Archives For mercy

On your journey to discipleship, it’s important to remember following Jesus is always about the next step. We aren’t concerned with where He’s leading us, we’re simply content to follow. A hallmark of discipleship is never looking back. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. The blood, grace, and love of Jesus makes all which has come before irrelevant. We are who He says we are, and He sees only who we are becoming.

past doesn't matter,don't look back,God's love,love,grace,mercy,forgiveness,mission,discipleship,God's kingdom,kingdom of God,purpose,Romans 8:38-39,nothing can separate us

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As far as God is concerned, the past doesn’t matter. He’s not interested in what you’ve done, only in what you will do for His Kingdom.  He holds no grudges. Jesus never looks at what you’ve messed up in the past as an indicator of what you might accomplish in the future.

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What does the armor of God look like in your life? Ephesians 6:10-18 is a familiar passage of Scripture detailing the armor of God. Like many familiar passages, it can be easy to overlook and never take the time to apply it to your own life. Paul gave us a great gift when he outlined the weapons of our warfare. Though I have distant memories of a flannel-graph (remember those?) soldier in Sunday School, there is nothing childish about the depth of this passage.

armor of God,faith,works,God's Kingdom,Kingdom of God,mercy,grace,love,Ephesians 6:10-18,Ephesians 2:8-10,by grace you are saved by faith,Matthew 4:1-11,temptation of Christ,Jesus in the wilderness

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Within these words are the strategic plans to counteract the attacks of the devil.  To best make use of the armor and weapons, we should know what they look like in our own lives.

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If we’re honest we don’t love like Jesus. Our love is very conditional. There is great need all around us, but whether or not we choose to love the individuals in the depths of that need is based on our upbringing, our societal norms, whether anyone else is watching, or worst of all, how it will make us look in the eyes of others.

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Jesus never hesitated to love. He didn’t measure His actions against anything other than God’s will. Christ was love at His very essence, and everything He did flowed out of who He was. If we’re honest, loving like Jesus means we must always be searching for ways to demonstrate His love to others.

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“Jesus teaches you to live your life as He would live your life.” This is a quote from the book, “Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth”, by Hugh Halter. When I read that, I was struck by how at once the statement is so simple, yet the implications are enormous. How would Jesus live my life if He were me? What if, instead of using the miracle of the virgin birth 2,000 years ago, the way God chose to reveal Himself to the world was through my life? How would I live? What would I do? In what ways would my life be different? What if He chose to use your life?

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There is nothing we can ever do to deserve Heaven or the love of Jesus. We are too flawed, too broken, and too selfish to ever be able to overcome all of that and present ourselves worthy to God. It is only by His incredible and inexplicable love that we can obtain the privilege of coming into His presence. I have often heard sermons preached about the rewards we will receive in Heaven based on our service on earth.  I think it’s important to recognize that except for the mercy of Christ, we could achieve nothing for Him. As notable Puritan Thomas Hooker prepared to die, those gathered at his bedside said, “Brother Hooker, you are going to receive your reward.”  His reply was, “No, no! I go to receive mercy!”

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aaron pelsue,mercy,grace,depression,does God answer prayer

“Hear my cries Lord, hear my plea / All around me, all I see / Are canyons of heartache, rivers of mistakes / … It’s clouding up my clarity.” Those lines are from the song, “Mercy”, written by Aaron Pelsue. How often have you felt this way? Every day brings a new disappointment, and it seems as if bad news has taken up permanent residence in our inbox. The daily news grows ever more depressing, and the demands on our time our choking out any semblance of a spiritual life. We are dismayed by our past, discouraged by the future and despondent over our current circumstances. Where does it end, and how do we get off of this ride?

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pet sin,is homosexuality a sin,boy scouts of america,boyscout boycott,mercy,grace,god's mercy,love,pharisee

Recently several churches in my area have been dropping their sponsorship of Boy Scout troops. My own church home has made headlines because of their decision to follow suit. At issue is the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow homosexual boys to join their ranks, something that has previously been forbidden. The churches that are pulling their support from the scouts are doing so ostensibly so they are not financially supporting or associated with a group that allows homosexuals to benefit from their funding. Upon learning of my home church’s decision, I took an afternoon to think and pray about this stance. I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

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love,mercy,god is love,forgiveness,disciple,repentance

God is so merciful and His grace is unending. We all know the things we should do, but in practice few of us consistently succeed. We go through seasons of growth, but then there are those times when it seems all we can do is mess up. We could spend the majority of our days living in guilt, discouraged that we have missed the mark again. God rejects that idea. He sent His Son to free us from guilt and to remove all of our sins. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus gives us never ending opportunities to start again.

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