Righteousness & Peace Have Kissed

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“Mercy (hesed) & truth have met together; Righteousness & peace have kissed.” – Psa. 85:10

Where did they meet? In Christ Jesus.

These four virtues, once lost with Adam, are now found in Jesus. All the attributes of God rest perfectly in Him. They lovingly kiss.

When did they kiss? When He poured out His life on Calvary.

We are all guilty. The Law requires justice (TRUTH/RIGHTEOUSNESS). But the Judge wants us to be free (MERCY/PEACE). So He punishes sin (in the person of His Son) and releases the sinner. It is the only way God can judge us and save us at the same time. It is the only way God can be both Just & the Justifier (Rom. 3:26).

Why? Because He loves you so.

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us & sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

Sound too good to be true, but it gets even better: it’s a free gift. All you have to do is accept it in FAITH Rom. 10:9). You can’t earn it. If you could, it would become “payment for services rendered” (Rom. 4:4).  It is HILARIOUSLY WRONG to think we have anything to do with our own salvation. God could never, ever (ever ever ever) be “in debted” to Man (Rom. 11:35).

Its called Good News for a reason!

Do You Feel Loveless?

Prison bondage Jail

If you feel unloved, not loved, or loveless you are feeling a lie. The TRUTH is you are fiercely, ferociously loved. God is head over heels in love with you (Eph. 1:5).

I know its hard, but try not to think of God in human terms. People are fickle. We can turn from loving to hateful at the drop of a hat. God isn’t fickle like we are. He’s the opposite. He’s constant (Mal. 3:6).

If pains me to think of fellow believers in prisons of their own making.

  • If you think God is constantly disappointed with you, you are in bondage .
  • If you think God is happy with you one moment & upset with you the next, you are in bondage.
  • If you think God’s approval has anything to do with your performance, you are in bondage.

It has nothing to do with you & everything to do with Jesus.

Jesus redeemed you on the Cross (1 Cor. 1:18).  It literally means “buying back what was previously forfeited.”

You can’t redeem yourself. It is because of His sacrifice not because of your service (Eph. 2:8-9).

So let me cut through the lies you may be nursing. You are loved by the LORD. I repeat: GOD LOVES YOU. You are so loved that He did not spare His Son to take your place. Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe, a debt we could never pay – all because God loves you (John 3:16). You can’t pay for (or earn) this free gift with good works or religious checklists. That would be considered payment for services rendered. No, all you can do is accept it or reject it.

Start from this place. Then go out & do good. However, know full well that doing good has nothing to do with that starting place, but springs forth from it. Go with the TRUTH that you are never unloved, not loved, or loveless (Eph. 3:19).

If this blessed you, please like & share!


Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/629.htm

Rooted

I Cor. 2:4
I Cor. 2:4

Oswald Chambers* really moved me today in my daily devotional. He was speaking to Christians about their witness.

What do I mean by “witness?”

The way you present Jesus and his resurrection to others is your witness to them (Acts 1:22). But it’s also the way you present yourself! You can either be a good witness for Christ and help the Holy Spirit’s work or you can be a bad witness for Christ and hinder the Holy Spirit’s work.

Saint Francis of Assisi is attributed with saying: “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” We represent Christ here on earth. We are the Lord’s first line of defense and many times we fail Him. We mis-represent Him. We cause more harm than good. And more often than not, we do it without uttering a single word!

For example, when missionary Stanley Jones met with Gandhi, he asked him though he quoted the words of Christ often, why he rejected becoming a follower. The Mahatma said, “Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.”**

How unfortunate that the Christians Gandhi met were poor witnesses. What if they were good witnesses? Imagine the impact just a few would have had on a whole nation!

Oswald Chambers suggests this verse: “My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” – I Cor. 2:4

To help strengthen your witness you must surrender to this fact: It is the Holy Spirit that accomplishes the miracle. It is not mine, or your’s, or anyone else’s words. Remove yourself from the equation and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. “He will create His own life in people.*” Once you are rooted in that reality, you cannot be shaken. Base your faith on that!

If anything, you and I just mess things up by getting in the way. Get out of the way and let God work!

Emotions change. Human experiences change. God does not change. Root yourself in our unmovable God and your faith will be secure. This will help you be more like Christ. Once you are more Christ-like, the Holy Spirit can use you. Only then will your witness do any good. Only then will your witness have any power.

God Bless!

* “My Utmost For His Highest” Dec. 3rd. •www.utmost.org

** “The Christ of the Indian Road.” E. Stanley Jones
#witness #ministry #surrender

Mercy Over Sacrifice

mercy_over_sacrifice

Twice Jesus said that He desired mercy over sacrifice (Matt. 9:13 & 12:7). Telling us something once is enough, but twice? He really must’ve wanted us to get it! So what does it mean to desire mercy over sacrifice?

Jesus was quoting from Hosea 6:6. The Israelites were offering sacrifices to God because it was their duty not because they desired to please Him. Their hearts were not close to God. There was no relationship.

Jesus is saying He desires that we genuinely love him. He desires that we follow His will because we truly want to. He doesn’t want us coldly following rules like the Pharisees.

God sees the heart and no amount of rule following can replace a heart that isn’t true. Mercy wins over sacrifice, everytime. God bless!