The Tender Mercy of God

goodfridayMain scripture reading: Ephesians 2:1-7; Romans 2:4

He died the most humiliating, excruciating death. He hung there suffocating and in agony on the wooden cross with nails driven through His wrists and feet. He was forsaken by all and mocked, being appointed with the criminals. But none of that meant nothing to the innocent, sinless Lamb. It meant absolutely nothing compared to the real and utter loneliness He felt when the dirty filth of our sins were upon Him as He died for them. The loneliness that struck Him when the Father had to turn His eyes away from His only beloved Son for a moment because of them. How tender was this grace and mercy of God for us undeserving humans, how tender indeed!

He made evident of the love He has for us by sending His Son to die for our freedom from sin (John 3:16,17). He gave us all that He had—His Son—and promised us more things in abundance because He loves us so much and wants us to be with Him (Romans 8:32). God truly is love and rich in mercy (1 John 4:8).

And yet…

We use that as an excuse to continue to live in sin. We take God’s love for granted assuming He will always be there covering us with grace and mercy when we stop worshiping Him, when we fall away or just continue to do things contrary to His word. We say things like, “well God knows my heart and God is a loving God.” However, because grace and love abounds it does not mean that we should dwell in sin, thinking it’s going to continue to abound when it’s not (Romans 6:1, 2b). Grace means undeserved time extended to get ourselves together. So we need to use that tender mercy given to come to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For those of us who obeyed the gospel and have been added to Christ’s body but has strayed or went back to dwell in sin, let me remind you that while you were dead in that which you went back to, and walking after the course of this wicked world, God made you alive by the death of Jesus Christ. He placed you in unfathomable riches and hid you in Him (Ephesians 2:1-6). Confess those and return back to the One who has given you life, lest you obeyed the gospel in vain.

For those living in sin and outside of the body of Christ: though the Father decided and the Son voluntarily accepted to fulfill the reconciliation between Him and mankind, this act of kindness and mercy is intended to lead you (and even us Christian who fell astray) to turn away from your sins and stop doing them (Romans 2:4). Yes, God is an absolute loving God, but He is also the God of wrath to those who disobey Him. Those who continually disobey Him “trample under foot the Son of God and consider His [precious, cleansing] blood as unclean” as a result they “insult the Spirit of Grace” (Hebrews 10:29).

Let us not do that to our God. Let us stop despising the richness of God’s loving-kindness and tender mercy by excusing ourselves from and continuing in sin.

 

 

The Operation of God

stepstopeace_3The Plan

How great was the sin of Adam and Eve, the father and mother of all mankind. Their choice of disobeying the word of God caused the great separation between God and man. But when the fullness of time came to reveal the only way of reconciliation back to Himself, He sent word to His servant Zachariah by an angel, saying:

“…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John…he will be great in the sight of the Lord… and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him [the Messiah]… so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13,15-17).

When the promised child was born, his father rejoiced with gladness, and prophesied saying:

“You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76,77, emp. added).

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Life in Abundance

abundant-lifeOne of the most misused passages in God’s word is John 10:10, where the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the people saying, “The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What’s being taught is that Christ will bless us with wealth and prosperity in this life, and that all of our struggles would vanish when we allow Him to rule in our lives and become Christians. So when people come to Christ with all of their turmoil, they believe all of their troubles will immediately be over to live in prosperity. But such is far from the truth, and, unfortunately, when one comes into Christ with this mindset and see that it doesn’t happen, they forsake Him and leave His church to go back into the world.

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Biblical Perspective on the Life in Pompeii

pompeiiOn August 24, 79 AD the people of Pompeii lived their day to day lives as usual. The day begun at sunrise like any other day; the bell-tower struck and the town’s population of free-people and slaves went to work. Merchants carried their valuable items to the main trading sea port, slaves taught the wealthy to read and write, marketers shouted their wares, friends met at public bath houses to chat, and the women weaved and sold fresh produce. The paved Roman roads were bustling, the people were noisy, but just nearby was Mount Vesuvius–the once-quiet volcano that began to groan and release its magma. The Romans were completely unaware of this as they continued to do their daily routines; it was by the end of August 25 that the volcano covered the town in ashes and molten rock. The people of Pompeii were no more.

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Moving Past the Past

11538058_10153453308945536_5487032622042982573_oSometimes we truly do not understand what Christ did on the cross at Calvary; what He went through when He manifested Himself in the flesh. We are so intent on the things we have done in the past, feeling ashamed and guilty. We feel as though we won’t ever be forgiven, not even by God Himself. The truth of the matter is that when we begin to feel this way, we make void the sacrifice of Christ and minimize what His sufferings and death meant. The apostle Paul wrote that Christ’s shed blood was a free gift given by God in order for us to be set free from the guilt and shame of sin (Romans 3:24-26). When Christ said He came into this world to save us and forgive us of our sins, He absolutely meant it. He did not lie; it’s impossible for Him to do so (Hebrews 6:18).
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Victory in Christ

the-empty-tombTaking our last breath in this life not in Christ and still in bondage to sin results in eternal separation from God–separated from His glory, and separated from His presence. What places a barrier between us and God are our transgressions against His word. The prophet Isaiah stated, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:2). That’s how defiling sin is! Jehovah knew we would not master over our transgressions without His help, so He sent His only Son to be our atonement. Now it’s in Christ that we obtain victory; as the apostle Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

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The Importance of Staying in God’s Word

bibleSocial media, work, financial stability, illnesses and school… just some of the few things that distract us and keep us from the Word of God because we’ve made those our main focus. As a result, we begin to doubt or forget about the hope we have laid up for us in heaven. We become distressed and anxious, constantly worrying whether or not we’ll make it to heaven. At least, that’s what I do and what’s happening to me at the moment. I’ve been struggling to keep up with this Christian walk. I constantly worry about money, my health, and my imminent departure from this earth I must face one of these days. Instead of diving into the Word to assure me, I’m on social media or doing assignments for school. How greatly I feel separated from the One who took me out of darkness with His blood! How foolish I am for forgetting the power of God.

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