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.

 

 

Hosanna in the Highest!

be8c377d5bdf6a7763c9224d3b154f3bMain background scripture reading: Luke 19:28-40

Cross references: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; John 12:12-15

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!'” (Luke 19:39, 40). I’ve read this passage many, many times and have never understood it until today. The Lord Jesus Christ made a rather magnificent, humble entry while going up to Jerusalem. The disciples glorified and praised Him, calling Him the promised King who will reign forever. Such an entry of the blessed Lord received remarks from the Pharisees. They commanded Jesus to stop His disciples from proclaiming such praise, and He simply said, “If they cease, the stones will cry out.” 

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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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Glory to the Christ

5d4b68461a0ebdf9e820978b302cdbfdThe Scriptures are filled with prophetic messianic messages about Jesus. The Lord even expressed Himself to be the Messiah to the hardened Pharisees in John 5:39 saying, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” It not only testifies about Him being the Messiah, but also being the second personality in the Godhead. In the book of Isaiah God proclaimed, “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give my glory to another, nor My praise to graven images” (42:8).  Jehovah was very serious when He made such a proclamation: not one created being or materialistic idol will be glorified and praised as gods or as God Himself.

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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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