Morning Devotion: God is not punishing the world; sin brings torment, death, and destruction. Jesus came to save the world. Prayer of repentance at the end.
The thief (the devil) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep,~Jesus (John 10:10-11).
The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.
With almost every disaster you get the people who rise up declaring God is punishing someone. It is a misunderstanding of God’s heart and how natural order works.
Jesus did not come to destroy the world. He came to save the world. Sin on the other hand is partnership with Satan and brings forth death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,”~Romans 6:23.
People do not always believe this, Adam and Eve did not believe God, yet it’s true. How can I say this? Well, look at earth today. It only takes a few minutes of watching the news to see that sin brings destruction. Person A gets angry at person B and decides to run them over with their car. Person B dies because person A has a rage problem, lack of self control, and a pride problem. We can also look at the consequences of the choices of Adam and Eve. Death, destruction, decay, immorality, and trauma entered humanity when they surrendered their will to the devil.
All of creation suffered because of their choices and we still suffer today. Jesus came to empower humanity to have life to its fullest.
Sin entraps an individual into thinking, “It’s just about me. My choice. It does not impact anyone else.” This is false. Sin is like a hurricane, it impacts everything around it and the course is death and devastation.
It does not mean if you suffer persecution, trauma, tragedy, etc…that you personally have gross sin in your life. Jesus suffered at the hands of other’s sins. Sin hurts someone. Sin lead humanity to nail an innocent man to the cross. God is not the one trying to kill, steal, or destroy…those are the devil’s job descriptions.
Life example. I used to have Sunday school with my family. We had one cousin who would try to get others in trouble. Once he got everyone laughing, he would slip into the background. We (those laughing) would get in trouble. The devil works the same way. He convinces people “God is not good, look at what you don’t have, do what is best for you, you need to get your needs met, do what feels good, don’t think about consequences, nothing bad is going to happen to you, this feels good-do it, it’s your life“…then he slips into the background and watches the drama unfold. Once the consequence for sin is set in motion, someone must be blamed, “Oh let’s blame God. If God loved the world bad things would not happen.” Yet humanity consistently partners with the devil then gets angry when that partnership goes foul.
I have heard people say, “If God loved the world, there would be no sin or hungry people or disasters.” Well, God gave humans dominion on earth and the ability to choose. Evil exists because of the abuse of free will. We have starving children on this planet because of thievery and greed. Africa was robbed of her natural treasures (diamonds, minerals, resources) and her people left to die. Millions of dollars come into churches each year tax exempt and some do nothing to help the poor.
The sins of people are the reason our world is a hot mess. We were also called to be stewards of this planet, yet we pollute it to gain profits and have more money and then complain when the earth decays, “Why did God let this happen?” Why did we let it happen?
The blame game started in the Garden of Eden and has never fixed anything. Repentance does help heal the land. Repentance is agreeing with God.
“God we release our judgement against any person and forgive them. We release them to you, along with all bitterness, malice, and resentment. Reduce us to love like Jesus. God we are sorry for our sins; our pride, hatred, apathy, mistreating people and this planet, lack of love, misplaced priorities, idolatry, valuing things more than people, valuing politics more than people, racism and sexism, thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, cursing, cursing others, putting things or people above you, self righteousness, passivity, disobedience, rebellion, lust, perversion, murder, killing the innocent, siding with injustice, not caring for the poor, for not adhering to sound doctrine, for selfishness, greed, and everything not of you. Please forgive us and have mercy on us. We break our partnership with the devil. We renounce any covenant with darkness. We appropriate the blood of Jesus to our sins. Restore our hearts, heal our souls, cleanse our land. Thank you for mercy. In Jesus powerful name amen.”