Listen to today’s devo!

Then people will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.” (Ps. 58:11)

The woman watched teary-eyed as the police drove off with her son. “He’s a good boy,” she cried as her neighbors tried to console her. The woman shared the story of her son’s downward spiral into gaming addiction, truancy, and depression. At wit’s end, she took the advice of the boy’s counselor and established a system of rewards and consequences based upon the boy’s behavior. This system was to teach the boy that every choice had a consequence—good, bad, or neutral.

One week the boy chose not to complete his chores. The consequence was loss of video games. He had never experienced this before and in his anger grabbed a knife and insisted the game be returned. After thirty minutes of his insisting, the mother reluctantly told the younger sister to call the police. The woman ended the story by telling her neighbors that she wished she could have taken her son’s place. Despite the son’s behavior, the mother loved him and saw his need for help.

No one knows this pain more than our heavenly Father, who loves us to death—Jesus’ death. The wages of sin are death and eternal separation from God, but God doesn’t give us what we deserve. Jesus paid our price in full. There are still consequences, but through God’s mercy, we are forgiven and get to spend eternity with him.

Choose God because his judgment is filled with love and mercy.

Angela Golden Bryan is a graduate of Wesley Seminary at IWU. Three of her top spiritual gifts are encouragement, service, and compassion. She and her husband live in south Florida and enjoy visits from their two adult children.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.