Living In the Mercy of God
A letter in response to Brad and Wayne's recent podcast entitled Unsanctified Mercy, they get into a discussion about God's judgment and discipline and whether those are unmerciful acts, or further extensions of his mercy. Many people mistake mercy for simply being nice or enabling people's willfulness, but does God see it that way?
I’v been listening to your podcast for a couple months now and have really been affected by ya’lls way of thinking. I am 19 years old and have been following God for a couple years. After listening to your funny , life-breathing conversations I have come away with a couple things. First, Jesus loves me. He is love and love is 1 Corthinthians passage. God says the greatest of faith, and hope is love. Love is what started Creation, love is what has kept it going, and love is what will sustain eterinity. Most of all what I appreciate about your podcast is the freedom to open your self to the creativity of God and how he moves. It seems like I have always listened to the “absolute” way God handles things/people. I guess if you look at the life of Jesus you will see first hand that God doesn’t always handle things the way we think he “ought” to. I have thought I knew what God thought about me and situations. Most of the time my thoughts have been filled with what others or leaders had to say.. mostly ways I could improve. However, I have realized on this God journey that I will always be growing in my understanding because my relationship with him is growing. But I regret to say that in my eyes my relationship with him seems to be going very slowly and sometimes no where. I have come out of some really hurtful church situations and haven’t been able to connect with God and believe very much since. However, I try to look at all of this as a positive. Maybe God allowed me to walk through all this to really take me into his love and build a real foundation thats not built on fear. I feel like I am taking wobbly toddler steps. Believing like a child that maybe Jesus really does love me and wants to show is kindness to me. I have felt so beaten down, so lost like a little sheep. But Jesus is the shepherd and he is calling me to himself. And for once I’m slowly not hearing any other voice but His. Anyways, just really wanted to say thank you for “slinging freedom all over the place”, as you put it. And as a 19 year old who could be stereo typed to go on a sin rampage when told about the freedom in Christ, I can honestly say this freedom has made me look at obedience to Jesus in a whole new light. I now am starting to see that obedience isn’t about God. Sounds like blasphemy doesnt it? But obedience is infact about God’s love for me. So really its about me! He puts me first. He knows that when I walk with him and in obedience I will be the most joyful, fulfilled and alive that I could ever be. Really living life to the fullest. This freedom your slinging everywhere has shown me that. It has shown me that God’s love has always been selfless and I can trust that : )
I hadnâ€™t listened to the God Journey in a while, but Iâ€™m glad I started back up recently. I thought the last few podcasts were interesting, especially the revival one. Having been to seminary and trained in how to hold a revival so God will show up, I can honestly say that a lot of the emotions present were part of the planning of those who led it. What we know of as revivals are throw-backs to the days of Charles Finneyâ€”Godâ€™s lawyerâ€”and his â€œprotracted meetingsâ€ of the Nineteenth Century. Finney and D.L Moodyâ€™s premises was that if a revival was conducted in a certain way then God would show up and revive the walking dead.
Back to the topic at hand; I am an example of Godâ€™s mercy. I have recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had this illness early on but the doctors could not diagnose me until recently. The onset of this illness helped to medically retire me from the Marine Corps in 1992. As the years went by I became more and more disabled to where I mostly sit polishing a chair in front of my computer.
Being at home all the time has enabled me to watch my three sons grow up; it gives me the opportunity to teach them about Jesus and show them how those teachings play out in real lifeâ€”who needs Sunday School?
My disease refocused my life on whatâ€™s most importantâ€”Christ, my Lord and my God, and on my family. Because of my disease, my wife, sons, and I are inseparable. Because of my disease professional ministry and its â€œsacrificesâ€ are but a faint memory. Because of my disease I now see God as my dad, friend, and benefactor. If it wasnâ€™t for MS I would not know God, my wife, and my sons; however, I would know pastoral ministry. Having MS is Godâ€™s gift to me; if MS ainâ€™t grace then I donâ€™t know what is.