I remember talking to a guy a few months back about the book The Shack and he was disgusted about the portrayal of God in the book. God is a God of vengence and justice and retribution and holiness and righteousness and so on and so on. Why is is that so many need to continue to portray God as this distant 'holy' being who is only interested in His own glory. We are but filthy retched horrible cretins here for His pleasure we are told. God is so so much greater, loving, kind and compassionate than a machievelian archetype.
Romans 2:4 is such a wonderful scripture. So often we are told that we need to preach a gospel of fire and brimstone to bring people to God. Well what does Paul say leads us to repentance...
God's kindness leads you toward repentance
Joel 2:13 tells us
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Isaiah 54:8 tells us
...with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,"
says the LORD your Redeemer.
We need to remember this more and more. We've been learning so much about how our understand of God influences how we act to those around us. When we realise the loving kindness of our Father we will be a people who will refrain from judgement and will endeavour to overcome evil with love. Bringing the love of Jesus into every aspect of our lives and to the lives of those around us.
The king asked, "Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God's kindness?"
2 Samuel 9:3