When was the last time you cried out to God with the awareness of your own shortcomings and sins? Have you ever just let it all out? God knows your heart, he knows your deeds, but have YOU actually owned up to your own transgressions?
Follow David’s example. Time and again, David acknowledges his own sins and time and again, he asks for forgiveness and courage to live with integrity. The only way we move closer to God is by renouncing our sin and setting our sights on the grace of Jesus at the cross, where all those sins were washed away in one final sacrificial gift.
God doesn’t want to hold your sin over your head to condemn you. He wants you to address it so that he can transform your heart into one that beats in rhythm with his.
King David knew a thing or two about fear and finding security and comfort God. Even as a young shepherd boy he had to protect his flock from predators.
Listen in this week as David shares one of his most beloved poems, speaking from a place of personal understanding. Be encouraged by the promise of God that He has you safely guarded and will love you tenderly through the trials.
Feeling discouraged, downtrodden, conspired against? Even kings feel that way. Listen in as King David, the man after God’s own heart shares his heart with God. Listen to the prophetic song that David writes in Psalm 22 and take courage that God is for you. The battles may seem overwhelming, but the war has been won.
Every journey requires a rest stop. Let’s stop here and take in some Psalms. Hear what the psalmist says about Jesus. Rest confidently in the promise that the Lord is your stronghold, even in times of trouble. Give thanks to the Lord today, with all your heart.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).
Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.
This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).
So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful] and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing. The Scriptures say,
‘If you want to enjoy true life and have only good days, then avoid saying anything hurtful, and never let a lie come out of your mouth. Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, and he listens to their prayers. But he is against those who do evil.’
Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5
If the best inheritance I can get by being humble is the earth, I’m not sure that sounds like a very good deal.
Let’s face it, the earth is kinda falling apart. We’ve got natural disasters galore, terrorism everywhere, racism that lingers despite our ‘enlightenment’, climate change and social injustice every direction you turn. It’s a mess.
But God only gives good gifts, so there must be more to it than what we currently see.
Turns out, there’s a lot packed into this one tiny verse in Matthew 5.
Often, when we think about the words meek, gentle or humble, we envision someone who is quiet and unassuming. This tends to be, in our mind’s eye someone who’s a bit of a wallflower. While this may be true in some cases, I think the best way to determine what a humble person looks like is to look first at what a non-humble person looks likes.
And boy, do we have some great examples. I’m not going to name names; I assume you don’t have to think too hard to come up with a list of at least 10 people who are, in fact, quite arrogant and loud about it. And beyond that list, all I really need to do is look in the mirror to find someone who’s far less humble than she’d care to admit.
While an arrogant person is often perceived to be loud and abrasive while a humble person is quiet and demure, God doesn’t look at what’s being projected out of us. He merely looks at our hearts and knows the state of our pride.
Arrogance is a lack of dependence on God. Humility is recognizing God’s rightful place in our lives and ceding that place to Him. It’s giving up our own agenda and right to rule our lives in order to seek God’s will in all things.
Tune in to this week’s episode as Brandy examines the third beatitude and what humility looks like, as well as the inheritance we’re longing for.
“I like Jesus in the New Testament, but I could do without the God of the Old Testament. He’s just a bully.”
It’s a common complaint, so this week Matt and Brandy sit down with a special guest to talk about it. Is God the same throughout scripture? How can we trust that such a wrathful God is also a compassionate Savior? Join us for a lively discussion!
Gregg Chastain is the Pastor of Sandy Community Church in Sandy, Oregon. You can find out more about this church or contact Gregg by clicking here. You can also follow SCC on Instagram or Facebook.
Community Church of Sandy – A congregation of believers that merged from Community Presbyterian and Fellowship Bible Church circa 2015.