Meet Jesus: Biblical Proportions

“God did not wait for a natural disaster to send His Son.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to feed thousands with miracles.  God did not wait for a natural disaster for Jesus to heal lepers.”

Matthew 6: 1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly  

Grace   By the grace of God, we are thankful He is not motivated by the moment.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to send His Son.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to feed thousands with miracles.  God did not wait for a natural disaster for Jesus to heal lepers.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to pull His people out of Egypt.  God did not wait for any disaster to respond.  He waited for prayer.  He waited for people to call His name.  He waited for a people of love to prevail against the normal life we chose to live.

 Readiness   Jesus is just like His Father.  He stays in a state of readiness through private prayer and giving love with substance outside the sight of man’s cameras.  He is attentive to the fact that we live in a world constantly in a state of separation from God’s will and disaster.  There is the disaster of abortion.  There is the disaster of divorce.  There is the disaster of fatherlessness.  There is the disaster of drugs and alcohol.  There is the disaster of crime.  There is the disaster of violence.  There is a constant state of disaster all around us.  Being involved and ready is the habit of His people

Examples  Hudson Taylor was such an example to me.  He wrote little, but there is at least small amounts written about his example by those that were around him.  By serving silently and persistently in China he was able to see a cadre of native ministers established over years.  When human initiated disaster struck and missionaries were killed and banned, he had been used of God to leave a faithful church in place to continue to minister the gospel.  He did not wait for the disaster.  He waited in prayer and preparation and persistence.  Then when disaster hit, the grace and silence and biblical proportion of God intervened in mercy.

Many in the kingdom today are such an example to me.  There are men and women doing the work in hard spots drawing no attention to them.  When such world noticed events as an earthquake happen, they are already on the ground upping their serve.  They were already there. They were already serving.  They were already giving out biblical proportions of silent, ready love and ready to give more.

ACT! Where are you quietly and persistently applying the grace of God to an ongoing disaster?  Are you ready to step up in a moment of explosion in the area if it arrives?

PRAYER FOR YOU!  Father, I pray today for readiness in my friend.  Let peace and blessing overwhelm them in moments of strain that are hard to understand.  I pray that you open their eyes to discern a place and people to touch under a pressure of an ongoing disaster.  Let us be filled with the urgency of private and prayerful intervention.  There is not time to wait until the attention of the world is directed to an ongoing disaster by an act of natural force or human depravity.  Show us.  Move us.  Empower us.  Grace us with strength to be involved now to be used in harder days.

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Meet Jesus: Mercied Matthew 5:7

Matthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, ….. 7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 Mercy interests me.  I need a lot of mercy.  All of us do.  So what is mercy?

Mercy is acceptance in spite of my pain and problems and persistent pressures.

Mercy is being received by others regardless.

Mercy is not receiving bad results from bad actions.

Mercy is having a friend I just offended do an act of kindness for me.

Mercy is having my punishment revoked and let go free.

Mercy is someone loving me even when I continually hurt them.

Mercy is good.  It is kind.  It is abundant in Jesus.  He is full of mercy.

When mercy comes to us through others around us, we want to give it back to them.   A merciful person receives mercy from others.

When mercy is held back in a needful situation, we are deeply wounded.  We can decide to respond with mercy and protect our soul.

A really painful act with no mercy was dumped on me last year.  Really, it has taken me many months of pain and speaking blessing and forgiveness over the offenders to even have a day with rest.  The pain of a merciless act can dig deep into our soul.  This one did.  I won’t recant the actions.  They were disloyal, unfaithful, dishonest, and lacked any small amount of mercy.

Yet, I can apply mercy.  It has taken much of my emotional investment and trust in God’s protection for the future of my family, but He is giving me the smile of mercy for these that were unmerciful.  My joy is more certain and more consistent.  The wound of a friend goes deep.  These were friends.  Really, they were friends turned sour.  An unmerciful act of an enemy is expected.  But, a friend of over a decade is not expected to act such a way.

The great news is that we can take from our storehouse of mercy received over life and apply to the ugliest of situations and offenses.  We can dispense mercy in the face of evil and keep the light in our countenance.  Mercy has power.  Mercy received or mercy given  is healing.

ACT!  Mercy is learned by example.  Who around you is always taking care of others even when others take advantage of them?  You think about it and wonder if the person is all connected upstairs.  Why do they keep putting themselves at such risk?  Go spend some time with that person.  Learn from them. 

PRAY!   Father, I hunger for my family to be complete in You.  That is my hunger.  I wish to see all my friends connected to Christ.  There will never be a total satisfaction in me, Father, until I see my community committed to living fully in You and by character and moral principles revealed in Your word.  Satisfy my soul, Lord.  Show me a way to advance the righteousness of the kingdom in my family and friends and community this week.  Don’t let me sit on the sidelines.  Launch me into action.