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Archive for the ‘mercy’ Category

When Israel was a child, I loved him,

and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,

and I bent down to them and fed them.
-Hosea 11:1-4 (ESV)  
God speaks of Israel as a loving parent speaks of his beloved child.  He speaks of a time when Israel was a child and the love that He had for His chosen people.  God speaks from the perspective of a loving and caring father.  In fact, God points out that He loved Israel so much that He truly went out of His way to extend His love to the nation of people.
Isn’t Hosea the perfect book of Bible for such love to be stated and shown? I asked it in another blog: Who is your Gomer? Could you love like Hosea loved Gomer? Could you love like God loved Israel? Could you love like the Lord loved the world and gave His only begotten Son for all who would believe on Him to have everlasting life? The Lord is trying to teach us to be more like the Father, to be merciful, forgiving and loving.
Take a clue from the Father.  Love despite the response.  Love in spite of the lack of gratitude or praise.  Love without any conditions or hang-ups.  Love.  Love like Jesus.  Love like the Father.  In a word, love.  Just love and just keep on loving.

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3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Truly, this psalm hits home for a lot of us.  Let’s keep it real.  We can do that.  Right?

Keeping it real, we know that we have some deep-rooted contempt for certain folks.  You know, we may have it in for rich folks, other-colored folks, same-sex folks, can’t-get-enough-of-whatever folks, and countless others.  We just may not be able to identify well with them or all of the baggage that they bring. 

It’s really not about them.

Yep.  I said it.

It’s really about you.  I guess I should say us, but let’s stay on you for a minute.

. . . we are exceedingly filled with contempt. . . exceedingly filled with the scorning…and with the contempt

Why ask someone else: “What’s your problem?” when some reflection and examination will reveal the problem-holder in a second? Look at our language when we speak of ourselves.  We tend to come up short when it comes to coming clean about our stuff and owning our own issues.  Let your “I” message be about how you will handle your problem with others and deal with your own contempt for others.

This psalm pointed out that those who were at ease and the proud were targets of the contempt of the faithful.  The faithful sought the right resource.  They called upon God to have mercy upon us in a repetitive phrase in both verses 2 and 3.  It demonstrates the realization that God who sits high in the heavens is watching over his own children. 

Let us go to God and seek His mercy upon us as we seek to be delivered from our own contempt.  We want God to purge and purify us.  We want God to cure and cleanse us.  We ought to know that we cannot deal with this on our own.  We need His mighty hand.  We need His awesome power.  We need God to work on our behalf.

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“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”
John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing GraceJohn Newton (1725–1807)

Salvation is free.

You don’t buy it.  You cannot earn it.

Salvation is free, but it comes at a cost.

Truthfully, salvation comes at a steep cost.  While salvation is a free offer from God to those who will believe, it cost God the Father His only begotten Son– Jesus Christ.

For you were bought at a price… – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorThe Lord offers us salvation as the “gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).  He showed us mercy, not giving us what we deserved for our sins, and showed us grace by offering what we did not deserveSalvation is the ultimate gift of God to the world through His Son’s atoning sacrifice as the Lamb of God.

Smith Wigglesworth Only BelieveLet us truly believe and accept God’s gift with all thankfulness.  Open your eyes to the riches and treasures of everlasting life offered through the sacrifice of the Savior.  Let us who believe open mouths to speak freely about the freedom that we have gained through Christ just as we have opened our hearts to gain such freedom to live in Christ.

    Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
    And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. -Psalm 107:2-3 (NKJV)

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. 18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
– Genesis 50:15-21 (NIV)

Joseph and His BrothersPaybackJoseph’s brothers feared him.  In fact, they believed that Joseph would take revenge on them and seek payback for all that they had done to him.  They even discussed it and sent word to Joseph via messenger.

When their message came to him, Joseph wept. (v. 17, NIV).

Cruel IntentionsJoseph wept based upon their message.  He reassured them and spoke kindly to them, according to verse 21.  Joseph had said to them that he was in the place of God.  He stated that he did not seek to harm them, even though they had harmed him.  He shared that God used their evil intentions to accomplish His perfect will.

Just Like Jesus DevotionalJoseph showed mercy.  In fact, Joseph showed his brothers mercy on more than one occasion.  He said that he was in the place of God, in a position to either harm them or help them.  He chose to help them instead of seeking revenge upon them and exercising his authority as an Egyptian governmental official.

Doing Justice, Showing Mercy: Christian Action in Today's World (Bible Study Guides)Lord, Teach Us To PrayComplete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, The: Experience the Wonders of God through PrayerTake a moment today and see about ways to show mercy towards others.  Do you have an opportunity to show mercy at work or home? Pray to the Lord for discernment in dealing with those who wrong you.  Do all that you can to do like the Lord.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.- Genesis 39:21 (KJV)

3:16: The Numbers of HopeDown times can the very times where we need to know that the Lord is a “very present help.”  Illness, unemployment, family strife, divorce and a slew of other issues can plague us day by day.  At times, we can feel abandoned. 

That’s not what God wants us to feel.  He does not desire for us to be His forsaken children.  He redeemed us for the price of His only begotten SonLet us not live like those who are without hope as Paul shared with fellow believers through his epistles.  We are children of God as promised through His Son.

Grace: Gods Unmerited FavorJoseph was in the pit, then in Potiphar’s house, and then in prison.  God never left him alone and forsaken.  He showed him mercy.  He even gave him favor in the sight of others.  God could have left it at mercy and that would have been a big deal, but He even gave the young man favor.
The next time that you feel down.  Look around and see what God has provided for you.  Think clearly about what God has taken you through, ups and downs, valleys and mountains.  Let your heart be content with all that God has already done for you.

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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
– Luke 17:3 (NIV)
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner!”
Max Lucado
I don’t forget what I have done.  All of the bad that I have stirred up still has its lingering effects.  I try to cover the scars and the tattoos with navy blue and banker’s grey power suits.  I hide the tears that I want to shed for my wrongs behind the dark lenses of wrap-around shades or under the low-riding brim of a fedora. 
Then, always right before I get totally worn out and weighed down, He speaks softly to my spirit through His Holy Spirit.
I took care of that for you already.
I stand in awe, wondering how could that be.
I fight with myself to come to some understanding why.  Why would the Savior do so for me?
Me? I have all of this baggage, though.
I wonder what I am to do without all of this junk to carry around.
But I sin, Lord.
I forgive.
 No, I mean I really sin. 
I forgive.

I am a real big sinner.  I know I do not  please You.
I forgive.
What about from here on and I mess up?
I forgive.

And if it is more? Or, even worse?

I forgive.

Yes.

And again?

Yes.

And again and. . .

Yes.

How long will you keep that up?

Forever.

Eternity.

Day after day.

Until you make it to your new home with Me.

Amen.*

Amen.*

* Amen is translated as “so be it” or “it is so.” It offers a response of agreement or declared affirmation.

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