Friday, March 31, 2017

Devotion 3.31.17

Grace - Psalm 68

When does "grace" kick in?  When do we begin the process of "forgiving" someone or ourselves?  In today's political discourse, the answer based on the language of the multiple sides in the discussion seems to be "never."  It seems as though the last politician who understood power and the fact of the phrase "revenge is a dish best served cold" was LBJ.  His opponents never saw him coming, yet when he accomplished what he set out to do, they awoke to the fact that he had rendered them impotent.  Outwardly, though, LBJ was all smiles and handshakes making it appear that even his political enemy was his friend.

Today that is hardly the case.  We've learned the phrase "snowflake" and in-your-face politics seems to be the rule of thumb rather than the exception.  We've learned a generation was pampered beyond belief and the other hardened, cold, and indifferent.  If there is a middle ground, it is measured in some measurement smaller than a fraction of a millimeter, and the person who seeks it is deemed a betrayer of the party faithful. 

That seems to find its way into every day life as well.  Our ability to bend and give appears to be less and less.  So, we find it as no shock that in Christ's day, a question was posed about forgiveness.  In Matthew 18, the disciples ask how much they should forgive someone.  The legalistic question is posed, "Seven times?"  Seven times?! If seven times were the true measure, I would have no wife, no children, no friends.  I would truly be an island in a vast ocean of humanity, and in truth, so would you.  I get seven chances before I'm out? 

In Psalm 68, David speaks of God's love this way, "Blessed is the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.  Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death." (19 - 20)  We don't deserve the grace we receive, each of us, for anything we have done. Our God bears us up through His Son, Jesus Christ, because we are "jars of clay" that require forming daily.

Christ's answer to the question posed expanded it exponentially - "seventy times seven." He then told the parable of the unmerciful servant, whose own wretched life needed mercy and grace, yet after being given grace, he turned to a man in need and had him jailed.

Let's be prayerful that as followers of the light, we show that grace and mercy in truth despite the earthly rhetoric of yesterday, today, or in day's to come.  In truth, "And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.…" (Romans 3:23 - 25) We lift a prayer of thanksgiving for this grace we obtain undeserved.

Hope Men's Ministry

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