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Archive for the ‘Mercy’ Category

What Love Is This?

December 1, 2017 Leave a comment

nativity1

God’s love for you can never be restrained.

It bursts forth in smiles
from a cattle stall.

It shouts out in praise
from the heavenly host.

It cries out in anguish
from an old rugged cross.

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Me jealous?

August 24, 2016 2 comments

gray word on red wallAs believers, we sing of God’s amazing grace, but, if the parable Jesus told in Matthew 20 is any indication, lurking beneath these praises could be a heart of jealousy.

In this story, found in Matthew 20:1-16 and often called the Laborers in the Vineyard, Jesus tells of a landowner who hires laborers to work in his vineyard. He does this throughout the day, so that the laborer hired in the early part of the day works many more hours than the laborer hired at the end of the day. Yet, the landowner pays each worker the very same wage–the amount initially agreed on when the hiring took place. Thus, those who worked longer received the exact same wages as those who worked for only one hour.

Predictably, when those who had worked a full 12 hours noticed that the landowner had paid each man the same wage, they grumbled and complained to the owner of the vineyard. This was the owner’s answer in Matthew 20:15, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”

Since the landowner is representative of God, we should take this parable as a cautionary tale to guard ourselves from complaining about the blessings God bestows on someone who appears undeserving of such grace. Instead, when God showers someone with blessings, our response should be one of joy. Imagine how pleased the landowner would have been if the workers, who bore the heat of the day, had rejoiced with with the workers who had worked but a few hours. What a celebration they could have had!

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15.

You’re Full Of It!

October 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Full of It 2It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on our failures or weaknesses, especially when it comes to our relationship with God. If you read the Bible on a regular basis, hear sermons, or sing Christian songs, you’ll constantly be confronted with your inability to live up to the person God created you to be. We all “fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

While it’s true every individual born since Adam (except for the God-man, Jesus) comes into the world filled to the brim and running over with a sin nature, it’s also true God has provided a way for a new filling. He’s promised to infuse us with His nature, His Holy nature. This is what the Bible calls our new nature.

This new nature is promised to everyone who believes. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13.

As a follower of Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit, you are a repository of God’s grace and mercy. He’s filled you with His attributes. You’ve become a “vessel of mercy.” Romans 9:23.

Being filled with God’s grace and mercy, enables us to be merciful. John Piper of Desiring God Ministries writes in his sermon on Romans 9:

Mercy produces mercy and receives mercy again. We become merciful by being shown mercy. And we show mercy to obtain more mercy again. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Freely you received mercy, freely give – and you will receive more and more, “pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6:38). Mercy upon mercy.

While it’s important to continually examine ourselves for sin in our lives and confess that sin to God (1 John 1:9), it’s also important to realize we are full of God’s mercy and His mercy is an overflowing mercy.

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