Saturday, November 7, 2020

Orange Moon "Patient, Gracious, and Merciful"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe… 


"Patient, Gracious, and Merciful"


     At a farewell banquet to honor his retirement, a Bible college professor was asked how he would like to be remembered.  He paused to consider the question for a moment.  Then he simply, but sublimely said, "As a man to whom his Lord has been so very patient, gracious, and merciful."


    "It is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (I Corinthians 1:31).


    Our brother's response comes as close to perfection of heart and attitude as one can get in this world.  Little wonder he was so beloved by his students, and doubtless he also holds a blessed place of belovedness in his Heavenly Father's heart.  Indeed, even the most devoted believer realizes that without ongoing measures of grace and mercy, we would all fall by the wayside in our Christian life.  


   "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7).


    All of the Apostle Paul's epistles, written to believers who had already received God's grace in salvation, contain the salutation of bestowing our Lord's grace in sustaining our walk with Him.  Indeed, without His freely given assurance of continuing in us that which He began, we would have no hope for a life of faith and faithfulness.  Every believer requires ongoing bestowals of mercy and grace, even as the writer of Hebrews enjoined, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).


    The professor mentioned was and is a godly man.  His attitude reveals this.  He is also a man, however, who realizes that regardless of how far he has ventured down the path of righteousness, he could have traveled much further.  "If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know" (I Corinthians 8:2).  We all "ought" to know more and live accordingly.  Thus, we all require a "patient, gracious, and merciful Lord" to pardon us when we fail to avail ourselves of His empowering grace regarding the quality of life to which He calls us. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform in until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).  


    At about the same time the professor retired, another prominent Christian communicator left the pulpit.  When asked the question of how he wanted to be remembered, he responded without hesitation, "As a man who lived his life above reproach."  I'll leave that alone, except that I hope that if ever I am  asked the question, the focus on our Heavenly Father's longsuffering grace and mercy will be more along the lines of the professor mentioned above.  Because the longer I seek to walk with our Lord, the more I realize how much further and better I could have done so.  Patient, gracious, and merciful indeed!


"But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth."

(Psalm 86:15)

Weekly Memory Verse 

    "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you."

(James 4:8)


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