Lessons Of A Lifetime

END TIME MERCY EXTENDED
OR
END TIME MERCY RECEIVED
SUNDAY APRIL 8, 2018

Something To Consider:
Much has been said in the past few weeks concerning mercy, which is that kindness and tenderness of an individual that enables one to overlook the injuries or offenses of another. Mercy from God’s perspective is His ability and desire to temper justice, and to forgive transgression and or trespasses. The most beneficial consequences of God’s mercy towards us as offenders of His law, is His power to pardon. Many have experienced first-hand His power to pardon from sin and His power to break the choking chains of the bondage to sin, while being bathed in His forgiving favor.

Many have experienced the relief and release from the cloud of guilt and the blanket of shame that constantly attempts to surround us due to the deadly fallout of sin. No one knew this better than David, the onetime shepherd boy turned king of Israel and the author of over one half of all 150 Psalms. Nowhere is there a more honest and sincere prayer recorded than in Psalm 25, a psalm of David and a plea for deliverance and forgiveness.

Scripture To Consider:
“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed let no one who waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

“Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindness, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness sake, O LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”
Psalm 25 1-10

Something Else To Consider:
David began his psalm with the words, “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You…” Often in the psalms David declared the lifting up of his soul to the Lord. As in the childhood prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep!”

The problem arises when mankind lifts up their souls to other things such as wealth, health, and the pursuit of prosperity or the pursuit of happiness outside of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “O my God, I trust in You.” Or, I trust in other things! Which will it be? Which is it? These other things may become the byproduct of our trusting God, but never are they to become our life’s overwhelming pursuit!

David’s message of mercy points to the goodness and grace of God. God’s message of mercy points to His Son Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God and the real reason for God the Father remembering His tender mercy to His people. Therefore, who is the mercy that we are pointing others to? Who are we lifting up our souls to?

Who do we trust in for the provision of our daily bread and daily supply of truth? David had wealth, power, fame, and position as king over Israel, but what did he desire from God? “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I will wait all the day.”

David realized God’s mercy and grace afforded him more than just deliverance from his enemies. He realized God’s grace and mercy also afforded to him his future salvation. David clearly understood that he had been treated more favorably than he deserved. He had committed adultery! He had an innocent man murdered in an attempt to cover up his sinful tracks.

What about us? Have we ever attempted to cover our iniquity laden paths that lie behind us? Have we ever requested the mercy of God when we deserved the judgment of God? Have we ever requested God to temper His justice on our behalf or on the behalf of someone else?

Something More To Consider:
Because of Jesus Christ, we too are treated more favorably than we deserve. Because of Jesus, God’s mercy floods over us like redeeming waves of compassionate clemency to a convicted criminal after many years of rightful imprisonment. We too like David, have been offered a spiritual pardon and a clean slate as it pertains to our under the blood confessed and forgiven sin.

Because of Jesus Christ we can become and remain spiritual overcomers through the precious atoning blood of Jesus and our enduring to the end and overcoming testimony of a life lived for Christ and not for ourselves!

Surprisingly coupled with God’s mercy is His ability to no longer remember our offenses once forgiveness has been requested and received. According to His mercy that was paid for in full with the blood of His Son, our Savior Jesus, God remembers us, and yet chooses not to remember our past forgiven sins. If mercy is requested, mercy is offered to be received! Why then do so many wait so long or never ask at all?

Could our answer lie in that all the paths of the Lord lead to mercy and truth? In other words, to receive the mercy of God for our sins, we must also be receiving the truth of God’s Word. They go hand in hand. “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, [and here is the key], to such as keep [or obey] His covenant [God’s Word] and His testimonies.” And so, we must ask ourselves, are we keeping the written and preserved Word of God? Are we allowing God’s Holy Spirit to teach us His paths which are revealed in His Word?

Mercy and grace along with God’s forgiveness of our sins is free for the taking, but they are not cheap! Jesus gave His all upon the cross at Calvary that we might experience His atonement for our sin stained past. That same atonement affords us His mercy if we are guilty of sin in the present, and it affords us His grace if we request His cleansing of sin in the future. His mercy is being extended but is His mercy being received?

God’s requirement and His condition to our full pardon is that we seek His forgiveness through our repentance and that we are obedient and keep His Word! I understand that just the mention of conditions being attached to God’s promises is in opposition to recent teaching of the Word of God, but is that teaching true or false? Does that recent teaching contradict the Word of God? And if it does, we should believe the Word of God!

A Few Final Words:
In Isaiah 48.18 the Lord revealed, “Oh that you had heeded [obeyed] My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, [continuous] and your righteousness like the waves of the sea [also continuous].” Jesus, in Matthew 6.14-15 declared, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Jesus makes another statement in John 14.15 that reveals another conditional approach to our love of God and our keeping His commands, by declaring, “If you love Me, keep [obey] My commandments [God’s Word].” Jesus followed up on John 14.15 in John 15.10 by proclaiming, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

Conditional commands are throughout the Word of God and they are there for our spiritual benefit. Paul made a conditional statement of truth that we will close this lesson with that can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.1-2; “Moreover brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word [Word of God] which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”

We must be found by Jesus in these possible end times holding fast to the Word of God that God Himself has preserved down through the centuries. We must be found by Jesus in this 21st century keeping the Word of God while abiding in God’s love, mercy, and amazing grace. We must believe but we must not believe in vain! We must believe with a present tense enduring to the end holding fast to the Word of God biblical belief.

In closing, mercy, to the leader and the leader in training, has cost them nothing, but was purchased at an incredibly high price. Therefore, mercy should always be extended to others no matter what the expense is to us! End time mercy has been extended. Has or will end time mercy be received?

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, Your message of mercy is much needed by many. May Your message of mercy be extended through us to others. In Him Always, Amen!

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