The Heart of God (episode II)October 25, 2007
Lamenations 3:22 “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
James 2:13 “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shown no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
The unfathomable mercies of the God who inhabits all of eternity. A pure and holy God who cannot allow sin in his presence, but who has done all that he possibly could in order to redeem us from the power of sin and death through Jesus Christ. One aspect that we find in this mercy that it’s tied directly to our being merciful to others. Just as our own forgiveness is tied directly to our forgiving of others. We may think “but look what they did to me. How can I possibly let it go?” Such may well be very difficult in many instances, but it’s an absolute must. Remember the amish school where an intruder killed several students? (Autumn of 2006) Those in the media were baffled at how the parents and community could just “forgive” the guy who had done such a thing. (None of us deserve eternal life)
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
In the summer of 1986, while my ship was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, we made a stop in Trieste Italy where I visited a medeival castle. This castle featured a fully stocked torture chamber with forms of torment that I had never imagined. My naive midwestern mind was astonished and I could only wonder “how could a person or persons put another through such an ordeal?” The history books are filled with accounts of unimaginable torture, and yet, to see and touch the actual instruments was surreal. I had to wonder who had lived there and how many souls had passed through there. One thing is for certain; nothing, past or present, gets past Gods radar and only the precious blood of Jesus can wash away sin.
Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear reports of another diabolical crime being committed against the unsuspecting. (II Timothy chapter three is in full swing as we approach the conclusion of this age) Those who abandon the laws of common decency in pursuit of pleasure or monitary gain. Today we see a darkness, permeating the land that is promoted by the entertainment media which employs all three of the lusts (flesh, eyes, and pride of life.) in order to turn a porfit. This is why I was so intrigued by Cora Daniels’ latest book; because she so eloquently described this baser mentality that is permeating our culture. Even if one didn’t see the signs of the end times all around, one only has to observe this mentality and know that such is not sustainable.
Every day we see the mercy of God. Many will ask “how can God allow so much misery and suffering to take place?” It is precisely because of his mercy. If we all were to get what we deserve, none of us would be here. “There is none righteous.” Just as the Lord is merciful, we are to be merciful to others; longsuffering, even when were done a disservice. To be Christlike in all that we say and do. One of the most fascinating passages of scripture is this:
Matthew 26:53 “Thinkest thou not that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
As the song goes, “He could have called twelve legions of angels.” He would have been justified in doing so, but we would be lost and without hope. Praise God for his mercy that exceeds our greatest understanding. May we all have an increasingly greater understanding, of the great salvation that we have through Jesus Christ. As Paul observed:
Philippians 3:10-11 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
One mistake that many, including myself in the days of my youth, is that christianity is a bunch of regulations or a “good deeds outweighing your bad deeds” mentality. The concept of getting to heaven because of physical accomplishments is commonplace. This is such a tragic delusion as folks may put incredible effort into climbing through a window instead of entering by the door which is Jesus Christ. Most have heard about the extensive charitable works that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet finance. The natural mind will say “that must account for something.” Yet unless a person is “born of the Spirit” they cannot see the kingdom of God. A pure heart towards the God who inhabits all of creation. We’re called to good works, but they are the result of our love for the Lord Jesus; not because we’re trying to get to heaven.
James 2:15-17 “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, ios dead, being alone.”
I was reminded, while typing that out, about how Noah spent over a hundred years building an ark on dry land where rain had never fallen. If he had done nothing except say to his family “be ye dry and sustained” none of us would be here today.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
One notable observation of todays society is the level of anger. Therapists profit greatly from counseling patients on anger management while entertainers such as Jerry Springer showcase the turmoil of others for ratings. Not to mention all of the mood-enhancing pharmaceutical remedies on the market today as corporations look at the crisis with dollar signs in their eyes. I remember years ago, a situation that is comical in a way, but in reality is very sad. When I was doing HVAC work, I was installing a furnace and AC unit in this house where the couple who lived there spent their entire day watching Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, and almost every form of like-formatted show in existance. This combined with the extensive amounts of alcohol stored around the house made it all too obvious that this was a disaster in the making. Early in the afternoon, I came through the kitchen to find that the two were fighting with the wife threatening to leave. (wow! Imagine that!)
The world is filled with anger, hatred, vengeance, and “despair.” As ambassadors of Christ, we owe it to those around us to walk in the Spirit and not react to circumstances. To be a city set on a hill so that the light of the gospel which they so desperately need will not be overshadowed by the flesh. Concerning the family mentioned above, I was backslidden when this incident took place. Had I been close to the Lord and walking in obediance, I can only imagine what might have transpired.
Well, nine verses down and 102 verses to go. This is really fun as the sermon on the mount is a favorite passage of scripture. So many topics encased therein; all of them displaying the immeasurable love of God and his great salvation through Jesus Christ. Please keep Morgan in prayer. She has a new boyfriend who “has a job” and seems responsible. His name is Dustin and he digs graves for a living. This is good, providing he doesn’t get buried in his work. (I hope that he sticks around because he’s a one-liner magnet) Also, Odale at “Word For It” brought to light this website. www.inplainsite.org It seems to be very sound and a good place to check around. Until next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Christ.
Romans 12:18-21 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome with evil, but ovrcome evil with good.”