Posts tagged "Mercy"
So I heard this message today in my Theology of Worship class and just loved it so much I had to share it with all of y’all!! All credit of this message goes to Mike Harland
Taken mainly out of these passages: Ezra 7:8-10, 8:15, 21, 31-32, 9:1-2, 4-7
“And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” - Ezra 7:8-10 ESV
From these first verses we learn that God had His hand on Ezra because Ezra meditated on God’s Word, and this becomes important later in the message, so just remember: Ezra was an expert in the Word.
In passages 8:15, 21, 31-32 we learn that Ezra needs to cross a desparate land and is not asking the king for help because He claimed God would keep them safe. Because of His faith, God did keep them safe through the land.
In passages 9:1-2, we learn that after the Israelites made it safely across the land, they took wives from the other lands, and this was a direct defilement of the covenant God had made with His people. Ezra is confronted with the fact that His people have become unclean by intermarrying. We as a generation are confronted with a general situation. America has recently been lost to a postmodern society, but we can change that. It was said in class that only 6% of our generation is fully alive Christians living out the faith. But there is hope!
In verses 9:4-7 Ezra is ashamed personally that His people had sinned greatly, and he prays on behalf if the people. Even though it seems hopeless, Mike Harland has been studying our generation, saying that the 6% are more passionate about theology than ever before and that we desire true Christianity. Throughout the Bible we have seen desperate times, but God always shines through people who are willing to be used. Our generation has that potential!! God in us can change our world for the better!!!! Like Ezra, we must be in the Bible, understand it, and preach it to others!
What an encouragement; WE ARE THE EZRA GENERATION!!!!!!
It’s amazing how we Christians sometimes fall into the mindset that we, or humanity for that matter, deserve mercy. It wouldn’t be mercy if we did folks.
As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
- Romans 9:13-16 ESV
One of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard is that we deserve/everybody deserves mercy and grace. But I know why, it’s because we don’t understand sin. Sin is easily defined as putting something, someone, or yourself, above God. The real kicker comes when we learn how Holy and Righteous God is. God is so perfect and awesome, that man cannot directly see His face without dying. Now most people when they look at their life, they think they’re pretty good people in general. When I look at my life, seeing what I have done, who God truly is, my entire being groans “I. Am. NOT. WORTHY.” How could I deserve a second chance? How could I deserve the most precious gift of all? I don’t. We don’t. Yet, God is bigger than our problems, our messiness, that we are given salvation!! Praise God!!!
This has to be the best presentation of the gospel I have ever heard. I love each and every one of you, and I beg of you please please please, listen to this.
I did a word search on “splendor” and found some interesting things. Here are some main passages that refer to the splendor of God:
“And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.” - Isaiah 2:17-19 ESV
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: ’Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? “Adorn yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor.”’” - Job 40:6-10 ESV
“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.” - Psalm 29:2-7 ESV
“Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.’” - Psalm 96:9-10 ESV
One theme you find in all these passages is the trembling fear of God. Why are the writers fearful? Because in these periods God reveals His true righteousness and man realizes his sinfulness. They see the awesome power God possess, and they realize they have put their desires for worldly things above God.
I believe that’s something my generation has lost; the fear of God. Its a fear of reverence and awe of who God truly is. Too many times we ask “how could a good God send people to hell?” when we don’t realize the greatness of our debt!! When we sin, we are in a debt we cannot pay. God shouldn’t even let us live because of our sin, but He shows us common grace and even lets us enjoy the things He has created: family, food, comfort, pleasure. The truth is, God can do whatever He wants!! He’s God, and we don’t deserve a second chance.
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’” - Romans 9:14-15 ESV
However, God is SO GOOD, that He made a way for us to be with Him!!
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
It’s amazing, that such a awesome, powerful God full of majesty and splendor, has changed us from slaves to sin, to adopted sons of God.
soli deo Gloria
After writing a paper for school on many different styles of worship, this theme kept popping back up. Throughout denominations there are many focuses: having real encounters with God, experiencing the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to work, ministering to broken people, etc. These are perfectly fine, but they must be under the center. The main fall with some of these is that they all focus on what man can receive in worship. We crave spiritual highs and changes in our lives, but even this can be self centered at times. Worship has one utter focus:
The goal of worship is to see God’s glory and respond to it. This response is mainly our lives (Romans 12:1) and also our cooperate praises to Him. I don’t worship God so I can’t get something out of Him, but because He gave me the grace and mercy to live this life and the ability to truly enjoy His glory!!!
“And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” - Colossians 1:18-20 ESV
One thing God has been pressing on my heart lately is the humility that Jesus went through during His crucifixion:
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.” - Matthew 27:27-31 ESV
For many this has been a passage of pity and sorrow, as it should be. But even more so, it is an awe inspiring picture humility and love.
For us to correctly understand this, we must first examine who Jesus and God are. I always come back to His holiness. In Isaiah 6 the angels that spend eternity with God must cover their faces or else to pure form of holiness would drive them insane, and they also cover their feet to hide their humanity from such awe inspiring holiness. Only once in scripture is an attribute of God repeated three times in a row to show it’s significance: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
I also think of the moment in Exodus 33 and 34 where Moses asked to see God’s face, but God said “no man can see My face and live,” so he made a chink in the rock and had Moses stand there, and God moved his back over the chink and Moses saw only a momentary glimpse of God’s true holiness. Afterwards, Moses descended from the mount and the people were going blind because Moses’ face was shining so bright from God’s holiness.
This is God; the making of the universe, ultimate power and justice with which He had every right to wipe us off the face of the earth for our idolatry.
And now we come back, to where Jesus was mocked, beaten, and whipped with horrible barbs, and as He was bruised and His internal organs exposed, they mocked Him saying “Hail, King of the Jews!!”