Mercy Shown By Love

Hello Readers! Welcome back. For the next several days we are going to focus on Luke 6:27-36. We will be focusing on one verse at a time. Keep in mind the definitions of love and mercy.

Love is defined as “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection”

Mercy is defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB) from Biblegateway.com

27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28-bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29-If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30-Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31-Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32-If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33-If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34-And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35-But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36-Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:27-36 (HCSB)

Verse 27-“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you,”

Notes:
If you have ever been hurt by someone either physically or verbally. Then you know that it is very difficult to put into practice verse 27. God is telling us to Love the same people that have hurt us. He even wants us to go and help/do good to the people that hate us. Why? I have one word for you (MERCY). God has shown us mercy even when we ourselves did not deserve it. Yet He poured out His Love on us all anyway. God is not asking us to do anything that His Own Son Jesus Christ has not already done Himself. God is giving us a command here, not a suggestion. We must obey this command and truly show LOVE and GOOD to those who hate us. Do you remember when you were lost and searching for answers? Believe it or not you too at one time lived as an enemy of God. Then someone came along and showed you that God loved you so much that He showed True Mercy through His Son Jesus Christ.

Come back tomorrow for verse 28!

~Dr. G
John 14:6 – Jesus Is The Way, Truth, & Life

God’s Beautiful Masterpiece

Happy Weekend Readers! I love to paint and craft. We can relate our relationship with Christ–as a beautiful masterpiece.

Do you trust God as the artist that is meticulously painting on the canvas of your life? As the brush strokes of sorrow and trials sweep across your life, do you rest in the fact that He is painting a beautiful work of art? All the various colors and shades are a result of each circumstance that you have faced.

Before a painter begins a masterpiece, he will first visualize the strokes and shades that will be needed to complete his beautiful painting. God is the Great Artist of our life. God is much more meticulous than even the best artist. Every stroke that is brushed across your canvas (your life) is contemplated by the almighty God, and He has an eternal purpose for it.

I find it very intriguing that many of the famous painters only became famous after they died. Although they invested much time and energy into their paintings, they never lived to see the results. Many of them lived in poverty, and they faced numerous times of discouragement and wondered if their labor was in vain. Yet, they kept pursuing their passions and used the talents that God had given them. Because of their perseverance, their paintings have been enjoyed and have benefitted many others. They saw few results of their hard work and had no idea that their paintings would become valuable AFTER their death.

Do you wonder about the canvas of your life? Is there a purpose for the difficult and sometimes mundane events that you are encountering? If you have a short term perspective, you may become discouraged and feel like giving up. A long term perspective sees our life here on earth, as being as brief as a thought that crosses through our minds. We are created to live eternally. We may never see the results of our faithfulness while we are living here on earth. However, we can have the assurance that Jesus is the great Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) With each stroke of circumstance, God is creating a magnificent masterpiece out of our lives. The beauty and splendor of Heaven will be worth every stroke of sorrow that we face. Let’s open our hearts to the pain and suffering that comes into our lives. It will be worth it all when we present the canvas of our lives to God, and we hear His words of affirmation: “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Just think of it like this: when you paint, you add highlights to your paintings…kinda like when things are going well…dark spots…when we are going through hard times, sorrow, or trials in our life. As all these things are happening we tend to focus on those small parts of the painting, but We need to stop focusing on the small things and look at the bigger picture, and keep our focus on the cross.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M

How can I help people who are hurting?

Welcome Readers! It is so hard to believe we are already in November. This is such a wonderful time of year for most people. However, the upcoming holidays can be very hard for others. They may be grieving and lonely or worried about financial troubles. Today’s blog is about how to help those who are hurting. A lot of people put up a good front and don’t show their deep hurts. Remember to always greet others with a smile.

Job 30:16 “And now my life seeps away. Depression haunts my days.”

Proverbs 15:13 “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit”

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Be aware of the effects of hurt on a person’s spirit, mind, and body. Awareness leads to sympathy, sympathy leads to empathy, empathy leads to helping, and helping leads to healing.

2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Share your experiences of God’s comfort. God’s healing in you may bring hope and healing to others.

Job 16:2 “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are!”

Be careful with the words you offer to the brokenhearted. Explanations and cliches are rarely comforting. Offer those who are hurting your love, sympathy, and presence. Sometimes the best comfort you can give is to just be there.

Job 42:11 “Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.”

Support your own family and friends. Family life should be a safe haven in a hurting world. The family should be both a healing clinic and a training camp where you learn to cope with and conquer hurtful influences.

If you are hurting or know someone who is, please send us a message. We will gladly pray for you. May God Bless You!

Be a blessing to others,
~M

A Prayer of Thanks

A PRAYER OF THANKS

Lord I thank You for the trials You send my way. I thank You for the pain that I’ve endured each day. Lord I don’t always understand why You allow the trials and pain, but I thank You for walking me through each one each day. I thank You for Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. I thank You Lord for saving a sinner like me. I thank You Lord for answered prayers. I thank You Lord for unanswered prayers. I thank You for guiding my life and paving the way. For me a sinner, yet saved by grace. Lord I thank You for the ups and downs of every kind You’ve sent my way. I thank You lastly for Your promises of truth. For only by You can life be sustained. I’ll cherish each moment no matter the pain. For You are my Savior my everything. I love You Jesus. I thank You for loving me. I thank You dear Lord for the day You have made.

Thank You Jesus,

Pastor G

Life Hurts but God Heals Part 4

Welcome back. Today we are going to conclude this series about how life hurts, but God is there to heal our wounds. Yesterday, we talked about David and how God rescued him from the pit of despair. Today, we are going to focus on Job.

Have you ever felt that you can’t catch a break? It’s like one thing after another keeps happening and you just want to go hide?! That is how Job felt.

Job was a rich man with a large family. He was considered blameless and upright by The Lord. He was careful to avoid evil. One day, Satan appeared before The Lord. Satan said that Job was only blameless because The Lord had blessed Job with many things. The Lord gave Satan permission to punish the man. Satan thought that Job would turn away from God.

Job lost all his possessions. All his children were killed in a tornado. Job’s health declined as he endured horrible sores all over his body. His friends and wife mocked him for staying true to The Lord after enduring such pain.

In Job 7:20 — Job prays “If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?”

Job was tired of suffering. Finally at the end of Job, he realizes there is a purpose for his suffering. He understands that God is with him, God does care, and God is alive! After his suffering, Job is restored. Job 42:10 — “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

We must remember that we are not alone. God is with us! He cares for us! He will never leave us! There is a purpose for our sufferings!!

Come back tomorrow for some encouraging scriptures to help you when you are struggling with life’s hurts. ~M

Life Hurts but God Heals Part 3

Welcome back! Yesterday we talked about Elijah and how The Lord comforted him. Today, we are going to focus on David.

David–a man after God’s own heart–experienced some awesome things in his life. As a child, David slays Goliath. He eventually grew up to become a King! However, David faced many obstacles on his journey.

David wrote this when he was hiding in a cave because Saul wanted to kill him. He felt hopeless and alone. David had lost his job, his best friend, his mentor, and his wife. But, he cried out to The Lord. Let’s look at how David was feeling in Psalm 142: “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”

The Lord heard David’s cry. He delivered David from the pit of despair in 1 Samuel 24. You can read the passage at http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+24&version=NIV

David wrote in Pslam 40:1-3 — “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear The Lord and put their trust in him.”

We will all experience hurts and pains in this life. We need to remember that God loves us. If you are facing trying and hurtful times in your life, cry out to The Lord. He will pick you up from the pit of despair and place you on solid ground.

Come back tomorrow as we conclude this series on Life Hurts but God Heals. ~M

Life Hurts but God Heals Part 2

Welcome back! Yesterday, we talked about Moses feeling burdened and God helped him. Today, we are going to talk about Elijah. Elijah felt hated, alone, and hopeless. He was being threatened with death by the evil Queen Jezebel. He was scared and just wanted to give up! Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.

Numbers 19:3-5 — “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.”

The Lord heard his cry! God displayed His power. He provided for Elijah. In Numbers 19:6-8 — “All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.”

The Lord showed Elijah that he had more work to do. The Lord provided food and encouragement for Elijah. The Lord will do the same for you! He loves you! He wants you to know you are not alone. He cares for you! In Deuteronomy 31:6 — “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Come back tomorrow for Part 3. ~M

Life Hurts but God Heals

Are you sad? Do you feel alone? Are you hurting? Do you feel damaged? Are you brokenhearted? Do you feel worthless? Are you weak? Do you feel like a disappointment? Are you tired?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are not alone! We have all experienced times of hurt and brokenness. Did you know that Moses, Elijah, David, and Job felt that way in the Bible? They endured many hardships and storms of life. I’m just going to focus on Moses today.

Moses said in Numbers 11:14-15: “I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

God provided a solution in Numbers 11:16-17: “The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.”

We are not meant to go through this life carrying our burdens alone. We are to turn to Jesus and cry out to Him! His Word reminds us in Psalm 147:3 — “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Come back tomorrow for Part 2. ~M

Pain Precedes Promotion

O how true this is. It has taken me 10+ years of being in full time ministry to truly grasp and understand those three words. Think about it. What did Jesus do for us all? He took the ultimate pain so we could be promoted. Read Isaiah 53:

53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Have you ever been rejected? Most people have been rejected at some point in their lives. I wonder sometimes why this happens to many of us. I have been privileged to witness rejection. Your probably thinking to yourself, “Privileged What?” I count it as a blessing from God to allow me to experience rejection. Whether it is me being rejected or seeing someone else be rejected, I get just a glimpse of what God feels each time someone rejects Him.

Rejection is painful. It shows itself in many different ways. Yet no matter the form, rejection is painful. Think with me about Joseph the interpreter of dreams. God took him from slave to second in command of all Egypt. Joseph endured the pain for years before God stepped in and PROMOTED him to be Pharaohs’ right hand man.

There are many examples of people in the Word of God that had to go through the pain before they were promoted. Some of them are Moses, Abraham, David, and Job, just to name a few. They all went through different things at different times, but they are all connected to the pain preceding promotion.

Let’s be honest, pain is something we try our best to avoid. Yet, it is through these times of pain that we become weak, tired, and broken. Every time I have gone through a dark and painful trial of life, I did not understand why. Each time I would cry out to God and beg Him to show mercy and each time He answered with love and mercy. He did not always answer immediately, but He did answer. I praise God for those painful times because He was refining me and shaping me to better reflect Him.

There is an old saying that until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you will not completely understand their pain. Some of the greatest men and women of the Bible endured a pain that most of us would walk away from, but they embraced it as the Love of God. They understood that pain was only for a greater purpose. Some never received the promotions in this life, but I believe that they are receiving it in Heaven right now.

A word of encouragement goes a long way, but until you are broken before The Lord, you will not understand just how much God Loves you.

From my heart to yours,

Pastor G

From My Heart to Yours . . .

Hello Readers! I pray you are having a good week. I thought I would share a few thoughts from my heart. The Bible is filled with so many encouraging words and wonderful promises. God doesn’t promise a world free from danger and hard times, but he does promise His help whenever we face these times. God gives us a wonderful treasure—His Word, The Bible! Here are just a few of those encouraging words:

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. John 14:18

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-4

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

I hope these verses will help you and give you encouragement. Just remember, this Earth is not our home. Heaven is our home!

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
~M