Tag Archives: grace

Oh…mercy, mercy me…..

 

imagesvia

 

Five thirty comes pretty early in the morning.  I barely opened my eyes to see the clock glaring at me with it’s big red numbers.  “It’s time to get up, sleepy-head” it screams…”I know, I know…”, I mumble.

It’s time to start the day.  No, I don’t have a paying job; however, I do have an important job!  This is the time that I have set up to read my Bible and have a quiet time with my Lord.  I would be lying if I said that I popped out of bed and ran to the office and began singing praises.

No, I shuffle to the kitchen and power up the Keurig for my morning jolt of coffee, splash in some milk and retreat to my little space where I meet with God.  And oh what a difference a day makes, when you meet with Him early.

There is a window in my office that looks out to my front porch (but not out onto the street…that would be too much of a distraction) and I raise the shade just enough to see the little birds playing in the grass and flowerbeds.  Here, I find Him.  Not that he wasn’t with me in the bedroom, or watching me in the kitchen…no, here is where I acknowledge His presence and thank Him again for all my blessings.

This morning I learned about mercy.  God extends His mercy and forgives sin even to someone as undeserving as myself.  And today…only a few hours after my devotion time, I was put to the test.

I got my feelings hurt.  I was made to feel unworthy and when this happened, as much as I wanted to lash out….I remembered my verse:

James 2:12-13   “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,  because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. 

Mercy triumphs over judgment”

 

There it was.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

And yes, I had come up with so many snazzy (polite word for sarcastic) responses to throw back at my accuser.  But (praise God) I met with Him early and His Word was in my heart and still fresh in my mind.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The dictionary defines mercy as, compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence’.

I had a choice to make in those few seconds, after the hurt.  I could keep my sarcastic words and facial expressions to myself, thereby extending mercy, which is what Christ did/does for me, or I could let my actions show that I don’t put into practice what I just read only hours earlier.

I chose mercy.  I kept my mouth closed.  I kept my posture from conveying anger.  I quietly talked to God and thanked Him for His Word, ‘mercy triumphs over judgment’

Knowing His grace and kindness and mercy makes me eager to obey.

Meet with Him early, friends.  Store His Word in your heart.  Don’t let your feelings justify your decisions.  He is ready to display His greatness through our own inadequacies.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under life

when death knocks on your door…

untitledvia

When the responsibility of turning off life support for my young son was placed upon me, it was obviously the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  Questions like, “But what if….”.

I’m not even going to entertain all the questions here, because as parents, I’m sure you can only begin to imagine the pain.

During those 37 minutes of agony for us all, God was already scooping up my 15 1/2 year old angel and holding him, all the while comforting me, as we kissed him for the last time.  His older brother and I lay in the bed next to him, and his protective dad stood close by, watching for any sign of distress.  He had assured me that if Clay had shown any signs of suffering,  he would demand they intubate him again.  So, he stood with clenched fists and tears streaming down his face as we waited for the certain to happen.

We whispered to him, reminding him we how much we loved him, and then Jesus quietly took him home.

We were never alone.  The spirit of Jesus was everywhere in that small hospital room.  It wasn’t ugly, it wasn’t loud….it was actually sweet.  Yes, we were devastated and immediately wondered what to do next, but the spirit of God kept us moving……kept us breathing…….and never left our side.

In the next few hours, we drove to a funeral home we picked out and made all the necessary arrangements.  Jesus was with us.

Next we went to the cemetery and found the most perfect gravesite under a beautiful tree.  Jesus was with us.

He never left our side and He hasn’t left me since.  When I am hurting, he is there.  I can look to His Word and find comfort in the scriptures.  I am reminded of the pain that He suffered on the cross, and I know He understands.

Yes, I cry a lot.  Yes, I miss him dearly.  But knowing at this precise moment, his crippled little body is whole, helps me put my own selfish desires aside and leap for joy!  Hallelujah!  I WILL see him again!

1 Corinthians 15:55  “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Are you feeling alone?  Have you placed your trust in our gracious Lord?  He wants to stand with you.  He wants to comfort you and He will uphold you with his righteous right hand.

Here are some steps to inviting Jesus into your life.  His grace is free and He is faithful and true!

First, realize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

Second, recognize Jesus died on the cross for all our sins (John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”)

Third, repent.  Confess you are a sinner and need His grace. (“Acts 17:30 “God commands all people everywhere to repent)

Fourth, receive Jesus into your life!  (Rev. 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and kock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”)

Pray this prayer with me, “God, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness.  I believe that You died for my sins.  I want to turn from my sins and invite you into my heart and into my life.  I want to trust You as Savior and follow you as Lord.  In Christ’s name, Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer and truly asked God into your heart, then God has forgiven you and adopted you into His family!  Death has no power over you anymore! “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” You have a place reserved in heaven to live for eternity!

A quote from Billy Graham’s book, Death and the Life After, “I’m not afraid to die, for I know the joys of heaven are waiting.  My greatest desire is to live today in anticipation of tomorrow and be ready to be welcomed into His home for all eternity.  Will you be making the journey with me?”

Leave a comment

Filed under life

thankful for my umbrella….

hearts(source)

As a Christian, I am so very thankful to be under the umbrella of God’s grace and love.  And the best part?

Nothing I ever do can change that……(insert sigh here)

However……and yes, there is a however…at the same time, my behavior will determine whether or not I receive the fullness of His blessings.

What does that mean?  Sometimes we pretend to be the expert about everything.  MY WAY is the right way!  Pride is the sign of a heart that refuses to want what God wants.

2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

When I am under the umbrella of God’s grace, HE is in control.  Everything we need, He gave us the moment we were saved!

Grace implores us to do good works, out of sheer gratitude.  Grace brings us back to Him when we fail because we wanted to do things our own way.  Once you step out from under His umbrella, you are either walking ahead of Him or behind Him and you are out from under His protection.

Are you living in a way that positions you to receive all of His blessings?  Each day we have a choice.  We can acknowledge God and trust Him, or we can step out on our own and follow our own plan.

I choose God.

1 Comment

Filed under life

am I like the other nine?

PictJesusHealsLeperRembrandt1655-60

Luke 17:11-19

Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  The as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And He said to him, “Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well.”

I love to read stories in the Bible because when you are truly reading and seeking Him, amazing truths seem to pop out of the page and right into your lap.

There were ten lepers in the village that Jesus passed through.  They were miserable and wore a horrible disease and they all wanted the same thing….to be healed.  I wonder if they had heard about Jesus performing miracles in other towns and decided to take a chance and cry out for healing.

SIDE NOTE:  Have you ever wanted something so bad and you’ve prayed that God would answer your prayer (the way you wanted it answered) and were actually stunned when He does?  Or did you even notice that HE answered…..not karma, not good luck….but GOD.

What did you do?  Did you drop to your knees and thank Him?  I know that there are so many times (gulp) that I have used God as a genie….or made a silent pact with Him, like, ‘ok…if you do this…then I’ll do this…” 

Thankfully, when I asked God to come into my life, the Holy Spirit set up shop right there inside my heart.  As a believer, I am like a container for God being filled with His goodness and joy and HE should always be first in my life and in my actions.  In Psalm 119:11, David says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”  

But in this passage of Luke, only one leper gave thanks.  Only one leper looked down as he walked to show himself to the priest and saw healing.  Unbelievable.  The one thing he wanted more than any….he was healed.

But that wasn’t the only miracle.

Can you hear the sadness in Jesus’ voice?  “Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 

Jesus saw only one leper return and give thanks and Jesus says one more thing…”Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well.”  Ten were healed but one was healed AND forgiven.  Your faith has made you well.

Can you recognize God’s blessings?  Has He healed you of something….disease, finances, job…..have you thanked Him?  I don’t want to be like the other nine lepers….so excited about their healing that they either forgot or said, “That’s okay God, I can take it from here.”

I am thankful for God’s grace.  He doesn’t keep score and no amount of ‘good works’ will make Him love us anymore.  I want to have Him in my heart and on my lips so when I receive His blessings I will immediately be reminded of His love and grace.

2 Comments

Filed under life

forgiveness…

34340015879138395_Q91WZCUi_c

3 Comments

December 16, 2012 · 9:06 am

are you a prisoner?

Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners, for there is yet hope! I promise this very day that I will repay you two mercies for each of your woes! ~Zech. 9:12

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Bible, christianity, family, God speaking, life, prayer

not sure why you woke up?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, christianity, family, God speaking, life, prayer