Do you need mercy? Have you received His grace?

What if you broke the law and are standing before a judge. You deserve to go to jail. But the judge is merciful and doesn’t punish you as you deserve. He might make you do community service.

Suppose you did something so bad at work that you should be fired. Your boss is merciful and gives you another chance.

God be merciful to me a sinner. Forgive me.

Mercy is God forgiving us and not punishing us as we deserve. Death and Hell are the consequences of sin which we deserve. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

Grace is a gift we do not deserve. A present. An unexpected blessing. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is salvation. Grace is forgiveness of our sins. Grace is the gift of eternal life.

What if you are standing before the judge who gives you a full pardon for your crimes and wipes your record clean. The pardon is an example of grace. It is an unexpected, unmerited gift. You no longer are condemned.

Suppose you are at work. Your boss walks in and hands you a big check. “I’m giving this to you just because I like you. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. That’s grace.”

It’s like that with God. He loves us and has given us grace, His salvation. We don’t have to work for it.

“For by grace you are saved through faith and not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Have you asked God to be merciful to you, to forgive you for your sins?

Have you received God’s grace, a full pardon?

 

 

 

 

 

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First day of school

I was five when the school district divided the city of Buffalo. It required me to ride a  bus for an hour to the opposite side of town for a half day of kindergarten.

Mom planned to walk me across the street and down a thousand yards to the nearby school. So Mom didn’t send me to kindergarten.

When I turned six, Mom took me to the bus stop and waited until I was safely in the bus. Then I rode an hour across the city to attend first grade.

That first day we were taken to the  gymnasium, a big scary place. A lady called our names for us to go with another woman. My name was never called and I stood there, the only child, alone. So I cried. They said my mother hadn’t registered me.

By the end of the day everything was sorted out and I had a nice teacher. Unfortunately, she put me on the wrong bus to go home. When the bus stopped close to dark, I lifted my head over the big seats, and again I was alone. And I cried.

But my mother had prepared me. I could recite my full name, address and phone number, knew my parents’ names, could count to a hundred and say the ABCs.

When I finally got home, my parents smiled and hugged me.

The best a parent can do is to prepare his child to go out into the world. But no parent can watch over his child every minute.

Only God can protect his little ones all the time. The Lord was watching over me that first day of school.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.” Luke 18:16

 

 

 

 

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Scriptures were not numbered Bible verses in the beginning

I imagine that the Apostles’ letters were read in one setting like we read a letter.

I’m not a theologian. In Bible College, if one of us asked the meaning of a verse, the teacher always said. “Read the portion before and after, so we hear the verse in context. Never take scripture out of context while studying God’s Word.”

While reading the whole section, the meaning often became clear.

If that’s true, why do I only put one or two verses in posts? Shouldn’t I use the whole portion of scripture? My devotions started with a short African incident or story that reminded me of a scripture. So I wrote a meditation sharing a Biblical concept.

My posts are my thoughts or opinions, not Bible studies. Using a verse, which goes along with an idea is not taking the verse out of context. And memorizing a specific verse to quote in a time of need is not misusing scripture.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“Cast all you cares on Him because He cares for you.”

But no matter what verses we quote, it’s wise to learn them accurately.

“God never gives us too much,” or “God helps those who help themselves,” are not Bible verses.

Let’s be diligent in studying God’s Word and use it wisely.

False doctrines and cults can get started by taking scripture out of context.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

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