Friday, May 26, 2017

Mercy Me                                                  05-26-17

Matthew 9:13 (ESV) 13  Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus quoted this verse twice in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 12:7 (ESV) 7  And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

He spoke it to the same group of people(the Pharisees) about the same subject(condemnation of "sinners)

It is a quote of  Hosea 6:6

Hosea 6:6 (ESV) 6  For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

For some unknown reason, I was reminded this week of a story that was told me many, many years ago by a pastor that concerned another pastor.It seems that the denominational leaders of a very prominent denomination had decided to remove this pastor from his position because of a particular sin in his life. As his friend,the other pastor(the storyteller) went before the leaders of the denomination to plead for mercy on behalf of his fellow pastor,only to be told," to let him go to hell." Upon hearing that, both pastors left the organization and started their own separate ministries on either side of a large city. These ministries became very successful and multiplied thousands of people were brought to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, one of which includes the author of this blog.And herein lieth the lesson.

The Pharisees were about outward conformity in conduct and ritual.They were concerned about the "letter of the law." They seemed to be quick to judge and condemn when someone did not live up to their preconceived notion of what the law entailed. They demanded sacrifice,especially as it concerned OTHERS and not themselves. Jesus,in both cases told them to go and LEARN what that verse meant. LEARN what the knowledge of God was all about. You see brothers and sisters,the Pharisees were ignorant of the fact that the fulfillment of every jot and tittle of the law was standing right in front of them. But,more importantly, they had missed the mark altogether hadn't they? God's heart all along,even before Jesus came on the scene,even before He gave the law,His heart and nature toward His creation was one of mercy and love. God looked throughout His whole creation to find someone or something that was worthy to pay the ransom for sin. No one, NO ONE among His creation was found. He had to send His son Jesus to satisfy His justice,His anger,His wrath. But,the Pharisees in their SELF righteousness believed they had the formula. Outward conformity. Say the right things. Act the right way.Ya feelin' me here?

Folks,let me tell you something. I have been saved since October 8,1975. What is that? let's see here.........upwards of forty two years,is that right? Yes that's right forty two years that I have named the name of Christ. In all that time. Every single day and month of those forty two years I have NEVER...I will say it again.....I HAVE NEVER had to be told when I was sinning. On every single occasion I KNEW,WITHOUT A DOUBT, that I had missed the mark. I had transgressed. I had SINNED...... EVERY SINGLE TIME WITHOUT DOUBT!!!

What I needed was not for someone to tell me that I had sinned,no,no, what I needed was for someone to tell how to GET OUT of my sin! How to be released and delivered from my bondage, NOT to be shackled  even more with condemnation and guilt based upon someone's self righteous standard.

Someone will say "Yes, but you need to be told the truth." I HAVE BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH!HIS NAME IS JESUS!!THERE IS NO OTHER TRUTH!!!

Brothers and sisters, if we have named the name of Jesus,then we are all somewhere on the road to final redemption. Sometimes,during our journey on that road,we, like the Pharisees before us, begin to think that we know more than God don't we?Huh? Oh yes. We begin to demand of those on the same road that we are traveling, to CONFORM to a preconceived standard that WE have set.  Expecting someone to live up to something that we ourselves can't live. Forgetting where WE came from and how WE were delivered from OUR sin.By the mercy and grace of God Almighty, through His Son,the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Brothers and sisters,we can LEARN about the knowledge and mercy of God if we will PRACTICE that same mercy towards other people. Especially those of the household of faith. Let God deal with the sin and the sinner.Unlike ours,His discipline is just and  and always produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness in us. Our ONLY job,it seems to me,is to point them AND OURSELVES to the forgiveness and mercy found in the Lord JESUS. AMEN? AMEN!!

Psalm 51:1 (ESV) 1
 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

God Bless



Friday, May 19, 2017

A More Sure Word

A More Sure Word                                                     05-19-17

2 Peter 1:19 (ESV) 19  And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,


I read an interesting article this week.According to the latest Gallup Poll concerning church attendance,the number one reason that people attend church is to hear the Scripture preached. Not only that,these same people not only desire to be taught the Scripture,but they want to know how the Scripture applies to their daily lives. Eighty two percent of Protestants who attend church on regular basis want biblical lessons and then want to know how those teachings can be applied to their daily living. 

It seems that the "seeker" is no longer seeking for an experience.Music,charismatic personalities,kids programs have now taken a back seat to discovering the truth. That seem to contradict the prevailing opinion about seekers. Being culturally relevant and accommodating may have run their course,while Biblical truth,instruction and it's daily relevance have regained their prominence.

The article goes on to say that the church too often is a "mile wide and an inch deep".It encourages pastors to prepare"deep,biblical sermons and education offerings that rest firmly on the authority of Scripture. In this world chock full of biased media,fake news sites and the like,there exists only one source of truth on which we can rely. And herein lieth the lesson.

In the above verse,the Apostle Peter is explaining the veracity of the written word,we call The Bible. He is recounting the EYEWITNESS account of the transfiguration and the Father's voice which he(Peter) heard.However he goes on to say that the "prophetic word"(the Scriptures) is more confirming of the truth of Jesus than the voice from heaven which they heard. That is our Biblical lesson for today. But,here is the application.

Keep on reading that verse." which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place,until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,...."

In this world of deception and outright falsehood, that which we seek,and pay billions of dollars annually trying to find,.....what's that Ronnie? the TRUTH,....the WHOLE TRUTH,....and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!...... lay within arms reach of most reading this blog today,including this writer.

All we need do is sit down,open the book and as Seeger said "turn the page."

This is good advice for all us "seekers" out here.We will be well served if we carve out some time,sit down with the Holy Spirit and feed on GOD'S newscast "until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." Ya feelin' me here?

Psalm 119:105 (ESV) 105
 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

God Bless


Friday, May 5, 2017

Not My Battle                                           05-05-17

Psalm 35:1 (ESV) 1
 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!

Short and sweet this week.

When I walked in the house this afternoon, I was greeted by Shelley and Chloe.I sat down and Chloe told me that she had something that she wanted to show me. While I was waiting Shelley quickly filled me in on what was happening. The girls had gone to Hobby Lobby this afternoon and while shopping around Chloe saw one of those placards that you hang on the wall. She told Shell Shell that she would spend her own money on the placard. So, Shelley said O.K. and Chloe spent 20 dollars of her own money on a placard that quoted 2nd Chronicles 20:15.

2 Chronicles 20:15 (ESV) 15  And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.

"....for the battle is not yours but God's......" It was pretty cool because Shelley and I had prayed a similar verse every day this week. The one at the beginning of this blog.

Psalm 35:1 (ESV) 1
 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!

We had prayed each morning this week about allowing God to fight the battle and refusing to take matters into our own hands no matter the outcome.Well, unbeknownst to us and to our surprise it seems that Chloe had been praying about the same stuff.And herein lieth the lesson.

It's very tempting to strike back at someone or something that launches an attack against us isn't it? You know. Somebody says or does something meaning you harm,
or at the very least rubbing you the wrong way. Our flesh immediately wants to strike back. To defend ourselves. We get OFFENDED. We lash out to protect our turf,or we carry it around on the inside until we are a seething time bomb; and God help the one or ones that are around when all that pent up anger erupts.I have personally been on both sides of the above equation and nothing good ever comes out of it.

Brothers and sisters we will all be way ahead of the game if we can somehow trust God to take care of us no matter how He so chooses.It's easy when things go our way.. not so much when it appears we are on the short end. But God promises us that even when things don't go our way,He still has us in the palm of His hand.

If we will let Him take command we will be saved a lot of anger,pain and heartburn.

It ain't our fight.

Psalm 56:8-9 (ESV) 8  You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
9  Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.

God Bless