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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mercy Says 'Go and Sin No More'

I have been thinking a lot about mercy lately, not for the least of which reasons is my desperate and daily need for mercy from God and my fellow man. Yet this thought has been on my mind for some time. The rocks sounded like a synchronized thud on the dusty road as the adulterous woman lay on the ground, accused and scandalized in public. She lifts up her eyes to her the words of Jesus saying, "Go and sin no more." We all know the story, but this SS lesson is hitting me hard these days. Now I turn to Romans 12:1 which contains probably the greatest "therefore" in the Bible (I have tried to come up with the Bible's greatest "therefore's" and preach from their context). And it follows, "in view of the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." This part I think seems to get the least amount of attention in this amazing verse, and I believe it is the key to understanding worship, service, sacrifice, and holiness. Everything in my life is to be seen and understood in full view of God's mercy. Because of God's faithfulness, they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and as one who is to glorify God on account of his mercy (Romans 15:9), I must maintain a clear and conscious scope of God's magnificent mercy. So much wrath I deserve. Hell should be mine. The curse I should bear. Condemnation my sentence. Destruction my end. Yet God has shown mercy indeed, even to me, and like the adulterous woman, I must rise with this mercy received and go and sin no more, for it is mercy that leads us to a presentation of our bodies, for a worship that is sacrificial, for a service that is holy, for a life that is surrendered. Truly mercy is mighty, so out of the depths of sin I rise, like this woman to go with Jesus, the merciful High Priest who has stood in my place (2 Corinthians 5:21), taken my curse (Galatians 3:13), and become the lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world on the mercy seat that the veil may be torn and I, a wretched undeserving sinner, can come and find intimacy and rest in the arms of Him who is holy. This morning, I hear him with the newest of mercies, faithfully saying, "My son, go this day and sin and more." ADDENDUM: This I wrote for many reasons, not the least of which is because of the temptation to treat mercy and grace with contempt. I have seen those, who, because of God's mercy and grace, have felt the liberty to live shady lives with questionable practices under the guise of grace, thinking that grace might be somehow magnified. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue to sin so that grace may increase? Hell no." (Cotton Patch Version) Grace drives us to holiness, mercy to humility, love to awe, to a life that resembles the Crucifed, yea Risen One.

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