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Mary Lindow

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"He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To do justly,

and to love kindness and mercy,

and to humble yourself

and walk humbly with your God."

(Micah 6:8)

ALTHOUGH I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A FRESH EXPRESSION OF THE HEART OF THE FATHER STIRRING IN THE EARTH, I also see that there is a lot of "bashing" regularly occurring due to the abuse others have exhibited in their places of calling, aimed at those who have been true to what the Lord has asked them to do in His name, and this has caused not just a little sorrow.

WE MUST CLEARLY SEE THAT CORRUPTION CAN RAPIDLY OCCUR IN ANY PERSON OR ANY GROUP, ORGANIZED, RELAXED, OR OTHERWISE, when the tendency to think that they have arrived at a new or deeper revelation about something more so than others who perhaps express the Lord's voice differently.

ARROGANCE IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT I, INDIVIDUALLY, OR SOME GROUP THAT I AM A PART OF, COLLECTIVELY, IS SOMEHOW SUPERIOR TO SOMEONE ELSE OR SOME OTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE.

At the heart of arrogance is self-centeredness. And self-centeredness is the foundation of human sin. I believe any serious attempt at self-examination by an honest person will reveal that we humans are sinful and flawed beyond measure.

MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID,

“MAN IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT BLUSHES—

OR [FOR THAT MATTER] NEEDS TO.”

Paul writes, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand…Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?”

Self consumes us. And every time we arrogantly place our own needs before others we are enslaved by sin.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE INSTEAD OF IN THAT ARROGANT MODE?

How about the words of Jesus?

What did he say?

"Everyone who exalts himself (for example, "Aren't I great? Aren't I right? Don't I always have the best opinion?") will be humbled.

But he who humbles himself (for example, "This is my opinion but it may not be right. I don't have a corner on the market of truth.") will be exalted."

THE LORD IS NOT SPEEDING UP THE DELIVERY OF ANY "FRESH THING" IN THE EARTH IN ORDER TO GET US TO HIS PURPOSES QUICKLY.

No. He is testing the hearts of men and women everywhere, looking for humility, selflessness, and honor, for those who although not perfect, have also served and pointed the way to salvation for many years previously.

THE LORD IS NOT GOING TO HONOR THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SHOUTS THAT "CHANGE IS NEEDED" OR THAT "CHANGE IS COMING" AND THEN SLASHES AND BURNS ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T EMBRACE THEIR VERSION OF IT.

THE LORD IS INTERESTED IN THE SOUND OF HUMILITY, THE HAND OF MERCY, AND THE VOICE OF GRACE.

These key character issues attract the pure and simple Presence of the Lord. Blessed are the PURE in heart...for they shall see God.

Until the Body of Christ that has been through many difficult and Shattering events and rids it of bitter and venomous words against one another and accepts that each one like sheep have gone astray and turned to what pleased them at the moment, there will be little evidence of much harvest.

THE LOST AND CONFUSED WORLD OUT THERE WATCHES CHRISTIANS TEAR EACH OTHER TO SHREDS DAILY AND WONDERS WHY WE ARE ASKING THEM TO JOIN US!

Remember Christ’s two great commandments—love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself.

Self-centeredness is the reversal of the great commandment.

Self-centeredness means to place ourselves first, in effect proclaiming our own form of self-government (not needing or wanting the advice or insight of others), therefore our neighbors become an afterthought, and God becomes simply a convenience to be considered only when it’s helpful to us. It is evident even in our language that self-centeredness is woven into the fabric of the human experience.

THE ONE TRUE SACRIFICIAL MODEL TOLD US THAT HE WOULD SEND THE VERY SPIRIT OF GOD IN ORDER TO CONVICT ALL PEOPLE OF SIN, TO COMFORT, TO GUIDE, AND TO SET THEM FREE.

Indeed. The very evidence of a redemptive type of life is in one who washes the feet of his/her brothers and his/her enemies in an act of cleansing the dirt from the road of life off of the pathway to the Truth.

May we truly hear the sound of the unmistakable heartbeat of a redemptive model rising up in clear resounding purity, personal

transparency, and in the covering of the multitude of sins by speaking and meditating only on those things that are noble, just, pure, and of a good report.

AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS NATIONS, THE ANTIDOTE TO ARROGANCE AND SELF-CENTEREDNESS IS A HEAVY DOSE OF HUMILITY.

That is; a profound willingness to recognize the value and respect the dignity of every human life. And, furthermore, a humble heart calls us to seek and serve Christ in ALL persons by giving of ourselves willingly for the welfare of other people.

THE LORD SAYS,

"Do not let a wise man brag about how wise he is.

Do not let a strong man boast about how strong he is.

Do not let a rich person brag about how rich he is.

But here is what the one who brags should boast about.

He should brag that he has understanding and knows me.

I want him to know that I am the Lord.

No matter what I do on earth, I am always kind, fair and right.

And I take delight in that," announces the Lord.

JEREMIAH 9:23-24 (New International Reader's Version)

Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed
provided that complete source and website information for Mary Lindow is included. 
Thank You
Copyright © 2013 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow    
www.marylindow.com

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By Mary Lindow

To listen to this message as a free podcast, please scroll down to the bottom of this message for the fast loading audio player.

*****

Then he  (Jesus) added,

"Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture:

'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.'

For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,

But those who know they are sinners."

Matthew 9:13

It has been said that after the French Revolution, a convict released on parole traveled the countryside in search of a new beginning. Being an ex-con, as you would expect, led to complications in this search, and he wound up at the gates of a clergyman who agreed to host him for the night.

The convict, as is well known, takes advantage of the bishop’s generosity: getting up early before dawn, he takes off with the bishop’s silver; his escape however is hindered by the local Police Inspector, who after seemingly catching him presents the presumed thief to the bishop for identification. The bishop, without missing a beat, covers for his sneaky guest and speaks such words of kindness over the convict’s past present and future, through releasing him even though caught red handed and deserving of further punishment.

His words? They were profound and dripped of Mercy.

“ My friend, you forgot to take the candlesticks as well.”

For those of you who are perhaps not familiar with the story about the man and the priest I just spoke of, I am referring to Victor Hugo’s book “ Les Miserables.”

I think Victor Hugo shows something of the challenge of today’s Message of the Gospel that Jesus would want us each to hear and to act upon.

Be merciful, as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:36

NOBODY LIKES A BULLY OR TO BE TALKED DOWN TO.

Maybe it is easy for us to be merciful when we have the upper hand.  If someone comes begging for forgiveness, it becomes a show–of generosity of spirit, but a show nonetheless–that we are in some way better than that person. Picture elegant royals, who, moments before the execution of a criminal would decree their royal pardon, leaving a lasting impression of compassion upon those pleading for another chance.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY GODLY MERCY WORKS.

Oh how merciful is our Father! It’s not that our faults are not important to an immeasurable God. We have without a doubt deeply wounded the ties that bind us to him.

Yet he still holds out his hand, bloodied and deformed holes in them, created by the nails put in, even to his enemies.

TODAY JESUS INVITES US TO RE-EVALUATE OUR MERCY:

How deeply do I forgive those who offend me?

Do I pray for them, or allow my forgiveness to become a show of winning the upper hand? (Another way of showing false humility.)

The forgiving priest not only forgave Jean Valjean’s theft, he created an excuse for him, and even gave away the last of his own treasure, in the hopes that Valjean would be able to start a new life, knowing that he was shown the purest of love and authentic mercy.

MERCY MEANS…

Empathy, pity, sympathy, understanding; favor, grace; benevolence, care, compassion, gentleness, goodness, goodwill, humaneness, kindliness, meekness, mildness, niceness, softness, tenderness; generosity, affection, devotion, love, worship

IT ALSO MEANS…

…Letting go of harshness, accusation, presuming you know better what others need in order for them to better serve God. When we act out like this, we become much like Javert the Police Inspector hounding and lording it over Jean Valjean, bent on making sure all deeds that do not measure up to our way of justice are fully dealt with.

He felt sure that God wanted him to be the individual who would measure out justice and harsh terms of punishment in order to break John Valejan, thus having him pay the price of his wickedness and perchance if once finally shattered and broken, he may perhaps have God look his way .

"DON'T GET MAD -- GET EVEN?”

This seems to be the usual way people view the world nowadays. We should be thankful that God takes a different view of things. Although the Bible makes it clear that God is the Great Judge who hates all evil doing, he is also the Merciful One, who forgives and accepts people who turn to him.

Occasionally God chooses not to grant us mercy; for the purpose of judgment, rebuke, discipline, or testing. Fortunately, for most of us, this is the exception, not the rule.  For the time being, God has shown incredible patience and mercy by withholding most of the effects of our sins.

I will have mercy, on whom I will have mercy,

And I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

Rom 9:15

GOD IS NOT ALWAYS SCOLDING US!

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.

Psalm 103:9

Could God find reasons to scold His children all the time? Indeed, He could! None of us are perfect. We could all do better.

However, as justified as scolding us would be, God realizes that we would easily be discouraged if all we ever heard was scolding.

When He scolds us He is correcting us so that we confess our sins and do better.

The Lord All-Powerful says, “They belong to me; on that day they will be my very own. As a parent shows mercy to his child who serves him, I will show mercy to my people.

Malachi 3:17

ASK GOD FOR THE HELP YOU NEED TO OVERCOME SIN.

Face the reality that much of the suffering in our fallen world is caused by human sin. But count on the fact that God is merciful toward all sinners. Whenever you recognize a situation in which some of your own sin has contributed to your suffering, pray for help, and God will give you the strength you need to overcome sin. Stop holding onto any sinful secrets that have been causing guilt, shame and bitterness in your soul. Confess your sins specifically, repent of them, accept the forgiveness that God offers you, and embrace the power that God gives you to move forward into a better life.

LISTEN FOR GOD SPEAKING IN THE SILENCE.

When your suffering becomes so painful that you can’t make any sense of it or figure out how to endure it, you may feel as if you’re trapped in silence, since nothing that other people say or do to try to help actually breaks through to you. But when you’re at the point where you don’t hear anything else, you can actually hear God best, since you’re less likely to get distracted by the world’s noise around you. In the silence, pour out your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer, and then listen to what He has to say to you. God won’t shout, but He will whisper, to encourage you to keep drawing closer to Him.

SUFFERING IS ALL AROUND YOU IN THIS FALLEN WORLD.

Sometimes it’s so tragic that it’s heartbreaking. Yet God promises that He is loving and merciful. How can you reconcile these two realities that seem like they compete against each other?

The key is to look for God’s mercy, even when it seems like it can’t exist with the suffering you encounter. God’s mercy is a stronger force than even the worst suffering, and when you look for it, you’ll find it.

The spirit, which he sent to live in us, wants us for him alone.

James 4:5

WE ARE GOD’S OWN.

LET US NOT BE AFRAID TO BE LIKE OUR FATHER.

Let our hearts be conduits of God’s mercy, knowing that we ourselves have been forgiven so very much.

Let us communicate our thanks to Him by being overflowing vessels of kind and tender expression, showing God’s mercy to all.

The Lord is kind and shows mercy.

He does not become angry quickly

But is full of love.

Psalm 145:8

*****************************************

Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is welcomed provided

that complete source and website information for Mary Lindow is

included.

Thank You

Copyright © 2013 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow

www.marylindow.com

www.globalprayerrooms.com

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