This post is going to do one of two things…it will land in one of two places.
You will either wholeheartedly agree or disagree and I am pretty confident there will be no in-between; however, this is one of those messages that I, sincerely, pray will lead you to think, study and pray.
On December 23, 2015 God woke me up out of a dead sleep.
Now, before you go getting all, ‘Oh, Lord, she’s getting messages from God now’ on me…lean in and listen closely.
Many things have woken me in the middle of the night: indigestion, insomnia, bad dreams, to-do lists…but this was different. Very, very different.
I woke up…fully awake and kept hearing the words “love, grace, mercy, always” repeated in my head and heart over and over again. I got out of bed and walked into the living room. I grabbed my Bible, turned on the kitchen light and felt the need to turn to one of the most commonly known scriptures of the entire Bible.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten, Son; that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I have read this scripture hundreds of times in the last twenty-five years of my life. I knew it by memory before I understood who Jesus was, let alone that He had died for me.
As I read…this is what I noted.
(The notes “OR” are a reminder to my 3AM self to look up the original language when I was truly ready to sit down and dig in.)
I have said before, and will say again, that when God wants to tell you something, He will. He doesn’t wait for it to be convenient or for you to be rested. He caught my heart, mind and will at the perfect time and He had my complete attention.
The last note , written feverishly, was this,
“This is the simplest truth with the most complex level of acceptance. It must not be overlooked as childish, but digested, accepted and lived.”
I want to write the verse again for you as I understood it, for the first time, during that early morning session with God.
“God so loved the world (love), that He gave his only begotten Son (grace), that whoever believes in Him would not perish (mercy), but have everlasting life (always).”
This single moment with God has changed my entire life. It has become our family mantra, the purpose behind every choice, word and action I employ. It is the anchor for every emotional reaction to every challenging moment. It is my reminder, my calling, my conviction.
We can (and will) dig more into the Biblical definitions of love, grace, mercy, always…but today, my heart is burning for something different.
I, like everyone else in the world, read the news today. I’m all too familiar with the horrific attack on innocents in Brussels. I am equally saddened and disgusted by the level of disregard for human life on this planet.
However, in spite of all of that, I couldn’t help but be even more saddened and discouraged by the fact that yet another human tragedy has become fodder for political advantage, racism and hatred across the world, including our own country.
As I sat in my office today and prayed for the families and friends of those lost or wounded in the attacks in Brussels, I had this incredible nagging in my gut…
Love, grace, mercy, always.
Who is praying for the terrorists? Who is praying for those lost souls, so far away from God’s heart and path that they believe that murder and mayhem are the answer to their questions?
Heaven help me, because I did not want to. I didn’t. But my God has instructed me to do just that.
God so loved the WORLD…
All of it. Every single person.
He LOVED them.
He loved them so much that he gave his own life for them.
Would you? Could you?
I don’t know if I could. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t, if I’m being completely honest.
And yet…there it is…
Love. Grace. Mercy. Always.
He offers them the same grace He gave you.
He extends to them the same mercy He extended to you.
Not just today…but always.
Heaven help me understand that the life of Christ; the death and the resurrection were meant for every single human being who ever has been and ever will live no matter how different they are from who I am.
Your mission, Heavenly Father, has nothing to do with my politics. It has nothing to do with my comfort. It has nothing to do with my own hurt, fear, thoughts or ways.
It has everything…EVERYTHING to do with your love; with your grace; with your mercy…ALWAYS.