Archive for October, 2008

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

October 15, 2008

He will show you MERCY, have compassion on you, (Deuteronomy. 13:17)

Mercy is one of those “church” words. We hear it used in almost every sermon. We’re told that God offers it and that we need it. And I’m not sure of the exact number, but I think that the word ‘mercy’ is used in the Psalms about ten thousand times. I think maybe we should consider that “Mercy” is an important topic to the Father.

I was listening to a teaching a few years ago by Michael Pearl where he used a story to expand his topic. I loved the story and I think it beautifully illustrates what “God is up to” concerning His gift of Mercy to us all. This is his “story.”

“What do you think would happen if I put a sign in my front yard that said:

‘I buy rocks. $1 each?

For a while everyone would be a bit curious, but no one would take me seriously. Eventually, though, someone would stop by and ask about the sign. I would tell them that I buy any and all rocks for $1 a piece. I’d tell them that if they show up in my driveway with a bag of rocks, I will give them a $1 bill for each and every rock in the bag. They’d laugh of course, but eventually, someone would give it a try – probably because someone else dared them. Then I’d proceed to give them $1 for every rock. Soon, word would spread, and before long, people would line the streets with truck loads of rocks, waiting in line for Mike to pay them $1 for each and every rock. I know that some folks would ask me why I would do such a thing. I know that they’d wonder what value I see in plain old rocks. I know they’d be suspicious of my motives because they’d be certain that rocks aren’t worth a dollar and a truck load of rocks isn’t worth tens of thousands of dollars. But, whether they understand my antics or not, they’d show up to cash in something “worthless” for something “valuable” . . . whether they understand or not. That would be the smart thing to do. It’s a good deal!”

I think that is an acceptable picture of mercy. The Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning and that His mercies endure forever. He assures us that we have NOT been dealt with according to our iniquities but according to HIS MERCY. It doesn’t make sense to us that we could constantly, continually, daily (if not hourly?) present our Father with our failings only to receive His priceless mercy and forgiveness in exchange ~ over and over again! Pouring out mercy to undeserving children is one of the ways that God attempts to convince us of our incredible value and eternal worth – in His eyes.

Mercy. What a priceless, generous gift! Exchanging our failures and mistakes for forgiveness and a second chance ~ EVERY TIME! We don’t have to be able to comprehend it all, we simply have to trust God when he says:

I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

(Exodus 33:19)

Mercy . . . It’s a good deal 🙂

(Also posted @ The Internet Cafe)

Of Utmost Concern (by Michael Pearl)

October 4, 2008

I think most of you feel as I do about many common issues. My most important personal concern is my children. Even before I was married, my occupation, financial security, ministry, personal fulfillment, all took third place to concerns for my future children.  “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Likewise, what does it profit a father if he gains the whole world and loses the souls of his children?

What can be called success if your children turn out to be part of the world’s problem rather than its cure? What satisfaction can there be in the comforts of material success if your children grow up needing counsel rather than being sought after to give counsel? If your children lie awake at night suffering from guilt and anxiety, being gnawed upon by the demons of intemperance and self-indulgence, how can you enjoy your food or your pillow?

The success of a tree and a man is measured by the fruit that is borne. The fruit of a man or woman is their children; everything else is falling leaves.

If the sun rises and sets and I never cast a bigger shadow, what of it, if my children are growing and  flourishing in God’s family? Let me die poor; let me die early; let me be ravaged by disease; just let my children rise up and call me blessed. Let me not measure my giving by the dollars I spend on them or the educational opportunities that my station in life affords them, but rather, by the hours I spend with them in fellowship.

May they graduate from my tutorship to become disciples of the Man from Nazareth. May they learn good and evil from the pinnacle of obedience rather than from the pit of despair. May they have the wisdom to choose the precious, and the courage to reject the trite and the vain things in life. May they always labor for the meat that endures.

May they be lovers of God, coworkers with the Holy Spirit, and a friend to the Lord Jesus. And when their trail ends, may it end at the throne of God, laying crowns at the Savior’s feet.  (Michael Pearl)

Father, never let me forget. . .  everything else is falling leaves . . .