June 6, 2021: Pastor Prep Notes
HE IS - I AM : LIVING OUT OF MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST!
HE IS MERCY - I AM LIBERATED.
What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, who he prepared in advance for glory? Romans 9:23
June 6 He is - I am. Mercy
-freed from the weight and bondage of resignation
because I am the object of my Father’s mercy, I will know joy within circumstances beyond my control or power to repair, and I will walk in the delight of knowing who I am in Christ, even in the midst of distressing emotion.p.63
Bible Story: The whole book of Jonah. Jonah and the whale -> God’s Mercy Revealed ….!
Have you ever wanted to just quit, to say no more, I can’t do this … ? And the thing you want to quit is that something that God wants you to do? Jonah had this same experience. God gave Jonah an assignment. And knowing how merciful God is pissed Jonah right off. Jonah didn’t want to be the one God would use be a catalyst for God’s mercy to be revealed. Why give mercy to people that don’t deserve it. Made Jonah wan to die. How do you respond to God’s mercy and the call on our lives to be his catalyst?
Our focus for June is God’s Mercy. From Laurie’s book we are encouraged to remember that “in Christ”, He is Mercy, I am liberated. Laurie has touched on several ways God’s Mercy is for us. Today we look at the truth that “I am freed from the weight of bondage and resignation”.
My girls could tell you more than a couple of stories about when their dad lost it. My most infamous one was when I intervened concerning the girls and their sleeping arrangements. Two of them shared a bedroom together. To my dismay it seemed like all they could do was fight. One day their communication skills got so on my nerves that with the parenting tact of King Kong with a bee in his bonnet I went berserk! ENOUGH! I went into the room. I angrily dismantled the bunk bed. Grabbed the mattress and threw down into the basement. Totally cleared out my basement office and declared to one of my beloved children that they would now be sleeping in the basement. If it isn’t already obvious, this was not done with the calm and grace of Jesus. I had in that moment resigned myself from being a good parent. I GIVE UP!!!!
Though that’s a classic moment, I’m sure in my life as “dad” there have been lots of moments that compare. However great or small, each moment has the potential to create walls between me and my children that will be hard to bring down. If i don’t clean up, apologize or repent of resigning myself from fulfilling my role appropriately, these moments of “resignation” could be devastating to the relationship I have with my kids. As I have repented, asked for forgiveness, my kids, I believe, have shown mercy to me over the years and the relationships have been preserved. Please note, a more appropriate room for my basement girl was found. It was in another upstairs room until the basement became her idea.
But what if they hadn’t, shown me mercy? Could God’s mercy still be enough to free me from the weight and bondage of those moments of resignation? I believe the bible says, “YES GOD’S MERCY IS ENOUGH”. Think about what Laurie tells us in his book,
because I am the object of my Father’s mercy, I will know joy within circumstances
beyond my control or power to repair, and I will walk in the delight of knowing
who I am in Christ, even in the midst of distressing emotion.p.63
Some of us have kids, parents, friends, colleagues or even brothers or sister’s in Christ that have not extended mercy to us. The judgement they have for us in not revoked, no mercy is given. Their accusation remains firm. The pain of our weakness is always on the front page. Whether it is our own personal short-coming, our inability to change who we are or what we’ve done, their judgment becomes the substance of our relationship. It carries with it a heavy emotional weight.
However difficult it may be to get past the pain of their judgement or my (or your) inability to “change” things, you and I can “in Christ” know that what the bible says about God’s mercy towards me, and you, is true, His “mercy triumphs over justice” James 2:13. I am the object of God’s mercy! In Christ, there is hope for the hopeless. I can live free from the weight and bondage of resignation. It’s a God thing. Something God wants to do for me in Christ. I cry “mercy” and He gives it to me..…God’s Mercy is a beautiful powerful thing
From our Bible story today, I’m not sure where Jonah landed as concerns God’s question at the end of his book. I do know where I want to land… I want to willfully partner with God, being both an “undeserving” receiver, giver and catalyst for His mercy.