Grace and Mercy

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Without God’s Grace and Mercy, we would be lost.

~ Lisa Blair


Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. It is the act of endowing unmerited favor. In God’s Grace, He gives us the gift we do deserve – heaven. If we are the light, then we must follow Christ and extend grace to those we feel don’t deserve it. That’s right, we should stop judging, that is not our job. None of us are deserving of grace because we are all sinners. Christ was crucified to save us. Given our model, we too must extend our love for others in much the same way. This is not to say we should allow others to walk all over us, definitely not, but we should be more forgiving. We should see through the eyes of God’s mercy. We should treat others as we would like and expect to be treated, see the Fruit of the Spirit For a list of Christ’s virtues (previous posts or go directly to Galatians 5:22-25. Before delving into mercy, let’s further look at the definitions of grace and mercy. In the Greek, grace is defined as charis, favor. The Greek word used for mercy is eleos which means pity, compassion. In short, we seek God’s favor and compassion.

Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve. He has compassion for us. God gives us mercy, which means He withholds the punishment we deserve. The punishment we sinner’s deserve is hell, which He holds back. But note, holding back does not negate disciplining us, which like parenting is an expression of love. God disciplines us to produce holiness which is kind and gracious regardless of how painful it may be in the moment. Luke 6:36 reads, “be merciful, just as our Father is merciful (to us).

We, like David call and cry out for God’s mercy often. How do we cry out? We demand that He answer us, praying He will respond in the way we cried out. Think about this, we live in the now, we do not know the future that God provided before we were born, we do not know the plans He has for us, we do not know the whole story, but yet and still, being human, we want what we want, and when we forge ahead without consulting God, it tends to backfire, takes us down an unforeseen path, often harms others, and can lead to less than desirable outcomes. At this point we cry out for God’s redemptive love. At it’s core, mercy is God’s forgiveness of our sins. Mercy is God’s steadfast loyalty. We should ask God for guidance and direction out of the goodness of His love.

Fortunately, God takes us to the path for forgiveness. David is the perfect example of God’s mercy. He lusted, killed, and fornicated. Abraham feared and lied. Sara was impatient and Jacob was a cheater and trickster. Rehab was a prostitute, and the Israelites rebelled against God, yet God forgave them, had compassion and used them to accomplish His purposes. Further, God converted Saul to become Paul, the author of much of the Bible, and Paul became the apostle of Christ. The Bible is filled with stories of God repeatedly forgiving sinful humans. He works in and through us for our own good and ultimately His glory. God’s unmerited mercy is new every morning, we are not consumed by our sin because His compassion never fails (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV). Without His compassion, we are doomed to live in our sin and perish.

Matthew Schmalz, Associate Prof. Of Religion, College of the Holy Cross, wrote, “WHAT I learned is that mercy begins by opening oneself to those with whom one might strongly disagree,Mercy doesn’t end there, of course, but it begins with such small acts of understanding, which can lead to life-changing experiences of love.”

Mercy

Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV; Psalms 51:1-2; Matthew 6:14; Psalms 40:11; 1Peter 1:3; James 2:13 ESV; Titus 3:5 ESV; Psalm 23:6 ESV; psalm 103:8 ESV

Grace

2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Ephesians 4:7; John 1:14; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6; Isaiah 41:4 GNT

**Ways to Respond to God’s Grace and Mercy. Go to Christianity.com

Resources: Book – Strength For Today. What We Don’t Deserve, Aug. 3. Brenda Walsh; Christianity.com, What is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy? Philip Wijaya; The conversation.com, What is the True Meaning of Mercy? Matthew Schmalz; pure life ministries,org, A Biblical Definition of Mercy.

Images: LAB PHOTOS; Google images; Mercy Bible Verses; theconversation.com

He Is In The Storm With You

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When you feel alone, know Jesus is sitting in the boat with you. Call on him to give you peace as the storm rages and seems as if it is going to destroy everything around you. The Bible tells us – “this to will pass”. Hold fast to Jesus.

~ Lisa Blair

We can see our rebirth* come alive during this pandemic. God is at the center of each of our lives. Call on him for your peace that is greater than your understanding. Praise him for each day and expect him to provide his best for you. His best is his love, peace, and security in him.

Wherever you are, he is in the midst of it with you. Hold fast to your faith. He will get through this, but the world will not reappear as was it was; look forward to the new day that the Lord is bringing forth. There is no storm to great to defeat God. ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got you and me brothers-in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands.’

Scriptures and images – Bible.com

*our new lives, after accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior

Videos – YouTube

He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, modern version.
https://youtu.be/HHP33AEdALU

This song was originally sung by Mahalia Jackson.
https://youtu.be/UEH7jyt1eoo


LIFE WITH CHRIST—A MODEL OF LOVE

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God’s love is unconditional, He pours in so we can pour out.

~ Lisa Blair

We are to love one another unconditionally, as our Father loves us in our sinful state, without conditions, caveats, or exclusion. We are to have Jesus’s mindset.

Love breaks down walls and gives the giver peace despite the circumstances. We don’t have to like everyone or keep them in our circle if toxic in anyway, but as a child of God we are required to love them as He loves us.

God pours His love into us so we can pour it out into a dark world, casting light and changing the atmosphere. When we reflect chaos and hate, we are contributing to the darkness. When we, like Paul, love everyone as God loves us, our love attracts others who are seeking God and want a relationship with Him. We are the model of Christ. Are we modeling Him or living in the natural world modeling the evil one? Do we love unconditionally, are we kind, do we sacrifice for the good of others, are we patient, trustworthy, faithful, gentle and maintain self-control?

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do we love our neighbors, those around us wherever we go? Are we the model God sets before man? The world sees Him through our actions. Are we modeling unconditional love through our actions or reinforcing worldly values and sel-righteousness? Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians stressing that we are to emulate Christ in all we do.

Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility],”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Daily reminder, recite each morning   Today I go forth (intentionally) modeling Christ.

Images and Scriptures—YouVersion.Bible.com

Resource— Nelson’s Quick Reference. Warren Wiersbe

Need vs Want

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Desire and want may not lead to spiritual growth, what we need will lead to spiritual growth.

~ Lisa Blair

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Most people misconstrue this scripture to mean, ’all that we want and desire’. God knows what we want and knows what we desire. He also knows what we need to advance our walk and maturity as a Christian. Want/desire, and need are very different.

Praying for desire or want should include, ’ your will be done’, or ’if it is in your will, or some compilation of the phrases. Only God knows our spiritual road map.

Image – YouVersion

Bugle Call – Awake and Put On Your Armor

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Awake every morning to the bugle call. Time to get up and put on the Armor of God in prayer.

~Lisa Blair

The full armor of God does not work if it is hanging up in the closet or strewn across the floor, likewise our invisible armor does not work if we do not put it on in prayer. Ephesians clearly explains God’s gift and purpose for what He has empowered each piece of armor to accomplish. He also explains that we cloth ourselves in prayer, not as a ritual, but as protection against the wiles of the evil one.