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The Gentleness of Mercy

Okay, in case you haven’t gotten the idea yet…this book is just amazing!  I just finished chapter six. Chapters five and six both deal with the idea of mercy and forgiveness in a relationship.  Forgiveness I have…I have a pretty easy time forgiving people (unless you were to put a snake in my bed; that would require some SERIOUS forgiveness.)  I’ve always kind of used mercy and forgiveness interchangeably. You know, mercy is bestowing something that is undeserved, forgiveness isn’t deserved, voila!  This book questioned that theory in one sentence.

“Mercy can be extended to those who don’t recognize it, whereas forgiveness is most often a transaction between parties.” (pg 98)

In other words, you can bestow mercy without the other person ever knowing! This really hit home with me as I thought about how many times I can just keep my mouth shut and not say anything. For example, my sister has this horrible habit that really bugs me. (And yes, I have her permission to post this.) She forgets to flush the toilet. Often. It drives me crazy because I have to flush and then when I’m done it won’t flush because the tank is still filling up. So, as I was writing this post, I have to use the restroom and I walk in and the toilet isn’t flushed! AGAIN! My instant thought was, “Man, I’m really going to have to harp on her to get her to fix this. It’s so simple; why can’t she remember?”  Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the post I had left just a second before. Oh, yeah…mercy. So I’ve decided to show mercy on this point and not mention it. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m just keeping it inside, harboring resentment either. It means that I’m being merciful, patient, and kind toward her.

Does this make sense? In my mind it makes sense but I’m not sure my thoughts are flowing well onto the keys this time. It’s so easy to miss the point of mercy in two different ways:

1. By burying it deep inside and letting bitterness take over and

2. By becoming proud in your heart about how many times you’ve shown mercy to another without them knowing.

I think mercy has a kind of gentle humbleness about it. Realizing how much mercy you’ve been shown by the Father and letting that flow out of you to others. And it doesn’t have to be about the ‘big’ things in life

It can be as simple as someone not flushing the toilet or any other pet peeve you may have.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in books

 

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A Passion for Theology

Today I was able to enjoy the teaching of several godly men as they expounded the Scriptures. My church had a Bible Conference with D.A. Carson as the key-note speaker. It was wonderful to learn from him and it reminded me of a statement that someone uttered to me this summer.

“Kimmy, you should be a pastor.”

This statement was a result of me sharing some books/commentaries I had read and what I had learned from them. At the time I just laughed, because we both knew that she and I have very different views on women pastors.

As I thought about it today though, I began to wonder why she said that. Isn’t it possible for girls to have a love of theology without any ambitions to become pastors? Isn’t it right for girls to want to be well-versed in the Word of God and have an interest in Hebrew and Greek roots without wanting to be a church leader?  Can’t I be excited to go to a Bible conference and sit under the teaching of learned men or listen to sermons in my FREE time? (Oh, the horror) As I thought about it, I realized I don’t know many (in fact, I’m not sure I know any!) girls my age who love to read books on theology at all. Why is that?

In the first chapter of (you’ll never guess what) When Sinners Say I do (oh, you guessed it? Drat), it talks about how everyone is a theologian. You can either be a good one or a bad one but like it or not, you do have theology. I think it’s important to study the Word and listen to those who preach sound doctrines in order for good theology to take root. If all you ever do is listen to the Christian radio announcers and you take your theology from them, you are going to be in trouble (not to mention overly bubbly).

But, as the book says a little farther on, good theology isn’t dark and mysterious, it is practical. We are “street theologians” as the author puts it. Theology needs to impact our thoughts and actions, our motives and emotions. What we think about God should influence and will influence every part of our lives.

I would encourage more young men and women to do more studying. Search the Bible deeper than what you learned in the Primer Sunday School class. There is always more to learn from the Word of God but we need to get off the milk and get to the meat of it.

 

“11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  Hebrews 5:11-14

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Bible

 

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A Healthy View of Sin

So my Dad has given me and my younger sister a reading assignment and I’m really enjoying the book. It’s called “When Sinners Say I Do” by Dave Harvey. (He’s also made reading it a prerequisite for anyone wanted to marry us!) 🙂  I’m only two chapters into it but I have already learned so much! One thing I love about the book is that it applies to all of life.  The lessons you can learn will aid in every relationship you have because every relationship is about bring glory to the Lord!

The chapter I read today had to do with our view of sin. I’m beginning to realize how lightly I take sin sometimes. How easy it is to brush it off and forget it. I’m learning that I need to have God’s view of sin and not buy into what the world says about it.  From the book:

“Do you fear that you’ll be too hard on yourself? If so, just remember that to Paul, his ‘worst of sinners’ view was a sign of clear-eyed self-assessment and a robust awareness of the holiness of God. Remember also who we are in Christ despite our sin: we are treasured children of the Father, who loved us enough to send his only Son to suffer the punishment for our sins, even those sins we have yet to commit. And remember that God is at work in you, conforming you into a genuine, from the inside out, example of Christ. A sober assessment of our sinful condition doesn’t hinder that work, it celebrates it!”

I’ve seen two very different views of sin in people I know:

1. The person who is flippant and disregards the seriousness of sin and

2. The person who refuses to let go of their forgiven sin and beats themselves up continually.

 

I think both views are wrong and there is a happy medium. We need to realize exactly what our sin is (rebellion against our holy God) and I think it should grieve us when we sin against our Savior. But we also need to move on once we have repented (turned away from the sin) and God has forgiven us. To doubt God’s ability to forgive is to depreciate Christ’s work on the cross.

All these concepts have been floating around in my mind for the past week or so. Prompted not only by this book but also by a Bible study I am doing. I’m excited to see what else the Lord has to teach me!

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in books

 

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