Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Mercy Received, Mercy Bestowed"

"Mercy Received, Mercy Bestowed"

     Some broken relationships are irreparable because one or both parties will not take the steps necessary to replace bitterness with lovingkindness, forgiveness, and the humility that seeks restoration in the willingness to sacrifice fleshly pride and self-centeredness.

    "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

    We must always be sure we are not the party that prevents reconciliation from occurring.  If a bridge needs to be repaired, we must seek God's leadership and enabling to do our part in using the tools He provides for restoration.  In so doing, we follow the pattern set by our Lord Himself.  He proactively worked to redeem us despite the fact that we caused the breach that existed between He and ourselves before we believed in the Lord Jesus.  "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).  The spotless Son of God participated in a sinner's baptism.  He died on a cross reserved for those apparently cursed by both God and man.  He acted in reconciliation toward us despite our willful lack of peace with Him.  Thus, as we ponder the truth that "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you," the Holy Spirit motivates us to walk in the same path of humility paved by nail-scarred Feet and a Heart pierced for the redemption of others.  "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18).

    We cannot change the heart of anyone with whom a breach exists in our relationship and fellowship.  Through Christ, however, we can change our own attitudes, words, and actions.  The Spirit of the Lord Jesus dwells within born again believers, seeking to reveal His heart for loving redemption and restoration.  The reconciliation we have known with Him must become the peace we seek with others.  Both parties must act in grace, of course, but our responsibility concerns only ourselves.  "Father, am I open to Your correction, and is my attitude toward You and other person in accordance with "forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven me?"  This is the path upon which our hearts must travel, the path that began with mercy received, and continues with mercy we often bestow to others.  Many broken bonds can be repaired as we walk accordingly, and even in those that remain damaged, our own hearts will be kept in the peace of Christ as revealed in us by the humility of Christ.

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
(Phillipians 2:1-4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." 
(John 16:33)


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