Not In Part But The Whole

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

God forgives us when he doesn’t have to, when we don’t deserve it, and with foreknowledge that he’ll have to freely pardon our sin again and again and again to get us into his heaven. If for no other reason today, you and I should be thankful for a merciful God who goes out of his way to forgive.

Going Deep // Focus: Genesis 3:21

“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”

Adam and Eve sinnedand as the Bible tells us, “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a) It was a stiff penalty, but if God was to be a just God, somebody had to die. And somebody did! In this case, as a remarkable foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for the sin of the world, an animal was slain and its hide used to cover the sin-exposed human couple. Thus we are introduced to a God who is not only just, but whose mercy saves us from his justice: “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

How loving, merciful and full of grace the Creator was—and still is—not to completely do away with his prized creation, man, because of his willful sin, to begin again with a newly created man. If God dealt with our sin as we deserve, who of us would stand a chance? (see Psalm 130:3) Perhaps no other writer captured the lovingkindness that emanates from the core of the Creator’s character as poignantly as the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote in Lamentations 3:22-23,

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Rather than judging us as we deserve, God covers our sin through the promised Redeemer (v. 15) who bore the punishment of our sin with his life, a redemptive reality foreshadowed by the covering of the original couple with skins of a sacrificed animal (v. 21).

Thank God for his mercies, given by his grace afresh and anew each day. “My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!” (Horatio Spafford)

Going Deep With God: God forgave you when he didn’t have to, when you didn’t deserve it, and with the full foreknowledge that he will have to do it again and again and again to get you into his heaven. If for no other reason today, you should thank God for his mercy—that he doesn’t give you what you really deserve. Me, too!

Lord Have Mercy!

The Only Reason You Can Even Read This Post

God’s mercy is not getting what you deserve; God’s grace is getting what you don’t deserve. God has given you both—no thanks to you; all thanks to him. Now would be a good time to offer up your gratitude!

Read: Psalm 123 // Focus: Psalm 123:2

“As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.”

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

I don’t know how much thought you give to God’s mercy, but frankly, without it, you wouldn’t even be reading this devotional blog today. And you are not alone—apart from Divine mercy, I wouldn’t have written it.

No one captured our utter dependence on God’s mercy better than the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote,

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV)

What is Divine mercy? Simply this: Not getting what you rightly deserve. Grace, the other side of your utter dependence on God, is getting what you don’t deserve. Out of God’s great love and compassion, he has extended his grace through salvation, by which he lavished upon you all heaven’s riches at Christ’s expense. Keep in mind that none of that was due to your own merit.

Yet before you could even receive his grace, God first had to unleash his righteous wrath upon Christ as he hung on the cross, bearing the just and deserved punishment for your sins. Mercy—not getting what you rightly deserve—was made possible only through Christ’s death.

What that means for you is that every single day, every minute of every day, each second, each breath and each heartbeat is a gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. And for that, you ought to be continually and eternally overflowing with gratitude!

Yet not only is God’s grace and mercy undeserved, unmerited gifts to you, they are also your privilege once you become his child through faith in Christ. That is why, as the psalmist has done here, you can appeal to God for a specific extension of his mercy in your time of need. And that, my friend, is a very good thing indeed, since coming to the Father by virtue of his mercy requires you to remember the very reason for your righteous standing before a holy God: Christ’s atoning death.

When you remember, understand, and make your appeal to Divine mercy, your being exudes love, gratitude and humility, and that becomes a sweet smelling and irresistible fragrance to your merciful and gracious God.

Making Life Work: Since God has shown undeserved mercy to you—his unmerited, un-repayable loving-kindness—how about offering the same to someone who deserve your judgment instead.

Lord Have Mercy!

Read Psalm 123

Featured Verse: Psalm 123:2

“As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.”

I don’t know how much thought you give to God’s mercy, but frankly, without it, you wouldn’t even be reading this devotional blog today. And you are not alone—apart from Divine mercy, I wouldn’t have written it.

No one captured our utter dependence on God’s mercy better than the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote,

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV)

What is Divine mercy? Simply this: Not getting what you rightly deserve. Grace, the other side of your utter dependence on God, is getting what you don’t deserve. Out of God’s great love and compassion, he has extended his grace through salvation, by which he lavished upon you all heaven’s riches at Christ’s expense. None of which, keep in mind, was due to your own merit.

Yet before you could even receive his grace, God first had to unleash his righteous wrath upon Christ as he hung on the cross, bearing the just and deserved punishment for your sins. Mercy—not getting what you rightly deserve—was made possible only through Christ’s death.

What that means for you is that every single day, every minute of every day, each second, each breath and each heartbeat is a gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. And for that, you ought to be continually and eternally overflowing with gratitude!

Yet not only are God’s grace and mercy undeserved, unmerited gifts to you, they are also your privilege once you become his child through faith in Christ. That is why, as the psalmist has done here, you can appeal to God for a specific extension of his mercy in your time of need. And that, my friend, is a very good thing indeed, since coming to the Father by virtue of his mercy requires you to remember the very reason for your righteous standing before a holy God: Christ’s atoning death.

When you remember, understand, and make your appeal to Divine mercy, your being exudes love, gratitude and humility, and that becomes a sweet smelling and irresistible fragrance to your merciful and gracious God.

“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue,  it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”
~John Chrysostom

 

God’s Love Never Runs Out

Read Psalm 107

Featured Verse: Psalm 107:1-2

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this!”

I like the way The Message version of the Bible renders the psalmist’s call to gratitude: “Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set free by God, tell the world!”

God is good—all the time! That truly is the testimony of my life—and I have a feeling it is true of your life as well. Certainly, I ought to be proclaiming God’s goodness to anyone who will listen, and even to those who won’t, much more than I do. Add to that the fact that I am, on my best day, not so good, and on my worst day, frankly, pretty bad, only adds to the brilliance of God’s overwhelming goodness.

The New King James translation of the psalmist’s words is even more meaningful to me: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Mercy—I can really relate to that. Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: I’ll take either enduring love or enduring mercy—I can’t live without either one. Love and mercy are simply different facets of the same diamond we understand as the goodness of God.

But God’s mercy really speaks to me, and I’ll bet if you thought about, it, you would say the same. Someone said that mercy is not getting what you deserve. The truth is, you and I depend upon God’s mercy every single moment just to draw in the next breath, since the holy and righteous God has had every reason and right to annihilate us from the planet because of our sinfulness. Jeremiah said it well in Lamentations 3:22-23,

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The entirety of Psalm 107 is simply giving one example after another of how God in his faithful love and enduring mercy has freed his people from what they deserve. And at the end of each example, the psalmist expresses the call to gratitude: Oh, thank God, he is so good! He love never runs out!

I’ll bet you could write your own Psalm 107. In fact, that might be a good assignment for you and me this week. And then, like the psalmist suggested, we should go tell the world. Now that’s a pretty tall order, so how about starting in the part of the world in which you live? Write your psalm and share it with your spouse, your family, your friends, and then your co-workers.

I am not sure how they will feel about it, but you will certainly feel pretty good. That’s what heartfelt gratitude to God for his faithful love and enduring mercy does.

“Peace of conscience is nothing but the echo of pardoning mercy.”
~William Gurnall

Psalm 123: Lord Have Mercy!

One Year Bible: II Samuel 23:24-25, Acts 3:1-26; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 16:21-23

Lord Have Mercy!

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
(Psalm 123:2)

I don’t know how much thought you give to God’s mercy, but frankly, without it, you wouldn’t even be reading this devotional blog today. And you are not alone—apart from Divine mercy, I wouldn’t have written it.

No one captured our utter dependence on God’s mercy better than the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote,

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV)

What is Divine mercy? Simply this: Not getting what you rightly deserve. Grace, the other side of your utter dependence on God, is getting what you don’t deserve. Out of God’s great love and compassion, he has extended his grace through salvation, by which he lavished upon you all heaven’s riches at Christ’s expense. None of which, keep in mind, was due to your own merit.

Yet before you could even receive his grace, God first had to unleash his righteous wrath upon Christ as he hung on the cross, bearing the just and deserved punishment for your sins. Mercy—not getting what you rightly deserve—was made possible only through Christ’s death.

What that means for you is that every single day, every minute of every day, each second, each breath and each heartbeat is a gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord. And for that, you ought to be continually and eternally overflowing with gratitude!

Yet not only are God’s grace and mercy undeserved, unmerited gifts to you, they are also your privilege once you become his child through faith in Christ. That is why, as the psalmist has done here, you can appeal to God for a specific extension of his mercy in your time of need. And that, my friend, is a very good thing indeed, since coming to the Father by virtue of his mercy requires you to remember the very reason for your righteous standing before a holy God: Christ’s atoning death.

When you remember, understand, and make your appeal to Divine mercy, your being exudes love, gratitude and humility, and that becomes a sweet smelling and irresistible fragrance to your merciful and gracious God.

“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue,
it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”

~John Chrysostom

Psalm 107: God’s Love Never Runs Out

One Year Bible: I Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:43-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3
Today’s Reading: Psalm 107:1-43

God’s Love Never Runs Out

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say this!
(Psalm 107:1-2)

I like the way The Message version of the Bible renders the psalmist’s call to gratitude: “Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set free by God, tell the world!”

God is good—all the time! That truly is the testimony of my life—and I have a feeling it is true of your life as well. Certainly, I ought to be proclaiming God’s goodness to anyone who will listen, and even to those who won’t, much more than I do. Add to that the fact that I am, on my best day, not so good, and on my worst day, frankly, pretty bad, only adds to the brilliance of God’s overwhelming goodness.

The New King James translation of the psalmist’s words is even more meaningful to me: “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Mercy—I can really relate to that. Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: I’ll take either enduring love or enduring mercy—I can’t leave without either one. Love and mercy are simply different facets of the same diamond we understand as the goodness of God.

But God’s mercy really speaks to me, and I’ll bet if you thought about, it, you would say the same. Someone said that mercy is not getting what you deserve. The truth is, you and I depend upon God’s mercy every single moment just to draw in the next breath, since the holy and righteous God has had every reason and right to annihilate us from the planet because of our sinfulness. Jeremiah said it well in Lamentations 3:22-23,

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The entirety of Psalm 107 is simply giving one example after another of how God in his faithful love and enduring mercy has freed his people from what they deserve. And at the end of each example, the psalmist expresses the call to gratitude: Oh, thank God, he is so good! He love never runs out!

I’ll bet you could write your own Psalm 107. In fact, that might be a good assignment for you and me this week. And then, like the psalmist suggested, we should go tell the world. Now that’s a pretty tall order, so how about starting in the part of the world in which you live? Write your psalm and share it with your spouse, your family, your friends, and then your co-workers.

I am not sure how they will feel about it, but you will certainly feel pretty good. That’s what heartfelt gratitude to God for his faithful love and enduring mercy does.

“Peace of conscience is nothing but the echo of pardoning mercy.”
~William Gurnall