God doesn't want us to live in fear of punishment or impending judgement, but with a consciousness of His grace and forgiveness. It's that kindness that captivates our hearts and draws us away from pursuing things that are not full of Him and into a friendship with Him.
How we think about God determines how we respond to God", which is why God doesn't want to use fear or manipulation, but rather He wants us to know of his grace and great kindness so that we can see Him for who He truly is.
The Bible says that it's God's kindness that leads us to Him, and "it's His kindness that leads to repentance "(Romans 2:4). The word used in the original Greek for repentance is to "change one's mind", but I've learnt that any great change occurs most when we understand God's goodness towards us.
When we focus on knowing and then sharing with others just how good God is, it makes us far more likely to want to choose Him and His ways in all we say and do. We realise just how amazing God is and how everything else is a ridiculous alternative compared to knowing Him and His way of doing life.
Today, think about God's kindness and the truth that He gave up everything for you so that you might know Him. He longs to wipe away your past's shame and any hurts so you can freely live the life He has planned for you.
Rather than fearing punishment, lean into God's kindness and allow his goodness to lead and guide you in all you do and in the way you relate to others.
"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God." (Ephesians 2:4-9)
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your goodness. Would you please reveal to me your kindness and how good you are on a whole new level today. Let it transform me as I begin to understand how much you love me, and that I would then share that kindness with others today. In Jesus name Amen