November 9, 2020
Revelation 16:1
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
New International Version (NIV)
               “I like to think of God as a loving God who never judges anyone.”  Have you heard that?  It is a popular view of God these days.  Somehow it has infiltrated the church.  Scholars call the current view of God “Moral, therapeutic deism.”  Talking to students who grew up in the church, the researchers heard the students articulate three thoughts about God:  “He wants me to be good, he wants me to be happy and he is not really involved in my life.” 

                In John’s apocalyptic vision recorded in the book of Revelation, we see a very different version of God.  Without doubt, God is loving.  In fact, he loves us too much to let us continue to rebel against him.  God is also holy.  And his holiness manifests itself in wrath against sin. 

                Miroslav Volf, a Christian theologian from Croatia, used to reject the concept of God's wrath. He thought that the idea of an angry God was barbaric, completely unworthy of a God of love. But then his country experienced a brutal war. People committed terrible atrocities against their neighbors and countrymen. He writes,  “My last resistance to the idea of God's wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and over 3,000,000 were displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry.”

                When God pours out his wrath through seven angels, we might think that people would turn to him.  Instead, John tells us they refused to repent and they cursed God.  One thing we know for sure:  God is who God is.  Because he is God, we don’t get to pick and choose who we think he should be. 

               The question is, how will we respond to our God who is both loving and holy?  Will we repent and run to him or will we rebel and run away from him?  We can either turn to God and believe his Son took God’s wrath for us, or we can rebel and face the consequences for our sins.  If we turn away from God, it will not go well for us.   Whatever our thoughts when we “like to think of God,” can we believe that the infinite God was thinking of us when his only Son died on the cross for us?  Run to him.

Pray with me:         
Father, you made hundreds of billions of galaxies, so who are we that you would think of us?  We praise you with the angels in Isaiah 6 singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.”  With Isaiah we pray, “I am undone.  For I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King.”  We do not presume to negotiate with you about who we think you should be.  With Job who saw  you we plead, “No further questions your honor.”  Grant us the grace to receive your gift today.  Thank you for Jesus who took your wrath for us.  In view of your mercies, let us live in your love today, we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:15-16
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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