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Forever Merciful!

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“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts.  Malachi 3:6-7 (NKJV)

What an amazing verse of scripture! What is God saying here? Simply put, He is allowing Israel to receive an abundance of grace. He is offering an undeserved redemption to ones who deserved the opposite. Remember, He has spent much of the past two chapters of Malachi rebuking Israel for her lack of devotion. He has reminded her of the many ways that she has turned away from Him.

While He has remained steadfast, Israel has gone astray. One would expect a completely different reaction from a slighted King than the one we see here in these verses. Instead of reacting in judgment, God is reacting with a heart of restoration. He is reminding Israel that though they have changed, He has not.

Despite her tendency to discard the relationship with God at will, He has no plan to judge them for their sin. Instead He is reminding them that His love, mercy, devotion, and promises are still on the table. You see, God isn’t an insecure Father that feels the need to destroy those who have been less than faithful. Instead, He is offering Israel a path back to His blessings.

Isn’t it great to know that this is the heart of our Father. Despite our continued reaction of indifference to His awe inspiring love, He wants to restore not just Israel; but us as well. I find it truly amazing to encounter such mercy and grace. The God that owes us nothing wants to give us everything. Though we have been unfaithful, He has chosen to remain faithful. Where else but God can we find such forgiveness and love?

The answer to that question is easy: NOWHERE!

Posted by Mike Devine with
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It is TIME For Us To Look At Us!

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For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17

I am well aware that there are times when I’m speaking where it seems like I am mad at the church. I rant and rave about where I think we should be in regards to our great calling and where we actually are. I firmly believe that the church of Jesus Christ, in America, is compromised. I think, in many parts of the church, that we have sold our souls to the culture. I am quite certain that the culture we were sent to capture has in many ways captured us instead.

I think we are failing God, not only in the “Great Commission;” but even in walking out a faithful walk day by day. While it might very well appear that I am mad about all of this, I would describe my emotions in different terms. I would say that I am more hurt and disappointed rather than angry.

I am saddened by how easy it is for Christians to disregard God’s word simply because some parts of it are not comfortable and not popular to culture. We are so fearful of not being liked, popular, or politically correct that we have compromised the very thing we were called to hold dearest. Need I remind us all that Jesus warned of this day. He warned, many times in scripture, that we would not be liked if we held to the truths of His Word.

I believe we are facing the moments He warned of even now. So, if it seems like I am being a little hard on the church; I need for you to know that it is by design. So often people nowadays are terrified to make judgments or hold others accountable. While I am well aware that Jesus in Matthew 7 said for us not to judge, I don’t think He was talking about us making assessments of the church and her devotion to Jesus.

The judgment He speaks of in Matthew 7 was one where He called us not to be judge and jury about who would and wouldn’t make it to heaven. He was NOT talking about the church holding the church accountable. In fact, Peter reminds us in 1 Peter chapter 4 that judgment concerning our devotion must start FIRST in the household of God (the church). He actually wants us to assess ourselves in honest ways. We are called to hold one another accountable.

It is NOW time for some honest judgment in the house of God. If we see some of our brothers and sisters in error where it pertains to His Word, we need to call it like it is. Our reputation depends on it. His gospel is at stake and it is past time that we honored His word like it deserves to be honored!

Posted by Mike Devine with

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