Do you really understand God’s mercy and grace? If some version of the following sayings cross your lips, you probably have at least a deficient view of these virtues of God.
Do you catch yourself saying, “It’s been one of those days.” Perhaps you wished that you could reset the clock and go back to the moment when your alarm clock sounded in the morning.
It is on those days that we feel like we really need God to show us mercy and grace.
Human beings have a tendency to undervalue our thoughts as compared to our actions. This is especially true when it comes to our understanding of our need for God’s mercy and grace. Often we think that if we can avoid taking a sinful action then we have a fine standing before the Lord. What is missing in this assessment? Is it not that we fail to account for the many sinful thoughts that bounce around in our minds?
Jesus taught that we are as culpable for our thoughts as for our actions.
We may cringe when we read the following words from the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke’s gospel. How could anybody pray such a prayer? But I suspect that our cringing may be based on the fact that we are familiar with the story. We know before we ever read this section of Scripture that the Pharisee is the bad guy. So we avoid offering up these kinds of prayers. However we are not so keen on avoiding comparing ourselves to others in our minds and words to others.
“God, I thank you that I am not like other men.”
On one occasion I was speaking with a church going woman about a sinful issue in her life. At first she offered a few attempts at rationalizing her sin. She soon realized that those excuses sounded much more lame out loud than they had inside her own head. Finally, she blurted out, “Well at least I’m not like (name of another person).”
Text: Hebrews 12:4-11
God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are often too full to receive them.
Whenever a person is arrested in America, they are informed by the police that they have the right to remain silent. Whether the person avails themself of that right is a matter of wisdom.
In the world of Christianity, we hear sermons and read books about the importance of speaking. That speaking may be described as preaching, teaching, sharing, or witnessing. We are urged to speak up, to confess our faith, to provide a verbal witness.
In the 9th chapter of Mark’s gospel, we read of times when silence is commanded or preferred. Below are eleven lessons from Mark 9. These lessons teach us that we should avoid often the urge to run our mouths. These are times we should remain silent.
Recent Medical Heart Activity
In recent months I had a few nights of chest tightness in my medical heart resolved by nitroglycerin pills and even spent Christmas Day in JFK hospital near our home. I visited my cardiologist and she scheduled a stress test for me that took place this past Thursday (April 6, 2017). The normal EKG reports did not show enough. The way to discover the issues was to put the heart in stress and take MRI pictures before and after the stress.
He Must Increase
He must increase, but I must decrease. –John 3:30