Viewing entries tagged
mercy

Agent Mercy

Friends

Do you know that you are an agent for the Lord?  You and I are called to be Agents of Love for the Lord.  We are called to be Agents of Faith for the Lord.  We are called to be Agents of Mercy for the Lord. 

When I was growing up I heard this song called “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers.  “There's a man who leads a life of danger...To everyone he meets he stays a stranger... Ah, be careful what you say... Secret agent man, secret agent man... They've given you a number and taken away your name.”  I know you are tapping your foot right now.  But each one of us is called for a purpose in life; that is to point people to God.

God wants you and I to know and to love Him.  That’s called worship.  He wants you and I to belong to His family.  That’s called fellowship.  He wants you and I to grow spiritually and become like Christ.  That’s called discipleship.  He wants you and I to learn how to serve other people and not be self-centered.  That’s called ministry.  Finally, He wants you and I to share the Good News with other people.  That’s called evangelism.

Mercy has application for every one of those purposes.  The Bible tells us that when you show mercy to other people it’s an act of worship.  It shows you love God.  The Bible says that when you show mercy it builds fellowship.  It brings people together.  The Bible says that when you show mercy you become more like Christ.  You grow spiritually.  The Bible says that when you show mercy it’s a service to other people.  It’s a ministry.  And the Bible says that when you show mercy it is a form of your evangelism (mission) of sharing the Good News.

You fulfill your purpose in life by showing mercy to other people.

Did you know that mercy is God’s number one characteristic in the Bible?  The world portrays God as a God of anger, judgment, cruel, and vengeful.  While the Bible does say that God is angry with the wicked and judges sin, His holy wrath is always tempered by His abundant mercy.

If you ever doubt the mercy of God, just look at the cross.  The bond between God the Father, and God the Son, is closer than any human bond ever could be.  Think of your relationship with your spouse, parents, or children and multiply the strength of that bond exponentially.  That’s just an idea of the kind of love the Father has for the Son.  Yet despite that bond, the Father showed us mercy by sending His Son to die.

God loves you with a loyal love that is full of mercy.  He is not just some cosmic grumpy old man who sits up there in the sky waiting for you to mess up so He can judge you. No, He is a loving father who earnestly desires for you to know and love Him.

But He also gives you and me the responsibility of telling others about Him.  Remember the best way to tell others about His mercy is to demonstrate it every day.  Matthew 5:7 NLT, “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” Think about it this way, what you give, you’re going to get.  You have got to learn to be an agent of mercy if you want God’s blessing on your life.

How can I be more merciful? 

Show mercy to others daily.

Ephesians 2:4-5 TEV says, “God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved.”  God wants you to pass on the mercy that you have received from him.

It is a command not a suggestion.

Do you want a summary of what life’s all about?  Micah 6:8 GWT “The LORD has told you what is good.  This is what the LORD requires from you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to live humbly with your God.”

 

If you live you will need mercy too.

You are going to make a lot of mistakes between now and when you get to Heaven, and you are going to need God’s mercy when you do.  But you cannot receive what you are unwilling to give.  James 2:13 NCV says, “You must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you.  But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.”

Showing mercy brings happiness.

Matthew 5:7 NIV says that “God blesses those who are merciful.  The word “blessed” also means “happy,” so the more you learn and demonstrate this quality, the more blessed and happier you are going to be.

So, let the world see the love of Jesus Christ both in you and through you.  When you live like that around others, they will see a window to the character of God.

I want to share an old story with you in closing about giving mercy.  An old man was walking the beach early one morning, bending down to pick up starfish and throwing them out into the ocean.  A teenager came by and asked, "Old man, what are you doing?"

"These starfish will die of dehydration once the sun comes up high," he said.  "I'm throwing them back into the ocean so they will live."

"Ha!" the young man spat sarcastically”.  The beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish.  What does it matter what you do?"

The old man looked at the starfish in his hand and then flipped it to safety in the waves. "It matters to this one," he said.

What you do for others does make a difference.  Your acts of mercy matter.  Are you a person of mercy? 

Show others a glimpse of God’s mercy by showing them mercy each moment of the day.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

We need you Sunday don’t stay home!

Mercy Is A Ministry

Friends
 
I want to tell you how much I love you.  Carolinas Cornerstone Church is a great place to be.  I have watched our church become a Mercy giving place.  Thank you for all you do.  Thank you for stepping up and helping people when they need help.  One of my favorite verses in all the Bible is 1 Corinthians 12:7 Message, “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:  Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.”
 
When I think about Mercy three people come to my mind.  The Good Samaritan, Mother Teresa, and the Apostle John.  
 
Why would someone risk their own safety, upend their schedule, deplete their bank balance, and become dirty and bloody to help a person of another race and social class?  And why would Jesus tell us, “Go and do likewise”?
 
The Good Samaritan did not ignore the battered man on the Jericho road.  Like him, we are aware of people in need around us—the widow next door, the family strapped with medical bills, the homeless man outside our church.  God calls us to help them, whether they need shelter, assistance, medical care, or just friendship.
 
Mother Teresa, at the age of twelve, felt strongly the call of God.  She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ.  At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.  After a few months training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun.  From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.  Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children.  Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.
 
On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after.  Now that is Mercy!
 
Do you have a real heart for people?  Do you feel tenderness toward others?  Are you concerned with finding ways of showing kindness?  You may have the gift of mercy. 
One of the people who best exemplifies the gift of mercy in the New Testament is the apostle John.  One of the foremost characteristics of the person gifted with mercy is love, and of all the apostles, John is the one who wrote the most about love -the love of God, the commandments of Jesus to love one another, and extensive admonitions to the early believers about love.  John valued love highly and often referred to himself as "the one whom Jesus loved."  To have been loved by Jesus was the highest reward and the most meaningful mark of identification that John felt he could claim for himself
 
Mercy is love in action.  Mercy is not just talk.  Mercy is not emotions.  It’s not just feelings. It’s certainly a whole lot more than pity.  Mercy is compassionate.  It’s showing compassion to other people.  Do you realize that everyone has the gift of Mercy?  It is yours!  God wants you to have plenty of it.  Jude 1:2 NIV says, Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”
 
Why should we show mercy to people?  It is a way to show the love of Jesus Christ.  People need the Lord!  There is nothing else that can fill the BIG HOLE in our life but HIM!
 
Jesus was the very embodiment of God's love - He was God's "only begotten son," sent to this world as an expression of God's infinite love for mankind.  Jesus always acted in a merciful, loving way to people in need. He saw and responded to inner needs as much as to outer material or physical needs.  His desire and goal was that mankind be reconciled to God the Father and experience God's forgiveness and unconditional love.
 
John 3:17 NASV "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved"
 
If you ever doubt the mercy of God, just look at the cross.  The bond between God the Father and God the Son is closer than any human bond ever could be.  Think of your relationship with your spouse, parents, or children and multiply the strength of that bond exponentially.  That’s just an idea of the kind of love the Father has for the Son.  Yet despite that bond, the Father showed us mercy by sending His Son to die.
 
God loves you with a loyal love that’s full of mercy.  He’s not just some cosmic grumpy old man who sits up there in the sky waiting for you to mess up so He can judge you. No, He’s a loving father who earnestly desires for you to know and love Him.
 
But He also gives you and me the responsibility of telling others about Him.  And the best way to tell others about His mercy is to demonstrate it every day.  So, let the world see the love of Jesus Christ both in you and through you.  When you live like that around others, they will see a window to the character of God.
 
2 Corinthians 4:1 ESV says, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”  Please don’t give up, you are changing the world for Jesus!
 
Make Every Day Count!
 
Barry
 
Pray this prayer today:
“God, I want your blessing in my life, and I want to be a merciful person.  I think of shortcomings and weaknesses in my own life.  I pray that rather than just hearing the Word, I would do something about it.  Give me the courage to be merciful.  Give me the strength this day to step out in faith and do radical, premeditated acts of mercy that point others to you.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Mercy Matters

Friends

I would like to ask you a question, do you understand God?  One of the purposes of the I‘ll Take Mercy series is to help you better understand what God is really like.  Most people have misconceptions of God.  They don’t understand fully, the deep and unending mercy of God.

Just stop and listen to me for a moment, every good thing in your life is because of the mercy of God.  You would not be alive if it weren’t for the mercy of God.  The talents, the gifts, the abilities you have are gifts of the mercy of God.  The fact that all of the good things, the relationships that happen in your life, the fact that you’re going to go to Heaven one day, is only due to the mercy of God.  Without that we would have nothing.

 The Bible says in Titus 3:5 NLT says this “(Jesus) he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”

God is such a God of mercy He came to earth in human form, just to prove the point! He came on a mission of mercy and that mission was to save us. In fact, Jesus says it like this in Luke 19:10 GNT Jesus:The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

This is the ultimate expression of mercy.  Jesus said the whole reason He came to earth, why we have Christmas, why we have Easter, why we have everything that exists, is because of Luke 19:10.  The ultimate expression of mercy.  Mercy seeks, mercy takes the initiative, mercy makes the first step.  Mercy saves!

 And by the way, this is the reason Carolinas Cornerstone Church exists.  The whole reason we have church is because of this verse.  We exist to seek and to save those who are lost.

No matter who you are and no matter what you have done, God loves you, and He wants you to come home to Him.  He wants to shower His grace on you.  He wants to throw a party for you when you return.

The Bible says in Romans 4:16 ICB, The promise is not only for those people that live under the law of Moses. It is for anyone who lives with faith like Abraham.”

Who are the people who “live under the law of Moses”?  The Jewish people, the nation of Israel, lived under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament.  This verse is saying that God’s grace is available not just to Jews who live under the Law of Moses.  It is available to everybody with faith.

That’s good news! God’s grace is not just for Jewish people.  It’s for all of us.  All of us can come to God in the same way: through faith in the grace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Does “everybody” include short people?  Yes.  Does it mean rich people and poor people?  Yes.  Does it include politicians and blue-collar workers?  Yes.  Does it include people from every ethnic background?  Yes.  Does that mean people from every country in the world?  Yes!

It means everybody.  Everybody! God’s grace is available to you.  You cannot understand what it means to have a relationship with God without understanding grace. Without grace, you don’t have any relationship with God.  Grace is the heart of Christianity, the heart of following Christ, and the heart of being a believer.  Please remember: No matter what you have done and no matter who you are, God’s grace is available to you.

So, after you give your life to Jesus, everything should be rosy, right? Yeah, sorry, but life does not work out like that. Remember that broken thing we call a world? Things are not going to always go the way we plan, and that’s not God’s fault.  But remember in times when you face challenges, or when your world seems to be falling apart, you still have plenty of reasons to be grateful as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

No one escapes trials in life.  When pursuing your God-given dreams, you are on a collision course with challenges and disappointments.  But these don’t have to derail your destiny!

God is able to keep you from stumbling in your spiritual life!  No matter how far you have drifted away from God, no matter what has become a sinful habit in your life, no matter how dim your hope has become that anything can change, no matter how many times you have tried to change and failed, God is able to pick you up and get you going again.

Here are a few things you and I need to remember when going through hard times:

#1 remember God is in control.  So, don’t demand to understand all the challenges in life.  Just trust in God’s plan.

#2, remain faithful no matter what the cost.  Don’t give up and quit on your dream no matter what you face.  Ask God to give you the strength to stay faithful to what He’s called you to do.

#3, reject bitterness.  Refuse to allow disappointment to cause a root of bitterness to spring forth in your life.  There is nothing Satan would like more than to let un-forgiveness distract you from God’s plan for your life.

#4, rest in the providence of God.  Be assured that His invisible hand is working in you and in your life.  Don’t try to push or manipulate God’s will for your life.

Wait for God’s timing, and in due season, you will get a better picture of why God allowed you to go through your trials and failures.

Remember what God has brought you through and get excited about where He is taking you.  When you do, you will be able to live with an attitude of gratitude no matter what your circumstances are!

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Don’t stay home Sunday, come and help us lead people to Jesus Christ!

God Uses Mercy

Friends

Being a person who loves history, I love reading biographies of people who have helped change the world we live in.  I am amazed from where they start to where they end up.  Each time I have engaged in a serious study of someone, I always brace myself for surprises.  What I have learned is that the greater the life the more shocking the surprises.  You can always count on it, the circumstances and events that led to greatness in that person took place in the early, hidden years, when few were looking and no one cared.

I have read at least one biography of every president of the United States.  Most would assume the office of President would be a fitting climax to an already prestigious life.  After all, anyone who becomes president surely grew up with some sort of a silver spoon background, emerging naturally into the limelight before beginning an easy slide into the role of president. 

This could not be further from the truth for America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln.  He grew up in a primitive log cabin in Kentucky.  His father was an illiterate, wandering laborer, his mother a frail sickly woman.  His mother passed away when he was 9 years old. 

Abraham Lincoln started his first business in 1831 and it failed miserably.  A year later he ran for state legislature unsuccessfully.  That same year he lost his job and applied for law school but was laughed out of consideration because of his miserable qualifications.   Years later he borrowed money form a friend to start another business, it failed.  Lincoln claimed bankruptcy and spent the next 17 years paying off debts.

Believe it or not, his story gets worse! In 1835, he fell deeply in love with Ann Rutledge only to have his heart broken when she died soon after their engagement.  The following year he had a nervous breakdown and spent 6 months in bed recovering.

But wait! There’s MORE! (talk about a life of Job!!):

•1838 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature and was defeated

• 1840 he sought to become elector of the state and was defeated

•1843 he ran for Congress and lost

•1846 he ran again for Congress and won

•1848 he lost reelection.

•1849 he sought the job of land officer in his home state but was rejected

1854 he ran for Senate of the United States, he lost

1856 he ran for Vice President from his party, he lost very badly

1858 he ran for the U.S. Senate again, lost again

•Finally, in 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency of the United States and soon after endured the most devastating war our country has ever experienced.  He was re-elected for a second term.  On the April 14th, 1865, he was assassinated.  He was only 60 years old.

Through all the disappointment in his life he never gave up!   Please remember God used Abraham Lincoln to change the course of history, and he was faithful no matter what came his way.  He wants to use you too!  He wants to change the world through you. 

The greatest joy in life – nothing compares to the thrill of this – is the thrill of being used by God for a purpose greater than yourself.  Nothing else comes close.  If you have never actually had the feeling that you were being used by God, in the moment, for the particular purpose that He put you here for, then I feel sad for you.  You are missing out.  Literally nothing else compares to this feeling; when you know that you are being obedient, and DOING what God designed you to do. Even when in the moment you feel like you can’t, it’s too big, too much, too scary, too (insert excuse here), but you finally understand, and just obey!  This is why you are alive. This is your identity.  This is your niche.  You finally KNOW why you were made!

You were made for far more than just living for yourself.  If you just live for yourself you are going to live a very frustrated life, a very unfulfilled life, and eventually a very bored life because you’re not a big enough cause to live for.  You need something bigger than yourself that pulls you out of yourself, that makes you bigger than yourself, greater than yourself.  Wherever you go, you will know this is what you were made for.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:4 TEV “Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.”   

That is such a counter-culture verse.  Everything in our culture conditions us to think first of ourselves.  We don’t think about other people naturally.  That is something we have to learn to do.  We naturally think about our needs, our desires, our goals, and our ambitions.  As a result, we have millions of people disconnected because they are only thinking of themselves and not anyone else’s needs.

During a two-hour period of down time, (I know you won’t believe I actually do try to get some of that when I can). I was watching TV, and I saw three commercials with the same by-line: “You deserve it.” “Buy this shampoo!  You deserve it.” “Buy this expensive car, because you deserve it!”  We are taught that we are the supreme value in life.

Let me teach you two very basic truths about life.  First, the world does not revolve around you.  You are very special in God’s eyes, and you were created for a purpose—but the world does not revolve around you. If you want to know how much you’d be missed, stick your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out, and see what kind of hole you leave.  It fills back up pretty quickly doesn’t it!

The second truth is this: God has promised that when you focus on meeting the needs of other people, He will meet your needs.  Why?  Because He wants you to learn to be unselfish. He wants you to learn to be loving and generous like He is.  Part of being considerate of other people’s needs is making allowances for their faults and not expecting them to be perfect (Colossians 3:13 NIV).  You are not perfect, so why should you demand it of anybody else?  God wants to use everybody, so team up with everybody and change the world for Jesus.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Come this Sunday and learn, every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future