Mercy and grace are not something new with God!

The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. (Deuteronomy 4:27-30, NIV)

Christian believers often are confused about the grace that saves them. They often view grace as something new. They talk as if grace was recently found, languishing on a dusty shelf in a room filled with God’s gifts. Then after this gift of grace was found, God remarkably decides to gives it to us in a special way and unique way.

Grace is not something that God simply does as an action but rather one of the many acts that flow out from the attributes of God from His omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent essence and being. Our true understanding of His mercy and grace will always be blurred by our limited capacities, as God created beings even though we can be at the same time daunted by the scope of God’s love in granting us mercy and grace.

God’s unfathomable mercy by which He is able to lovingly see us as sinners and by His grace, to bestow on us His redeeming favor … is not new! God is who He always was, and who He will forever be (Malachi 3:6) and His mercies are new (Lamentations 3:22-23) only in sense that they flow endlessly by His grace into every new day.

God’s forgiveness was formally tied to a system of sacrifice to bring about the release from sin until Christ fulfilled all requirements for sacrifice and by His death brought redemption to all people, once and for all time, for all sin (1 Peter 3:18).  Still God always turned in mercy to those who sought Him in the Old Testament and gave grace to those who repented with a contrite heart. He welcomed back into His loving arms even those who had wandered so far that they worshiped false and useless gods which were made of wood and stone

The chosen people of the “First Covenant” and the followers of the “New Covenant” in Jesus Christ come to the same God and place their only redeeming hope in the same Living and Almighty God. God’s long-suffering and great mercy to see those who turn away from sin, selfishness, foolishness and falseness was and is always the same. His granting of favor through grace has always been the same because it flows from who God is and will forever be the same. Mercy and grace are not something new with God for they come from the God who is and will forever … be love.

He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8, KJ21)

Suggested Reading … Deuteronomy 4

An all-encompassing shield around us …

Lord, how they have increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me! Many there be that say of my soul, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me, my glory and the lifter up of mine head. (Psalm 3:1-3, KJ21)

There is much in life that can come against us. The battles can be inside of us with endless torrents of distresses, confusion and anxieties coming like menacing hordes overpowering our hearts with emotions and our minds with raging thoughts. The battles can come from stresses related to health issues and family interactions and commitments. These internal battles can come from or in response to our performances and obligations in roles and relationships related to our work and careers. The battles can be old coming from regretful actions and lingering consequences and the battles can be new ambushing us when we least expect them.

Real battles can also come against us from real enemies. Literal enemies that would wish to hurt, maim and even destroy us physically, emotionally, financially or by reputation. These combatant enemies can be individuals, or social, societal and even governmental entities but their intentions are always similar. They may desire possession of our place and position consumed by their selfish desires and gain. They may seek revenge and retaliation. They may even seek to damage us or even destroy us.

King David faced both the surging internal battles in his heart and mind and countless literal external intentional actions by enemies near and far bent on his destruction and the taking of his kingdom.
David offers the hope of a shield that would encompass protection from all that was coming against him both from the inside pressures and anxieties and from the literal battles with his enemies, wishing to destroy him. His only hope rested in the mighty shield of the Almighty God protecting him from all realms and all enemies that would come against him. In the midst of all that came against him, David knew and trusted that His Lord would come to him and fight for him. The Lord was David’s only glory and his only hope rested only in God alone.

We may face different pressures and anxieties than David faced and we may never face literal enemies bent on our destruction but we have the same Deliverer who protects us with an all-encompassing shield against all that would come against us. To the Lord alone, we give all glory for He alone can deliver us. He is the only true hope for strength, peace and deliverance from all that would come against us.

Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah (Psalm 3:8, ESV)

Suggested Reading … Psalm 3


The agreeable soil of our hearts …


This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.  (Luke 8:11-15, NLT)

In the soil of our hearts lies the potential of the abundance of God’s blessing and beauty. The soil is the substance that God imparts life to. The seeds of faith in God come through the gift and grace of His presence and in His Word which He will plant and cause to grow in the soil of our hearts when we are soft and agreeable to Him. The Holy Spirit will then nurture and give life to the plant of faith imparted to us.

If we are hard to God’s Word, always closing ourselves off to the moisture and nourishment which He gives, we will fade in the heat of the day. If we are seeking other sources of sustenance, we will be choked off from the life that His Spirit will lead us to. If we are unsure about Christ being life to us, we will be smothered by the other things and the life He so freely gives, will be pushed aside. If we do not trust in the life He gives, our roots will not grow deep and we will die in our faith as immature plants. If we do not see the evil weeds around us competing for nourishment, they will sap the strength we need in our life with Christ.

Be soft and agreeable to God, His Word and His Spirit. Let Christ bring you new life as He teaches, refines and nourishes you. Do not be fooled into thinking other sources can bring you true life. Don’t be rebellious to the only true life for our souls. And don’t let temptations, cares, riches and pleasures ever choke out the potential, abundance and beauty that only He can bring to the soil of your heart. Let God have His way with the soil of your heart.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:12-15 ESV).

Suggested Bible Reading … Luke 8 & Hebrews 3

A repost from 2013