Tag Archives: mercy

Good to Everyone

God is good to everyone. Yes, everyone! This is tough for some people to grasp. Because God is good, He is good to everyone. This means that He will be good to even those people we do not think deserve good. This also means that He only does good things. When something bad is happening in your life, it’s possible that He allowed it—but He does not pour out evil. So often people credit God to things and they miss the boat.

Today, recognize that God is good and He is good to everyone. As well, He calls us to be share in His goodness and spread it. Be intentional with your encounters today. Ask the Spirit if you are not being good to some people. Ask to be more compassionate.

“The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” – Psalm 145:9 [NLT]

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Be Useful

Something that I have been thinking about a lot is usefulness. There are moments when we have items in our home that are not useful to us. Sometimes we have apps on our devices that are not useful. Maybe at a time they seemed useful, but things have changed. But usefulness isn’t only something we consider as objects or possessions. People can be useful or not useful too.

Paul was writing to Philemon about the runaway servant Onesimus. He tells Philemon about this change that has occurred. Yes, Onesimus was deserving of punishment, which could have meant a death sentence. It was within the legal limits. But Paul mentions this great conversion of Onesimus. Not only did he give his life to Jesus, but in doing so, he became useful. In saying, “Not my will, but Your will be done,” he became useful. God had big plans for Onesimus!

If someone would consider your usefulness, what would they say? Would they describe you as very useful? Do you think you are very useful? Or is something getting in the way? That something could even be you! Truth be told, you have a great purpose. God has known this since the very beginning. It is a purpose that I pray you embrace and pour yourself into as an offering. Aim today to come to terms with this usefulness, and if the Spirit convicts you, follow His leading. It is a very dangerous prayer to say, “Use me.” Yet is a prayer than can help position you for what God has already prepared. Be useful. Plant for a good harvest.

“Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.” – Philemon 1:11 [NLT]

Great Expectation

As it nears my son’s sixteenth birthday, there is great expectation. This is a big day for any teenager. When I consider the months and weeks prior to his birth, there was great expectation. He was my first child. I didn’t know what to expect, but I spent a lot of time considering who he would be and couldn’t wait to meet him.

In 1 Peter 1, we read about our great hope. In verse 3, Peter talks about how “we live with great expectation.” We live with this great expectation because “we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.” We know that because of this, “we have a priceless inheritance” (v. 4). The Bible also tells us that God is protecting us “by His power” until the day comes when we receive the revelation of our salvation.

Some of us have lost the joy of this great expectation. We are so focused on this world that we cannot be “truly glad” that “there is wonderful joy ahead” (v. 6). Perhaps our trials have hardened our hearts. God reminds us that this is on “for a little while.” The trials “show that your faith is genuine” (v. 7). Today, be reminded of our great hope, our great expectation. Remember, “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy” (v. 8).

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.” – 1 Peter 1:3 [NLT]

Care Nothing

In Psalm 28:5, we read about a people who care nothing for what God has done or for what God has made. Consider this for a moment. The person cares nothing for what the Lord has done. The person cares nothing for what God’s hands have made. In this verse we read about 1) acknowledging God – Who He is and what He has done, and 2) caring for what God has made.

The people did not care about God, about what He made, about what He did. They lacked adoration for God. They lacked compassion for His Creation. This includes lacking compassion for people. These people were doing the opposite of what Jesus says is most important: Love God, love people.

“Care nothing” can be seen as disregard or lack of consideration. The Message translates this as the people having “no idea how God works or what He is up to.” It all points back to acknowledging the Lord and desiring a relationship with Him, wanting to know Him more. As you have this regard for Him, as you grow in your relationship with Him, you will grow in your love for the things He loves. You will care for what He has done and for what His hands have made.

“They care nothing for what the LORD has done or for what His hands have made. So He will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt!” – Psalm 28:5 [NLT]

His Very Own People

Jesus gave His life so that we can be free. We are free from every kind of sin. Jesus gave His life so that we can be cleansed. Because He carried all of our sins, because He paid the penalty of our sin, we are redeemed. We are cleansed by His cleansing blood. He made the atonement. He paid the price. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we are made righteous through faith. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to be God’s very own people.

When God created man, He created man to live with Him. He walked with Adam and Eve before the Fall. After the Fall, God still had a heart for His very own people. With Abraham, He made covenant. He promised blessing and descendants and land. As the descendants multiplied, the Israelites were His very own people; however, they continued to go astray. Every time they fell away, God brought them back. Every time they went against God, He forgave them and showed them mercy.

Today, God wants you to be His very own. He has offered you freedom. He has offered you cleaning. He has offered you a new life. He loves you. Take the step today to reach back to the One Who always has His arms reaching towards you.

“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” – Titus 2:14 [NLT]

Return to Me

People many times say that God is hiding from them, that they cannot tell if He’s around. The truth is that God never moved—you did! Again and again, we read in the Bible of people who fall short, people who do not walk with God. A holy God cannot look sin in the face. Even so, God is gracious and merciful. Again and again, He forgives us. Each day we are offered the opportunity of a daily cleansing, a new day. It is through Jesus Christ alone that we are able to stand before the throne as white as snow.

In Zechariah 1, we read about a call to return to the Lord. Zechariah declares what the Lord says, “Return to me… and I will return to you.” It’s that simple. Don’t allow it to be complicated. Don’t allow people to put stumbling blocks between you and God. Don’t think His grace and mercy are for everyone but you. Return to Him and He will return to you.

Every day we have an opportunity to decide which road we will take. Every day we can move closer to Jesus or in the opposite direction. When we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Today, take time to reach out to Him. He’s already reaching out to you.

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” – Zechariah 1:3 [ESV]

Ephesians Study: God’s Workmanship

[Ephesians 2:1-10]

All you do is STRANGE and WONDERFUL (Psalm 139:14)

We are clay. You are the Potter. We are all the work of Your hand (Isaiah 64:8)

God is Rich in Mercy

  • By Grace saved through faith
  • Gift of God – not works – not fulfillment of Law’s demands least man boast

Because of Great Love for Us

  • Great
  • Wonderful
  • Intense

Even Loved us when Dead in Sin – He made us Alive with Christ

  • In fellowship with Christ – sit down together with Him in heaven
  • In union with Christ – raised together with Him
  • He gave us the very life of Christ Himself

We are His Workmanship

  • In Jesus Christ – recreated in Christ / born anew
  • For good worksfruit of faith / done for God’s glory
  • Prepared beforehand/ predestined / prearranged / made ready

GOD DOES THE MAKING AND THE SAVING – It is FINISHED!

I am accepted I am secure I am significant
I am God’s child (John 1:12) I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2) I am salt & light of earth (Matthew 5:13-14)
I have been justified through Christ (Romans 5:1) I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22) I am chosen & appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I am united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17) I am citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) I am a personal witness of Christ (Act 1:8)
I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27) I can find grace & mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1) I am born of God; evil one cannot touch me (1 Jn. 5:18) I am God’s co-worker (1 Corinthians 3:9)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14) I can’t be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39) I am seated with Christ in heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
I have access to God thru the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love & a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

Bible Study Questions:

  • What was our condition before Christ?
  • What motivated God to save us? What does it mean to be saved?
  • What did God do even though we were dead in trespasses? How?
  • In verse 2:9, Paul speaks about salvation not being a reward for good things we have done. Why was this necessary? What is our part of the salvation process?
  • The passage speaks about good works that were prepared in advance. What does this mean? What does this mean for you? How is this different from what the world thinks of good works?
  • In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are “God’s workmanship.” What does this mean to you? Why is it sometimes difficult to see yourself as such?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Lights Out

Signing your name to something is often known as an endorsement. When you sign a check, you are endorsing it. By signing your name on the check, you are giving your word that there is money in your bank account to cover whatever amount is on the check. In life we endorse more than just checks. We can endorse people by giving them a written or verbal reference, or by slapping a bumper sticker on our car. We can endorse products by writing a review. When an accountant prepares your tax returns, he endorses the returns by signing them. When a person inspects your vehicle, that inspection sticker is an endorsement, stating that the car passed inspection per the state codes.

But what happens when one endorses something but it turns out to not be good? Often when a person’s word was trusted but found to be unworthy of trust, there is a loss of moral authority. This past week, I was on the bad end of a faulty endorsement. My family was blessed with a new van; however, the fellow that sold the vehicle promised to inspect it so it could have a fresh inspection sticker good for another year. I was happy and appreciative of the gesture. I was not happy a few days later; however, when I found myself being pulled over by a police officer for malfunctioning lights. They would have been checked with the inspection. What do you mean a few are out? How could that be? Today a different mechanic looked at the van and said he never saw anything like it. So many bulbs that weren’t working, among other items that would have failed with a state inspection. It was clear that I would never do business with the man that sold the van again. He lost my trust.

Integrity and moral authority are important; however, the world does not pay much attention to these items anymore. It is so often that one can lie and cheat their way to the top. We have accepted some sins as not-so-bad and traded the truth for a lie. We will endorse anything, not caring what it will do to our moral authority. Doing our best for God’s glory is put on the back-burner. Power, pleasure and possessions trump grace and truth. Today, remember God’s word reminds us we are not part of this world. We have a higher calling. Walk with integrity friends. You may be the only gospel a person reads. Point to Jesus.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” – Proverbs 11:3 [NIV]

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2 [NIV]

Colossians Study: Taking Responsibility

[Colossians 3:5-14]

[V. 5] THEREFORE consider dead…

  • Because you are alive with Christ – seek things above (v. 1-4)
  • Because we died with Christ
    • Put off earthly life / past sin
    • Put on Christ (clothe yourselves)
    • Result – more like Christ

[V. 5] Consider dead to…

  • Immorality – “porneia” – where word pornography comes
    • Includes fornication, adultery, incest
  • Impurity – unclean – someone who refused to clean up act
    • Someone who never repents
  • Passion – “pathos” – inordinate affection or lust to point of suffering for it
  • Evil Desire – longing for that which is forbidden
  • Greed – always wanting more, associated with acts of fraud and extortion

[V. 8-9] But now also put aside…

  • Anger – “orge” – where word orgy comes
    • Passion out of control
  • Wrath – “heavy breathing” – rage / fierceness
  • Malice – attitude of ill will toward a person
  • Slander – “blasphemy” – speech that tears down
    • Opposite of let your speech be grace seasoned with salt
  • Abusive speech – filthy language
  • Lies – working with / cooperating with the father of lies

[V. 12-14] Put on…

  • Compassion – mercy
  • Kindness – form of general moral excellence – person who does right thing – to extend goodwill
  • Gentleness – Christians are most powerful people on earth but power should be clothed in gentleness – obedient, submissiveness to God
  • Humility – modesty
  • Patience – “macro” means you’re going to need a lot – patience that doesn’t give up on other people – handling injustice / difficulty well
  • Bearing with and forgiving each other
  • Love – perfect bond of unity – it’s the binding strap that holds the church together.

Bible Study Questions:

  • The passage mentions that because of the sins listed, the wrath is coming. How does that relate to us? Do we face this wrath? Do these sins have any consequences for us?
  • What are some actions we need to take or things we need to do to take responsibility for our actions?
  • What is the hardest to take responsibility or blame for in your own life? Why is it so hard?
  • Verse 13 mentions bearing with one another and forgiving one another. What does it mean to bear with one another?
  • Verse 14 says that love binds everything together. Explain what that means to you and what that means for the church as a body.
  • Consider the list of sins listed in this passage. What can we put on in place of this sin? How can we go about taking action?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than a Story: Compassion

[The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-37]

Compassion – Deep awareness of the sufferings or misfortunes of another with a desire to relieve it.

Verse 37 – And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” [NASB]

Mercyeleos (el’-eh-os) – pity, mercy, compassion, tender mercy, kindness

Samehomoiós (hom-oy’-oce) – In like manner, similarly, in the same way, equally

Psalm 86:15“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” [NLT]

CompassionRachum – (rakh-oom’) – compassionate, full of compassion

Jesus expressed compassion to:

  • Weary (Matthew 11)
  • Tempted (Hebrews 2)
  • Helpless (Mark 9)
  • Sorrowful (Luke 7)
  • Multitudes (Matthew 15)

 Zechariah 7:9“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another.” [ESV]

Colossians 3:12 – “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” [HCSB]

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” – Albert Schweitzer

Bible Study Questions:

1) Before the Parable was told, Jesus was tested by a lawyer. The lawyer answered correctly about the Law (v. 27). He knew what God’s Word said. Jesus said, “Do this, and you will live.” What was the “do this”?

2) The lawyer intended to justify himself and asked, “Who is my neighbor”? In the last verse of the passage, Jesus asks him who was his neighbor. Which fellow from the Parable was the neighbor? What did he do for the man?

3) What did the compassionate fellow do for the man that can remind us of the unfailing, unending compassion of our God? (See verse 35)

4) What do you think it means to be compassionate toward someone? Was there a time in your life when you did this to another? Was there a time when someone showed compassion to you?

5) Jesus showed compassion to all people, and these people each lived in various circumstances. How can we show compassion to the

  • Weary –
  • Tempted –
  • Helpless –
  • Sorrowful –
  • Multitudes –

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused