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Friday, October 30, 2015

Perfect in Mercy

Several years ago, I asked the Lord, "Why do You say in Isaiah 55 that Your thoughts and ways are than ours and yet You tell us in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the "mind of Christ?"

And the Lord told me to read Isaiah.

As I read, I began to notice a pattern.  God would bless the people.  Then they would rebel.  God would forgive them and restore them.  It repeated over and over again but God kept appealing to the people to repent of their ways and come to Him.  Every time He encounters their sin, He meets it with loving correction and mercy.

And then God says in Isaiah 55:7 - "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  And let him return to the Lord and He will have compassion on him and to our God.  For He will abundantly pardon, for My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"

God is telling us that in the face of our sin and rebellion, His mercies are new every day.(Lamentations 3:22)  He does not meet our evil with evil but with compassion, forgiveness and covenant love.  This is the character of our God.  His ways of mercy and forgiveness are higher than our ways.

When my daughter was three months old I came home from work to find that she had two black eyes. Her babysitter explained to me that she had been lying on her tummy and dropped her face onto her busy box.  I had no reason to disbelieve her but a year later she called me crying and confessed that Laura would not stop crying that day and she had hit her.

I was no longer working then and for the next 10 days, I grieved.  I couldn't eat or sleep.  I tortured myself with thoughts of failing my sweet baby and leaving her with someone who had mistreated her. I imagined other abuses and neglects.  I held her and cried and cried and cried and prayed that God would heal her heart of any hurts.

After 10 days of this I knelt before God and begged Him to remind me of something horrible that I had done so that I could forgive this person.

And in a heart beat, I was in outer space.  I could see 'infinity' stretched out before me.  I could see an uncountable amount of stars stretched out in the darkness and could feel the hugeness of the universe and My God spoke to me.  He said, "I can't remind you because I don't remember."  And He brought His Words to me from Psalm 103:12.  "As far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed your transgressions from you!"

God could not remind me of my sin because He had chosen to forget!  It was under the blood of Jesus and I was righteous in His eyes because of this sacrifice!  And faced with this overwhelming mercy, I cried and was able to forgive this babysitter.

That night I went to church and as I stood and worshiped God for His infinite love, He poured out an anointing of joy and healed my heart.

John Sheasby (www.liberatedliving.com) says that when Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48, "Be perfect, therefore, as Your Heavenly Father is perfect," this translates to "be perfect IN MERCY" as Our Father is. We are to be perfect in mercy, forgiving others and showing them the infinite love of the Father.  This is what it means to be Christ-like.

The wonderful truth is that there is nothing we can do that God won't forgive.  His mercy and love for us is infinite.  The only thing that can separate us from Him is not receiving His forgiveness and love. Paul (changed from Saul) was responsible for the deaths and persecutions of many believers and yet God forgave him and he went on to write most of the New Testament.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget non of His benefits.
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion."
Psalm 103

love and blessings~