Jeremiah 12:3 (NASB)
You know me, O Lord; you see me; and you examine my heart’s attitude toward you.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.
Many years ago Diane and I attended a marriage enrichment weekend that was deeply rewarding. We learned that a fulfilling marriage was based on emotional intimacy and spiritual unity, as well as physical intimacy. For one exercise we shared a story from our past that was painful to us. We both had one we immediately thought of, and we shared it with each other. It was a moment of significant vulnerability. But it was also a moment of deepening love and compassion for us both. We knew each other better and we could love each other more truly.
While we cannot hide from God – try as we might – we can forfeit a fuller experience of his love by our attempts to close our hearts to his grace and truth. That effectively shuts us off from experiencing the fullness of God’s love. For he loves the real person, broken, ashamed, rebellious, sinful and fallen as we may be. Truth demands that we acknowledge our sin and shame. Grace looks beyond it and loves the sinner.
The Bible says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). But God also says, “I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more”(Jeremiah 31:34). On the Great Last Day, furthermore, there will be a moment when we are surprised to learn that God also saw those good works we did; things done not to impress him or anyone else, but done out of love and Holy Spirit-inspired kindness and mercy. Through faith in the grace of God and his forgiveness we look forward to hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).
God’s knowledge of us does not preempt his love or grace. It highlights the beauty of his love and the richness of his grace.