Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Shovel – Part 2

Continuing from the last post, Pastor Giglio asks three questions: (1) Can Jesus relate to you? The answer is “yes”, because (a) He created and entered physical time and space. Jesus existed outside of the dimensions of time and space from eternity past to eternity future. Jesus took on the constraints of entering into time and space, so we could relate to each other. (b) Jesus (God incarnate, the God/man) took on flesh and blood. He could have come down as Almighty God, but Jesus was born of a woman and took on flesh and blood, which we can relate to. Jesus had the ability to relate to all, so what are you struggling with right now? He’s not going to say: “I don’t know.” He knows.  

Psalm 103:8-11 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.”

(2) How does Jesus relate to you? He does not give us what we deserve. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “mercy”as: That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. Christ meets us more than halfway. He doesn’t say: “I’ll come halfway down from Heaven and you come halfway up.” He comes all the way to us. He is merciful when we are wrong, because mercy is an attribute of God. He is gracious when we are stubborn and He loved us before we were lovable (while we were still sinners).

1 John 4:7-11 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

(3) How does this impact how you relate to others? By the same measure that we receive, we give. The gospel of Jesus Christ comes in the middle of our relationships. It is either “Amen-worthy” or it is “groundbreaking and revolutionary”. The gospel is seismic for our relationships. The goal is “let us love one another”, for love comes from God, because God is love. If you are not loving, it is not because of someone else; it is because you do not know God. He sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:10 says: “This is real love — not that we loved God (because we were not able to love), but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” John 3:16 says, “God so loved us”. The word “so” is a qualifier that takes a casual word and puts it up on a whole new heavenly scale.

When we come to know God, He dispenses mercy and grace with a shovel on your life. His mercies are now; each and every day.  Not yesterday’s mercy; new every day.

In Christ, Brian

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