By Topic

Mercy

Tuesday

January 24, 2017

Incomparable Riches

Read

Ephesians 2:4-7, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

Think

One bad mood, one off day, one impure thought, or even one cross look separates us from God. Incapable of perfection, selfish, and sinful by nature, we are destined for doom! We can choose our choices, but we can’t choose our consequences, and the Bible says the wages of sin is death. God is not capricious and cruel; His wrath is proportionate to our sinful behavior, it’s what we deserve. BUT due to God’s intrinsic love He has shown us mercy. This is not getting what we deserve. No matter what we’ve done or where we’ve been, God will forgive every sin. Is mercy available to all? Yes! Is it granted to everyone? No. The Bible says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Therefore, recipients of God’s incomparable riches have a personal relationship with Christ.  How great is our God?  Not only are we spared from what we do deserve, we receive what we don’t—His amazing grace.

It’s very popular to talk about God’s mercy, grace, and kindness. And it’s great to be joyful and celebrate God’s abounding love.  He doesn’t want us to dwell on our past. He wants us to look forward—but we must always keep in mind what we’ve overcome and the sacrifice that made it possible. This should encourage us to seek out people that will get what they deserve in a Christ-less eternity.

Pray

Thank God for His mercy and grace. Ask Him to speak to you through His word and thank Him again.

Act

Read Ephesians 2 in the New King James Version (NKJV). And don’t forget to invite people who need Jesus to join in on our God-led revolution.

 

Wednesday

July 13, 2016

The Four D’s of Forgiveness

Read

Ephesians 4:32, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ”.

Luke 6:26-27, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.

Think

Unfortunately, far too many people go through life harboring hatred and sheltering resentment from the sting of betrayal and the torment of heartbreak. Burdened with regret, their emotional baggage wreaks havoc in every new relationship. However, as Christ followers, we have experienced the overwhelming freedom and joy due to the preemptive work of forgiveness secured for us by Christ on the cross. Since we have accepted God’s free gift of mercy and grace—something we do not deserve—we too are called to extend the same to others, regardless of the offense. Sometimes, though, it seems impossible doesn’t it? We just don’t feel it, and the more we try to suppress it, the more it tends to emerge. In order for our futures to flourish, we must make peace with our past. And it starts by understanding the four D’s of forgiveness.

First, we must defer to the Lord when we just can’t seem to let go of pent up anger and hurt. We must say, “God, I don’t feel like forgiving, but I want to forgive”. Remember Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive”, thus God will never deny us assistance in righteousness. Next, we must decide to forgive as we consider the measure of grace we’ve been given. God did His part before we ever drew our first breath, therefore we must be willing to extend this same grace to others. Forgiveness also requires us to disengage from our emotions, because feelings are freaky and unreliable. Even if we cannot immediately assuage the bitterness and remorse, we must separate our feelings in order to unleash forgiveness. And although we won’t miraculously forget our pain, the miracle is in remembering and choosing to forgive. This allows our memories to become memorials to God’s grace. Finally, we must deliver our enemies to God through prayer. As we live to forgive, God will put the winds of freedom in our sails and take us places we never dreamed possible.

Pray

After repenting of your sins, ask God for wisdom and insight into any past anger or hurt you might unknowingly still harbor.

Act

Spend some time meditating on the magnitude of forgiveness you’ve been given. Then write a thank you note to God and read it to Him aloud.

 

Tuesday

September 1, 2015

End our efforts

Read

“She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’" Mark 5:26-28

Think

When it comes to making change in our lives, so many of us think we can muscle our way through. We think we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make the kinds of changes that will last. But the reality is that we can’t. No matter how much we try; no matter what we throw at our problems (money, effort, time, etc.), at the end of the day we simply do not have the power to make the kind of changes that God wants us to experience.

The woman in Mark 5 found herself at the end of her rope. She had tried for years to do everything in her own power to change. But there came a point when she realized something we all need to realize. True change cannot come from us. There comes a point when we must end our efforts and instead, rely on the only One who has the power to implement change. We need to hand over control to Jesus and allow Him to put his “super” on our “natural” so that we can experience the kind of changes that matter. Have you ended your efforts? Or are you still relying on your own strength?

Pray

Admit to God how you have tried to change yourself. Surrender control to Him, and thank Him for His power to make the kind of change you need.

Act

Think about something you are trying to change in your life. How are you trying to muscle your way into that change? Write down a list of things you are doing on your own. Is “trusting God” on that list? Make Him your focus before trying to do things all on your own!

Monday

August 31, 2015

The catalyst for change.

Read

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13

Think

It’s a paradox: we all want to change, but the catalyst for that change is our willingness to admit that we can’t change. At least, we cannot do it on our own. True change is something that comes from the outside in, not the inside out. It is only through a relationship with Jesus (who is the change agent) that we experience the kind of change that we all want to experience.

But there’s something we must be willing to do before we can ever discover that change. We must admit to God what He already knows – that we are imperfect, that we have sinned, and that we need His saving grace. It is when we “confess and renounce” our sins that we discover the mercy promised to us by God. That is when we find ourselves at the starting blocks of life-altering, eternity-shifting, supernatural change we all need!

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He is willing and able to change you. Admit to Him where you need His help, His forgiveness. Come clean to Him about the things you are hiding.

Act

Change is all about CONFESSION, REPENTENCE, and OBEDIENCE. Write those three steps down on a card and carry it with you as a reminder about the process of true change.

Monday

August 24, 2015

What we uncover, God covers

Read

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13

Think

Have you ever played hide-n-go-seek with a young child? You start to count, and what will they do? They'll go to some spot where they can't see you, but you can clearly see them. Maybe they'll hide under the bed, but their feet will stick out. Maybe they'll jump under the covers, but it's obvious to you where they are.

That's how we look when we try to hide our junk and funk from God. We think that we can have a clandestine meeting, a private conversation, or a secret experience apart from God. But the fact is, God sees everything. That fact is one that shouldn't frighten us; it should free us up! We have a God who sees it all; yet, when we are willing to come clean to Him and give up our game of hide-n-go-seek, He forgives us and cleanses us. What are you trying to hide from God? Isn't it time you came clean with it?

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He is willing and able to forgive you of your sins. Admit to Him where you need His forgiveness. Come clean to Him about the things you are hiding.

Act

So often, we sin specifically but ask for forgiveness generally. Right now, take time to pray for specific forgiveness for specific sins, and experience the freedom of the covering of God!

Friday

August 30, 2013

Fri, Aug 30

Read

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4˸15-16

Think

In the face of temptation, we are never alone. Though the evil one may lie to us to get us thinking we are alone, the Bible teaches us that we aren't. We have a Savior who intimately identifies with us in every area of our lives. He knows exactly what we are facing, and He wants us to come to Him for direction.

Use the knowledge that Jesus can identify with you to strengthen your resolve in the face of temptation. Don't buy into the lies of Satan, but instead rely on the truth of God. And realize you can confidently approach the throne of God in every situation!

Pray

Thank God for not allowing you to go through life alone. Ask Him for the opportunity to share that good news with someone in your life today.

Act

Every person you see is someone God loves and wants a relationship with. Invite someone you know to join you this weekend at church so they can discover just what God has in store for them!

Thursday

June 13, 2013

Thu, Jun 13

Read

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2˸9

Think

Every wave begins with a strong weather event. It starts with a low pressure system coming into close proximity with a high pressure system. And the convergence of those two causes a weather event that completely transforms the seascape and begins the momentum that ultimately becomes a wave.

In our lives, to experience the waves God has for us, we must come to a place of recognizing that we are low and that God is high. And when we admit that, we become transformed. Because the reality is that God went from high to low in order to take us from low to high. Have you admitted that? Have you begun to experience the waves He has for you?

Pray

Admit to God that you need His grace and mercy. Thank Him for providing that for you through Christ. And ask Him to help you experience the thrill of a life transformed.

Act

Learn more about the redemptive work Christ has done for you. If you have accepted that work, share this reality with someone you know today.

Friday

March 8, 2013

Fri, Mar 08

Read

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12˸9

Think

We don’t normally associate pain with influence.  According to our world, pain makes us vulnerable, being vulnerable is admitting to weakness, and admitting weakness is negative.  The reality is, though, there is serious influence attached to our pain.  Pain connects us to others and provides a common ground that bridges the gap between our lives and the lives of others. In other words, our pain can open doors for us to help other people.

Everyone you meet is either processing pain, preparing for pain or overcoming pain. Since God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, when we experience pain, He is able to shine His light through our lives. Are you making the most of opportunities to help others through the same pain you may have faced?

Pray

Pray for God to show you opportunities through your pain. Ask Him to work through your personal moments of darkness, so that others will be able to see Jesus in your life, even in times of pain.

Act

This weekend at Fellowship Church, we are going to experience what Pastor Ed has called “one of the top five messages” he has ever heard. Make sure you invite everyone you know to attend any of our experiences or experience it at Fellowship Live. Everyone you know can hear this message…and they need to!

Monday

January 21, 2013

Mon, Jan 21

Read

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  Proverbs 28˸13

Think

Lance Armstrong may be the most recent public example of what happens when lies are uncovered, but at some point in our lives, we have all chosen to lie instead of being truthful. But a lie never stays covered.  It will always be uncovered and exposed. 

Lying is exhausting.  Keeping it covered requires continuous pedaling - pedaling away from the truth.  As a result, our focus is taken off of the most important aspects of life – family, friendships, using our God given gifts and most importantly, God Himself.  God’s desire for us is to stop pedaling, get off the bike, drop to our knees and to look to Him. 

Pray

“Ask God to help you stop pedaling away from the truth and instead begin to restore your relationship with Him.

Act

If you have been continuously pedaling to cover a lie, stop today.  Be courageous and uncover it by confessing it to God, and begin a life of truth and integrity.

Monday

November 12, 2012

Mon, Nov 12

Read

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” - Acts 2˸42

Think

According to this Scripture, the first church developed a pattern that would begin defining how a church should ACT.  They learned from the apostle's teaching.  They spent time together and ate together.  And by praying, they listened together to what God was telling them, learning together in fellowship with one another.  That’s how it all began. 

Fellowship is really a bunch of fellow men and women rowing a ship in the same direction.  As they row, God takes them by other men and women waiting to be rescued.  It is amazing to see how radically rescued people rescue radically.  The definition of a church is not what it “is”, but what it “does”.  Fellowship Church follows this pattern by being a learning, listening and fellowshipping as we continue to radically rescue people one life at a time.

Pray

Pray that the radical rescue efforts will continue as Fellowship Church expands the reach to take turf for the Kingdom.  Ask God to lead you in how you should be a part of this expansion.

Act

Recall your own story of how Christ rescued you.  Let that experience motivate you to reach out to someone else who needs to be rescued.