Justice or Mercy?


 

When disciplining children, parents are often apt to exact demanding attention to the wrongs of their offspring.  Even careful parents can examine the errors of their teenager as if perusing the fine details within the acuity of the fine lines of an electron microscope. We are instructing, we rationalize and no, we are not punishing, but merely correcting behavior and attitudes.

When correcting, we demand to be heard, to be listen to and finally, we insist on obedience.

Perhaps on worse occasions, and upon receiving a wrong from our friends or retailers or government official, we DEMAND justice!  Of course, we demand fairness and that fairness somehow or someway should either alleviate our problem or even benefit us directly over whatever needs exist to the other party.  Justice, we say is fundamental to being fair and impartial.

When our kids ask for forgiveness, or when our neighbor too request relief from our justice, we insist all the more for the letter of the law to be invoked on our behalf.

Yet, if an adult is corrected by another adult, justice somehow disappears from the equation.  Then, especially if we are in the presence of other adults, we express how slighted we are or how defamed we are when shamed in front of the witness of others.

If demonstrated our guilt, we plea our human frailty.  We insist that we are after all, only human and it is human to err. Naturally, we didn’t feel this way while correcting our kids or demanding justice from our neighbor, but there we are:  in full view to God and man demanding Mercy over Justice.

Thank the Lord for the nature of God.  Where we are ALL guilty of sin to Him, God in his Mercy grants us a full pardon upon request.

No, we don’t deserve mercy, we deserve every bit of Justice and the price of our sin would be death. At least part of the loving nature of God is His wonderful Mercy.  And in that way, as a member of His family we are to take on that loving, merciful nature and have it reflect to others.

Our Mercy should not exclude kids or those others even when the facts are stacked against them.  We should not insist on Justice but should adapt to the High Calling of Jesus, the Christ and forgive: an act of mercy.

Simply put, it means we should treat others the way we want to be treated.  And concerning the Justice part:  we are to turn that part over to God and His judgment. In everyday living, when faced with Justice or Mercy, we are to choose Mercy every time. This might be impossible in human terms, but with God, all things are possible.  Mercy is fundamental to the very nature, the essence of God.

When disciplining children, parents are often apt to exact demanding attention to the wrongs of their offspring.  Even careful parents can examine the errors of their teenager as if perusing the fine details within the acuity of the fine lines of an electron microscope. We are instructing, we rationalize and no, we are not punishing, but merely correcting behavior and attitudes.

When correcting, we demand to be heard, to be listen to and finally, we insist on obedience.

Perhaps on worse occasions, and upon receiving a wrong from our friends or retailers or government official, we DEMAND justice!  Of course, we demand fairness and that fairness somehow or someway should either alleviate our problem or even benefit us directly over whatever needs exist to the other party.  Justice, we say is fundamental to being fair and impartial.

When our kids ask for forgiveness, or when our neighbor too request relief from our justice, we insist all the more for the letter of the law to be invoked on our behalf.

Yet, if an adult is corrected by another adult, justice somehow disappears from the equation.  Then, especially if we are in the presence of other adults, we express how slighted we are or how defamed we are when shamed in front of the witness of others.

If demonstrated our guilt, we plea our human frailty.  We insist that we are after all, only human and it is human to err. Naturally, we didn’t feel this way while correcting our kids or demanding justice from our neighbor, but there we are:  in full view to God and man demanding Mercy over Justice.

Thank the Lord for the nature of God.  Where we are ALL guilty of sin to Him, God in his Mercy grants us a full pardon upon request.

No, we don’t deserve mercy, we deserve every bit of Justice and the price of our sin would be death. At least part of the loving nature of God is His wonderful Mercy.  And in that way, as a member of His family we are to take on that loving, merciful nature and have it reflect to others.

Our Mercy should not exclude kids or those others even when the facts are stacked against them.  We should not insist on Justice but should adapt to the High Calling of Jesus, the Christ and forgive: an act of mercy.

Simply put, it means we should treat others the way we want to be treated.  And concerning the Justice part:  we are to turn that part over to God and His judgment. In everyday living, when faced with Justice or Mercy, we are to choose Mercy every time. This might be impossible in human terms, but with God, all things are possible.  Mercy is fundamental to the very nature, the essence of God.

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Everything is going to be Alright


 

Don’t you just hate it whenever you’re going through some hard times and all of the little Pollyanna’s of the world start mouthing off the sugar-coated expressions of, “Oh, every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

No, every little thing is NOT going to be alright.  In fact, things will probably SUCK!

Of course, sure, we keep on praying and yes, God will listen to us, yet more than likely whatever you’re going through will probably get worse over time.  Everything probably will not be fine and, no, more than likely it will seem that our prayers go by the wayside.

And why is this?  Heck, I don’t know and nobody else knows either.  God is sovereign. And God being sovereign he doesn’t have to answer to us.  We answer to Him.

When life sucks horribly, I personally don’t have any good words to say to make things better.  I’m as much in the dark about it as you are.  And truthfully, everyone else is also in the dark.  We simply don’t know.

As Christians, we can affirm, attest, avow, aver and testify to the ever-present fact that Yes, God loves us.  This is not even a question to those who love Christ and the Father.

And no, I’m not promoting a negative attitude.  To the contrary, I believe in positive projections, yet too, I believe in being honest.

As much as the Apostles participated in healings and other various miracles, I have yet to see any contemporary walk on water.  Yes, miracles still happened, but probably in spite of us rather than because of us.

No, the scriptures fail to point out anything such as a faith-healer, etc.  This appears to be more or less a modern invention.

Our job is to remain faithful and obedience in the absence of good news.  Our goal is to remain focused on Christ despite whatever is in front of us.

The long and short of it is that Jesus promised to be with us when life was good and when life sucks.  And while there is a whole lot of good in the world, there are other times when life simply sucks.  To that effect, not everything is alright nor will it ever be until we’re in the full presence of our creator in another world. At that time, God will make it right.

About Him, About Us


 

Much is said about Jesus, that his ministry was about us.  Others say, no, it is not about us, it is about Him.

With all of the wonderful declarations Jesus stated, it appears to me that his mission was yes, about Him, and yes, about us.

The fact that Jesus walked on the earth in the flesh made everything he did personal.  His life and death was personal.  Whereas, previously, our knowledge, relationship with God was from afar, Jesus changed all of that and made it one to one, directly between Him and us.

The phenomena can’t lie solely on Jesus, for if it were, then the story would be over. There would be no need for his church, no need for us to carry on what he taught.  The many promises of Jesus to us would be meaningless if his words did not regard us as his followers.

Yes, we can argue forever about his words: were His words directed toward his apostles or were they directed toward us?  And insomuch we don’t really know the answers, perhaps we weren’t meant to know exactly what Jesus said or meant.  Perhaps we are to rely on prayer, on faith, on each other to climb, to ascribe to all the virtues Jesus directed us to attain. And while we don’t know, there are hard hitting pointers we do know.  Aside from everything else, we are to love one another.  Naturally, this is about Him and too, it is about Us!

Christ as a Man


 

For me, the most wonderful attribute of Jesus was the fact that he came down to this earth in the form of a man.  Unlike some people’s interpretation, I don’t believe Christ was half-God insomuch that he could deflect temptation easier than anyone else.  I believe his perfect spirit was directly connected with His Father, and thus Jesus was perfectly guided.

This means that temptation was every bit as difficult for Jesus as it is for me, only with Jesus his decision was always the right one.

The fact that Jesus, just as we do, struggled with everyday decisions is inviting, as it means that the Son of Man fully understands and recognizes how we struggle and he also knows this from experience and not just intelligence.

So then, Jesus, the man is to be hailed every bit as much as Jesus, the son of God.  After all, what else would we expect from the almighty except for perfection?  This is NOT what we anticipate from a mere human. Yet, Jesus, the same as us was every bit as human as we are.

As a man, Jesus struggled with justice, with righteousness, with sexuality, with greed, hunger, hope, faith—all of the elements of being human just as we do!

In total, Jesus must have struggled with free will, yet yielded over and over again to the path of his Father who directed Him from Heaven.

Look>  Jesus himself said that we were FRIENDS. He avowed that a servant did not know what a Master did, and pointed out that we were indeed friends and servants only in our mission, but not in our status to our Heavenly Father nor to his Son, our Lord, the Christ.

All of this is exciting.  Imagine:  Mere mortals, we as people are on par with the Son of the Living God.  We are on par and equals because Jesus himself declared it.  And too, we are on par and equals because we are forgiving-all because of Jesus, the Christ.

What else can a person ask from God?  Truly, there is nothing beyond His love for us. And in reality, about all our God requests from us is for us to acknowledge him as God.  Truthfully, I find this to be extremely small for the great rewards of coming into the Kingdom of God as his rightful children.

Pulling Christ Down from The Cross


 

Remarkable enough, Christ died on a tree for our sins.  As importantly, Christ, after dying on the Cross, was buried and rose again after 3 days.

This of course, the defeat of death is perhaps his most remarkable achievement: Christ continues to live!

In bare honesty, this is how I have come to know God:  In fact, I really don’t know God at all, but know of him because of his Nature.

The nature of God is reflected in His Son, Jesus, the Christ.

Without Jesus, all I would really know of God would be a God that shows mercy, can become angry, who zaps people who disobey, who at times can be an extreme judge.

In fact, with limited access to God except by the high priest, my audience to God is made forthright simply and only because of the invitation created by Christ himself.

Because of Christ I know of forgiveness, kindness, generosity, humility, long-suffering, hope, faith, truth, and the virtue of promises.

You see, as important as it was for our Lord to die on a Cross, it was even more important for Him to come down off the Cross and be down here with us.

Because of Christ, God was no longer way, way up there out of reach, but dwelled down here on earth with us.  And because of his life here on earth we gained understanding.

In fact, with Christ’s presence here on earth we learned there indeed was a major separation between us and God’s ways.  Inevitably, our ways are different, very different and generally wrong. Christ is the way.

It is impossible for me to identify with an unseen God who lives somewhere elusive to where I am.  Christ was here in the flesh.  I can relate to his love, suffering and ultimate sacrifice of his life for our benefit.

For all of us who say we know God, I say we really know nothing, nothing at all.  Yet, because of Christ, we can emulate the possibilities of those actions, those behaviors that he actually did.  Because of this, we have more than the intellectual reality of a deity.  We have the living example of what is.  What is, is far more real than that than what could be for the living testimony, the example speaks for itself.

 

You Are Not Who You Are


 

Most people, when asked who they are respond with such identities as:  a policeman, teacher, secretary or such.  In other words, people are programmed to identify themselves with their occupation or even perhaps their education.

The bible teaches that God is not a respecter of persons.  Thus, whoever we say we are in reference to position on this earth has no bearing on our relationship to the Lord.  He treats us all the same.

Today, there is the big push to identify oneself as it pertains to sexuality.  Yet, Galatians 3:28 announces that as Christians, we are clothed with Christ himself and that there is neither male nor female.

Agreeing that God judges us according to our heart, we then understand that character traits are the mechanism that best reflect who we are.

Our passions, our creeds, our actions, our motives, hidden agendas, intents are the substance of who we really are.  True enough, we possess an outward persona, but more importantly the driving force behind all of our outward appearance is the essence of who we are.

Hence, our ability to forgive, to love to give to possess patience or any other good virtue comes from the well-entrenched deep treasure tucked away within our own hearts.

In most cases, we wear a mask and are not at all who we say we are and we are that way because often times, we are selfish: or afraid, or lonely or insecure, or possess hatred, envy, covetousness or any other number of sins or so-called character defects.

In spite of who we are not, we have in common the special need to humble ourselves before our Lord in order to attain status as a citizen of God’s kingdom.  In this special relationship, we are then known to our Father as the Children of God.  Of all the people we are not, and there are many, this is one category we should come to know.  Accepting the position as God’s child is granted by the conditions and merit of our heart.  We must yield our false identities come to know our God through his son, the Christ.