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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2016
(Part 12)

THE AWESOME MERCY OF GOD

December 22, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 1:46-56


“His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.” (v.50). This is the wonderful assurance given us by Mary in her canticle. God’s mercy is extended to anyone and everyone at any time. Such mercy is an overturning of the wisdom of the world. It goes against the grain. It gives what is undeserved. As such it gives hope to those who otherwise would be hopeless.

How is God’s mercy such an awesome and mysterious thing?

  • The God of mercy is “God my savior” (v.47). God, the supreme Being, lowered Himself to man’s level, and even lower, as a slave, as a suffering servant, and by His incredible self-sacrifice won salvation to those who did not deserve it.
  • God “has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.” (v.48). God took a lowly, ordinary, unknown girl and lifted her up to become the mother of His Son. God takes us who too are lowly and extends to us the blessing of being His children.
  • “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (v.49). God is not content to lift us out of the misery of sin and darkness, but raises us to the heights, to be holy as He is holy, to be perfect as He is perfect.
  • “He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.” (v.52). God brings justice, which cannot seem to be achieved in this world. The rich become richer while the poor become poorer, and only God can reverse such an unjust situation. Those who are firmly entrenched are ousted and brought down, and those who have been oppressed are lifted up.
  • “The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.” (v.53). God overturns the corrupt world order. Those who have rejected Him are left empty-handed, while those who are His beloved poor are filled with goodness.

Have you lived your life apart from God? Have you strayed from the straight and narrow path? Now is the time to be restored, in this Year of Mercy. Nothing in your life is so entrenched that it cannot be overturned by God. Stand on His promises. “He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (v.55). You are a child of Abraham and God’s promise of mercy is for you.

What more can we say? “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (v.46-47).

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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2016
(Part 11)

THE MEANING OF MERCY

December 9, 2015
Today’s psalm: Psalm 103:1-10


What is the definition of mercy? Today’s psalm provides the answer. “He has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our wrongs deserve.” (v.10). Mercy is not executing the judgment or imposing the penalty we deserve for our transgressions.

The mercy of God is quite amazing. Despite our sins and our constantly falling into sin, despite the hardness of our hearts, despite our lack of adequate response to His call to holiness, God is still there for us. He never gives up on us. He does not disown us. “Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger, abounding in mercy.” (v.8).

In fact, even as we could be rightly and justly judged, God does not focus on our sins but on how we can be brought back to Him. He does not condemn but rather is patient in waiting on us to respond to His love and mercy. “He will not always accuse, and nurses no lasting anger” (v.9).

And when we do respond, then God is gracious and forgiving, forgets how we have hurt Him, gives us a full restorative embrace, and restores us to spiritual health. God is He “who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills” (v.3).

What a radical change the mercy of God accomplishes in us. We are brought from darkness to light, from the depths of sin to the heights of restoration, from hopelessness to a future full of hope. God is He “who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with mercy and compassion” (v.4).

All praise to the God who is merciful. “Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name!” (v.1).

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