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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

May 4, 2007

Isaiah 55:6-7  “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

It’s the call that’s gone out to fallen man ever since God called out to Adam and said “Where art thou?”  The sovereign Creator of all that we see along with all that we don’t see and yet is.  He who is unchanging and wihout beginning calling down throughout the millenia “come unto me and you shall find rest.  Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white like wool.”  He who so loved us, that he took upon himself a body of flesh and dwelt among us.  He went willingly to an old rugged cross; enduring the most agonizing and humiliating death that one can fathom to pay for our iniquities with his own innocent blood.   Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God, by whom the worlds were created, paying for the sins of folks who wouldn’t give him the time of day.  In his unfathomable love and mercy, he came to seek and to save that which was lost.  The depth of Gods love is, without a doubt, beyond our ability to comprehend. 

Isaiah 55:8-9  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Each person living upon the face of the earth is a testament to the longsuffering of God.  He holds in his hand the very breath of life and can take that life in an instant should he so choose.  If the devil had his way, he would end every life in a moment; the lost before they had another opportunity to come to Jesus and the saints who are upholding the truth.  Just as there was a hedge about Job, each person living today has a measure of divine protection about them; both the saints and the wicked.   Today the earth holds six and a half billion examples of Gods mercy in action.  When a trial of our faith comes at the hand of another, it really is nothing more than a trial.  A trial to see if we truly believe and a trial to see if we will love our neighbor regardless of what our neighbor might do to us. 

A couple of years ago I heard a preacher talking about a situation that they had with some neighbors.  One morning, his neighbor (I think they had just moved in next door) went out with his garbage, opened the bag, and slung the contents all over the preachers front yard.  Bro. Mackey (I remember his name) said to his wife, “you know, that guy needs a pie.  Would you be so kind as to make them a pie?  Mrs Mackey did so and the neighbor was grateful.  A few days later, this guy next door went out and did the same thing again with his garbage.  Once again, Mrs Mackey made a pie and took it to them.  (Had it been me, the guy probably would have been wearing the pie. lol  “He loved it!  Swallowed it in one bite!”)  Three times this sequence of events took place until one day the guy came over and asked Bro Mackey where they attended church.  He went on to explain how he knew christians at his workplace that said one thing but lived totaly opposite.  He wanted to know if Bro Mackey was “for real.” 

A situation where a little longsuffering (mingled with a sense of humor) led to a sinner wanting to know about Jesus.  One thing that I have to be constantly mindful of (and I’m not always succesful) is to walk in the Spirit at home where there are lost folks.  The situation is delicate to put it mildly and patience is a must.  Running my mouth without thinking can lead to unwanted scattering and getting angry over something insignificant is an absolute non-starter.  To always keep in mind the eternal picture; not only at home, but at work, at the gas station, in traffic, anywhere and everywhere.  To remember always, that our forgiveness is directly linked to our forgiveness of others.  To reach a point where we can truly say that we love our neighbor as ourself.   

Matthew 5:44-45  “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

To truly love our neighbor as ourselves; even when they don’t respond in like fashion.  Each person on the face of the earth, regardless of how wicked they may be, is made in the image of God.  Each one is likewise still here because God is not willing that any should perish.  He is longsuffering in a way that we cannot fathom and while inevitably the window of opportunity will run out, it’s not Gods will that anyone die in their sins.  I think that the most horiffic part of hell has to be the knowledge that it was totally avoidable. 

 Ezekiel 18:31-32  “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

One thing that I’ve thought on before is the very fact that the Lord preserved me until september of 1983 when I came to Jesus.  Anything vould have happened prior to then.  I was, as a teenager, very hostile toward the gospel, and very new age-like in my thinking.  He could have, at any moment, cut me off and I would be, at this moment, in that place of everlasting torment instead of blogging about the longsuffering of God.  If I had gone into eternity in August of 1983, I would have been in eternity for twenty three years and nine months as of now.  What an absolutely awesome salvation we have through Jesus Christ.  The more that we think on it, the more awesome it becomes.  

II Peter 3:8  “But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

This puts things into perspective as to timing.  As to just how insignificant our time in this world is when compared to eternity.  What standing does time have in the realm of the everlasting?

II Peter 3:9-10  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

God is ever so longsuffering, however judgment does come at the appointed time.  He is willing to forgive us of all our iniquity when we turn to him.  I know that the devil uses the lie on many that they’ve done too much to be forgiven.  Not so at all.  All sin, rather we classify it as little or big, is still sin and the wages of sin is death.  God can take the most wicked of the wicked and transform them into a new creature; a fact to which every saint can bear witness.  When a person reaches the end of their rope and all hope seems lost, Jesus can hear the faintest cry of repentance and deliver in a moment. 

John 6:37  “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Well I need to be going for now.  I don’t have time to proofread this, however I know that at least one grammerical error exists because I saw it while scrolling up.  (Now I can’t seem to locate it.  I’m certain that others exist as well.)  To forgive others as God has forgiven us.  It’s such a basic concept and yet not loving our neighbor as ourselves is one of those little things that can weasel its way into our heart within a moment if we aren’t watching.  It’s one of those little weights and sins that aren’t easily detected.  Praise God for his sweet Holy Spirit who lets us know when we’re straying.  In these days it’s all the more needful to be atuned to his leading.  I’ll close out for now and wish all a great day in Jesus.

Revelation 3:20-22  “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will i grant to sit with me in my throne, even as i also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

This is an unrelated topic, but I just checked out steve Quayles site and found this story.  I don’t have time to check it out at the moment, but here’s a link as it looks to be telling of the direction that this country is heading in. 

www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/hate-crimes.htm 

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5 comments

  1. Solid post as always. For me, I’ve been blessed with rarely having had anyone do anything against me that I figured needed forgiveness, but the couple of ones that did happen were hugely tough. I would state before God that I’d forgiven them, but found myself continually thinking about the situation or discussing it once more with a friend in a manner that very obviously belied my hope that I had indeed done what I’d said. Over time, and with prayer though, I learnt a lot about forgiveness but still admire those who’ve truly had horrendous crimes committed against them, yet publicly and immediately state they’ve forgiven the perpetrators. An awesome testimony and one we no doubt all aspire to, but the reality of doing so is hugely different to the thought of it. Yet for us as Christians it’s not just one of those things we aspire to do – it’s a mandatory requirement, otherwise we too will remain unforgiven – hard to comprehend as redeemed sinners to start with, but that’s what Jesus stated and thus the Truth of it. May He continue to refine all of us in our daily lives, and enable us to fulfil such requirements without hesitation. Blessings brother, TKR 🙂


  2. On forgiveness:

    Remarks made by former U.S. President Bill Clinton regarding his conversation with Nelson Mandela, former South African President:

    “Many years later, when we were both Presidents of our nations, I had a chance to ask him. I said, “I know you are a great man. You invited your jailers to your inauguration. You put your persecutors in the government. But tell me the truth. Weren’t you really angry all over again?” And he said, “Yes, I was angry. And I was a little afraid. After all, I’d not been free in so long. But, “He said, “when I felt the anger well up inside of me, I realised that if I hated them after I got outside that gate then they would still have me.” Then he smiled and said, “But I wanted to be free, and so I let it go.” It was an astonishing moment in my life.


  3. And yet another great post!!!!!!!!

    Forgiveness is a tough thing to do at times. But we have to do receive forgiveness from our Father. So I do forgive quickly if this is the only thing I truly learned since been a Christian I learned it well 🙂

    Great Post Timbob

    In His Grip
    Andrea


  4. Indeed, it can be challenging at times to love our neighbors, especially when they don’t want to love us back. I have a tendency to shrink back when I feel rejected, but I want God to help me overcome that and love people anyhow. I know that with His help it is possible. Hope you have a blessed weekend.

    Carol


  5. I love that song. Praying for you and your family, and thankful for your prayers as well.

    “Each person on the face of the earth, regardless of how wicked they may be, is made in the image of God.”

    I have to remind myself of this every day as I head into work. Thanks for sharing, Friend.



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