"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Merit or Mercy

The blessing and favor of God cannot be merely a matter of merit; it must be a matter of mercy. Recently I began to mentally itemize the reasons that God should bless me. The Spirit quickly began His own itemized list of reasons as to why I should not be blessed. The Spirit's list was longer and more significant than my list. God was trying to remind me that His blessing and favor flows out of His mercy and not my merit. Trust!

1 comment:

  1. Post 'salvation event' mercy flows out of obediance.
    God told Asa in II Chron. 15:2, "...The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you."
    Psalm 66:18, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
    Proverbs 1:28-29, "Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord." Yea, the fear of the Lord is a choice (Proverbs 8:13, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil:...")
    In Isaiah 1:2-4 & 11-15 God said that because of the peoples disobediance, their worship was in vain and He was not listening.
    In Isaiah 59:1-2 God said, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid (his) face from you, that he will not hear.
    Yes, the design and implimentation of the plan of salvation came about without my knowledge, permission, or help. It was pure mercy.
    But to partake in that plan takes work.
    In Matthew 3, the first word out of John Baptist mouth was the word 'repent'. In Matthew 4, after His 40 day fast, the first word out of Jesus mouth was the word 'repent'. In Acts 2 in answer to the question, 'what must we do' the first word out of Peters mouth was the word 'repent'.
    Repentance is not just a mental assent. It is heart felt faith mixed with action. It wasn't enough that the Pharisees and Sadducees showed up. John Baptist said bring proof you've repented.
    Paul preached to some John Baptist disciples at Ephesis in Acts 19. He later wrote to them and explained more fully what happened at that conversion event. In Ephesians 1:13 he said, "...after that ye believed,..." you got the Holy Ghost. What was the proof they believed? They went to the water in Acts 19:5. God honored their work of faith by sealing them, or putting His stamp of ownership on them.
    So yes, The plan came about without my help. But to get into the family of God I have to obey with concrete action. I have to repent, get baptised in Jesus name. If God sees that things are right and in order He will put His mark of ownership on me (the Holy Ghost). Then I have to live a holy life. Holiness, at it's most fundimental level is not a hair length or a dress length. It is a life style that flows out of a definate, deliberate, voluntary transfere of undivided possession, control, and use of my entire being for His glory.