Living in a Graceless Age

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Reading the Bible through with me? Then grab your journal and pen and read 2 Samuel 19-21. Burdensome grief, violence, pettiness, rebellion, revenge, and warfare are all found in these three chapters. What jumped out at me is the amazing mercy and grace that David showed toward Shimei and Mephibosheth. (19:19-30) Even when his trusted friend, Abishai, pushed for execution, David chose mercy. David completely entrusted his life into God’s hands. Despite all his flaws, here at this point in his life, he represents God well. In Hosea 6:6, God says, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.” In Matthew 9:13, the Lord Jesus quoted that passage from Hosea. The Pharisees had challenged His disciples because Jesus had eaten with Matthew and his tax collector friends. The New Living Translation says their question was. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” These deeply religious, law-abiding Pharisees could not understand how Jesus would associate with unreligious, law-breaking, unpatriotic tax collectors. Jesus responded, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor. Sick people do.” Then He told them, “Go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call NOT those think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” The problem for the Pharisees and many religious people is that they put their energy into appearing righteous while failing to develop and demonstrate a godly attitude. They looked good on the outside, but God always looks at the heart. Through the Holy Spirit, He develops an attitude in the true believer to strive to be like the Lord Jesus. Holy, Godly, in attitude and action.

Yahweh is a God of justice and will punish unconfessed sin because He is holy. He is a God of Mercy because He is love. And that’s why the Lord Jesus came -- to be the one Son of man who lived a perfect holy life AND to give His life on the cross as the perfect, once-for-all-time sacrifice to wash away our sins. Mercy. Grace. Love. Forgiveness. That’s what God does for you and me. Extend those gifts today to someone who needs them. It pleases the Father, reflects the Presence of the Lord Jesus in your life, and honors the Holy Spirit.

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