Friday, September 8, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, September 8, 2023 "Vessels of Mercy"

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

"Vessels of Mercy"


    "Through Christ, the believer can forgive, and we must as the means whereby we glorify God in a profoundly beautiful way."    


      Our memory verse this week speaks to a great contrast between God and the human race apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.  

    "Thou art a God ready to pardon" (Nehemiah 9:17).

    Our Lord loves to forgive, to the degree of sending His beloved Son to the cross of Calvary, making mercy possible to all who will receive it by faith.  "Ready to pardon… He delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18).  Humanity without Christ, conversely, bears precisely the opposite inclination.  Vengeance rather than mercy governs the soul of humanity descended from Adam.  "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold" (Genesis 4:24).  Were it not for the influence of the Holy Spirit in the world, the tooth and the claw would govern all human interactions, particularly regarding wrongs committed against one another.  "Jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance" (Proverbs 6:34).  

   Wondrously, when a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit enters the heart, birthing a "new creature" (II Corinthians 5:17).  In that holy moment, the Christian becomes a "vessel of mercy," that is, one who has received mercy, and one who can also bestow it (Romans 9:23).   Being forgiven by God is a wonderful thing, and one of the great and foundational glories of faith in the Lord Jesus.   However, the mercy of God not only comes to us when we believe.  It also inhabits us through Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).

   Through Christ, the believer can forgive, and we must as the means whereby we glorify God in a profoundly beautiful way.  Indeed, where it possible for some watcher beyond all things to exist, beholding the relationship between God and man, he would be profoundly amazed by the mercy of our Lord bestowed.  "What a heart this God must bear to so forgive those who rebelled against Him!"  However, when the watcher further beheld those who had received mercy becoming those who bestow it, his wonder would exponentially increase.  "How can this God be so good and great as to change the hearts of His beneficiaries from their native vengeance to His innate delight in mercy!" 

      We must believe the truth regarding the Holy Spirit's working within us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" regarding mercy (Philippians 2:13).   Regardless of what we may feel, or of thoughts that may course through our minds when we have been wronged, we must affirm that God's love for mercy dwells within us as the very Life of our lives.  Yes, the forgiveness we received when we believed accomplished far more than we sometimes realize.  It made possible our capacity to lay aside vengeance, bitterness, and resentment in order to honor Lord by bestowing His mercy to others.  Nothing more reveals the saving and transforming grace of God in Christ than the forgiven becomes forgivers.

"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)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness."
(Nehemiah 9:17)







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