FAITH BLOG

MERCY AND RENEWED HOPE

At a time when our country seems to be tearing itself apart and we are tempted to lash out in fear and anger and frustration, Psalm 130 reminds us that the only place we can find mercy, forgiveness, purpose, and a renewed hope is in the “unfailing love” of the LORD.

The kids in AWANA memorize Psalm 130:3, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” This verse, chosen out of all the verses in the Bible, is the one used to remind children that the Lord is not tracking us to catch us make a mistake so that He can pounce on it and punish us. The next verse makes it absolutely clear; “But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” In once sentence, God tells us we can be made clean AND have a purpose – serve the One we offended by our sins!

Verse 8 concludes the Psalm; “He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” It is “He himself” that will do the work. Repeated to make sure we don’t miss it. It is not an angle, it is not an action of His that causes this redemption to happen, it is the Lord that saves us. There is no chance of a mistake or getting lost in the confusion. There is no frustration or dependence on another and best of all it is not based on me. It is the Lord alone that saves me. Note also that I am not just saved from my sins generally, but the Text says “all their sins”. He forgives ALL my sins, every one of my sins and each one of my sins are paid for by the only One who can – the Lord.

Lord, in a day when I am challenged, scrutinized for every word and every action, and I know I am guilty of so many sins, thank you for complete forgiveness of all my sins. God you are a God of “unfailing love.” Show me how to be an expression of the love You extend to me so that I can bring mercy and renewed hope to each one I come in contact with today.

Posted by Robert Riggs with

REVEAL GOD TO THE WORLD

In this I Kings 8,  Solomon dedicates the temple that he has built for God. He first brings in the Ark of the Covenant into the Holy of holies. He blesses the people, says a prayer of dedication for the temple, and blesses the people again.  Several points stood out to me.

One, 1 Kings 8:27, ”But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain You. How much less this temple I have built!” How can we know a God like that? He is too immense for our limited brains to comprehend.

Two, when Solomon finished the dedication prayer, he turned to the people and blessed them. In that blessing, in verse 60, is a message for us. “So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.” God chose Israel to be His people and to show the world what He wanted the world to know about Himself.  We can look at the beauty and complexity of nature and see that this could not have happened by chance. There must have been an intelligent designer. We can see God’s handiwork in nature and in the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars, but what do they tell us of God Himself? The only way we can know God is by what He has revealed through His nation Israel.

Three, the clearest example of who God is, is revealed through His Son, Jesus. John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 17:6-10, “I have revealed You (the Father) to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your word. Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours. All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine.”

So, we should all obey the Lord and keep His commands. Israel was advised by Solomon to do this. We are reminded that we should be “Living to make Him known”. How else can our world know who our God is unless we reveal Him to our world?

Posted by Rick Kisner with

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