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We have been at Sea Pines RV Resort for seven days and six nights. I have been out three times to run errands and Linda has not yet left the resort area, not because she doesn’t want to… no, her health, combined with the weather, has held her hostage to the camper. Even the leak in our front window, discovered during a night of torrential rain, caused us to give thanks… thanks for the waterproof mattress cover, quick fix and easy long-term repair.

These things happen from time to time in our travels. And yet, every night as we crawl into bed we always say, ‘this has been a good day’. There are many reasons why every day is a good day in our lives… as many reasons as there are days in our lives. It may be as simple as a lessening of the daily pain that Linda endures or as complex as a conversation with someone who needs to hear about the blessings of the Lord.

Always, our love for Jesus sustains us, lifts our burdens from our shoulders and allows us to share His wonderful mercies with others. The love He gave us for each other gives us the ability to carry our combined load with grace and dignity and proclaim Him Lord of all. In our good times and in our bad times, He is sovereign and carries us, comforts us and shows us mercy and love.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus… walking in His footsteps… show God’s love to a dying world… spreading the Good News through actions… seeking to find Jesus and help Him… answering the call… and on, and on, and on. There are many ways to describe those who volunteer to serve others and these are a few of the ways that Christians describe what they do.

What is often more difficult to talk about is the motivation, the reason why they do what they do. Some will speak of their need to show their love of Jesus by serving Him, some will speak of obligation or duty and some will speak of storing up treasures in heaven.

The reality is that service is simply an outpouring of the grace, mercy and love that flows from God to each of His children. When we are aware of the mercy, grace and love given to us by the Lord we feel compelled pass those blessings on to others in need. When you have been touched by God, when He has spoken to you and called you to His family, run to Him to offer all of yourself to Him. Do not hesitate, joy is waiting.

When we come to the end of this life what will we see as we look back and say goodbye? Will we be proud of where we went, who we knew and what we did? Were our days spent wisely or did we throw away this gift from God called life? Good questions, but not the most important.

The biggest question that we need to ask is have we been pleasing to God? And we need to ask that question now. Are we pleasing to the Lord? Yes, I know that God loves us, that we exist only through His mercy and that we will continue to live with Him only by His saving grace. And yet, there has to be more. When we realize, really understand, His love and mercy, we know deep in our hearts that we must share this blessing.

When we face the Lord, we need to be able to place before Him the fruits of our lives. Every time we choose to act in love and with mercy, every time we choose to forgive, we create pleasing fruit for the Lord. Every time we react with anger and spite, every time we refuse to forgive, we create bitter fruit for the Lord. What fruit will you bring before the Lord?

What do you do when a stranger comes into you church and asks for help, even offering to sell some clothes for much needed money? There are many answers to this question and most of them seem to involve pronouncing judgement.

Do you immediately reject that person as unworthy of your help? We are supposed to use discernment and wisdom in our lives; however, summarily rejecting others is not.

Do you question and probe to see if he or she is worthy of your help? It is not our function to know whether someone is worthy of our love and help on our own. Only through prayer and with the help of the Holy Spirit can we tell the truth about the stranger in need.

Do you trust that the Lord has put you there to help and offer to help even though you might be helping someone who is just trying to take advantage of you? Help others after prayer. Do not harden your heart, do not become indifferent even when someone takes advantage of you.

The Lord knows your heart and knows what the result of your actions will be. Perhaps your kindness will turn an unrepentant heart or save a soul from certain death. Just show mercy and kindness and let God use this act for His glory.

Listening to the rain on the roof of the camper this morning and all I can think about is the mercy of God, His Grace pouring out on us as we move through this world. No one could possibly be as blessed as we are and this is not by our hand as all who know us can testify. It is the hand of God that we reached for when He first saved us that continues to hold us and rain His love down upon us.

As the rain ends and the earth dries, the plants and animals begin the process of sustaining life, using the water to sustain their lives and produce food for our sustenance. Every plant and animal was created by God with sublime interaction one with the other. Even the stars and the moon with their subtle gravity fields affect all who live on the earth. What is so astounding is the fact that the One who created all of this knows each of us personally and wants each of us to know Him personally.

Do you? Do you know the triune God, Creator of the universe, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? He knows you and loves you. Look around you and see the magic and majesty of His creation and become His friend.

The Lord my God is an awesome God, the Creator of the universe who can fill the universe with His wrath, who can call down thunder and lightning to chastise anyone who disobeys His commands. He created us in our fallibility and gave us free will, the ability to think and reason and make decisions about our life, decisions that impact those around us, decisions for good or evil.

The Lord my God is perfect and holy and cannot be in the presence of sin and evil. Mankind is born into the world and the world is fallen, evil has dominion over the earth and all of its inhabitants, putting us at odds with God, making us an abomination to Him and corrupting our fellowship with Him.

The Lord my God is a forgiving God, the Father who sent His only begotten Son to us to redeem us from our sins and show us the way to return to the Father. We have a way to be forgiven for the evil that we have been taught to follow, for the evil that we now do, have done and will do. That Way is Jesus Christ.

Realize that the God wrath and the God of mercy are one. Which one is your God?

There are times in life when the world is like this morning’s mist, grey and insubstantial and the Lord is a consuming fire burning the mist off of His creation, a small foretaste of times to come when Jesus returns. We all have friends who are a part of the mist, their faith grey and insubstantial and we see others every day who have no or little faith.

All Christians have been called to love the Lord and love others. If we truly love the Lord we will do His will and follow His plan. Each of us has a part in God’s plan to bring others to Him and defeat satan every day. Pray for the vision to see His plan for you and pray for the strength to love others, even the unlovable and the hateful. Murderers, abortionists, rapists, pedophiles, and terrorists are all just one confession, one act of repentance and acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God from salvation.

Sin is sin, God does not differentiate between them. Remember Romans 3:23 and John 3:16 and be ever thankful that ours is a God of mercy and grace. By His grace we were saved and with His grace we need to always be ready to love everyone and share His gospel and His blessings.

We make decisions about our lives every day. What to wear, what to eat, which road to take, ETC. These are decisions that require our judgement about things that concern how we look and act. They are about us and how we present ourselves to the world. These are a few examples of the judgements that are good and necessary. There are also judgements that we make that are not good and definitely not necessary.

When we make uninformed decisions about the actions of others and when we make snap judgements about the actions of others we are not using good judgement. And when we share our opinions of others we are gossiping, we may even be condemning and we are certainly not being merciful. Be aware that the amount of love and mercy that you receive is affected by the amount of love and mercy that you give. Be very careful about judging others for you will reap what you sow.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.

When I dwell on the awesome power and majesty of the Lord I am filled with gratitude, grateful that He is Love and pours out His grace upon the world. Who but a loving God would endure the sins of the world, would give the gift of free will. Who but a loving God would wait with infinite patience for each human to turn to Him? Who but a loving God would withhold his wrath from those who despoiled His perfect creation?

No one. Only a loving God would send His only begotten Son to be the required sacrifice for our sins. Only the true Son would willingly lay down His life for humanity. Only a loving God would send the Holy Spirit to dwell within each of us and guide us. Only a loving God would flood grace upon a wicked and undeserving world.

Only a loving God would stand at the door of your heart and ask permission to enter and fill you with joy and peace. Answer the door and no matter what you have done, no matter your circumstances, no matter your sins, He will forgive you and fill you with peace and joy. Your path will be changed forever.

Prayer should be the central theme of any true Christian’s life (Ephesians 6:18). If I have learned anything as I learn to walk with Jesus, it is that my resources are totally inadequate. I cannot, of myself, do any good and righteous thing. It is only through the saving grace of my Lord and Savior that I even exist. If the very air that I breathe is a gift from God, then how much more wondrous a gift are the thoughts I think, the words I speak, the things I do? So, I need stay focused on God to honor these gifts.

In prayer we need to praise the Lord, worship the Lord and declare His majesty for He is the Creator and we are the created. Created to worship Him, to praise His holy name and amazingly to walk with Him in love and fellowship.

In prayer we need to ask for mercy, we need to ask for understanding, we need to ask for forgiveness and we need to ask for more faith. We need to keep praying, never ceasing, never stopping, always believing and we need to pray for ourselves, our family, our fellow Christians, the nation and the world. The Word promises that we will receive all things that are good for us when we ask in faith.

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