CHOOSE MERCY TODAY & CHOOSE VICTORY…
This time of year always warms my heart and reminds me of many wonderful holidays spent with family and friends. But, I’ve found that if I’m not careful, I can find myself getting wrapped up in the busyness of the season, things to do, people to see and gifts to buy. I think this is true for most people. Many people live life “maxed out” before the holiday season even starts, and then adding just a little extra stress on top creates a recipe for frustration, hurt feelings and strife.
The Bible warns us in James 3:16 that when strife comes in, it opens the door for “every evil work.” We have to close the door on strife and use wisdom when planning our days. We have to consciously make the effort to receive God’s grace, extend mercy to others, and hold on to peace.
Grace is God’s supernatural favor, mercy and empowerment upon you. It’s His ability working in you to accomplish what you need to. When Jesus left the earth, He said, “I may be going away, but I’m sending One who will never leave you—the Holy Spirit will reside in you and teach you all things.” When you align yourself with the Spirit of God, you will be equipped for every good work by His grace. His grace will empower you to love others and help you navigate the holiday season!
When you receive God’s grace, it empowers you to extend mercy. Choosing mercy means choosing victory because mercy triumphs over judgment! That’s why Jesus showed mercy everywhere He went. Scripture tells us that Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, denied Him three times after He was arrested to be crucified. Do you know how Jesus responded? When He rose from the dead, He appeared to Mary at the tomb and said, “Tell everyone that I’ve risen…and go find Peter!” Jesus singled Peter out because He wanted him to know that he was still loved, valued and forgiven. Jesus didn’t hold a grudge. Instead, He extended mercy to Peter and restored him. He extends that same mercy to us every day, and we can extend it to others this holiday season!
Maybe the holidays don’t bring back good memories for you. Maybe you’ve been hurt, denied or rejected by someone. Maybe you are working through some pain right now. Remember, Jesus gave us an example of mercy, and He has equipped us by His grace to overcome. It’s easy to take offense. It’s easy to hold on to the hurt and pain of the past. But the best way to move forward is to give all that pain to God and let Him heal you. Receive His grace so that you can show mercy this holiday season and every day of the year!
“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” (2 John 1:3, NIV)
WITH THE EXCELLENT AND THE PLENTY
Deuteronomy 28:4 – “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Would you want to buy a chair that Jesus made? I would, even if it cost US$1,000 because it would be of superb quality. Whatever Jesus did, He did it with perfect excellence.
And because Christ is in you, the things which you produce will be of exceptional quality too. That includes your children, who will be champions. Deuteronomy 28:4 says, “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks”.
God was using terms that the Israelites understood since they were farmers and shepherds. Today, “your ground” is the place of your work. This means that “the produce” of your work shall be of excellent quality.
That is not all. God promises that quantity will always follow quality because Deuteronomy 28:11 says that the Lord will “grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body,” which means that you will have plenty of children, “in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground,” which means that your business will flourish and you will be a leading producer in the area of your specialty.
My friend, your excellence and plenty do not come by your efforts. They come by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who paid for you to have divine provision—“though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich”. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Jesus was made destitute of all material things at the cross. He had nothing! As He hung on the cross, He watched the Roman soldiers gamble for His robe. His last possession on earth was gambled away. He became poor, so that you could be blessed with the excellent and the plenty!
Thought For The Day
Jesus was made destitute of all material things at the cross, so that you could be blessed with the excellent and the plenty!
‘We share in His sufferings…that we may also share in His glory.’ Romans 8:17 NIV
God’s number–one goal for you isn’t comfort, it’s Christ–like–ness! And to reach it you’ll have to undergo some of the same experiences that Jesus went through—like being misunderstood by your family, ridiculed by church members, rejected by the world, and disappointed by the people who say they love you. The Bible says we’ve been called to ‘share in His sufferings…that we may also share in His glory.’ So how do we do this? In three ways:
(1) Stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain. ‘Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.’ (Hebrews 12:1–2 NLT) Corrie ten Boom said, ‘If you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without, you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ, you’ll be at rest.’
(2) Don’t give in to short–term thinking. Look at Jesus, ‘Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross.’ (Hebrews 12:2 NLT) Keep your eye on the finish line. You don’t get the trophy until the race is over, so make up your mind to ‘stay the course’ and finish strong.
(3) Start praying the right way. When you understand that God’s objective is to make you more like Christ, you’ll start praying fewer ‘comfort me’ prayers and more ‘conform me’ ones. Instead of asking, ‘Why me, Lord?’ you’ll ask, ‘What do You want me to learn, Lord?’ James writes, ‘Let the process go on until…you have become men [and women] of mature character.’ (James 1:4 PHPS) That’s how you become more Christ–like.
ARISE AND SHINE!
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. – 2 Corinthians 1:20
Beloved, because of Jesus’ perfect finished work at the cross, all of God’s promises of provision, protection and good success are yes and Amen! Meditate on this unchanging truth. Say these words out loud:
I declare that I am special in Jesus’ eyes, and He loves me unconditionally. I have an awesome destiny. Jesus has equipped me with gifts, talents and abilities. Today, I receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness to reign in life. I give thanks that His favor surrounds me like a shield and opens doors of opportunities for me. Because of Jesus, I shall be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, the lender and not the borrower. I shall not suffer lack but be surrounded by His abundance, His wisdom, His peace and His protection.
Thank You, Jesus, for Your finished work at the cross for me. I receive a fresh revelation of Your love right now and thank You that everything my hands touch shall be blessed! I believe with all my heart that I am greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved! Amen!
God’s promises are eternal, and what He has said in His Word cannot be altered in any way (Psalm 119:89). That means that every good thing He has promised you, MUST come to pass!
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