Another thing the Father cannot do is change His grace towards us. Grace is much more than just unearned favor. It is a quality in the heart of one towards another that rests completely in the heart of the one giving the grace. There is therefore nothing the recipient of grace can do to change or influence the grace given them. Grace is totally dependent on the one who holds grace in their heart towards another.
God the Father so loved the world - that is grace. That He gave His only begotten Son - that is the action confirming that grace in His heart towards us. When the angels appeared to the shepherds in Luke 2: 14 they said: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will towards men."
That isn't good will among men, like we are to play nice with each other. But rather God in the highest saying 'peace, (I have) good will towards men'.The grace is in His heart, and His action of sending Jesus proved it.
If we were talking about you or I we might have argument that we can have grace in our hearts towards someone one moment, but then because they misuse the grace given them, we change our minds and revoke that grace. That is true of us in what we might say are 'lighter' examples of grace.
For instance, a child doesn't do the yard work we told them to do, and we give them grace. But then we learn they also didn't empty the trash nor clean their room nor put the dinner in the oven to warm up like we told them to do, and grace is revoked and punishment follows. We extend grace, we retract grace. That's a lighter example.
But deeper than that is the grace of the heart that never changes, even in we humans, like the love of a mother for her child. The Father asks in Isaiah 49: 15: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" He says here is love and grace is deeper than a mother's for her child.
I've done a lot of prison ministry, holding Bible studies and services in penitentiaries among murderers and others who are there for life. I've also known some mom's of murderers and those locked up for life. Each mom has said something like 'I hate what he did, but he's my son and I love him. I can't help it.' That is grace.
God the Father's grace towards us He says, is deeper than that of a mother who loves her child no matter what that child has done.
He so loved the world that He gave. The fact He already acted by sending Jesus is proof He cannot change from that. He cannot take back His love because He already acted on it. And more than that, He is proving HIs continued grace by His love towards us to this day. We cannot change what is in His heart. Fortunately His nature is set as well. He never changes, though being Sovereign He can change His mind, but His nature and therefore His intent towards us never changes.
James 1: 17: "But every good endowment that we possess and every complete gift that we have received must come from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency. By his own wish he made us his own sons through the Word of truth that we might be, so to speak, the first specimens of his new creation." J.B. Phillips NT
Can't He change His mind?
I've been talking about the heart, the very nature of God the Father who is we are told, Love. Light. Goodness. That never changes. Grace is part of love and light and goodness. But to look at His mind, His intent. To do that let's look at the word 'repent'.
There are two words translated 'repent' in the New Testament. The first is what we think of as repentance. It is 'metanoia' (metanoeo) from 'meta' which means 'after', 'noeo' which means 'to perceive', and 'nous' which means 'the mind', so literally, 'to perceive in the mind after'. This is the used in the repentance John the Baptist preached. It is a complete change of mind and direction brought about after a sin or error is perceived. It is this change that John the Baptist said required proof; that proof provided by a change in habits and lifestyle.
The other word is 'metamelomai' and the adjective form, 'ametameletos'. This uses 'meta' as before, which means 'after', and 'melo' which means 'to care for'. It is used to describe regret rather than a change of heart. This is the word used of Judas who after he betrayed Jesus, Matthew 27:3 says 'repented himself', meaning he was not repenting to God, but was sorry within himself, regretting his plan didn't work.
So the difference between these is this: The first is repentance, and the 2nd is 'regret'. The adjective form of 'regret' puts that little 'a' in front which changes it to a negative. This word, 'ametameletos', means 'will not regret' or 'without a change of purpose' or we might say, 'does not regret an action taken'.
This is important to us because we often think we have so missed God, so sinned, so lived our lives doing our will rather than His, that we think He is angry with us or hurt with us or regrets saving us even. When we miss God it is natural to think He regrets saving us and we are sure we will have His wrath to experience one day as a result.
But this same word used to tell us Judas was sorry his plan didn't work out, in adjective form is used in this verse from Romans 11: 29: "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
In other words, this is saying God will never regret giving you His gifts and calling. God will never regret His first plan for you didn't work out. He will never be sorry within Himself that He called you and gifted you.
He will never regret gifting you and calling you and loving you. His gifts and calling on your life He will never regret, never be sorry it didn't work out. He is in it for the long haul. Ephesians 2: 6-7 reveals He saved us and seated us in Christ in the heavenly's so that in the ages to come He can continue to show the riches of His grace towards us.
He therefore does not regret in this life His call of us because He is already looking at the ages to come. His character and now we see, His mind, is set towards us. Grace. There is nothing you can do to change that. He not only loves you, He likes you. He created you and I with His own personality, so to hate us would be to hate Himself, for we came from Him. He will never be sorry He called and gifted us.
So His character and mind (intent) towards us is grace - and He cannot change that about Himself and proves that by His past, present, and future actions towards us. He is already planning the ages to come to continue to show us that love. Amazing grace. We cannot fast enough, pray enough, give enough, or impress Him or change it to the negative.
As Paul said in Romans 8: 32: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" We've received His highest and best, and nothing can change that. There isn't any more. He gave His only Son. HIs grace is set, and He will never regret His actions and plans for us even if they don't work out in this life - for there are ages to come in which His perfect plans for us will indeed come to pass! Amazing grace.
Until next week...blessings,
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