Proverbs 3 2-3-22

God wants us to love Him and to know Him personally. Our redemption is secured, but voluntary.

BTW, anything in brackets is from me.

1 My child, do not forget [disregard] my teaching, but let your heart [may it be your passion to] keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life [whatever they may be] and peace [of mind and heart] they will add to you.

Today, we are going to look at extremes, one in particular. It is how far will God go to be in relationship with us.

32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. NASB

32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. NIV

32 For God has given them all up to sin so that he could have mercy upon all alike. Living Bible

If we want to know why God allowed sin in the Garden, it is this: God wanted mankind to choose Him and love Him. He wanted us to come voluntarily into the relationship. Knowing that we would be deceived and be led away into captivity, the Father made a way for us to return even before it all happened. Don’t believe me? Read this:

Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes [to see us as righteous, like Christ], without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love [not just a covering, but worked through the fabric of our being]. Ephesians 1:4 Living Bible

What does it all mean? By “giving them all up to sin” (by our own choices) through the one man, Adam, He then delivered us FROM sin through the one Man, Jesus Christ! Jesus is our Representative. See Romans 5:12-21 for Paul’s explanation.

It all comes down to this: Relationship Over Religion.

Teaching people to be religious (works-oriented faith) is OT–and it didn’t work then, either. The Law was to show us that works CANNOT save us (lots of Scriptures on this one; start with Romans 3:20, 25, Hebrews 10:4). Teaching people to ask Jesus for guidance in every decision is relationship. A person can be religious without a relationship; a person with a relationship with Jesus is automatically religious because the more time he spends with Him, the more he will come to look/act like Him, wanting what He wants, sharing the same compassion for his fellow man, and enjoying the Fellowship of the Trinity.

The mercy of God has been shown/given to everyone. If only people would receive it–receive Him–they would embark on an incredible journey with Christ in a close relationship with them. It’s what the Father desired all along.

Tomorrow: Caterpillars vs. Butterflies and Dead Men vs. New Creations

Abba, You have revealed Your love for us through Jesus Christ. In fact, You have loved us as Jesus Christ! The concept of dwelling in believers as the Holy Spirit was absolute genius! Thank You for taking up residence in my heart and life. I am a new creation. Amen.

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