THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
GRACE AND MERCY - 2
Today’s reading: Wisdom 2:23-3:9
God created us out of love, and He created us in His image
and likeness. We are God’s children and we are destined
to live eternally with Him in heaven. “For God formed
us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made
us.” (2:23). But our first parents Adam and Eve were
tempted by Satan and disobeyed God’s command, and thus
lost paradise. Satan, who opposes everything that is of God,
despises us because we are created in God’s image and
likeness and are destined for heaven, from where he was expelled.
“But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world”
love endures forever, and so God sought to redeem His people.
He raised Israel, but they too were unfaithful, disobedient
and rebellious. So God ultimately sent His very own Son Jesus
to redeem us. Jesus saved us, enabling us to enter paradise
once again. But Christians today have again turned away from
God, and continue to disobey His commands. Jesus brought us
back to life, and we can look forward to eternal life, but
what the world today has embraced is the culture of death.
This is the work of Satan, “and they who are allied
with him experience it.” (2:24b).
God is love, and God is gracious and merciful. His “grace
and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the
elect.” (3:9b). As always, we need to respond to God’s
love, grace and mercy. We need to obey Him. We need to grow
in holiness. We need to be able to be truly counted as among
His holy people. Then we can make it to heaven, rather than
the fires of hell. “The souls of the righteous are in
the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.” (3:1).
must put our trust in God, who never gives up on us, sinners
that we are. “Those who trust in him shall understand
truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love”
(3:9a). To look to and to trust in God is how we will understand
mercy and compassion, to be true mercy, must help lead people
out of sin, and not end up just accommodating sin by being
true disciples of Jesus must not only live Christ but also
share Christ. We are all called to participate in bringing
in the harvest.
the authentic gospel is not the gospel of prosperity but
the gospel of the cross. “Chastised a little, they
shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found
them worthy of himself.” (3:5). This is the way of
Jesus, and we are to follow him and embrace the cross daily.
we are called to holiness, to be set apart from the ways
of the fallen world, and to give totally of ourselves to
God and His service, and thus make it to eternal life. “As
gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial
offerings he took them to himself.” (3:6).
Only as we live out such a life can we experience the fullness
of the mercy, grace, peace and hope of God. “But they
are in peace” (3:3b), “yet is their hope full
of immortality” (3:4b), “and the Lord shall be
their King forever.” (3:8b).