Last night a young lady from our church wrote this on her Facebook page:
Does it ever make you stop and think of how deep His love is for us when you read “O Lord, You have searched me and known me”-Psalm 139:1 and still even knowing all the terrible things we may have done and our pasts of shame and regret He chose to die for us and His thoughts are precious towards us?! Yeah that’s right- …WOW…my God is a MIGHTY and MERCIFUL SAVIOR!!!
“…a mighty and merciful savior.”
Have you forgotten that? I so remember straying so far from the Lord that I was sure He would never take me back. When I did recommit my life to Christ in an act of total surrender, I remember not too long after that hearing a song by Phillips, Craig and Dean titled “Mercy Came Running” and the chorus goes like this:
Mercy came running
Like a prisoner set free
Past all my failures to the point of my need
When the sin that I carried
Was all I could see
And when I could not reach mercy
Mercy came running to me
That’s what happened to me. I could not reach mercy and mercy came running to me.
Too often we miss the rescue because we forget who our God is. So many times we bring on shame and punishment and problems into our lives by our actions that we forget who the Author of our salvation is.
“Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation.” (Psalm 85:4-7)
America is in dire straits because of an unrepentant church. We the body, do not even go to the mercy well anymore because we are sure it is empty. Or worse yet we don’t want mercy because we don’t want to give up the sin we hold so dear. We love our sin when it is God’s law we should love.
“Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” (Psalm 119:77)
Living in sin and trying to make it through this world with an unrepentant heart has paralyzed most Christians today and most do not even realize it. And it is not just the flock but also the shepherds who are paralyzed. They have bought into the Christian consumerism and they make sure they cater to all the wants of prospective and current members. Hey, we are seeker-friendly!
Let me be blunt. They only thing you should be seeking from a church is does it have a pastor who preaches from the Bible and is there a place that I can lay my sacrifice of praise at the altar. All other things are nice additions. Some how colonial and American churches were able to have two Great Awakenings without a coffee shop, bookstore, banging sound and video system, and contemporary music.
But American churches are long past being spiritual and are now purely sensual. I must have my emotions moved for me to worship. In fact, in America today worship is synonymous with music. Worship stop being prayer, reading God’s Word, and hearing a Holy Spirit inspired sermon. That left most American churches decades ago.
Instead of “I could sing of your love forever” our mouths should be singing this song of ascent:
“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud.” (Psalm 123)
Please do not misunderstand me; I am not outright opposed to coffee shops, bookstores, and state of the art sound equipment in a church. They are wonderful tools of fellowship, discipleship, and worship. But if these things are distracting the flock from God’s mercy seat, then maybe one weekend we close all that down, open our Bibles, actually bow to our knees, and seek our Lord’s forgiveness.
Revive us again O LORD.
Perhaps if we prayed the prayer Daniel prayed for Jerusalem and his people, perhaps our nation won’t miss the rescue:
“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” (Daniel 9:16-19)
O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act!
O Lord, revive us again!
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please click here and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.”
Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers