We are continually hearing about the grace of God, and that’s good. But we must be in balance about things, not just “majoring” in faith, and leaving out the other attributes of God. First off, God is Holy, beyond any description we can make with mere words. I’d like to give an example from Revelation 4:6-11; And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

And because God is Holy and Almighty, we should treat Him with the awe and fear and respect He is worthy of! One thing we sometimes overlook; GOD IS A JEALOUS GOD! Let’s look at Exodus 20:2-7;

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

You may say, “I’m not bowing down to idols, to other gods, that doesn’t apply to me.” But consider this: other gods can be the love of money, your job, or career, or possessions. How about when you spend the weekend at the lake instead of going to church? Could it be you are putting something else above the LORD GOD? HMMMM?

You know, there is a price to pay for stirring the Lord’s jealousy, and it says in Exodus 20:5, and I want to repeat and highlight this:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

In case you’re wondering why the blessings of God just seem to be bypassing you, even though it seems you should be receiving them, perhaps this is the place to start looking. When I was preaching revival services last night, this is what the Lord was impressing on me to talk about. It isn’t that God doesn’t want His children blessed, because the Word continually tells us that God has provided every good and pleasant blessing for us to receive. But we also see in the Bible that when people provoked God, they paid a price for it.

We all have 24 hours in our day, and how we use them is largely up to us. We can choose to spend quality time with God in study and prayer, OR, we can choose to do something else. That “something else” easily becomes “another god” that provokes the Lord to jealousy. You see, GOD LOVES YOU and your time spent with Him is precious to Him.

I made an illustration in my sermon last night; suppose you are getting ready to be married. At the wedding, as you say your vows, you ask your wife-to-be, “Darling, do you mind if I spend some time with my old lover? How about if we have a date once in a while? Can I kiss her sometimes? Would it be ok if I spent the night with her once in a while?” Well, you know the answer to those questions. If that girl has a lick of sense in her head, she will walk away and forget him, and find someone who will be true to her, who will keep covenant with her only.

But, don’t you know, we do that to God? In so many words we ask the Lord, “How far can I stray from you and still make heaven? How many times can I violate our relationship before you get jealous? How much sin in my life are You willing to tolerate?”

Oh, you’d never come right out and ask these things, but actions speak much louder than words.

I think it’s pretty serious business when the Lord warns us he will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him. You might certainly say, “I absolutely DO NOT hate the Lord.” But if you’re living a life apart from Him, if you’re living a life filled with everything else taking priority over loving and serving and spending time with God, then, can you truly say “I LOVE HIM”?

On the other hand, there are countless blessings awaiting those who truly love the Lord. You can look back at verse 6 and see He shows mercy unto THOUSANDS of them who love Him, and keep His commandments.

The next verse talks about taking the name of the Lord in vain. That’s a “NO-NO!” How do we do that? One way is by not believing what He tells us in His Word. For example, you know I like to teach a lot on healing. What does God say about healing? Well, for one thing, it says we are healed by the stripes of Jesus. Is that the truth? God said it, so it is the truth, whether you feel like you’re healed, whether you look like you’re healed, or whether the doctor says you are healed. But you may say, look at me, I’m obviously not healed, so how can I say I’m healed? When you say you’re not healed, you are as much as calling God a liar. The truth of the matter is, if you have asked the Lord Jesus to heal you, then it’s done, whether it looks like it or not.

How can I make a statement like that? Easy. Look in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Is there ANYWHERE you can show me where Jesus ever refused to heal anyone?? There is none. Were there still sick people in Israel when Jesus was there? Obviously, because they DID NOT COME TO HIM! For the Bible says all who came to Him were healed. It says He healed them ALL!! There was the story of the Centurion who came in the place of his servant who was home sick, and asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus offered to go to him, but the Centurion said, Send the word only, and my servant will be healed. So Jesus sent the Word and healed him.

You may be saying, I can’t go to Jesus. True, but you can still pray and ask Him, then believe you receive, because that’s what the Bible tells us to do. And just like back then, He will send His word and heal you. So I have to ask at this point, what part of ALL do you not understand? The Bible also says in Hebrews 13:8; Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. So we know two things by this: He is still stirred by jealousy if we “bow to other gods”, and He still pours out blessings on the obedient, who believe what He says, and act accordingly.

It is written in Deuteronomy 30:19;

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Obviously, those who provoke God to jealousy like Israel did many times, chose cursing instead of blessing, death instead of life. But He tells us the correct answer…CHOOSE LIFE, AND REAP THE BENEFITS!