Devotional

God Delights in Mercy

December 9, 2016

During my personal, devotional time, I discovered how God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). This means He doesn’t delight in anger nor does He stay angry. Some are tormented with the thought God hates them and won’t forgive even the most despicable of sins.

We know from scripture He is longsuffering and able to forgive.

“Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old.”  Micah 7:18-20

This was spoken during a time when the sins of Israel were many.

Israel is the nation God made covenant with and after many years of kings ruling over the land, some turned the nation over to the worship of false gods.

Many activities of idolatry consisted of human sacrifices. They also placed a shrine around the temple of God.

The people worshiped the bronze serpent Moses made in the wilderness, centuries before (2 Kings 18:4).

Therefore, one thing after another caused the Lord to execute judgment against the people and the land.

The horrible history of the past reveals how the Father still had compassion for His people Israel so much so:

“…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Never second guess the truth God delights in mercy. Go to Him in prayer and repent (apologize) for all the wrong you’ve done and be born again (John 3).

 

 

Jesus

Jesus, Moses and Elijah

December 8, 2016

Exactly six days later, after Jesus told His disciples “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me,” (Matthew 16:24) Peter, James and John have an amazing experience with their Rabbi:

“…He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.  Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Matthew 17:1-4

This transfiguration happened after Jesus asked His disciples who do the people say He is. Some believed He was Elijah. That special day, standing before them, was the one and only Elijah the Prophet!

Then we see the most famous prophet of allꟷ Moses! He was alone with God forty days straight on Mount Sinai and then another after making atonement for Israel’s sin with the golden calf!

What an amazing experience.

But what we know from the scenery is this…Jesus is greater than them both. For we know Moses and Elijah represented Him.

Peter, James and John walked with the One who knew the Father, and knew Him well enough to complete the assignment given to Him. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Son of God and He’s seated at the right hand of the Father.

“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”  Matthew 17:5-8

God commanded Peter, James and John to Hear Him (JESUS)!

Therefore, if this is a command for those standing there, it is a command for us today.

The problem with so many circles is people are embracing religion and protocol over the Kingdom of God.

Jesus spoke a lot on His Kingdom and less on traditions. The Pharisees and Sadducees believed they followed Moses and Elijah, but if they did, why weren’t they invited to see Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration?

God told them to Hear Him! This was something few of the elites in Jerusalem could do.

Jesus

Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

December 3, 2016

Jesus and the sign of Jonah is relatable in this…Both men were down three days, one in the grave and another in the belly of a fish. Jesus was sent by God to save His people from the bondage of sin and Jonah was sent to a group of pagans known as the Ninevites.

During the season of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, He was visible to His people Israel. It was a priceless time many grabbed on to and cherished.

Though people were blessed with the Son of God’s presence, others weren’t satisfied. Jealousy plagued many of them because Jesus contradicted their traditions and control of the people.

Think of how beautiful it was…The Lamb of God healing the sick and blessing them with the wealth of the Kingdom of God.

The Pharisees and Sadducees didn’t care about the people and they wanted to prove themselves higher than Jesus.

“Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.” Matthew 16:1-4

When Jonah was given the assignment to warn Nineveh, he sailed away to Tarshish. This is understandable because it was the Ninevites who drove many parts of the norther kingdom of Israel into exile. God sent a terrible storm against the ship and he was thrown overboard.

“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” Jonah 1:17

Jesus had a huge assignment from the father, one that meant giving up His life for the people:

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Matthew 16:21

Jesus and the sign of Jonah, was a wonderful miracle from God. He spoke to the fish to vomit Jonah on dry land and He raised Jesus from the grave. Both signs were completed in three days.