gracetidings:with dr doug mamvura
When we have a revelation of how God loves us individually, it changes the whole perspective of how we live our lives. “The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul knew that God loved him personally and this is what gave him confidence in his ministry.
The Psalmist wrote, “Who so is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.” (Psalms 107:43).
It is vital to our Christian walk for each of us to have a deep understanding of God’s loving kindness. It displays: His true nature and character; His tenderness and goodness; a true reflection of His person and His mercy and compassion.
We all need the revelation of God’s loving kindness. It is the loving kindness of God that makes Him forgive us of our sins and open the floodgates of His blessings upon us.
The phrase loving kindness is mentioned indirectly and directly over two hundred and fifty times in the Bible. When we talk about God’s loving kindness, we are talking about His nature and character. It also involves the display of His tenderness and goodness. His loving kindness also refers to His personhood, mercy and compassion. His mercies are new every morning.
God is a good God, if you really knew Him and had a personal relationship with Him, one would love Him back and would never have an unhealthy fear of Him of ever being rejected or condemned. How sad that some of us as we share the gospel, we give people a distorted image of God. God’s loving kindness is His unconditional, unlimited, unfailing, everlasting, unending love for His people.
God will never ever fail you in His love for you. God loves you based on His character not your conduct. He is love and that is His character which no one can change. I am yet to see someone who loves me based on their character not my conduct. Most of the people I know love me in proportion to my conduct or maybe there is something they believe they can get from me by befriending me. God loves me not based on my actions nor my works or holiness.
It is through our understanding of God’s loving kindness that produces faith. Faith is a by-product of knowing God, and this is why faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Why does faith come to us when we hear the Word of God? It is because the Word of God brings to us the knowledge of God’s true nature and character. It is easy to trust God when you know Him. As we learn about God’s love, our faith is also strengthened: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Psalms 36:7 states that, “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings”. Once we see how compassionate He is, once we see how merciful and loving He is, we have no choice but to put our trust in God. The moment you get a revelation of God’s love for you, it is so easy to trust Him, it is so easy to believe Him for whatever need you may have in your life and so we need to progressively grow in the loving kindness of Christ.
When you see God’s loving kindness, you run to Him instead of, from Him when you mess up. We all still mess up in one way or another. God doesn’t condemn us in our messing up but it should be noted that He doesn’t condone our messing up. We don’t justify sin nor do we live in it. Whenever we make a mistake, we should run towards God for forgiveness.
In Romans 2:4, the Bible says “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
It is very sad to note that most of us don’t know how kind, tolerant and patient God is. If we saw how kind, tolerant and patient, we would automatically do the same to our friends and relatives. God is quick to forgive us and wash and cleanse us. He is merciful to us and remembers our iniquities no more. You and I at times struggle to forgive.
We see another wonderful picture of God’s loving kindness in Psalm 103: 1-5 “Bless the Lord or my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things”.
It is true that it takes faith for you to be healed. However, that faith won’t work if you don’t know how forgiven you are or if you don’t know how merciful God is to you. God will heal not because of your works but because of the stripes of Jesus and so it is important to have this revelation of the love of God.
It doesn’t matter the magnitude of mistakes you may have made, put your past where it belongs, and receive the blessing that God already has for you. By the grace of God and by His loving kindness, deal with the issues in your life and not for God to love you, because He loved you while you were still a sinner. His grace will enable you to overcome sin because wherever sin abounds, grace abounds more. However, once you have this revelation about His loving kindness and mercy, you have no choice but to hate sin. This is why the Bible says in Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,”.
God doesn’t just save us by grace. Grace is what He has already done for us completely independent of what we deserve. Faith is our positive response to what He has already done for us, or His grace. It takes a combination of God’s grace and our faith in His grace. “For by grace are you saved through faith”.
Grace doesn’t lead us to sin. It teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Those who use grace for an excuse to sin are perverting the revelation of grace.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: email@example.com or Twitter @dougmamvura