why do they do that? How do you see that in our culture today?

Respond

• How has God revealed Himself to you through His creation, His Word, and ultimately through Christ? Thank Him for this knowledge. Journal your short prayer below.

• For further study on how God has revealed Himself through creation, read Psalm 19:1-4.

Behind the Story

The two seemingly opposite topics of God’s righteousness and His wrath appear alongside each other in Romans 1 because they are inseparable. God can’t be righteous and holy, and also turn a blind eye to sin. God hates the sin that separates us from Him and destroys us. He will stop at nothing, not even sacrificing His own Son, to free us from sin and bring us into fellowship with Himself.

The Point

God has clearly shown us what He is like, and we cannot claim ignorance of His existence of power. We can accept or reject Him, but everyone must give a response.


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Holy Wrath

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Karah

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Think about what you know about God’s character—holy, just, wrathful. In recognition of who He is, kneel or lie face down as you pray, asking Him to use today’s Scripture to teach you more about Himself.

Read Psalm 90:7-12 in your Bible.

“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.”

—Psalm 90:12

Read verse 12 again carefully, then answer these questions:

• Was God justified by His extreme anger toward the Israelites? (See “Behind the Story.”) Why or why not?

• To number your days is to value them and choose to live in ways that please God because you recognize that life is short and know that God hates sin. Who in your life is a good example of that kind of attitude? Why?

Respond

God’s righteous response to sin is His holy wrath. How would your life be different if your attitude toward sin reflected His? Journal your response. Ask God for wisdom so that you will “number your days” and live out your life in a strong, healthy relationship with Him.

Behind the Story

Psalm 90 was written by Moses in response to God’s anger toward the Israelites. God had freed them from slavery, but they repeatedly disobeyed and rebelled. Their faithlessness kindled God’s anger. The ultimate result of their disbelief was wandering in the wilderness for the rest of their lives, instead of entering the paradise God wanted to give them. These people understood firsthand the cost of sin and the wrath of God.

The Point

God’s holy anger toward sin seems extreme to us because we don’t understand the horrendous destruction of sin. If we did, we would take our sin more seriously and live much differently.


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Protected

Posted on August 5, 2014 by Karah

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Reflect on God’s compassion and patience. How can a compassionate God also be wrathful? Ask God to help you understand the full scope of His character as you study His Word today.

It’s easy for us to think about God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness. God is all of those things and more. But because He is just and holy, God is also a wrathful God. How does it make you feel to think about God as a God of wrath? List a few responses.

Now, read Nahum 1:2-6 in your Bible. Read verse 2 again carefully. Underline the emotions expressed by God in these verses.

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against His foes; He is furious with His enemies.”

—Nahum 1:2

• How would you feel if those emotions were directed at you? Explain.

• If wrath was not part of God’s character, what would our world be like?

• God’s wrath is not directed at His children, but at His enemies, those who oppose Him. God is always ready to defend and fight for those who belong to Him. Why is this an important truth to understand?

Respond

God is passionate about protecting His people. He will direct His wrath at everyone and everything that opposes Him and His purposes. Nahum expressed those truths in a short two-stanza hymn. Write your own hymn of praise to God below, praising His character and power to defend and defeat all that oppose Him.

Behind the Story

Although the book of Nahum is written to the southern kingdom of Judah, God’s anger is directed toward their oppressors in Nineveh. Nahum comforts God’s people as he promises them that those who hate and harm them will indeed be punished, and that their own suffering will cease. It’s a reminder of God’s fierce protection. Without God’s intervention, the people of Judah had absolutely no chance to stand against their foe.

The Point

God’s righteous response to those who oppose Him and His children is wrath.


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