Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Punishment of Sin

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Punishment is nowise an offset to sin. Punishment, deserved suffering, is no equipoise to sin. Suffering weighs nothing at all against sin. If sin sits on one scale, it will move it not a hairsbreadth to lay punishment and suffering on the other. They are not of the same kind, not under the same laws, any more than mind and matter. To attempt to equate them would be like placing a cubic inch of lead on the one scale, and attempting to balance it by placing a cubic yard of air on the other. The sin is unmoved. It remains where it is though an eternity of punishment and suffering be brought to bear against it.

If it were an offset to wrong, then God would be bound to punish for the sake of punishment. But he cannot be, for he forgives. Then it is not for the sake of punishment, as a thing that in itself ought to be done, but for the sake of something else, as a means to an end, that God punishes.

Primarily, God is not bound to punish sin; he is bound to destroy sin. If he were not the Maker, he might not be bound to destroy sin — I do not know. But seeing he has created creatures who have sinned, and therefore sin has, by the creating act of God, come into the world, God is, in his own righteousness, bound to destroy sin.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God</em>, compiled by Michael Phillips, p. 258

Always Merciful

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Every attribute of God must be infinite as himself. He cannot be sometimes merciful, but not always merciful. He cannot be just, but not always just. Mercy belongs to him, and needs no contrivance of theologic chicanery to justify it.

“Then do you mean it is wrong to punish sin, and therefore God does not punish sin?”

By no means.

God does punish sin, but there is no opposition between punishment and forgiveness. The one may be essential to the possibility of the other. We are back to my question: Why does God punish sin?

“Because in itself sin deserves punishment,” do you answer?

Then how can God tell us to forgive it?

“He punishes, and having punished he forgives.”

That will hardly do. For if sin demands punishment, if the making right for sin is punishment, and righteous punishment is given, then the man is out from under sin’s claim upon him; he is free. Why should he now be forgiven?

“He needs forgiveness, because no amount of punishment can make up for the sin that is in his nature. Nothing will fully give him all he deserves.”

Then why not forgive him at once, if the punishment is not essential, if it does not adequately remedy the whole of the problem of sin? And this points out the fault in the whole idea.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God</em>, compiled by Michael Phillips, p. 257-258

God Will Overcome.

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Evil is a hard thing, even for God to overcome. Yet thoroughly and altogether and triumphantly will he overcome it.

But not by crushing it underfoot — any god of man’s idea could do that — but by conquest of heart over heart, of life over life, of life over death, of love over all. Nothing shall be too hard for the God who fears not pain, but will deliver and make true and blessed at his own severest cost.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “Justice,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 247.

Signs of God’s Love

Monday, December 26th, 2016

If only we could all wear a heart right across the center of us so there was always this knowing: God has not forgotten you. God has not abandoned you. God’s love is around you everywhere. When you feel in your marrow how you’re His Beloved, you do more than look for signs of His love in the world, more than have a sign of His love; you actually become a sign of His love.

— Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 23

God’s Joy

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

God is always presented as full of joy, especially when he pardons.

— Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy, p. 117

All’s Grace

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

What if the busted and broken hearts could feel there’s a grace that holds us and calls us Beloved and says we belong and no brokenness ever has the power to break us away from being safe? What if we experienced the miracle of grace that can touch all our wounds?

I wanted to write it on walls and on the arms scarred with wounds, make it the refrain we sing in the face of the dark and broken places: No shame. No fear. No hiding. All’s grace. It’s always safe for the suffering here. You can struggle and you can wrestle and you can hurt and we will be here. Grace will meet you here; grace, perfect comfort, will always be served here.

— Anne Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 20-21

Lighten Up, For God’s Sake!

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

As a parent, would you be pleased with dutiful children who went around heavy-hearted, oppressed with guilt and anxiety, fearful of suffering consequences for their every misdeed and never lightening up enough to share a laugh or a relaxing moment with you? Don’t loving parents want their children to enjoy life? “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:9).

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 40

A Bit of Love Frozen

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Everything beautiful is a bit of love frozen: the love that gives is to the gift as water is to ice. Ah, you should hear our torrent shout in the spring! The thought of God fills me so full of life, that I want to go and do something for everybody.

— George MacDonald, Warlock O’Glenwarlock, chapter 22, quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 230.

To Move Mountains

Friday, November 18th, 2016

We can pray until that day comes when every prayer will be an immediate incarnation, becoming reality even as we speak it, like creation became reality as God spoke it. For we are his sons and daughters, and he is maturing us to love all that he loves, and to do all that he does. To move mountains, and more.

— John Eldredge, Moving Mountains, p. 230

An Ever-Enlarging Enough

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

There are good things God must delay giving, until his child has a pocket to hold them — until God gets his child to make that pocket. God must first make him fit to receive and to have. There is no part of our nature that shall not be satisfied — and that not by lessening it, but by enlarging it to embrace an ever-enlarging enough.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “The Light,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 156