Peter’s Masterpiece 2

by Paul M.

1st Peter 1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3)


to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, and that doesn’t fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (4-5) 

I believe God(Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious and reasonable.  God is love. He obviously desires us to be these to one another, He is the source the from which these streams of love flow.  This is the God who gave us an illustration condemning the the rich man who cared little for poor Lazarus, at his door step.  God being the ultimate “rich man” does not treat us poor and needy ones as the rich man He condemned, if we would only believe, He is, who He says He is.  This is the God who communicates Himself as running to meet His son, this son who had rejected and treated his father as if he were dead to him.  This father also reaffirmed his love to his older ungrateful and unmerciful son.

This is the heart of the gospel.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”  First and foremost the gospel message of reconciliation is one of the mercy, goodness, graciousness and love of God.  God through His reconciling mercy is reaching to us all, at times almost as if He is begging us to trust and come.  He lowers himself at times in the scripture to the place of beggar, tenderly entreating us not to destroy ourselves, through disbelief.

We are given hope, raised to a much greater hope than we have ever known.  Before coming to know this hope, we had our minds on other inheritances, we wanted and sought in a variety of ways, the respect, the love and the honor of other people.  We sought things that enhanced these  for us, we wanted more than anything else, to be seen as successful, great, and worthy of these things from others.  Many of us envisioned the “blessed life” the “good life” as being one of independence, one of finding peace and security in our own greatness, ingenuity and character.  We are learning now, the blessed life is one of meekness and dependence on God.

God came to this earth, lowly and meek.  The hope He gives us which replaces our former hopes to varying degrees, and I hope great degrees is to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance.  This inheritance doesn’t fade away as the spindle of our lives run out. This is a hope which grows stronger year after year, decade after decade.  He has reserved the best for last, reserving for us a place with Him in heaven.  He himself guards this hope within us.  We are guarded by this merciful and loving God, through His power.  He gives, renews and revives our faith in Him.  He sustains and grows the perfect seed within us, though it resides along side our remaining sin.  This remaining sin that we grow to hate, believe and pray against.

This gospel, of the good news of mercy, peace and love, has been revealed to the world through Christ.   This gospel goes against our natural inclinations, of finding respect, love and honor through our own greatness, ingenuity and character and in resulting material security.   The gospel message is one of progressively dying to these things, meaning the loving and seeking of these things.  These deceptive dreams and prizes of our former lives, before God’s merciful invasion of us personally.  By the mercy and grace of God we will turn more and more from ourselves, our greatness, our glory, our character, and our love and dependence on these things will fade.  Our Lord will pull us out of this horrible pit, of muddy and boggy false dreams more and more.  He will by giving us a growing faith and love for Him, for Jesus, for His righteousness, character and glory, increase the clarity of our eyes and hearts.  Though we may stumble at times and fall from this clarity, if we are His, he will draw us back, and even to a place of greater clarity.  We can have this expectant hope, even at and in the low places.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.  When darkness seems to hid His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.  His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.  When all around my soul gives way,  He then is all my Hope and Stay.  When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found.  Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.-Edward Mote

 



The Storm

Clarity

 

 

 

 

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10          11           12

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon:

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9             1:16

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard SibbesSweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith:

1           2          3

 

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Accepting and Rejecting Condemnation

By Paul M.

 

I saw something, that speaks a lot of truth: it was something like this:

“I can recognize a judgmental person as soon as a see them.”

This is true of many of us.  Too often this is true of me.  As I grew up I felt very judged and condemned by many.  This has left its damages to me.  In many situations and environments I come into almost expecting judgment and condemnation.  Many times I’m sure, I imagine it from some where it does not exist.

This is something the Lord has been working with me on.  Lord Jesus says:

 “Therefore be merciful,
    even as your Father is also merciful.
 Don’t judge,
    and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn,
    and you won’t be condemned.
Set free,
    and you will be set free.”1

I have found these words of the Lord to be true, as much as I have allowed myself to experience them, at least.  When I give others the “benefit of the doubt” even when there is much evidence to the contrary, there is a freedom.  A freedom from condemnation. I am embracing the love and mercy of God as I am understanding it and giving it to others.  His mercy is passing through me as a vessel of mercy.   Judgment on the other hand does not work out well for me.  I tend to judge those who “I think” are judgmental and or harsh, but who is to say my judgment is right. Even if I was right 9 out 10 times, the tenth person suffers unjust judgment.  Mercy is undeserved anyway.  When I become judgmental and defensive, anger and or bitterness is the result.  This is a very unpleasant state.  I am allowing my own judging and condemning to block up and distort my understanding, view and experience of God’s mercy to me, to us.

I want to be slow to judge and condemn even the most obvious offenders.  This is my desire and what I am aiming for, but I’m not close, but I will keep looking in faith and hope for Lord to make this more true in my life.

Lord Jesus says:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”2

Loving those who are somewhat deserving of our love is a low thing.  God calls us to a higher love.  A love which loves and does good to those who hate and hurt us.  This is hard, this is where the “good fight” of faith comes in.  This is a war.  That we would learn to respond to our judges, our condemners, those who hurt us with supernatural love and mercy.  I know those of us who are His children have it within us to do this.  He, His gentle and merciful Spirit is within us.

I have come to use a way of thinking that has helped me, some.  In a sense I am condemned, anything in me that is not renewed, and changed by God, has been condemned already.  I fully agree with the condemnation of any sin or remaining corruption within me.  I accept God’s condemnation of this remaining sin and sinner.  This part of me deserved the cross Jesus took for me, it deserves hell Jesus saved me from.  By faith this sinner has already been dealt with on the cross.   So why should I get so upset when others condemn this sinner also.  When I am condemned I can agree with my condemners.  “Yes, you are exactly right.”   “Thank God, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  We can accept condemnation from others without getting so defensive, yet in another sense we are believing gospel mercy and love to reject condemnation, as now we are credited with complete righteousness and full acceptance with God.  Our solid standing is on perfect righteousness and no condemnation at all.  Practically there is still much to judge and condemn within one another, if we so choose.  Practically we spend much time in Romans 7, but by faith we are truly Romans 8 believers.  The Enemy of our souls would have us believe our deserved condemnation of our sin, extends to undo our state of no-condemnation in Christ.  It won’t and it can’t, but the Enemy many times practically convinces us otherwise.

The Lord tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven, so the mercy we give will be correspondent with the mercy we receive, accept and love from our God.(Father, Son, Spirit) I hope to love His mercy more and more.  I hope this for you also.  Fight this War.


  1. Luke 6: 36-37
  2. Matthew 5: 44-45a

 

Its a War, Blackbird Blackbird