Mercy Like Our Maker

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” – (Matthew 1:20, NIV) 

Now when Joseph had decided to act on his instincts, a messenger of the Lord came to him in a dream. Messenger of the Lord: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else – rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonder-working of the Holy Spirit. – (Matthew 1:20, VOICE) 

 

Much like Mary, Joseph found himself in a difficult situation. Normally, the law would lead Joseph to bring public disgrace and likely death upon Mary, yet even before the appearance of the angel of the Lord, he had determined to walk away quietly. However, his plans were transformed when a messenger of God appeared to him to announce the truth of what had happened to his fiancé. His faith held fast to what was spoken, and he willingly walked a likely trying road, as he moved forward with the plans to wed a woman whom few knew or understood the truth about her visible unexpected condition. Joseph chose to obey, and became the earthly father to the Son of God. Though our willing obedience will not lead to parenting the Prince of Peace, we never know the lasting impact our decision to do the things that the Lord asks of us may have. Our extension of mercy and grace when it is not deserved can be utilized by God to change hearts and transform communities. May we seek the Lord to be our strength and our guide, so that we may walk in His ways and love others as He intends us to love. 

 

When actions deserve, No Room for Them

Seeming punishment; 

We ought to ask God, 

What is His intent. 

For often what’s seen, 

Mere part of the whole; 

Wisdom is needed, 

To serve well, our role. 

God’s mercy and grace, 

Made the way for us; 

To love as He loves, 

Just like Lord Jesus. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us the willing hearts of those before us who have extended mercy and grace, when it was seemingly undeserved. Thank You that what we see is not always the whole story. Forgive us for the times that we have not extended mercy and grace, and simply acted on what we observed. Teach us to slow down and seek You, so that we will know best how to love and honor You in all that we say and do. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends mercy and grace, and seeks to listen and understand first. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we learn to love others as You first loved us. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

The Power of Generosity

Yesterday, my pastor continued the series, Into the Wild, with a message titled, The Power of Generosity.  The text for the message was taken from Genesis 13:1-18, and continued with the story of Abram on his adventure Into the Wild, as he walked in obedience to the Lord’s calling.  In Abram’s obedience, the Lord had greatly blessed him, so much in fact, that his herdsmen, and Lot’s herdsmen, had begun to argue about having enough pastureland to graze all of their livestock.  Rather than focus on He who had blessed them, the herdsmen had begun to fixate on the blessing.

Instead of allowing disputes to ensue, Abram moved in faith, and acted in abundant generosity.  Though he was the patriarch of the family, and had every right to claim all that had been given unto him, he treated Lot as his equal, and gave him first choice of the land before them as they were to part company so that the land could better support all of their livestock.  Lot chose what appeared to be the better of the two directions, yet Abram seemed unfazed by his decision.  He recognized that the God who had so abundantly blessed he and his family, was not limited in how He might bring forth the promised blessings.

Abram’s generosity models how we ought to live.  Generosity is one of the ways that we are most able to live freely before God.  When we are generous, we are choosing to live our life unrestrained, for Him.  As we release things to God, we make room for the miraculous.

The power to change,The Power of Generosity

a heart full of pride;

sincere humbling,

grace giving resides.

A generous heart,

gathers and unites;

selfishness scatters,

makes people take flight.

Such hearts are humble,

they give God control;

releasing the reigns,

make serving their goal.

Perspective through Him,

hearts that understand;

all His ways are best,

so trust in His plan.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of how to live generously, so that we may fully understand and know the freedom that comes when we give all unto You.  Thank You that generosity is not just about our finances, but it is about who we are, being all in for You – our time, our trust, our encouragement, our willingness to do whatever You ask.  Forgive us for withholding any part of ourselves or our resources from You, and help us to understand how to release all unto You.  May we make room for the miraculous in our lives.  Let us live our lives in love, as You love us, and may many come to know the generous and loving God You are, as a result.  May hearts be turned and lives be changed.  Be glorified, O God.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25