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Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 1:3-4’

Mercy

May 30th, 2015

“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ.” 2 John 3 NIV.

Grace adorns us; mercy spares us; and peace abides with and within us.

My thoughts and comments today are about “mercy.”

Who among us has not needed mercy? Everyone messes up sometimes. Our common humanity leaves us vulnerable to errors of both omission and commission, the omission of things we have not done when we should have and the commission of things we have done which we could and should have avoided. “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV. Among God’s many attributes, Paul rejoices that God, “is rich in mercy,” because of His excelling love and exceeding grace. Mercy is needed most and given best when deserved the least.

Everyone loves David’s Psalm, in which he concludes, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6. Be assure that God’s goodness and mercy are your promised companions throughout a lifetime, and beyond. Though an oversimplification, I choose to think of goodness to be, “God giving you what you have not deserved,” and mercy to be, “God sparing you from what you do deserve.”

Without mercy as companion, goodness would be overwhelmed with grief; without goodness as its source, mercy would merely be maudlin sympathy. “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” 2 John 3 NIV. Grace adorns you; mercy spares you; and peace abides with and within you. Mercy is the essential link between God’s grace and His peace. Read Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV.

Mercy begins with the benevolence of God. Read Psalm 136. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV. But mercy must not end there. God’s mercy continues through you.

Jesus said, “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36. All who receive mercy are accountable to administer mercy to others as freely as received. Jesus reminded His followers, ”Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7. Mercy flows to you only to the extent that mercy flows through you. As is true with most of the topics I share, mercy is more sincere in the everyday kindness we show one another than in occasional, grand gestures. Read Matthew 18:23-35. The attributes of mercy are: compassion, empathy, understanding, generosity, and forgiveness – with a healthy measure of forgetfulness. Reflect on Paul’s personal testimony of God’s mercy. 1 Timothy 1:12-17 NIV. If mercy could be given in spite of his history and failings, mercy is available to the worst among us.

Today, I pray for you that mercy will flow from God through your heart and life to others.

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Inheritance and Heritage

July 10th, 2013

“An inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV

Whatever your net worth, live that your Godly influence blesses generations.

My thoughts and comments today are about “inheritance and heritage.”

Inheritance first suggests the transfer of property and wealth from one generation to the next, yet it can be so much more. My Dad died in a highway accident just forty-four years old. My Dad, a pastor, had married Gayle and me just three weeks earlier. I was twenty-one, a senior in college. He left a modest home with a mortgage, a negligible bank balance, and a $4,000 life insurance policy.

Yet, the heritage he left me is of incalculable worth, even though not in property and wealth. Those are certainly desirable, a beneficial boost to a new generation when given wisely to them and used wisely by them. But there are less tangible things as important as property and wealth seem to be – such as personal example, core beliefs, priority of family and friendships, character, convictions, gratitude, Godly faith, moral values, fidelity, work ethic, family priorities, wise money management, generosity, and integrity.

Still today, my Dad’s words, wisdom, and example shape my personal, marital, relational, and ministry life. My friend, Carlos, often reminds me how frequently I quote my Dad’s words about practical areas of life and faith, even fifty years after his death.

The Bible says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 NKJV. One’s lifetime should be viewed through the lens of Godly generations. With six grandchildren and our first great-granddaughter, Kaylee Grace, Solomon’s words are meaningful to Gayle and me. When Solomon referenced, “a good man,” I think the inheritance he would leave included values and convictions more intrinsic to the man himself than his material wealth. I think I might distinguish the first as, “heritage,” differentiating the latter as, “inheritance.” Whatever your final net worth, substantial or minimal, live that your Godly influence extends to and blesses generations.

Ahab, a wicked king, envied a vineyard adjoining his palace, which belonged to Naboth. Ahab offered Naboth a even better vineyard or a just price. Read 1 Kings 21. There is something noble and Godly about Naboth’s response, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 1 Kings 21:3 NIV. Property and price were not the issue for him; honoring a sacred trust was. Naboth had received more than property; his vineyard was both an inheritance to enjoy and a heritage to protect. Protect the heritage you’ve been given and the one you will leave for those who follow. Every compromise of convictions steals something from the next generation.

What your “children and children’s children” value will reflect what you have consistently lived before them.I learned from my Dad this truth, “In his great mercy [Christ] has given us new birth . . into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV. I agree with King David; “Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance . . The [boundary] lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; [Surely], I have a good inheritance.” Psalms 16:5-6 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you have the courage of your convictions.

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