Mercy

The Land of Promise (Part V)

Although Joshua had been courageous in the wilderness years, the Lord still had to command him not to be afraid as they were about to enter the land of promise. Transitioning from one season to another can make one uneasy and uncomfortable. We can’t rely entirely on our past successes to handle the new situations. We need to trust the Lord and depend on Him for the new unknowns. Joshua had to be strong and courageous in the new season as they were about to cross the Jordan river and enter the land of promise. …

Give Thanks to the Holy One!

 

This Thanksgiving season is a perfect opportunity to give thanks to God for His great mercies towards us. The Lord is awesome, and He is worthy to be praised! He is the provider of every good thing. He has placed everything in order, including the sun, the moon, and the stars. The Lord has created everything for His purpose and for our enjoyment. The varieties of shapes, colors, and sizes in animals, bodies of water, flowers, trees, and fruits are all amazing and incredible!

Overruled!

 

We live in a culture that opinions are a dime a dozen! We have no lack of opinion about various subject matters whether we have much knowledge about them or not. Developing opinions and critical thinking is part of our academic training, and it is a way that we show we have intelligence. However, God is not impressed with our opinions. As a matter of fact, our opinions are a hindrance to our spiritual growth and maturity. God sometimes, by His mercy, overrules our opinions to open our eyes to new possibilities and new levels of freedom. …

The Lord is My Shepherd (Part VI)

The Good Shepherd’s goodness and mercy 

A shepherd thinks and cares about his sheep all the time. He knows that he cannot afford to forget about his responsibility in taking care of his helpless lamb. Similarly, God knows the helpless state of humanity and desires to shepherd His people! Do you recognize that His goodness and mercy follow you? Are you dwelling in the house of the Lord?

The Blessing of Being Accepted in Christ (Part II)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10

The blessing of salvation and our new relationship with Christ is that we didn’t do anything to earn it. God initiated this relationship and we just responded to His loving kindness towards us. It wasn’t our idea. We didn’t just decide one day that it’s a good day or a good age to accept the Lord into our lives. He is the one who placed the conviction in our hearts that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. Then as newborn babes, He put a hunger in our hearts to desire Him and grow in Him!

Paul reminds us that salvation is a gift of God. We have nothing to boast about or to become prideful about. We can’t look down upon others for not being saved. If it wasn’t for the Lord and His rich mercies, we would still be in sin and would be living in guilt and shame that was piled upon us from years past. Praise be to God and the Lord Jesus Christ whose rich mercy and grace freed us from sin and brought us to the Kingdom of God! We live this life in humility knowing that we are totally and utterly dependent on the Lord on daily basis!

The beauty and the blessing of being accepted by the Lord is that He is the one who started the good work in our lives and He will complete it! He didn’t leave us in charge of our spiritual lives. We continue to only respond and partner with Him in this journey called life. He has a plan for the work that He has for us before the creation of the world! This is a relief from striving or trying to figure out what we need to do!

Many believers including myself have struggled to figure out what good works we are supposed to do. How should we impact the Kingdom!? We want to be good stewards of our time, treasure, temple, and talents. The problem is that those kinds of questions sometimes lead us to strive We try to figure out with our minds how to please God and achieve His objectives. Sometimes, we come up with creative ways to do the work of the Kingdom, and at other times, we just join a group and try to do something to ensure we are serving and ministering. All along we may not be sure if the Lord is doing directing all the “good works” or if it is our restlessness that makes us just want to do something.

The above scripture reminds us that God has already prepared the good works that He has for us. He actually planned them long before we were born or accepted Jesus into our lives! The good works that He has for us are not separated from the good work that He does in our lives. They are the outworking and the byproduct of a life lived out under His Lordship and obedience. Just as God has planned for us to be transformed into the image of His son, He also has a plan how He will use us in the Kingdom to reveal that image to others. Isn’t that awesome!? We can’t transform ourselves into the image of Jesus. We only respond to His promptings and surrender our will, so He can develop and shape us in Jesus’ image. Similarly, we can’t conjure up good works for God. We don’t see Godly Biblical characters coming up with ideas to keep themselves busy in doing good works. The Lord directed them to it, and He will direct us to it.

In the meantime, we do the best we can with all the other responsibilities we have before us. We get to fellowship with the Lord, remain in His love, Listen to His voice, obey His word, and be available to what He asks us to do. We love our family, friends, neighbors, and strangers on our path. The above scripture tells us that we will walk in the good works that He has for us. In the course of daily life, we will come upon those people and situations that require our attention.

Our challenge is to believe that our good works for God will not always happen in the context of ministry. It is not a job, a role, or a task that needs to be done. It is a relationship with the almighty God who instructs and directs us to do certain things at certain times. When we don’t have a specific task to do, we can rest assured that God still loves us and we can be secure in His love not our works for Him.

 

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

 

The Power of Resurrection

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10

The truth is that we were all enemies of God. Some aggressively rebelled against Him and others just lived their lives making their own plans apart from God’s laws and ways! All of us were born under sin and shaped in iniquity. We inherited the nature of sin from Adam, and we also committed our own sins in variety of ways. Every sin is a declaration of our will over God’s will, laws, and ways!

Praise God for Jesus’ obedience to the cross and for the Lord’s resurrection power raising Jesus from death to life! His death, burial, and resurrection gives us hope for an abundant and eternal life! He has the power to forgive every sin and to give us a fresh start in life.

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 21:21-22

Just as God breathed life in Adam, Jesus breathed life in His disciples. What Adam lost in the Garden of Eden, Jesus regained on Calvary and gave it to His disciples. Jesus reconciled us to the Father by being our advocate and for dying for our sins, so we can be free from the sentence and the punishment of sin. We no longer have to carry the burden of shame and guilt in our lives, but we can lay it down at the cross and pick up His forgiveness, restoration, and hope for our lives. Now we can walk as living beings having our relationship restored with the Father! We are no longer enemies of God, but we have been accepted in the beloved! Because Jesus lives, we can live a life fully dedicated to the Lord. His peace is our peace!

I am reminded of the Lord’s Prayer that He taught His disciples. He began by declaring that our Father is worthy to be hallowed and honored. Jesus changed our relationship to a Holy God. We are no longer distant from a Him but we can call Him Abba Father! Through the cross, we are adopted as sons and daughters of the living King! We belong to the Kingdom of God, and we become partakers of Jesus’ nature who is the firstborn among many.

Whether we were saved years ago or just accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we continue to be in need of Him. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that God’s will is done on the earth as it is in heaven and that His Kingdom is being established upon the earth. Furthermore, He told them to ask for their daily bread and forgiveness and instructed them to forgive others as well. He also taught them to pray that they are not led into temptation and that the Lord would deliver them from the evil one. Every area that Jesus mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer is a reminder of our desperate need for the Lord and His presence, mercy, grace, enablement, protection, wisdom, and discernment. Our job is to listen to His voice, surrender our will to Him, and do what He asks us to do. This is the life of a believer in a nutshell. It requires faith, hope, love, and obedience, and in the process we grow and mature in the fruit of the spirit and become more effective for the kingdom of God!

That’s something to shout about and praise the Lord for! Lord we thank you for sending your son to die for our sins and for the sins of humanity. Thank you Jesus for your obedience to the Father. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that we are no longer orphans in this world, but we have the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth and righteousness. Thank you Lord for your kindness towards us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. We pray that you would reveal yourself to our loved ones and that they can experience the love, forgiveness, restoration, and deliverance of Jesus and the power of Resurrection in their lives!

 

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay