Week 42 Friday

Refuge and Judge

Today’s scripture selection: Nahum
Key verses: Nahum 1:7-9

A lot of people seem to picture God to be one thing or another, but not both. Either they see Him as a loving, ever present source of grace or they see Him as the holy Judge of all.

Nahum says He is both.

Yes , He is an ever present refuge for those who respect and worship Him. Yes, He stands in perfect judgment of everyone and everything He has created.

These two aspects if God need not seem in contradiction to each other.

The order of things is that there are boundaries; there is right and wrong; relativism doesn’t ultimately work as a life philosophy.

But we need not fear that this ultimately leaves us as “sinners in the hands of an angry God. ”

I believe that, unless we insist on rebelling, we are ultimately allowed to be “sinners in the hands of a loving God.”

So take God’s holiness and righteous judgement seriously. Take his promise of love seriously too. Live happily within the boundaries He has lovingly set for us.

And trust that everything will work out just fine.

Prayer: Holy God and Judge; thank you for your amazing grace. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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