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Mercy

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“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

This time of year, there are lots of opportunities to show mercy and do good deeds for others.  Food banks, children’s organizations, churches, etc. are looking for donations to provide Christmas gifts and food for the less fortunate in our areas.  Number five on our list is very appropriate.

MERCY AND GOOD DEEDS

It is not a question of asking God for wisdom as to whether we should get involved in these things, it is asking Him for wisdom as to what organizations to support.  A few years ago, our Senior’s group in our church decided we needed to reach out in some way to others in our community, so we organized a food drive and were able to donate boxes of food to two Refugee families.  I am sure it was a blessing, but we realized that other groups in the Community were doing this every year and were much more equipped to do it.  So, I believe that is was wisdom from the Lord, that gave us a better idea.

We now each have a small jar that sits on our tables, with a label on it, reading “Senior’s Generosity Fund.”  Loonies, toonies and other loose change fills these bottles which are brought to the church in November.  Last year we gave cheques to two local charities so that they could make Christmas for people they knew in need.  This year, our response has been even greater, and we expect to reach out to two or three organizations again.

God has been so merciful to us, and we just want to give back to others.  His wisdom shows us that is His will.

Tomorrow we will look at Impartiality.

Prayer:  Thank you Jesus, for all the wonderful blessings you have bestowed on us.  Help us to give back to others as you give us wisdom and direction.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34—35.

The love we express to one another is a living testimony that we are the disciples of Jesus. People will know if our words are void and lack true emotion, but true love will be expressed from our hearts.

The Power of a Heartbeat

The human heart begins to beat at the first month of conception. From the moment it starts beating until the moment it stops, the human heart works tirelessly to give you life. When the human heart stops beating, the body cannot survive.

  • The average heart beats 72 times per minute.
  • In the course of 1 day it beats over 100 thousand times.
  • In 1 year it beats approximately 38 million times.
  • By the time a person turns 70 years old it has beaten 2.5 billion times.

Our heart beats automatically, without having to think about it because it was built for a purpose. God has formed our hearts to express love and to prove there is life.

The Heartbeat of Our Savior

The heartbeat of Jesus was vibrantly loud as He hung on the cross, and it is in the flow of His blood streaming down from Calvary that we can experience forgiveness, mercy, and love.

God’s heart is beating right now and it will never stop beating. It is beating for you, it is beating for your family, it is beating for your coworkers, it is beating for the broken, it is beating for the world.

  • What is your heart beating for?
  • What is your hearts desire?
  • Do you desire a heavenly heartbeat?

Today, let’s pray for the heartbeat of God.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I would feel your heartbeat. Let me love what You love and love who You love. I desire for my heart to beat after Yours. Lay a persons name on my heart to pray for. In Jesus name.

The book of Hosea describes a heartrending love story of a unilateral love affair. Hosea is instructed by God to marry Gomer, a harlot. The Bible is intentional with every word, story, and text; God is teaching us that He loves us, even at our worst, and even when we run from Him.

Hosea and Gomer live together as man and wife. She bears three children and all seems well, until a yearning for the strange paths of her old life. After meditating on distant horizons, she makes the decision to return to the streets to become a woman of the night once more. She adorns herself and seeks to find former lovers.

Far Away From Home

This fantasy world breathes a false sense of belonging. Perhaps there are parties, friends, and laughter, but the fun is only a facade. Life begins to deteriorate at a rapid pace.

Soon Gomer’s beauty fades and her laughter is only a memory. She is penniless, homeless, and filled with despair.

Gomer’s inability to pay her debts forces her into slavery. She is too poor to buy food. In time, she is no longer useful to her master and he takes her to the auction to sell her to the highest bidder.

Hosea 3:1-3, “The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels[a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek[b] of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

Come Home

Hosea, brokenhearted and his children abandoned, discovers Gomer’s predicament and arrives at the auction block with every asset he has acquired: fifteen pieces of silver and 1.5 homers of barley.

Beautiful Gomer is reduced to a broken, unwanted, and unattractive woman. She is wrinkled and gaunt and her eyes have lost their luster. Her clothes are ragged and soiled, hanging on her skinny frame. She has no shoes and her whole body shakes with apprehension.

She cannot look into Hosea’s eyes. 

Hosea is undaunted by her appearance, unfazed by her avoiding look. He pays the asking price and takes her to be restored to her rightful place—home.

God puts this example in the Bible to help us understand the agape love with which he loves the lost, the broken, the runaways.

He asks us to love them as He loved us. A lost soul may have a beautiful outward appearance, but spiritually they are disfigured. God wants us to love them. God desires for us to forgive them, too. He is the God of restoration and hope.

If you feel like you are Gomer, know that God manifests Himself above a seat of mercy, not judgment. He loves you with an everlasting love.

Come home today.