Sunday, September 23, 2018
What is the mercy of God? It is God's divine favor on us, to not give us what we deserve. We often take His mercies for granted; like beautiful weather, good health and life moments. "There’s a limit to God’s mercy because it cannot contradict His other attributes—like holiness, righteousness, and justice. Sin must be punished in order for God to remain just. And without justice, mercy and forgiveness would be meaningless. This dilemma was the reason Jesus Christ came to earth to die: He satisfied God’s justice by bearing the penalty for our sins. Yet so many think lightly of divine kindness, tolerance, and patience; they fail to realize that these blessings should draw them to repentance. These people trample underfoot His mercy and continue on their merry way, oblivious to the fact that justice, not mercy, awaits them in eternity." [intouch.org]
Romans 2:4-5 "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."
I read the following devotional by A.W. Tozer during my recent health issues. It humbled me to remember all that God has blessed me with and my whole dependence on Him.
"The mercy of God is my life and my breath. I breathe it daily. Oh, the mercy of God, that God is compassionate, that He stoops to pity and have mercy upon His people! The mercy of God is more than a theological doctrine to me. It is more than something I believe in; it is something that I experience every day of my life. What I am today is because of His mercy. The thing I most delight in with God is the fact that He sympathizes with my grief. He knows the absolute depths of my sorrow, my agony and pain. I do not know how badly off I am because I cannot fully understand my grief or my sorrow. I feel the agony of my pain, however, when I come to God. I know He knows my pain in depth more than I will ever know. As much as I know myself, I do not deserve anything from God. All I deserve is hell. That is why when I come to the mercy of God as a deer panting after the cool water brooks, nothing slakes my spiritual thirst like a fresh dose of God’s mercy. Why restless, why cast down, my soul? Hope still, and thou shalt sing The praise of Him who is thy God, Thy health’s eternal spring. Amen. " [Tozer, A.W.. My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day]
Charles Spurgeon says "What a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you, but His hold of you."
Can we not all trace the thread of mercy from God in our own lives? Yes, the living grace of God at work and through us. I know my own rebellious heart has been spared time after time and I am forever grateful for His patience with me to eventually come and ask for forgiveness. "We are all jerks in need of God’s love. That’s why Jesus Christ came into this world. And to show people grace is to remember what God has done for us." [R. Warren] Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the ’s great love we are not consumed,
None of us would be where we are today without God's grace and mercy... give God the glory!
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Psalm 16:8-11 "I keep my eyes always on the .Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,You make known to me the path of life;
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Also in Do you not know? Have you not heard? The is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or , and his understanding no one can fathom."
Where do we turn when we feel at the end of our rope? Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are and burdened, and I will give you rest." Our rope is self-reliance but when we let go and let God work, then we can have peace beyond our circumstances and understanding.
As for myself, I've been struggling with God's purpose in my circumstances lately but yet I trust in Him to finish the good work He started in me. The formula working in me is: Frustrated + Trust= Trustrated. I know it sounds silly, but it's a good word for the tug-of-war going on inside me right now. I find hope in Isaiah 40:29 "He gives strength to the and increases the power of the weak", because I am currently both weak and weary. The verse above, Psalm 16:8, is in my window by my bed and encourages me daily that God is with me, that God is my focus and that God is fighting for me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
In our helplessness, we discover His almighty power to sustain us.
In our despair, God invites us to experience His peace and promises.
In our pain, He becomes our comforter and protector.
In our hopelessness, He lifts our eyes to see His sovereignty and goodness.
Every adversity God allows in our life is designed to bring us to spiritual maturity, not to devastate us. When we yield to Him in the midst of a crisis, He enables us to trust and wait on Him with patience and hope. [intouch.org]
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Do you ever feel that the world or your own world is out of control? Do you feel like hope is out of your reach? Or you may have a friend who feels that way and you struggle to find words of comfort for them? We sometimes feel like Job in 6:11, "What strength do I have, that I should still ? What prospects, that I should be patient?"
Jesus never promised a time on this Earth free from trouble but He did promise to be with you all of your days. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Whatever troubles you are having or will have, we must remember Jesus knows our pain because He suffered just as we do and worse. We need to remind ourselves that all of this pain, suffering, sorrow, violence, injustice, and unrighteous behavior will come to an end when we reach Glory or Jesus returns. Psalm 25:5 is where our hearts should stand firm on, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my is in you all day long." Psalm 33:20 encourages us to hang on through the short term pain for the long term reward, "We wait in for the ; he is our help and our shield."
This world and it's troubles will all pass away but God is our everlasting hope. Psalm 10: 16-18 "The is King for ever and ever;You, , hear the desire of the afflicted;defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
Therefore one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- Let them know you're sorry they are hurting and you mourn with them in their pain.
- Reassure them of your friendship and your availability to listen whenever needed.
- Just be there for them in their state of loneliness.
- Model a life... that shows that God is in control and your life relies on that promise throughout your own hurts and struggles...be the Light for others to see Jesus through.
- Express that we all have questions on this side of heaven and some things we just won't know why.
- Express your faith in God's Word and that you trust in His control over all things...not your own.
"Break Your Heart' video posted below.. [on website, not on email version]
Sunday, September 2, 2018
This week I'm sharing a blog by Randy Alcorn in substitution of my own. If you read last week's blog, you know that I put in a paragraph from 'Jesus Calling'. I did so with hesitation from my gut, because I knew there was controversy regarding 'Jesus Calling'. The problem is I ignored my gut and didn't investigate further to know for myself or before sharing with my readers. My friend shared with me the following blog and I want to share it with you. With anything we read or hear, we need to be discerning of what it claims. Randy Alcorn is fair and points out some key points in this blog that can be applied to other devotionals, as well as 'Jesus Calling'. Please take the time to read Randy's blog regarding one of the top selling Christian books today..... thanks, angie