Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The Mercy Papers - 6
Reclaim the Bow
Discovering Original Mercy
COPYRIGHT RESERVED, 2017
The Mercy Papers (6)
It’s not natural to love through grace and mercy.
Nothing has changed since the garden.
It’s natural to be selfish, self-righteous, discriminating, segregating, and degrading.
We are the Adamsons at natural birth.
There hasn’t been anything original about sin since the genesis of humanity.
That’s why Jesus insisted rebirth/regeneration is the only way to know Him and prove that relationship by loving like Him with grace and mercy to love Him.
That’s why talk of renewal is so often intellectually dishonest as well as spiritually impossible; for no one can be renewed unless newed previously.
Naturally, it is impossible for us to love Him by loving like Him with grace and mercy.
It’s not in our natural make-up/DNA/genes.
We must, as He insisted, be born anothen (again from above) to replace naturally miscreant instincts with supernatural love through grace and mercy.
Evidence/proof/fruit of intimacy/closeness with Jesus, as Paul listed, are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, and self-control.
Those Jesus-honoring traits are not naturally in/through us but rather result from an intimate/close relationship with Him – a supernatural by-product/result of intimacy/closeness with Him.
Succinctly, loving Jesus by loving like Jesus with grace and mercy is only possible after the supernatural supersedes the natural by being born anothen in/through then for Him.
Supernaturally being born anothen supersedes the miscreant instincts of natural birth as Jesus fills our heads, hearts, and guts and pushes out the original sin in favor of original love through grace and mercy; causing the rebirthed/regenerated to exclaim with Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Jesus who lives in/through me.”
In other words, the desire to be more like Jesus becomes incarnate as our natural birth with its original sin yields to our supernatural rebirth/regeneration with His original love through grace and mercy.
How can people move from their natural to His supernatural selves?
It begins with a simple request, “Jesus, please come into my life as my Lord and Savior.”
If the request is authentic, the results begin immediately by rebirthed/regenerated confession, conduct, and countenance.
The sanctifying or process of increased intimacy/closeness with Jesus accelerates as we exercise spiritual disciplines beginning in worship; recalling David’s assurance, “God inhabits the praises of His people.”
Worship is praising and thanking God for who He is and what He has done for us and our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus with attention to increasing fidelity according to the example of Jesus as explained in Holy Scripture and conscious dependence upon Him here and now and forever.
Worship – the only indispensable discipline of Jesus-followers and best way to love Him and kindle love for Him by loving like Him - is complemented by continuing education founded upon and filtered through the Bible, meditative retreats, frequent trips to the table of Holy Communion, intercession, fasting, fellowship with believers, mission, personal/corporate stewardship, and all activities intended to honor Him as Lord and Savior.
Simply, Jesus dominates the thoughts, words, and actions of those who claim Him as Lord and Savior; or as Paul put it, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Christians pray and labor to say things that Jesus would say and do things that Jesus would do; so that, again, Paul’s joy becomes ours: “It is no longer I who live but Jesus who lives in/through me.”
As intimacy with Him broadens and deepens, that desire/prayer for expressing love for Him through grace and mercy becomes increasingly passionate; or as Brother Lawrence described in The Practice of the Presence of God, it is possible to focus our desires and passions on God so much that He permeates all thoughts, words, and actions: “We should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him…All bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with God by love…Our sanctification does not depend upon changing our works, but in doing them for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own…Do your common business without any view of pleasing men, and purely for the love of God…Times of any business or any work do not differ from the time of prayer…”
A saint once said, “Nothing can happen through you that has not first happened to you.”
Unless the natural is superseded by the supernatural by being born anothen, we enable the world’s meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance.
When the natural is superseded by the supernatural with evidence/proof/fruit of being born anothen, the bow is reclaimed and original mercy has been discovered and extended with lavish inclusion.
TMP (6) contributors are B&B.
Praising and thanking God for the initial gift to get moving with merchandise to attract inquiry of $200, we need at least 5K to begin production and related costs of the movement.
Please pray with us for the release of support; and send your tax-deductible gifts to The Grove (4210 Countryside Estates, Poplar Grove, Illinois 61065) or First Presbyterian Church (221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008) and write “Reclaim the Bow” in the memo.
We encourage you to forward, duplicate, and disseminate TMPs.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!