Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Mercy of our Loving Lord!

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40)
Preparation seems to be the key thought here. We are to be expectantly waiting for our Lord's return. And not simply in expectation, but ready to go, a workman who is not ashamed at his coming. Will the Master find you eagerly preparing and looking for him, or will he find you unprepared and careless?  Prove what sort of disciple you are!

Prove yourselves therefore to be men and women of God who are not only ready when he comes, but able to be set to a task in the regeneration, and faithful to complete it.

Another portion of scripture has come to mind in 2nd Peter chapter 3. This passage is eschatological and also speaks of those who consider the Lord's delay as license to blaspheme and sin.

Are you growing weary in well-doing? Do you sometimes think your portion in this life is too great to bear? Is bitterness over our Lord's patience getting the best of you?

When Peter asked if this parable was for all or just for the disciples, Christ answer was, in a sense, Be patient in your work and faithful to the end for bitterness can creep in. The answer is found and Peter’s comments in 2nd Peter 3:9 when we see the great patience of our Lord with us, and remember His kindness to us, we can be patient in the work, even if the work be hard and the day be long. We serve a loving God.

If he was so loving to you, even in your hatred of him (Rom 5:6-10), to save you, we ought to be the same to others. Peter tells us the same, in this way, “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” (2 Peter 3:11b - 15a)
Finally consider the justice of our God. He sees through the hypocrite (v.46), his punishment is meted out fairly – to some more deserving of it more stripes, to others deserving but not aware they had crossed the line, few stripes. Even think on this: Because our God is just (by definition) His Son died on the cross, the just for the unjust (1st Peter 3:18).

The net result this transaction is God can appear to justly ‘bend’ the rules. Not that he does not fairly apply it, but the letter of the law may demand many stripes yet the party may receive a few. How can a just God do so and still be just?
Read Psalm 85.
All our sin – covered forgiven in Christ.
All His wrath – Removed and turned toward Christ

This is all in verse 2-3.  The golden verses on this Psalm are 10-13. 

10     Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11     Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12     Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13     Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

God can indeed be merciful to us, and justly, because His Son met the demand of the law.

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