“And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT).

As most parents and people who work with children realize, little ones don’t respond positively to yelling, screaming or bullying. In fact, no one does. Society frowns on this behavior and even recognizes those who try to manipulate and coerce others in this way may have mental or emotional issues. Unfortunately, some believe this to be true of how God deals with humanity. They think he bullies us with threats of eternal torture in some kind of unbearable hell unless we repent and change our ways—to his way.

Fortunately for us, God isn’t like that. He does display his power and might through nature and the natural laws he has put in place. But when it comes to his children, he is the most tender, gentle, loving and kind Father. The Holy Spirit never yells at us and doesn’t bully. He works within our hearts, whispering to us God’s perfect way of love and grace. If we can get quiet enough to listen, we’ll be able to hear what’s really on his heart—his love for us, his precious ones.

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