Devotions

Punishment for My Guilt

Nahum 1:3 (NIV):  The LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.

I’m basically a good guy. Sure, I’ve messed up, but will God punish me? Is there a hell? These are serious questions.

It would be easy for me to avoid these questions. After all, don’t I believe the New Testament? Isn’t God a God of love? Can’t I simply embrace the words to the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”?

I’ve read the Bible cover to cover many times. Yes, God is love. But also God is holy. He therefore cannot be with the unholy or else He wouldn’t be holy. Sin makes me unholy. The punishment for the unholiness of sin is death… physical death and spiritual death.

I have a problem. I am a sinner and my punishment is death. I cannot be with God, based on the fact that I sin, making me unholy.

This leaves me in a jam. I need help. I need a Savior. I understand why Jesus had to die on the cross and take my punishment for sin. It isn’t really fair since Jesus lived a perfect life. He didn’t need to be punished. I did. I’m the guilty one. Jesus became “guilty” because of me. Since God “will not leave the guilty unpunished” and Jesus took my sin, Jesus had to be punished. Jesus died for me.

When I understood my need and what Jesus did for me, I received it. If I hadn’t received it, I would still be guilty.

Prayer: Dear God, I am amazed! You saved me! I deserve punishment for my sin. I am guilty, but you have opened up my prison cell and have set me free. I will forever serve You.

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