Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Your Father is merciful
by Erik Momsen
Being in step with the Lord is largely dependant on knowing how the Lord walks. In other words, to draw close to God one must know where and what the Lord is like. To be on the Lord's side one must understand His ways and then start aligning ones thoughts and actions with those.
This is one reason why "new age" post modernism is so deluded. This form of thinking rejects thousands of years of accumulated biblical thinking and elevates the great "I" above all other opinions.
GOD OF MERCY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Despite a general conception that the God of the Old Testament is a God of judgement and wrath, there are many references to His Mercy. This mercy is also fundamental to this people drawing close to Him. The return of a sinful people to their God is dependant on their repentance but also their realisation that the God that they return to is a God of Mercy.
Hosea chapter 6 is a call by the prophet for repentance and a return to a merciful God. The calls are to a relationship with God. He writes;
"Come let us return to the Lord." (v.1)
"That we may live in His presence." (v.2)
"Let us acknowledge the Lord." (v.3)
"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings." (v.6)
We might paraphrase this scripture by saying "Draw close to the Lord and act like Him".
Biblical scholars describe Micah 6:8 as the pinnacle of the Old Testament. "He has shown you, O man. what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah ends his prophecy with the words;
"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy." (Micah 7:18).
AN UNMERCIFUL PERSON
Matthew 18:21- 35 records a parable about two debtors, or sinners, and a merciful Master. The story is about God writing off a vast array of sins in one man and yet the man will not extend that same mercy and forgiveness to someone who owes him relatively little. The Master hears about the man’s merciless ways and throws him into prison with the lesser sinner. The end result is that both men are imprisoned.
The bible teaches that we have been forgiven much, loved much and received great blessing. We in turn, return this same blessing to others.
The final words of this parable are;
"Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you"? (18:33)
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (18:35).
MERCY IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS
The church and individual believers are to create an environment of mercy and not judgement. The world works on a system of performance and failure whereas we are a community of love, faith and hope. The greatest catalyst of reconciliation between God and man is forgiveness, and the same goes for our relationships. We can probably only speak of real relationships once there has been real forgiveness between people. We say, "I accept and love you for who you are and what you do". This is what our Heavenly Father does for us daily.
When there has been real and painful sins committed against us we purpose in our hearts to forgive for Christ’s sake. Because he suffered to allow my forgiveness, I will not use your debt against you and I will forgive you by the power of the Spirit. "For he himself is our peace, who has destroyed the dividing wall of hostility ... to reconcile both of them to God through the cross." (Ephesians 4:14, 16).
The majority of people know their sin. They are only running away from God because they either do not know how to break from that sin or they do not know the rewards of obedience. They are running from God because they think he is a God of wrath and not mercy.
You might be the only glimpse of God they get. Will they get mercy or judgement? People need to see "some God with flesh on" and you are probably it.
Date Added: 2009-07-07
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