RSS

Tag Archives: mercy

Who deserves to live?

If unborn lives matter, than how can you disregard people who are living?  I ask this question because I hear people say they are against abortion but are quick to damn people to death who commit heinous crimes.  Would Jesus equate one human life above another?  Is there only hope for some and no hope for others?  Does evil lurk so deep in some that there isn’t even a slight glimmer of hope?  If abortion was illegal, would all of those lives lead godly lives if they were born?  I personally am against abortion, but I’m also against the death penalty. I believe that all life has potential for good or evil.  Wasn’t Paul a murderer before he met Christ?  What changed him?  Christ.

 

 

Matthew 5

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 16, 2018 in Life, Spiritual Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pointing Fingers

“Who are you to judge the life I live?  I know I’m not perfect -and I don’t live to be-but before you start pointing fingers…make sure your hands are clean!”   Bob Marley

I have been slowly reading a book called “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” it is an interesting read that is causing me to reflect on different things about the Christian life.  It is written about the physical body in scientific terms and speaks about the body of Christ in a metaphorical way.  In turn, this morning I read about fingers and so I decided to explore the Bible and see what it said about fingers.  The first reference that popped up was the magicians referring to the plagues of Egypt as the finger of God.  The next reference was God’s finger writing on the tablets for the Ten Commandments, then later on in the New Testament, it led me to Jesus’ finger writing in the dirt in John 8.  I love this picture of Jesus.  The teachers of the law and Pharisees bring this woman accused of adultery in front of Christ.  They are pointing fingers at this lady for what she has done and Jesus in turn kneels down and starts writing on the ground.  I wonder what he wrote, the Bible doesn’t say.  It just says that he writes on the ground.  Perhaps, he wrote down the Ten Commandments, since the teachers and Pharisees brought up the law.  Maybe he was drawing a picture or maybe he was just doodling.  We really don’t know.  But we know how He reacts.  He draws or writes something, I picture him doing it quietly and then he stands up and says whoever is without sin, be my guest at throwing the first stone.  He then goes back to the ground and writes in the dirt some more.  Imagine how angry the accusers are.  Imagine how ashamed the accused is.  But also, imagine the looks of the crowd, wondering exactly what Jesus is up to.  Slowly, the crowd and accusers leave the scene and only Jesus and the woman are left.  After all the accusers and crowd have left, Jesus stands back up and looks at the woman.  He says, “Where are your accusers?  Has anyone condemned you?”  She replies and says, “No one has.”  Then Jesus counters with “Then I don’t either, now go and sin no more.”

I started thinking about how often Christians and really just humans in general are quick to point the finger at someone.  We are quick at judging and placing blame elsewhere instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror and letting God work on ourselves.  Typically others respond to finger pointing by giving the finger back to the one pointing it.  Pointing fingers only causes the other person to feel anger, shame, and annoyance with the pointer.  It doesn’t change whatever they have done or are doing.  It more than likely just fuels the sin instead of putting the sin out.  I know that times in my life when I’ve been accused by someone for something, I’ve just rebelled even more.  That’s not Jesus’ response.  The thing is, God wrote the law…He made the rules.  He saw that man couldn’t keep the rules perfectly, so Jesus came in the flesh to be save us.  When Jesus bent down and wrote in the dirt, then talked to the woman, he told her not to sin anymore.  In other words, he was extending forgiveness to her, he offered salvation.  But, the ball was in her court whether she accepted his forgiveness and mercy and changed.

I guess the reason I’ve reflected so much on this is because I come across people a lot who clearly aren’t living a sinless life, but I don’t see where if I scream at and accuse them or remind them that they are in need of judgement where that would help anything. Instead, it would only cause them to flip me the bird and tell me to get the heck away from them.

Galatians 3:13 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”   Jesus saves; he extends his hand of forgiveness to all of mankind.  He does so with this amazing love that is hard to run from if you clearly see it.  When Jesus turned to look at the lady who was standing there and he asked those questions….I’m sure she never felt so much love in her entire life, just by his actions and grace.  So tell me, which way is better at encountering those who are lost?  I’d rather do it Jesus’ way.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons Learned

Today, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I’ve been teaching the teens in youth.  We’ve been exploring wisdom and the book of Proverbs.  The older I get, the more I realize that I still have so much to learn.  Everyday there is an opportunity to learn something about yourself, God or others, if you are tuned in to what the Teacher wants to teach you.  I’ve always liked the book of Proverbs, even when I was running from God.  I think the reason I like it so well, is because it simply shows you the cause and effect of your actions, good and bad.

I came up with three quick “Rascally Proverbs” that I’ve learned through my life so far. The first one is “The more crow you eat, the easier it is to swallow.”  It stinks to admit when you are wrong.  There have been moments in my life that I’ve thought beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was right about something, only to quickly realize I was completely wrong.  Nothing is quite as embarrassing to have to eat a heaping pile of crow in front of those you’ve vigorously argued against.  The crow slowly morphs into a nice fat slice of humble pie with each swallow.

The second one is “Jealous or untrue words against someone is like a baseball bat to the knees.”  The bible says, in the book of James, that we praise God with our tongue and with the same tongue we turn around and curse our brother who is made in God’s image.  Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth and it shouldn’t be.  The old phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me,”  is a big gigantic lie.  Words hurt more than anything else someone can do to you.  Words of others can paralyze you.  Words can weigh you down.  Words can make you unsure of yourself.  Words can make you doubt.  Words can cause you grief.  Words can make you sick.  Words can make you bitter and angry.

Yet, if we allow the holy spirit to guide our words they can bring peace to someone’s sorrow.  These words can propel people toward a goal.  These words can lift heaviness off of someone’s shoulders.  They can make someone believe and trust again.  They can make people smile.  They can make people grow and flourish.  God reminds me daily to bridle my tongue, sometimes I let words slip and I need to quickly apologize when that happens.

The third and final Rascally proverb of the day is, “Forgiveness rescues your heart and soul from disease.”  There are people throughout my life that were hard for me to forgive for various reasons.  I remember being so weighed down by unforgiveness that it anchored me in hate.  I was hurt and instead of letting hurt go, I fed it.  That unforgiveness and hurt made me rebel against God and any other authority in my life.  I blamed God for what people did, instead of seeing that it was their fault, not His.

But, as I progressed through my life, I learned that I diseased my heart by letting unforgiveness grow there. I tried to keep the hurt enclosed in a petri dish inside my heart but it was growing out of control.  I was destroying myself with it.  That unforgiveness was released when I saw someone I hadn’t forgiven; completely broken themselves.  I saw them sobbing and spiritually devastated.  I could’ve easily laughed and say that’s what they deserve, but instead I saw them as human again.  Weak flesh, like me.  Fragile, so easily broken.  Compassion overwhelmed my heart and I went to them and let them cry on me.  I started crying too; with each tear drops of forgiveness melted within me.  The balm of forgiveness repaired hearts and relationships that day.  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”  Colossians 3:12-13.

God, continue to teach me daily. Help me to see when you are trying to show me something and help me to extend your love to others.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Spiritual Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Calling Mercy

Have you ever played the game “Mercy,” on the playground? I’m sure it’s not allowed on school playgrounds anymore, due to the true brutality of the game. It’s a game of enduring pain where both participants grasp hands and try to bend the other one’s back until the weaker one yells Mercy!! I remember playing against the boys on the playground, trying to prove that girls were just as tough as boys. Sometimes I would win, but other times I wouldn’t. I really didn’t like to lose, but sometimes you just had to give in because you didn’t want a broken finger, hand, or wrist.
Thinking back to the game, it made me think about the word mercy and how much mercy God has shown me. I know there have been times in my life when I was close to snapping or breaking and I’d end up calling out for help, for mercy. It was in those times that I would admit that I was not as strong or as independent as I wanted to be. God in his wonderful nature immediately extends mercy to a mere human crying out and giving up. Mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. God has the upper hand and He could quickly destroy me or you, but he doesn’t. He has compassion on us, a compassion that we can try to understand but never be able to achieve within the true character of who He is. But, in order to receive the fullness of mercy, I think you have to see the depth of it and accept the need for it with total surrender.

Mercy comes when you come to the end of yourself.

“Give thanks to The Lord, for his mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Spiritual Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Untied Giving

ImageOne of my favorite books I was introduced to in high school was “The Prophet,” by Kahlil Gibran.  I loved the style and flow of his words and the depth of wisdom in that little book is profound.  There are so many nuggets of wisdom you can pull from this book, but today I’m just focusing on one little piece. 

“You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”  The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.  They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.  Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.  And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.  And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity of receiving?  And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?  See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.”

To often I hear people say that they won’t give to someone  because they aren’t sure how that person will spend the funds. Or if it’s something intangible like time, they are afraid to give it to someone who won’t appreciate it, so therefore they won’t give it.  The point of giving is to release something of value to another without strings attached.  Giving with complete release is fulfilled living. How so?  Because you are planting seeds, even if you don’t see it.  Will every seed be fruitful?  No, but some will.  Why take the chance not planting any at all?

Something small to you may be everything to someone else who needs it.  A little time listening to someone may be enough to keep them from making an unwise decision.  A smile may change another persons day.  A simple prayer may be enough to show that you care and shine a glimpse of Gods love on the one receiving it.  A kind gesture can replace hard feelings.

God is the ultimate giver.  He gave his son, Jesus for each of us that we may live.  He gave so that we wouldn’t be held hostage to our sins.  He gave because He loved and He loves.  He gave to me, although I didn’t deserve it.  He gave although I spent that gift wrong for a long time before I realized the greatness of the gift.  It took me awhile to understand the value of the gift He gave me.  But, He also gave me patience, He gave me mercy, He gave me forgiveness, He gave me blessings.  He gave and He gives to me daily.  He is my example, if you follow Him, He is yours as well.  Don’t hold tight to what you are supposed to release, it is a resounding instrument of who you are.  You are a representative to His kingdom. 

 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’   Matthew 25:44–45

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beyond His Reach

I’ve heard people say that certain people are beyond God’s reach.  I’ve heard people say that they themselves have done too many wrongs and aren’t good enough for God to love.  The truth is no one is beyond God’s reach.  We move away from Him and punish ourselves because we haven’t met the merits we think we have to meet.  God knows we are imperfect, mankind has a history of screwing up and it started in the beginning.  This is where the good news comes in, the news that many people miss or forget about.  The good news is Jesus.  Simply Jesus, he came to save us from our sins, our defeats, our weaknesses, and our long arm list of screw-ups.  This gift is right at our feet.  It is within our reach.  We just have to accept it, pick it up, open it and receive it.  This is the best gift you can ever receive.  This is the gift that keeps on giving.  This is the gift that lasts for eternity.  This is what Christmas is about.  Christmas is a time to remember that a savior was born, born to be a gift to us.

“The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He does not live in buildings made by hands. No one needs to care for Him as if He needed anything. He is the One who gives life and breath and everything to everyone. He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live.  They were to look for God. Then they might feel after Him and find Him because He is not far from each one of us. It is in Him that we live and move and keep on living. Some of your own men have written, ‘We are God’s children.’    Acts 17:24-28 NLV

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Spiritual Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,