Why Would You Need God’s Mercy?

Why? Because no one is above falling down. Everyone sins. (Eccl. 7:20) There are no exceptions – including King David, whom God had called ‘a man after His own heart.’ (1 Sam. 13:14)

God had helped establish David’s throne in Jerusalem, uniting all of Israel under his rule. He covered him with His favor, granting David an eternal dynasty:

…the LORD will make you a house…And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Sam. 7:11 & 16. ESV

(There is no physical house or throne that will last forever. God is referring to the eternal kingdom of Christ, whose incarnate body would later come from King David’s lineage.)

The favor of God continued to follow David until one warm spring night when he decided to cool off on the roof of his house. From his vantage point, King David saw a woman bathing on her rooftop nearby. He was smitten. (Note that he was also married at this time.)

The king did a little detective work and found out that the woman’s name was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah – one of his handpicked soldiers. David suppressed his spiritual self and gave into the flesh. He had Bathsheba brought to him for an adulterous tryst that left her with child. Subsequently, our heretofore virtuous king had Uriah sent to the front lines of a battlefield where his death was all but guaranteed.

When Bathsheba’s prescribed mourning period was over, David took her as wife and she bore him a son. Foolishly, they thought they had pulled one over on everyone. Uh-oh:

But the thing that David had done [with Bathsheba] was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Sam. 11:27 AMP

You can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes. He sent His prophet Nathan to King David to deliver His judgment:

“Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD to do evil in His sight?’ “ 2 Sam. 12:7 – 9. NKJV

David is standing before his Creator’s representative, accused of adultery and murder – both punishable by death according to Mosaic Law. Yet God exercised His mercy, and through Nathan, laid upon David a lesser sentence, telling him that his house would be troubled for the rest of his days and that his sins (that he had hoped to keep hidden), would be replayed in the public eye.

(Indeed, David’s first child by Bathsheba dies, one of his subsequent sons rapes his half-sister, the half-sister’s brother exacts revenge by killing the perpetrator and goes on to publicly commit adultery with David’s wives and plots a violent coup of the king’s rule but is killed during the attempt.)

David wholeheartedly confesses and repents of his sins and God answers his repentance through Nathan:

“The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” 1 Sam. 12:13 NASB

Our God is such a loving and forgiving God. However, though He blots out our sin, we are still left to deal with the consequences caused by them. Sin is so destructive – it hurts God, the victim and the perpetrator. Yet there must be consequences; otherwise, everyone would just cavalierly continue in their sinful ways.

God tells us that sin (disobedience) brings a curse (Dt. 30:19, 20.) that carries the consequences of breakage – in both life and the relationships contained within. Yet praise be to God that He forgives:

…you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… Neh. 9:17 ESV

Why? Because it is the only way the you can be healed from your sin. If you don’t have faith in God’s forgiveness, you will not forgive yourself. And the subsequent guilt and shame you heap upon yourself causes you to hate that person in the mirror, which severs your love-connection with God.

God loves you so much that He never wants to you to be disconnected from Him, as well as He does not want to be detached from your love:

I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Is. 43:25 ESV

For His sake – so that love circle remains intact. Thus, He guarantees His forgiveness:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJV

And just like King David, we ‘turn from our wicked ways’ through confession and repentance:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 Jn. 1:9 AMP

God forgives and so should we. We are to model Him, and that includes His mercy. In fact, we must exercise our mercy first, if we hold a grudge against anyone, before we go before our Father to receive His:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:14, 15. ESV

Forgiveness begins in the mirror, so that we can break down any barriers that we’ve erected between God and ourselves. Furthermore, when we extend that forgiveness outwards (Eph. 4:32), it completes our relationship with God and all others – ultimately completing our relationship with ourselves.

Forgiving is the highest act of giving – where we give our love away, regardless of whether we think the object of our love deserves it or not. After all, who doesn’t deserve love?

Goodnight and God bless.

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July 26 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

We All Slip Sometimes

There was only one sinless man that ever walked this earth – Jesus Christ:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV

The rest of us? Well…

Adam and Eve began the practice of slipping (sinning) when they used their free will to indulge in pride, acting out their desire to be like God.

Cain majorly slipped when he killed his brother in a fit of rage that was rooted in envy.

King David and King Solomon surrendered to the lust of the eyes and of the flesh.

The apostle Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament (previously a murderer of the church), said this about himself:

…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Tim. 1:15 NKJV

What chance then, do we have?

We only have one, but it’s a mighty BIG one – it is found in the immeasurable grace of God.

God wants you to live your perfect highest and best life, full of peace, love, joy and happiness. But you’re not living that way when you slip. Slipping is when you allow yourself to get lost in your base desires, those that have been proscribed by your Creator. He hates to see that because it does you harm; and what hurts you, hurts Him.

You were created innately good:

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Gn. 1:31 NKJV

Unfortunately, everyone that was or will be conceived on this planet has been tainted by by the error (sin) of Adam and Eve:

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Rm. 3:23 NKJV

But, it’s the very next two verses that brings hope:

…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…

Rm. 3:24, 25. NKJV

When we accept Christ, we are transformed, our spirits becoming one with Him as we return to the original creative intent of God, being restored to life:

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV

We receive His resurrection power, freed from the death of sin, motivated to take godly action. Our eyes are opened by the faith that Jesus brings to us by the Spirit. Thus filled, we begin the stepwise transformation towards our Savior’s image, which invites God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in our spirits.

We can lean on Christ to strengthen our will to walk in His footsteps and to live for Him. And this process is not one of bondage, but of liberty – to live free as God intended. We get to make the free will choice to live in His love by moving in His will.

That very same love from God is found in His statutes. He did not lay down laws to be dictatorial, but instead set them before us to protect us from the shortcomings of our flesh. Our obedience to them propagates our transformation.

Yes, this walk is one that is opposite of the way the world moves; and that’s a good thing. The world revolves around lies set forth to justify sin, so that the agenda of the adversary may be manifested. Unfortunately, that manifestation will be achieved in most of the world.

That’s why the telling of the salvation message is so imperative. God sends His children to the lost to show them the Christ they have within, Who, is freely available to all. We are emissaries for the love of God, brought forth not only to enrich those consciously receiving that love, but also to decimate the evil in those who feel that they are not.

Yet, even the followers of Jesus are not spared temptation. The devil plays no favorites, but I’m sure he is especially delighted if he can influence believers to indulge in apostasy. Thus, we must be vigilant with regards to our thoughts and actions. We must keep them centered on love, on Jesus.

When we slip, and we all slip sometimes, it is crucial that we get down on our knees before our Father immediately, to confess and repent. We can be motivated to do this by His mercy (found in grace):

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lm. 3:21 – 24. ESV

God wants to forgive you. He knows that you have slipped into your flesh, and that sin is satanically sourced. Therefore, it’s deadly, and if left to its own devices, death-binding.

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. I Jn. 3:8 ESV

That’s not what God wants for you:

“Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die…? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, “says the Lord GOD. “Therefore, turn and live!” Ezek. 18:31, 32. NKV

Life is not always easy. We are points of light, set living in an ocean of darkness. We must stay alert to keep from drowning. But if we start to succumb, God always has His hand outstretched:

‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, i will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Is. 41:10 NKJV

He strengthens us in our faith, in His word and through prayer He bolsters us in our self-discipline to help us regain our toehold on our spiritual path. We respond with gratitude and love, and the acknowledgement of our need for His grace.

God puts His salvation in place (Christ) and you are freed once more…

“I, even I, and He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Is. 43:25 NKJV

For the death that He died, He died to sin one for all… Rm. 6:10 NASB

Goodnight and God bless.

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April 27 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

Two-Sided Salvation

I don’t mean that salvation has a double meaning. You are either saved or you’re not. What we will examine here is the state where you find yourself before you are saved (that which may drive some to finally seek salvation), and the transformed reality we step into once we receive it.

We are all born into sin:

…sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one able to stop it or escape its power], because all sinned. Sin was [committed] in the world before the Law [was given], but sin is not charged [against anyone] when there is no law [against it]. Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse – Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation]…through one trespass [Adam’s sin] there resulted condemnation for all men…through one man’s disobedience [his failure to hear, his carelessness], the many were made sinners… Rom. 5:12 – 14, 18-19. AMP

Adam’s sin thrust itself generationally upon all of us. Its grip takes hold as soon as we become aware of the Mosaic Law (the foundation of which is the Ten Commandments), when we become of an age where we can grasp right from wrong, at that moment when we tap into that same Law that God put in all of our hearts:

“I will put My law in their minds and write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…for they shall all know Me…” Jer. 31:33, 34. NKJV

Just how important is that Law?

“For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days…” Dt. 32:47 NASB

We are born in sin, born in and bound by the Law until we receive the grace of God’s salvation through Christ; and we have this Law divinely implanted and innately available. Our obedience to this Law is tantamount to the quality and length of our lives.

Furthermore, add this to the mix:

“…it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times…This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they may grasp Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us.” Acts 17:25 – 27. AMP

“…God overlooked and disregarded former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old ways of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives], because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness…” Acts 17:30, 31. AMP

So, God put an innate hunger in us that leads us to seek out our Creator. Further, He asks us to line up with Him, in order to be saved from His judgment that He will serve upon those who don’t.

Our hunger for answers show up as, ‘Who am I? What am I? Who created me? What is my purpose? What happens after I die?’

You can see how our ‘unsaved experience’ can cause one an enormous amount of consternation.

Our initial instinct, (thanks to Adam) is to seek out answers through the flesh, adding more sin to our dilemma. We feel condemned because of the Law God placed in our spirit that revealed our sin nature. We sin some more to assuage the feelings we endure, because of our condemnation, and we draw into ourselves to hide from what we may assume is an avenging God.

The Law was a gift of mercy. It showed us what was right and wrong. All we had to do was obey it, perfectly. Unfortunately, that has proved to be humanly impossible. So, the Law condemns us to death for disobedience. It promises us an eternal life yet doesn’t reveal a workable path to get there. But what God was trying to get us to see through the Law, was our immediate need for salvation – forgiveness to deliver us from the hopeless condition created by our Law-breaking.

I say ‘immediate need’ because we have no idea when we will depart from this earth; and if we haven’t embraced Christ before that time, we don’t get to ride that heavenly bus.

What God is doing through the conviction of the Holy Spirit is to reveal these things, so that we might be led to a genuine repentant state and take on a humility of the heart.

God sends His children out into the world with the gospel message, preaching His grace and loving-kindness in sending Jesus to save the hearers from condemnation through their having faith in who Christ is and what He’s done. And who is Christ? Is He not the author of our faith? (Heb. 12:2) He freely supplies the faith that you need.

The flesh has a far greater tendency to cling to the Law and reject God’s promise through Christ. Thus, we grab hold of the faith in our spirit and declare that our sin-debt, our death-debt, has been paid by the Son of God: “I have forgiveness of sins through Christ, having faith that He has transformed me from within.”

On the other side, when we receive our salvation, been forgiven our sins, we also have to take on living in a godly way to the best of our ability. Jesus will then bridge the gap where we fall short. In addition, we need to stay connected with God through His word, prayer and meditation so that we can know His will and realize what actions we need to take.

We need to take our minds off of ourselves and live a loving life of servitude. Our spiritual perfection only comes when we forget about perfecting ourselves, amassing possessions and follow in the footsteps of Christ.

We can then release ourselves from the concept of ‘mine,’ knowing that everything belongs to God in Whom we rest; thus, everything is ours without having to fret over the ‘rightful ownership’ of it.

Indeed, we are at our most free when we love God and accept His love and peace, even if we don’t see it manifest in the world. It is there in our spirit. God facilitates our reconciliation with ourselves, so that we may return to that wonderful person He made us to be. When we achieve this reconciliation, we are also one with Him. Then our old battles within can cease…

To be continued.

Goodnight and God bless.

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January 07 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »