Peter’s Masterpiece 2

by Paul M.

1st Peter 1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3)


to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, and that doesn’t fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (4-5) 

I believe God(Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious and reasonable.  God is love. He obviously desires us to be these to one another, He is the source the from which these streams of love flow.  This is the God who gave us an illustration condemning the the rich man who cared little for poor Lazarus, at his door step.  God being the ultimate “rich man” does not treat us poor and needy ones as the rich man He condemned, if we would only believe, He is, who He says He is.  This is the God who communicates Himself as running to meet His son, this son who had rejected and treated his father as if he were dead to him.  This father also reaffirmed his love to his older ungrateful and unmerciful son.

This is the heart of the gospel.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”  First and foremost the gospel message of reconciliation is one of the mercy, goodness, graciousness and love of God.  God through His reconciling mercy is reaching to us all, at times almost as if He is begging us to trust and come.  He lowers himself at times in the scripture to the place of beggar, tenderly entreating us not to destroy ourselves, through disbelief.

We are given hope, raised to a much greater hope than we have ever known.  Before coming to know this hope, we had our minds on other inheritances, we wanted and sought in a variety of ways, the respect, the love and the honor of other people.  We sought things that enhanced these  for us, we wanted more than anything else, to be seen as successful, great, and worthy of these things from others.  Many of us envisioned the “blessed life” the “good life” as being one of independence, one of finding peace and security in our own greatness, ingenuity and character.  We are learning now, the blessed life is one of meekness and dependence on God.

God came to this earth, lowly and meek.  The hope He gives us which replaces our former hopes to varying degrees, and I hope great degrees is to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance.  This inheritance doesn’t fade away as the spindle of our lives run out. This is a hope which grows stronger year after year, decade after decade.  He has reserved the best for last, reserving for us a place with Him in heaven.  He himself guards this hope within us.  We are guarded by this merciful and loving God, through His power.  He gives, renews and revives our faith in Him.  He sustains and grows the perfect seed within us, though it resides along side our remaining sin.  This remaining sin that we grow to hate, believe and pray against.

This gospel, of the good news of mercy, peace and love, has been revealed to the world through Christ.   This gospel goes against our natural inclinations, of finding respect, love and honor through our own greatness, ingenuity and character and in resulting material security.   The gospel message is one of progressively dying to these things, meaning the loving and seeking of these things.  These deceptive dreams and prizes of our former lives, before God’s merciful invasion of us personally.  By the mercy and grace of God we will turn more and more from ourselves, our greatness, our glory, our character, and our love and dependence on these things will fade.  Our Lord will pull us out of this horrible pit, of muddy and boggy false dreams more and more.  He will by giving us a growing faith and love for Him, for Jesus, for His righteousness, character and glory, increase the clarity of our eyes and hearts.  Though we may stumble at times and fall from this clarity, if we are His, he will draw us back, and even to a place of greater clarity.  We can have this expectant hope, even at and in the low places.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.  When darkness seems to hid His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.  His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.  When all around my soul gives way,  He then is all my Hope and Stay.  When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found.  Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.-Edward Mote

 



The Storm

Clarity

 

 

 

 

Some Drops of Sweetness 3

By Richard Sibbes

 

God calls him here his servant.  Christ was God’s servant in the greatest piece of service there ever was, a chosen and the choice servant who did and suffered all by commission from the Father.  In this we may see the sweet love of God to us, in the way he counts the work of our salvation by Christ his greatest service, and in that he will put his only beloved Son to that service.  He might well prefix it with “Behold” to raise up our thoughts to the highest pitch of attention and admiration.  In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble they are in that they need to be roused up to behold him in whom they may find rest for their distressed souls.

In temptations it is safest to behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29).  This saving object[Christ] has a special influence of comfort to the soul, especially if we look not only on Christ, but also upon the Father’s authority and love in him.  For in all that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him reconciling the world to himself (2nd Cor. 5:19).

What a support to our faith is this,  that God the Father, the One offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption!  And what a comfort is this, that, seeing God’s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!  His love rests in a whole Christ, in Christ mystical, as well as Christ natural, because he loves him and us with one love.  Let us, embrace Christ, and in him God’s love, and build our faith safely on such a Savior who is given so high a commission.

See here, for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons: The Father gives a commission to Christ; the Spirit gives to and adds holiness to it, and Christ himself executes the office of a mediator.  Our redemption is founded on the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity.

 


[language slightly modernized in places by this site]


 

 

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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Accepting and Rejecting Condemnation

By Paul M.

 

I saw something, that speaks a lot of truth: it was something like this:

“I can recognize a judgmental person as soon as a see them.”

This is true of many of us.  Too often this is true of me.  As I grew up I felt very judged and condemned by many.  This has left its damages to me.  In many situations and environments I come into almost expecting judgment and condemnation.  Many times I’m sure, I imagine it from some where it does not exist.

This is something the Lord has been working with me on.  Lord Jesus says:

 “Therefore be merciful,
    even as your Father is also merciful.
 Don’t judge,
    and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn,
    and you won’t be condemned.
Set free,
    and you will be set free.”1

I have found these words of the Lord to be true, as much as I have allowed myself to experience them, at least.  When I give others the “benefit of the doubt” even when there is much evidence to the contrary, there is a freedom.  A freedom from condemnation. I am embracing the love and mercy of God as I am understanding it and giving it to others.  His mercy is passing through me as a vessel of mercy.   Judgment on the other hand does not work out well for me.  I tend to judge those who “I think” are judgmental and or harsh, but who is to say my judgment is right. Even if I was right 9 out 10 times, the tenth person suffers unjust judgment.  Mercy is undeserved anyway.  When I become judgmental and defensive, anger and or bitterness is the result.  This is a very unpleasant state.  I am allowing my own judging and condemning to block up and distort my understanding, view and experience of God’s mercy to me, to us.

I want to be slow to judge and condemn even the most obvious offenders.  This is my desire and what I am aiming for, but I’m not close, but I will keep looking in faith and hope for Lord to make this more true in my life.

Lord Jesus says:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”2

Loving those who are somewhat deserving of our love is a low thing.  God calls us to a higher love.  A love which loves and does good to those who hate and hurt us.  This is hard, this is where the “good fight” of faith comes in.  This is a war.  That we would learn to respond to our judges, our condemners, those who hurt us with supernatural love and mercy.  I know those of us who are His children have it within us to do this.  He, His gentle and merciful Spirit is within us.

I have come to use a way of thinking that has helped me, some.  In a sense I am condemned, anything in me that is not renewed, and changed by God, has been condemned already.  I fully agree with the condemnation of any sin or remaining corruption within me.  I accept God’s condemnation of this remaining sin and sinner.  This part of me deserved the cross Jesus took for me, it deserves hell Jesus saved me from.  By faith this sinner has already been dealt with on the cross.   So why should I get so upset when others condemn this sinner also.  When I am condemned I can agree with my condemners.  “Yes, you are exactly right.”   “Thank God, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  We can accept condemnation from others without getting so defensive, yet in another sense we are believing gospel mercy and love to reject condemnation, as now we are credited with complete righteousness and full acceptance with God.  Our solid standing is on perfect righteousness and no condemnation at all.  Practically there is still much to judge and condemn within one another, if we so choose.  Practically we spend much time in Romans 7, but by faith we are truly Romans 8 believers.  The Enemy of our souls would have us believe our deserved condemnation of our sin, extends to undo our state of no-condemnation in Christ.  It won’t and it can’t, but the Enemy many times practically convinces us otherwise.

The Lord tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven, so the mercy we give will be correspondent with the mercy we receive, accept and love from our God.(Father, Son, Spirit) I hope to love His mercy more and more.  I hope this for you also.  Fight this War.


  1. Luke 6: 36-37
  2. Matthew 5: 44-45a

 

Its a War, Blackbird Blackbird

Some Drops of Sweetness 2

By Richard Sibbes

 

 

“God in Christ would save us by a triumphant and abundant love and mercy  and, the Spirit of God never goes but where there is a magnifying of the love and mercy of God in Christ; therefore the ministry of the gospel, which only reveals the kindness and love of God to mankind, being now reconciled in Christ, the gospel is accompanied with the Spirit, to assure us of our own inclusion and taking in of those benefits, for the Spirit is the fruit of God’s love as well as Christ. Christ is the first gift, and the Spirit is the second, therefore the part of the word that reveals God’s exceeding love to mankind, leaving angels when they were fallen, in their cursed state, and yet giving his Son to become man, and “a curse” for us for the revealing of this love and mercy of God, and his Son Christ to us, is joined with the Spirit.  For by the Spirit we see our cursed state without the love and mercy of God in Christ, and likewise we are convinced of the love of God in Christ, and thereupon we love God again, and trust his mercy, and out of love to him we are enabled to all cheerful obedience. Whatever else we do, if it is not stirred by the Spirit, apprehending the love of God in Christ, it is but morality.  A man shall never go to heaven but by such a disposition and state of mind and soul as is worked by the Holy Spirit, persuading the soul first of the love and favor of God in Christ.  What are all our doings if they aren’t out of love to God?  And how shall we love God except we be persuaded that he loves us first?  Therefore the gospel brings forth love in us to God, and this love has the Spirit with it, working a blessed state of growing in holiness, whereby we are inclined to every good duty. Therefore if we would have the Spirit of God, let us think, meditate and believe on the sweet promises of salvation, upon the doctrine of Christ, Himself; for together with the knowledge of these things, the Holy Spirit slides, insinuates, and infuses himself into our souls.”

 

 


[ language slightly modernized in places by this site]


 

 

 

Peter’s Masterpiece

I was reading 1st Peter 1 a few weeks ago.  This chapter is now one of my favorites.  It is a great summation of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God.  If you would, please read this chapter.  1st Peter 1

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as aliens in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,   2  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.  

The chosen ones of God were living as aliens in places into which they were dispersed.  They were made missionaries, [many by seemingly unfortunate circumstances to other peoples.]  God brings wonderful things out of seemingly bad things.  Those who are His children are aliens to this world.  The world does not understand us, why we do the things we do.  They misjudge our motives and hearts, they cannot figure us out.  We have become God’s children through the sanctification of the Spirit.  The Spirit most immediately to us, initiated our salvation.  He, in one way or another, turned our thoughts to Jesus, He drew us to Jesus, and Jesus reconciles us with God.  God led us to God, and God reconciles us with God. We have a sure and trustworthy salvation.   “and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Thank God, our salvation is His doing and keeping, and not our own.  May His grace and peace be multiplied to us.  May we come more and more to rely on His mercy, grace, and love for us, which will produce peace when trusted and relied on.

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,   

Oh, Blessed be Our Father, God, and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  This reminds us of God the Father’s love and loyalty to His Son Jesus Christ.  It is from this love of God the Father to God the Son, from which our faith in God’s love for us can rest.  There is not much in us practically, in our deficient morality, goodness, conduct, hearts; seen by us and others in this world, that is at all worthy of God’s love for us.  You see, this is not where our hope lies.  Our hope is only sure, steadfast and truly hopeful when resting on The Fathers love and acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is in the righteousness, love, obedience, the covering of Jesus Christ Himself, that we may have a living hope.   This is His wonderful and merciful gift to us.  This living hope, who is the living God, Who dwells within us indeed,  He is the source and only true Spiritual Life within us.  His dwelling within us is what brought us from death to life.  As Jesus was raised from the dead.

 “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

This same resurrection power has occurred in us, and continues to give us hope and life.  

”  and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. ”  

We have a sure, and powerful Living Hope within us.  The Ruler of All is within us, in a mysterious, but true way.  Though we may be feeble, and weak in ourselves, we do have access to great strength and power.  If only we had a fuller, deeper, more trusting faith in God to believe more fully in His power.  I hope, you and I will seek, trust and believe more of the mercy and grace of God for us, to help us experience more of His wonderfully powerful working within us.  May we share His great mercy and power more effectively with others, through His working in us. 


I will continue this at a later date, Lord willing.- Paul M.

John Bunyan’s Merciful Appeal

 

John Bunyan’s merciful appeal to sinners:

There is a people that therefore fear lests they should be rejected of Jesus Christ, because of the greatness of their sins; when, as you see here, such are sent to, sent to by Jesus Christ, to come to him for mercy: “Begin at Jerusalem.” Never did one thing answer another more fitly in this world, than this text this world, than this text fits such a kind of sinners.  As face answers face in the glass, so this text answers the necessities of such sinners.  What can a man say more, but that he stands in the rank of the biggest sinners? Let him stretch himself whither he can, and think of himself to the utmost, he can but conclude himself to be one of the greatest sinners.  And what then?  Why, the text meets him in the very face, and says, Christ offers mercy to the biggest sinners, to the very Jerusalem sinners.  What more can be objected?  No, he does not only offer them His mercy, but to them it is commanded to the offered in the first place: “Begin at Jerusalem.”  “Preach repentance and remission of sins among all nations: beginning at Jerusalem.”  Is not here encouragement for those that think, as far as wicked hearts go, they have no competition in the world?

Objection:  But I have a heart as hard as a rock.

Answer:  Well, but this only proves you are a greatest sinner.

 

Objection: But my heart continually frets against the Lord.

Answer:   Well, but this only proves you are a greatest sinner.

 

Objection:  But I have been desperate in sinful courses.

Answer:  Well, stand with the number of greatest sinners.

 

Objection:  But my gray head is found in the way of wickedness.

Answer:  Well, you stand in the rank of the greatest sinners.

 

Objection but I have not only a base heart, but I have lived an immoral life.

Answer:  You stand among those called the greatest sinners.  And what then?  Why the text swoops you all; you cannot object yourselves beyond the text.  It has a particular message to the greatest sinners.  I say it swoops you all.

 

Objection:  But I am reprobate.

Answer:  Now you are talking foolishly, and where you do not understand:  No sin, but the final impenitence, can prove a man a reprobate; and I am sure you have not arrived as yet to that; therefor you do not understand what you are saying, when making groundless conclusions against yourself.  Say you are a sinner, and I will say too;  Yes, say you are one of the greatest sinners, and spare not;  for the text is yet beyond you, is yet between hell and you; “Begin at Jerusalem” has yet a smile on you;  and you talk as if you were a reprobate, and the greatness of your sins prove you to be, When yet they in Jerusalem were not such, whose sins, I dare say, were such, both for greatness and heinousness, as you are not capable of committing beyond them; unless now, after you have received conviction that the Lord Jesus is the only Savior of the world, you should wickedly and despitefully turn yourself from him,  and conclude he is not to be trusted for life, and so crucify him for a cheat afresh……But I say, what is this to him that would fain be saved by Christ?  His sins did, as to greatness, never yet reach to the nature of the sins that the sinners intended by the text had made themselves guilty of.  He that would be saved by Christ, has an honorable esteem of Him; but they of Jerusalem preferred a murderer before him; and as for him, they cried, away, away with him, it is not fit that he should live.  Perhaps you will object, that you have a thousand times preferred stinking lust before him:  I answer, Be it so; it is but what is common to men to do; nor does the Lord Jesus make such a foolish life a bar to you, to forbid you coming to him, or a bond to his grace, that is might be kept from you; but admits of your turning to him away from sin, and He offers himself to you freely, as you stand among the Jerusalem sinners. 

Take therefore encouragement, man; mercy is, by the text held forth to the greatest sinners;  Yes, put yourself into the number of the worst, by believing you may be one of the first, and may not be put of until the greatest sinners are served;  for the greatest sinners are invited first; consequently if they come, they are likely to be the first that shall be served.


Text was slightly modernized -Paul M.

Link to page  https://wordpress.com/page/overcomebymercy.com/2495

When He Stills Our Hearts

I was listening to a song today.  A couple lyrics, set me to thinking.  “You steal my heart, and You take my breath away.”  Where are we standing with Him, with the almighty stiller of hearts, and taker of the breaths of men? Are we ready for the stilling of our own hearts and His taking of our own breaths away?  Has He “stolen” your “heart” before he stills your heart?

It is my hope that you as a reader have begun the supernatural detachment from the naturally precarious circumstance of man.  I hope He has had mercy on you, implanting within you His merciful, gentle and gracious Spirit.  I hope you have placed and are progressively placing more and more of your hope onto our only Hope.  I hope you have a growing peace with God.

I hope your thoughts and meditations have begun to be moved off this present world and on to a future living with our Hope.  I hope he has begun to live within you, and there is more and more evidence of this as time goes by towards our day.  I hope you are becoming more gracious, merciful, and gentle as time hurries on.  He is One of Mercy that triumphs over judgment and condemnation.  The father of most in this world is the expert on judgment and condemnation, the giver of “poison rain” which leads to so much hurt, harm and death.  Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth.  This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

I hope you recognize within you a new Spirit of peacefulness and peace making, of gentleness and mercy.  This is the Spirit of God, a Spirit of love, who grieves our premature judgments and condemnations.  If there is more evidence of another spirit within you, one of jealousy, envy, covetousness, selfish ambition which slaughters and tramples mercy, there is a hope for you.  A Hope for you.  He is merciful and kind to the evil, and ungrateful, he is willing and does extend his hands for you and to you.  Turn away from this present world and its trappings which so effectively hold and overcome most.  Allow His gentle Spirit to draw you into the One who brings us to God, the God who brings us to God.  Seek him trusting His mercy and graciousness to be born with in you that you may become full of His mercy and His Spirit.- Paul M.

   Link to page:  https://wordpress.com/page/overcomebymercy.com/2254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Mercy Revealed

John 3:16

   For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


 

This is the mercy of God revealed for us.  God so loves us that He incredibly humbled and lowered Himself to become a man.  God the Father sent His own Son to become a merciful exchange for us.  His Son Jesus lived the life we could and can never live in ourselves.  He lived a perfectly righteous and Father-pleasing life in our place.  Jesus chose to be so greatly lowered as to die a humiliating and excruciatingly painful death process because of mercy and love.  He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, the only acceptable and sufficient sacrifice for us.

cross5

 

Jesus takes our sin on Himself.  In exchange, He gives us His perfect righteousness and His Spirit, creating a new creation with His perfection within.  We as individual persons all need this merciful exchange worked within us.  We are all sinners; we all miss the mark.  We all fall short of the perfect righteousness required as to be in the presence of such a Holy, pure God.  We must be covered and credited with the perfection of Jesus: His righteousness, His obedience, His faith, His love.  We have absolutely no righteousness, obedience, faith, or love of our own to offer.

We must allow the infinitely powerful yet very gentle Spirit of God to draw us to this working of the merciful exchange for and within us.  God (Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious, and loving beyond our best thoughts of Him.  Trust God that he wants to save whomever will come to Him.  He desires all to be saved and come to know His mercy and love.  (1st Timothy 2:4)

Will you trust this good and all powerful God of the universe?  Please reject and turn away from your own corrupted, and damaged thought processes.  Trust the enlightening and illuminating Spirit of God to change your thought processes into those receptive of this most eminent gift.

You may be hesitant to give up control of your life.  To find new life and escape eternal destruction, you have to dive or allow yourself to fall into His mercy and care.  You will have to say to yourself “if I perish, I perish, Jesus is my only hope.” He will save the needy, poor, and desperate who cry out and continue to cry out to him.  I hope that as we think about His goodness and graciousness together, you will dive into His infinite ocean of mercy and love. I am confident you will come to experience His love if you persistently seek Him.

 


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