mercy

Get Real!

On the same day Jesus rose from the grave He appeared to the apostles.  He spoke peace to them and then showed them His hands and His side. This was not only the visible proof that He was the One they had committed their lives to, but the showing of His hands and side has far more greater meaning to us.  

Recently I smashed the ends of my fingers on both hands. My fingernails have turned black and ugly from the injury. The painful incident and my startling reaction to it was so traumatic that I have shared it with many people. I’ve shared the story because I witnessed God help me in that moment of pain. I was manually pulling down a garage door and my fingers got caught between where two panels come together. I couldn’t pull my fingers out and I couldn’t lift the door back up. The pain was severe and I didn’t care who heard me yelling in pain.  But I know it was God who quickened me to kick the door up with my foot, releasing my fingers.  I’ve shared this story because in my personal trauma, God was with me. Many times we are quick to share our physical wounds with others, but not so quick to show the wounds on the inside. Most of the time we don’t want people to know about the wounds of our hearts and minds, but when we do, something happens to whoever is listening. They are relieved to know you are real and can relate to what they maybe going through. Those disciples must have felt so alone and discouraged until Jesus appeared and showed them His wounds.  When was the last time you got real with someone like Jesus did and showed them your wounds? What about the wounds on the inside? Jesus showed His wounds and the disciples were glad and believed in Him. Don’t be afraid to show people the healed wounds in your life.  It just may bring the healing to them they need.

Flag Doesn’t Fly

I noticed this morning as I walked outside that my flag wasn’t flying. As we come into this Inauguration Day we can be so anxious we forget who is in control. We can be so disgusted that we don’t pause to pray. The depth of disgust for a nation that has fallen away from God and true righteousness is rightly measured by our dependence on prayer. It is voiced, texted, tweeted, bannered, blogged, aired, and detailed in many different formats and platforms, but its greatest impact is when it reaches the throne of God in prayer. We groan at what we hear and see in the media, but true anguish of heart is taken up and echoed by the groaning of the Holy Spirit.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit [is,] because He makes intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.” Romans 8:26-27

You can expect the correction of a nation that has gone astray to be hard. You can expect the correction of a nation that has shaken its fist in the face of God to be hard. You can expect the correction to be what no one wants to hear, the judgment of God. As my own children have grown, my discipline has changed to where now it is reshaped to advice and counsel, but not so with God. We have not outgrown the discipline of our God. We should pray and cry out like the children of Israel held in bondage with hard labor.  We should do it for the sake of our children and grandchildren who will grow up in a world completely void of a holy influence if we don’t. If you have a voice for the kingdom of God, use it!  Use your voice in prayer protest to God.

“Holy Father, you see the mockery in my country and you understand the plots of evil men. Father we desperately need You to step in and turn us back to You. You alone are our hope for the future, so we turn to you. Lord Jesus there is a love in our country but it is for power, money and control.  Father we are a guilty people, but many are Your people called by Your name, and we call on Your Name today. We ask Father that You turn the Whitehouse into a White House that has been washed in the precious blood of Your Son. Hear our cries O LORD and answer us before it’s too late.  We trust in Your ways and we want Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us the power to pray and to be honest with You in confession. We believe You are coming again and whatever it takes to make us ready to meet You, we submit to Your divine plan. Cause us to hate what You hate and to love what You love, and we know You love people because Jesus came to the cross.  His suffering and death made a way for us to know You and be with You for all eternity. Bless us with what we need to come back to You. In Jesus Name I pray-Amen.

Learn this Prayer

Learn this prayer, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble…” Psalm 31. This was a prayer of David who cried out to the Lord in a time of need. This single petition is repeated around eleven or twelve times just in the Psalms. Perhaps you were like me growing up learning different prayers to pray, like the “God is great” prayer before a meal or the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer and the “Lord’s prayer”. There’s definitely nothing wrong with those prayers to the Father, but this humble and desperate prayer of David is the prayer for the times we live in. The proud will not say it and the oblivious will only petition God for what they want. But the sincere child of God who realizes the trouble we are in will recognize and repeat this prayer. Your life maybe great and I hope it is, but know that as a nation we are in the deepest spiritual waters we have ever been in. And mercy is our greatest need right now. The Lord asked the blind man, “What would you have me do for you?” Jesus would asked that question for our sake. What may look obvious to you may be oblivious to others and I say that because not everyone understands the trouble we are in and the mercy of God we need. Psalm 123:3 extends the plea for God’s mercy, “Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us.”

Let me encourage you today to learn this prayer because the trouble we are in will become increasingly obvious and you will already know what to ask the Father. His mercy is our greatest need!

Who is to Blame?


Reflecting on my life today filled with struggles and setbacks but how God has shown me so much mercy! Why? Who is to blame, or rather, who is to thank for God’s mercy on me? I know that God is “the Father of mercies.” I know that personally I have done nothing deserving of God’s mercy. So how is it I feel as if God has shown me so much mercy over the years? I know the things I’ve done and how I have acted and at times even rebelled against God, but there’s still mercy. There was mercy when in times of rebellion He disciplined me. When I think about where I should have been in the moments of my sin, I can’t help but wonder at the extent of His mercy for me. With all that being said, I believe there was someone in my life that God loved so much that He decided to show me great mercy. My parents have been faithful in serving and living for God all my life. God has loved them so much that He has shown “me” great mercy.

Just think, that how much you love and serve Christ could result in great mercy on the lives of your children. I believe that’s part of the reason for God’s mercy on me, but there is someone else that has brought mercy down on me. God has loved His Son Jesus so much that He has shown me mercy.

Let me ask you, do you know about the mercy of God? Don’t you know that He should have stopped us along time ago? But He is so patient and kind, and His desire is to show us great mercy! His mercy endures forever and for the fact that you have read this, God is affirming His mercy on you. You might not be able to point to parents or someone else for the cause of God’s mercy on your life, but you can certainly point to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Have You Come to Yourself?

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” Luke 15:17

This was the turnaround moment for the prodigal son who had taken his inheritance, traveled to a far country, wasted all that he had been given, only to find himself at the very lowest place he could go. I have imagined over the past few days how long this young man had already been living in the pit of life. Life pits are everywhere and many are headed that way today and many have just come from that miserable place. You most likely will run into someone today. We can only wonder and speculate what it was that caused the young man to come to himself. It definitely had something to do with his memory, because he remembered how well his father’s servants were treated. He must have thought, “If I’m going to be someone’s servant, I want to be one of my father’s servants, because he treats them so well.” This young man was wearing rags and was starving to death and completely alone and at the most desperate place in his life—and that’s when he came to himself. What a moment! That should speak to us today. You don’t have to live in misery. You don’t have to stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. But you must come to yourself and start walking towards the Father. Just like the prodigal son’s father was daily looking and waiting on him, our great God and Father stares towards the far country expecting one of His own to come home. This is a good day for someone to come to their senses, as one version translates it, and start your way back home to God. Our Father will receive you with grace and mercy and with great joy!

Going to the Next Level

Parents often are forced to go to the next level when attempting to gain the attention of their children.  It happens in every home where the child gets so captivated in a movie or in a game that breaking away to listen to mom or dad becomes a challenge.  But when the child is unresponsive to the beckoning of the parent, the parent usually goes to the next level to get their attention.  The first level is normal volume conversations and if that doesn’t work, the parent goes to the next level by turning their voice volume up.  If the child is unresponsive to the change in volume, the next level could be a threat to remove from the child whatever it is that has captured their attention.  When the volume level and threat levels do not work, parents still have another level to resort to and that is to turn off or snatch away whatever their child is mesmerized by.  

We must know that in our walk with God, when we become unresponsive to His attempts to get our attention, He goes to the next level.  This spiritual progression is often regrettable in that it should not take that much for us to turn and heed the voice of the Lord, but sadly, too often it does.  In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 we read,

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God has used this coronavirus to get the attention of some of His children, but still there are many unresponsive inviting God to go to the next level.  One effective level God uses to get our attention is sickness and health issues, even death.  That doesn’t mean that every sickness and every death is a calling from God to get your attention, but it has proven to be effective.  Another effective level God uses is accidents that lay people on their backs, but again not every accident is God trying to get your attention.  God is not limited in the ways He works to get our attention.  Many times the plain preaching and proclaiming of His Word by men and women filled with the anointing of God gets the attention of those God is calling.  God got the attention of the Ninevites by the loud voice of a rebellious man who had been released from a whale.  

The point is, does God have your attention by what is taking place in the world today or does He need to go to the next level?  Joni Eareckson Tada once said, “God permits what He hates to accomplish things that He loves.” Perhaps God is gently using this short blog to say, “Hey, I’m talking to you, stop what you are doing and listen to me.”  

Pray

You are not hopeless or helpless in crisis pandemic events that shake the world.  There is a shaking taking place right now in the hearts and minds of the masses, and you can shake in fear with them or you can conduct yourself to prayer.  To pray, you have to pray!  Our concern over the global pandemic should be expressed in fervent prayer pleading for God’s mercy.  Listen, God is expecting all of His children to show up before His throne in prayer during this time.  The question is, can you pray and will you pray?  God will move if we will pray, but we must humble ourselves before Almighty God and seek His face.  

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  

The future of the coronavirus and the global pandemic may very well hinge on one little word, “If.”  People can be scared to death and still not pray.  People can be scared to death and pray, but not pray with the humility God requires.  To humble yourself and pray means you’ve got to come down from a high place and get in a low place before God.  God will move mightily when He sees the posture of His children change from lofty to lowly.  God will move mightily when He hears the tone of our prayers change from demanding to desperation.  God will move mightily when our cries are for mercy rather than complaints.  

When God hears our cries, He does more than intervene in our crisis.  God does more than heal those sick with the coronavirus. God saves and redeems lost souls to salvation.  God restores that wayward son or daughter.  God changes lives forever.  Now is the time to become the person of prayer God saved you to be.  Spend quality time with God in prayer and be a vital part of a healing-saving movement of God

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