Archive for the ‘God’s Mercy’ Category

WHEN ARE WE AT OUR BEST?

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
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We Are At Our Best WHEN!

We are at our best when we are most dependent on Almighty Loving God in Christ Jesus. When we are at our worst (humanly speaking) in our helplessness; when we turn to God for help, we are at our best (Godly speaking)’ and if may add, for all eternity. At that moment we are honoring and praising our Holy God because we are helpless and turn to Him in absolute need and dependency on Him.

Our culture tells us to be in charge of our life. It tells us be strong, be courageous, have pride, put our best foot forward, take charge of our life and be somebody. It tells us that we will never get far unless we have a “stiff upper lip”, as has been said about the British. Self esteem is held out to be the cure all for what ails us. Therefore self-esteem becomes the focus of all education because unless the child has self esteem they will not do well in school. We say, “Buck up and get a grip on your life because you are esteemed. You have worth and can do something.”

The flip side of society is to tell us that we are helpless so we need help. Those that can help themselves are to reach out to those who cannot help themselves. No one can argue with this. But many times we even help those who can help themselves. Our government—it makes no difference which one (local, county, state, national)—tells us “You’re down and out so let me care for you,” or “you don’t have to be concerned, we’ll take care of you.” Even as caring individuals, we do this at times because we “feel sorry” for others, not even knowing whether they can or cannot help themselves. We see a lack of self esteem in them who appear down and out even though they have an ability to care for themselves. Our society says these kinds of people do not have self esteem so we need to make them feel they are wanted.

You may be wondering by now what is going on with all this talk about what society believes about us and wants to do for us. I’ve said these things to point out that we as a people (culture if you may) are very uncomfortable when we have an awareness of a person’s helplessness. We tend to think that they are just not healthy and something is wrong with them. But we (I include myself) are really at our best when we turn to the Source of our existence and beg for help. It is then that the true self emergences and that we are at our best. (Notice I said “we turn”. Some of us don’t turn to our Creator. We’ve been brain washed to believe that the world is where we turn to.)

However, we were created as a being dependent on our CREATOR and we were created to GLORIFY Him. All our needs are satisfied in Him. He gives us our food, the air we breathe and life everlasting. So when we are at “rock bottom” or when we “hit the bottom”, as is used in a discussion on alcoholism, we are helpless, and that means we MUST be dependent. All that our friends and society can do for us is just put a little bandage on our hurt. When the bandage comes off, we may be right back to helplessness. Our friends may not be there with another bandage and society may be morally bankrupt. Why? They’ve got the same need (problem). Where does that leave us? Helpless again!! Why am I helpless in a world full of people who want to help? I am distant and separated from the One who made me, Almighty God, my Creator. I am separated by my sin or rebellion against Him. But we need the One who made us. He is our lifeline. Can you see why “Just buck up and take charge” or “we’ll take care of you” doesn’t hack it? Do you see how we are treated as though we are an unlearned child who needs constant care from society? And society says we just have low self-esteem. Our deepest needs can never be met through others, our family or our self esteem. Why? They’ve got the same problem. Have you ever seen one drunk helping another drunk? I (we) need One who is not in the same condition, one who can save us from our helplessness.

Who can make us alive? And who is that? It is Christ Jesus our Lord.

Soli Deo Gloria

Oct 22, 2009

Dewey Wise

Mercy

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Mercy: Who deserves it?

Mercy is talked about especially when one gets into trouble. We hear of people throwing themselves on the mercy of the court. And then we hear the pros and cons of the appeal to the court. We say, “Such and such did not deserve the mercy of the court.” Or “such and such deserved mercy,” and “I just don’t see why the court did not extend mercy.” Do we really know what mercy is? From those kinds of statements it seems we Americans do not know. Somehow we have developed a mindset that says, “Mercy has to be deserved.” I guess that comes from an attitude that each person deserves something, or that a person deserves a break due to a past life that was so bad. The question is, “Does a person deserve mercy?”

To answer that question, it seems that a definition of mercy is in order. Why? Because everybody has a working definition of mercy. How can we know this? Listen to people express their beliefs about how the world ought to be. A phrase that I have heard over the years is “social justice”. The first time I heard it was in relationship to communism/Marxism. I was directly involved with a part of the military that had a major role in the Cold War, and we became somewhat experts in discerning what ideology a person held. Ideology is a big word for one’s beliefs. If a person is a communist, then social justice has a specific meaning to the person. If a person is a Christian social activist, then social justice has a specific meaning – but it is different from the communist/Marxist person. What a person believes determines the meaning attached to phrases or words. People use the same abstract words, but have different meanings floating around in their head. The same is true of the word mercy. For some folks, mercy is a sort of kindness to a person who is “down and out”. To other folks mercy may mean letting another person who has been caught in the hen house with chickens in hand go free – so to speak. In a court of law it is usually associated with going light on a sentence of punishment for being found guilty. When examined closely none of those meanings fit God’s definition of mercy. And if anyone has a monopoly on mercy, it is our sovereign God. So what is His definition?

Mercy can only be extended in a relationship. There must be two or more within the relationship, and one party (legalese here) has absolute power and authority over all others within this relationship. In God, we have a relationship whether we want to or not. He created us. In Adam’s sin against our Creator, all of us became guilty and are sentenced to death. (Think judge and convicted criminal.) God has an inherent right to dispense His mercy, and He cannot be influenced by anyone or anything outside Himself. God is in charge of His mercy.

We know from scripture that mercy is extended by a holy God (not part of His creation), Who is just (perfect in sentencing man), loving (always concerned for the well being of His creation), righteous (never makes a mistake in dealing with us) and sovereign (we don’t have power to determine our destiny). In Romans 9:14-16 we read these words from Paul, who was explaining God’s promises and His sovereignty to give promises to whom He chose regardless of their merits.

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (NASB)

Do I deserve mercy from God? Do you deserve mercy? No! No! My only hope is to surrender my total being to Him – to repent of my crimes against my holy Creator. And in His court room The almighty, sovereign Judge of the universe with supreme authority will be merciful to whom He chooses. So where’s my hope since it is not in the things I can do? Lord Christ Jesus is our only hope.

In John 14:5-6 we read this exchange between Thomas and Jesus.

Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.(NASB)

When we know the source of mercy we can praise and worship Him from whom all blessings are given by His mercy and Grace. In His mercy we don’t get what we deserve – death – and in His grace we get what we don’t deserve – life.

May God have mercy on each of us.

Dewey Wise
January 14, 2009
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