Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mercy and Grace

God's grace - when we get what we don't deserve.  God's mercy - when we don't get what we do deserve. It is all because of Christ. He took the punishment we deserve.  He takes our sins and clothes us with His righteousness.

I pray that God will show His grace and mercy to all of us.

1 Timothy 115

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

- The Apostle Paul

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

- John Newton

"And on these grounds I witness and declare, that I hope for no other  refuge of salvation than this alone – that since God is a Father of  mercy, he will show himself a Father to me, who confess myself a  miserable sinner."

- John Calvin
Thy love and grace alone avail
        To blot out my transgression;
        The best and holiest deeds must fail
        To break sin's dread oppression.
        Before Thee none can boasting stand,
        But all must fear Thy strict demand
        And live alone by mercy.
- Martin Luther

Monday, February 7, 2011

Light in the Darkness

These videos of the Taiwanese Lantern Festival are beautifully poignant. People write prayers on the outside of the lanterns and then send them out into the darkness. It reminds me of the words of the the writer of Ecclesiastes when he spoke,"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

All people everywhere know that there is something beyond this human existence. There is something out there in the darkness. Mankind reaches out into that abyss, hoping that someone or something will hear their prayers and grant them their heart's desire.

In it's own way, that is beautiful, since it is a clear testimony to the fact that eternity is real and our hearts reach out to what is eternal.

With the coming of the Son of God into the world, we see a different dynamic at work. We have the One who is there, the Creator of all things, reaching down into our darkness and showing us the Light of His glory. As the Apostle John said, ' the Light shines in the darkness." Jesus Christ is that light. He came down to us.

John 1
The Word Became Flesh
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

Scripture also reveals that He is not the one in darkness. We are. He is hidden in the light. In our blindness, we cannot see Him until He opens our eyes. Ask Him to open your eyes so you can see Him as He is.

Matthew 20:34
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.