What comes to mind when you read these words? How about mercy? Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Compassion is sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Pity is the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others and a cause for regret or disappointment. Clemency is mercy; lenience.
There are many in this world who are seeking justice! There are many who are so focused on justice they don’t realize the opportunity for mercy! Where are you at on the spectrum?
Ever noticed the theme of mercy throughout God’s Word? God is just and justice will be served! Consider Jesus in this plot! He came to make sure justice was served in a way where people could be reconciled back to God! God offered up mercy by sending Jesus! Now we are faced with a decision…Do we receive the gift of mercy through Jesus? or Do we choose to receive justice ourselves for our lives? So the choice for you to make is will you receive Jesus or not!
Rich in Mercy … Day 59: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Psalm 27:7-14, Mark 10:13-31, Leviticus 4, Leviticus 5:1-13
1. The struggling … Psalm 27:7-14
7Hear my voice when I call, Lord;be merciful to me and answer me. 8My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”Your face, Lord, I will seek. 9Do not hide your face from me,do not turn your servant away in anger;you have been my helper.Do not reject me or forsake me,God my Savior. 10Though my father and mother forsake me,the Lord will receive me. 11Teach me your way, Lord;lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,for false witnesses rise up against me,spouting malicious accusations. 13I remain confident of this:I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14Wait for the Lord;be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. –from Psalm 27
In this world we will have troubles, of this we can be sure, but we also can be sure of another thing, that we can have hope because Jesus overcame the world! Trust in the Lord! Hold onto Him through it all! Don’t lose hope! Wait for the Lord! Be strong and take heart, consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, for we know that when our faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. So make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Whatever it is that you are going thru, turn to God and cry out to Him for mercy! Trust in Him! Don’t lose hope! Our God is greater, our God is stronger, our God is higher than any other! He is our savior! Allow the parental love of Jesus to comfort you! Call on your heavenly Father who is love, who is light, there is no darkness in Him! Are you far away from God? Call on your heavenly Father who is waiting for you to come back home! Today’s reading speaks to God as a parent this way:
God is such a parent. His faithfulness is without question. His generosity is perfect. His affection is tender and loving. His presence is permanent. His acceptance of you is unconditional. His communication is up-building and for your best interest. His authority is right and true.
When David writes that ‘the Lord will receive me’ (v.10b), he is thinking of those kinds of perfect parental attributes.
God is not going to fail you, especially when you are struggling. Some earthly parents only provide love and protection when they feel their children deserve it. Not God. The amazing truth is that our Father is merciful and gives us love and protection, even when we don’t deserve it.
–from Day 59: Bible in One Year 2017
2. The children … Mark 10:13-31
13People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. 17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” 28Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
–from Mark 10
How are you investing in the lives of the children? Are you loving them? Are you protecting them? Are you giving them the high priority they deserve? Are you showing compassion to them?
How are you receiving from the children and learning from them? Are you being open and receptive? Are you being honest about your feelings? Are you acknowledging your fragility and your need for others? Are you quick to forgive and move on in trust? Are you responsive to receiving gifts like a child, with enthusiasm and appreciation?
So are you dependent on God? Are you dependent upon the gifts He has and will give you? Are you receptive and responsive with enthusiasm and appreciation for the gifts of God which are undeserving but have been given out God’s great love and mercy for you?
3. The poor … Mark 10:13-31
The poor will always be with us! They are important to God! He desires to have us be people who are generous and through whom He is able to bless the poor! Will you allow the provision and gifts of God to be a blessing to others who are in need?
4. The rich … Mark 10:13-31
Everyone is important to God! The rich are important to God too and He desires that everyone be saved! It may be harder for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God, however, nothing is impossible for God! It might be easier for a camel to walk thru the eye of a needle, but that doesn’t make it impossible for God! All things are possible with God!
Don’t allow arrogance and pride to keep you from receiving from God and from being a vessel God can use to be a blessing to others! Come with humility and a servant’s heart!
5. The persecuted … Mark 10:13-31
As followers we will be persecuted! In this world we will have troubles! We will face trials! But Jesus cares for us! We don’t need to worry about the troubles! We can consider trials pure joy! The persecutions severity may differ between people, but in this world we will have troubles! There is a cost for following Jesus, however, there is also a reward! Be it the promise of a 100x more blessing! Be it eternal life with Jesus! Receive God’s mercy in and through it all!
6. The guilty … Leviticus 4:1-5:13
The Sin Offering
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands—
3“ ‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. 4He is to present the bull at the entrance to the tent of meeting before the Lord. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it there before the Lord. 5Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull’s blood and carry it into the tent of meeting. 6He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the Lord, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. 7The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the Lord in the tent of meeting. The rest of the bull’s blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8He shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering—all the fat that is connected to the internal organs, 9both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys— 10just as the fat is removed from the ox sacrificed as a fellowship offering. Then the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering. 11But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the internal organs and the intestines— 12that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it there in a wood fire on the ash heap.
13“ ‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt 14and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting. 15The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the Lord, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the Lord. 16Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull’s blood into the tent of meeting. 17He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the Lord seven times in front of the curtain. 18He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the Lord in the tent of meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 19He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, 20and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the community, and they will be forgiven. 21Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community.
22“ ‘When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the Lord his God, when he realizes his guilt 23and the sin he has committed becomes known, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect. 24He is to lay his hand on the goat’s head and slaughter it at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered before the Lord. It is a sin offering. 25Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 26He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the leader’s sin, and he will be forgiven.
27“ ‘If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, when they realize their guilt 28and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect. 29They are to lay their hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. 30Then the priest is to take some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.
32“ ‘If someone brings a lamb as their sin offering, they are to bring a female without defect. 33They are to lay their hand on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. 34Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 35They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven. –from Leviticus 4
1“ ‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible. 2“ ‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt; 4or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt— 5when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. 6As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin. 7“ ‘Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8They are to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not dividing it completely, 9and is to splash some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven. 11“ ‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. It is a sin offering. 13In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.’ ” –from Leviticus 5
To close out today’s post, I will share the closing text from today’s devotional:
We are all guilty of sin (James 2:10). The word ‘guilt’ appears over and over again in this passage (Leviticus 4:3,13,22,27; 5:2,3,4,5). There is a penalty for sin (5:5–6). The apostle Paul tells us that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23).
The elaborate sacrifices described in this passage were preparing the people for the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus who died for you and me (the guilty) so that we might receive the mercy of God.
Jesus made atonement for your sins
Forgiveness does not come without atonement for sin (Leviticus 4:31,35; 5:10,13). One definition of atonement is ‘the action of making amends for a wrong or injury that brings two parties together as one’ – hence the word ‘at-one-ment’. Ultimately, it is only Jesus who made the perfect atonement for our sins (Hebrews 2:17).
Jesus died as a sacrifice of atonement
We read here of the elaborate sacrificial system of ‘sin offerings’ (Leviticus 4:3,29,33,34; 5:9,11,12). Jesus died as the ‘sacrifice of atonement’ (Romans 3:25) for your sin and mine.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice
The sacrifice had to be ‘without defect’ (Leviticus 4:3,28,32). Ultimately, it was only Jesus who could be the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 5:9).
Jesus is the Lamb of God
A lamb was brought as a sin offering (Leviticus 4:32). The guilty person had to lay their hands on its head. The lamb died as a sin offering to take away sin. Jesus is ‘The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29).
Jesus’ blood was shed for you
The priest had to take some of ‘the blood of the sin offering… and pour out the rest of the blood’ (Leviticus 4:34). The blood represented the life of the animal (17:11). Pouring out the blood was symbolic of the fact that the animal had died. This was in the place of the person making the sacrifice. The blood of Jesus was poured out for you and me (Matthew 26:28).
Jesus has made God’s mercy available to all
The words ‘forgiveness’ and ‘forgiven’ are words that appear over and over again (Leviticus 4:20,26,31,35; 5:10,13). ‘Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’ (Hebrews 9:22). Through Jesus’ blood, forgiveness of sins is possible (Ephesians 1:7). As a result, God’s mercy is available for you and me.
–from Day 59: Bible in One Year 2017