TODAY’S DEVOTION (Tuesday 24th December 2019)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 358th DAY OF OUR YEAR OF GOING FORWARD.
As we get closer and closer to the consummation of all things, there are seasons that will keep coming and going. One of such seasons is the man-made season called festive seasons. Mostly the Christmas season.
It may interest you to know that Jesus never celebrated His birthday, neither did He tell anyone to do. That is why the exact date of His birth is still a mystery. The closest revelation of the date of His birth can be found in Jewish Historic books and most scholars put it at around April and September. Not even December as many believe.
The December date was picked to replace a pagan festival where the god of sex and misrule is worshiped. I shared about these things in our 2017 Christmas service.
That explains why the apostles never celebrated Christmas. Go through the entire new testament, you will never find where the birth of Christ was celebrated. However, we can use the season not to do, not what the religious heathen taught the world to do during the season but to show mercy to others.
That is why I will be sharing about God’s mercy in our devotional today! It is going to be a long devotional. So, I will crave your patience. But let us begin with some truths on grace and mercy.
I have come to realize that there is s generation that specializes in frustrating the mercy of God. That generation is called “vessels of wrath.” It is a generation of those who do not know how to respond positively to God’s mercy. They see it as a right instead of a seed. They do not make use of it to turn from wicked ways and do the right things. I remember sharing this truth again and again, both on this platform and on our interface meetings in our Church fellowships!
This generation return evil for every good God has done to them, even to the point of becoming lesbians and gay.
They call the killing of unborn babies “evacuation.” And promote the right of those who desire to do so. If you look at the Church, you see the same generation taking its place from the pulpit to the pew. But God is not willing that any should perish, but that all of us should come to repentance!
When we began this season’s devotionals, we did share that God’s Mercy is not just a need but a seed. Those who do not understand that will take His mercy for granted and end up being destroyed.
THEY WILL MAKE USE OF HIS MERCIES AND TURN IT INTO A FERTILIZER FOR SIN AND WICKEDNESS.
That is why you find a young lady who aborts the first Child successfully, going to abort the second and the third without even thinking of repentance. You find people who get involved in sinful acts going back to them again and again because there was no immediate consequence. You find men and women becoming hardened to God’s word and ways because of His mercies upon their lives.
A man once said to an evangelist that he will commit so much sin and get God so angry that when he dies and appear before Him in the Day of Judgment, God will be so angry and will carry him to throw Him into hell. But because of the level of anger He will mistakenly throw him into Heaven without realizing it. That is how depraved many have become.
We need to understand that when God show a man mercy, He expects something in return and that thing is not money or any other offering. What God expects in return is repentance! We see this all through the scriptures. The most common of the scriptures is the story of the woman caught in Adultery. The Bible says,
“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:3-11 NKJV
The issue in this story is not being caught in adultery. All of us are sinners because sin is living in us. Is just that some of us are no longer living that life of sin. We are ex sinners, while many of us are still practicing sinners. So, the issue is not her sin. The issue in the story is what the women did after finding herself in adultery. The made use of God’s mercy!
Often times when this story is told in Church, the preachers major on the part that says “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” because of our lack of willingness to live a righteous life. We major in the minor because many are living in sin and not ready to be rebuked or corrected. But the most important part of this story so long as the mercy of God is concerned, is the last part.
JESUS LOOKED UP AND SAID TO THE WOMAN, NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU “GO AND SIN NO MORE.”
That was a seed of Mercy sown into her life to reap a harvest of repentance. If God were not interested in a harvest of repentance, He would not have charged her to go and sin no more.
You see grace and truth in action here. Grace told her “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.” Truth told her “GO AND SIN NO MORE”. That is how grace and truth work together to save a sinner from a sinful life.
Grace does not condemn, because every sinner is condemned already. Grace imparts a sinner to abandon his sinful lifestyle and do truth. That is why I tell people if you say you are under grace but live in sin you are not under grace but under grass. Every grace from God brings truth to our hearts. It is the truth that grace brings and the grace that truth brings that changes a man from the inside.
When we fall into sin, grace will come to pick us up and truth will follow to keep us up! With grace and truth, we can pick up our broken lives and begin a fresh walk with the LORD. That is why any grace that lack truth will destroy those who receive it and any truth that lack grace will weaken those who receive it.
Jesus came full of grace and truth. Not grace or truth alone!
Truth urges sinners to repent and rebukes them when they repeat their sins. And grace “impart” them do what Truth says should be done. Truth urges and grace enables.
THAT IS WHY A BALANCED GOSPEL WILL BE FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH, NOT GRACE ALONE AND NOT TRUTH ALONE.
But, to many Christians today, when Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more” it was a divine approval for wicked conduct. They do not see, the GO AND SIN NO MORE part of that scripture. They just see, “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU.” Hence when you rebuke them for sins they are secretly or openly involved in, they scream at you saying, “you have no right to condemn me, we are all sinners.”
And my response to that kind of a generation has always been this; “we are not all sinners. If we are all still sinners after Christ has died and poured His Spirit upon us, then we are wicked. We are not all sinners my friend. Some of us have been blood washed and enabled by grace to obey the word of truth and righteousness.” Hallelujah!
But if we begin to see God’s mercy as a seed, we will have the revelation to return the harvest. Repentance is the first harvest God expects from us as beneficiaries of His mercies, but there are other harvests. The next is living “a life of forgiveness and mercy” towards others. This is where what to do in a Christmas season comes in. Use the season to forgive. Show mercy through forgiveness!
Our devotional text today is a unique one. It is the shortest devotional text we have seen so far but holds maybe the longest lesson and principle of the kingdom. It says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
THIS REMINDS ME OF THE PARABLE OF THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT.
The Parable makes it clear that an unforgiving spirit always leads to bondage. It reveals why many in church today are in bondage and shows us that if God show a man mercy, apart from repentance from sin, He expects that man to extend same mercy to others who needs his mercy as well.
The man God may have shown mercy will undo it if he withholds mercy from those who needs it from him the way he needed it from GOD. The Bible says,
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:23-35 NKJV
If you look at this scripture, you will discover that two people ended up in prison. The one that refuse to extend mercy to the other and the one he withheld his mercy from. Jesus said God will do the same to us if we withhold mercy from people who have offended us. The truth is God has delivered many to spiritual torture because they refused to extend mercy to their fellow men.
This Christmas season is the best season we have in our hands to use in showing mercies to those who offended us by forgiving them their sins. We should not do what the demon they use this season to worship sway people to do. We should use it to extend or show mercy to others. That will deliver many from spiritual torture. The Bible says, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.”
MAYBE YOU ARE WONDERING AS A CHILD OF GOD WHY YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN FULL OF TORTURE AND YOUR PRAYERS NOT BEING ANSWERED.
Maybe you are wondering why you are going through this and that despite your prayers, fasting and giving. Maybe you or some prophets have blamed all your problems on some voices and demons crying against you from your village, coming to sleep with you at night, or even some generational curses.
You have pointed accusing fingers at everyone and everything except yourself. Now, start looking inward!
Is there someone you have refused to forgive? It could be your father, your mother, your sister, or brother? It could be the man who used and dumped you, or the woman who destroyed your entire life and disappeared? It could be your uncle or friend? It could be your boss? Maybe all your prayers have been that they “die by fire” instead of forgiving them, as GOD has said.
Something happened to me not too long ago. The LORD brought me in contact with one key person that offended me badly, without repentance. We met in a lift and we were just the two of us. I was not speaking with this person before then because I was angry. But when we met, I said to myself why did God allow this to happen? I quickly reached out to him and we reconciled.
Then it dawned on me that the LORD will not want me to cross into a new year with grudges. People may have grudges against me, but I should not have against them. It will guarantee a safe flight for me – a safe flight into 2020. Am in talks with even some people I justly sent out of the Church. I have considered few of them and I am passing them through a season of restoration. They are returning. I want to give them another chance. That is the spirit of the Kingdom!
When you sin against the LORD in a local Church, you should be discipline and told to leave for a season, depending on what you did. When you make use of your discipline and repent, we can bring you back. But those who wickedly departed from the ways of the LORD that I sent away am not bringing back. The reason is simply! I perceive they will use any other chance they get to destroy us further.
Beloved, I want to admonish you to use this festive season to forgive. But forgive with wisdom. Forgive some and bring back to your life. While others you forgive and keep away. But as much as lies within your power use it to enter a new year with a clear conscious and a loving heart.
DO NOT WITHHOLD MERCY FROM ANYONE!
Concerning the unforgiving servant, the Bible says, “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
That could be what is really crying against you in the spirit and not what your fathers did. Child of God, that could be why your life has been so torturous – with nothing working – no marriage, no ministry, no business, no company retains you in a job, no education, no good social life, and etc. you are just full of pains.
The greatest curse in life is not the curse in our father’s houses but the curse that comes when we withhold mercy from those who knee down before us in genuine repentance to ask for it. If God is against a man, no one can be for him; you must understand that.
If there is someone therefore, that you have refused to forgive for what he or she did to you, you must stop withholding mercy from him or her, especially those who have repented, and forgive them. You must release them from the spiritual prison you put them in so that you yourself can come out of torture.
YES, AS EARLIER STATED, SOME YOU WILL HAVE TO FORGIVE AND KEEP AWAY FROM YOUR LIFE FOREVER OTHERS YOU MUST FORGIVE AND BRING BACK TO YOUR LIFE.
Howbeit, one sign that you have forgiven a person is lies in how you feel each time they are mentioned. If you can pray for the person (I did not say against the person, I said for the person) asking the LORD to bless or save the soul, it’s a sign that you hold no grudge against the fellow. The truth remains, anyone you can happily intercede for, is no longer an enemy. So, carry out a check and may the Holy Spirit guide you further.
I believe the message of today’s devotional has been passed.
May the LORD use these words to improve your walk and talk with Him in Jesus precious name! May you pass into the New Year with no one crying against you for withholding mercies from them. Amen and amen!
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY!
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
“Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:14-21 NKJV