Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grace and Mercy

“Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet…His name was Mephibosheth.” (2 Samuel 4:4)

Mephibosheth…The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it? Last time I checked, it has never made the top ten baby names. I’ve had friends half-jokingly suggest they would give that name to their son, but I have yet to meet someone who followed through.

Perhaps it is because the name itself is strange. I mean how many people have first names that have four syllables and seem to contain the whole alphabet? It’s a good thing they didn’t have last names in bible times or they would have run out of parchment for the birth certificate! Yet for all of it’s peculiarity that name (and the story God laid out about the man who wore it) proclaim loudly two things every believer receives freely and would be lost without—the grace and mercy of God.

I would encourage you to read the story for yourself but let me just give you a brief synopsis. Jonathon and David were best friends, despite the fact that God had removed his blessing from Saul’s royal line. David would be king. Saul was very angry and tried to kill David because logically Jonathon should be the next king.

Jonathon feared God and accepted His Will. Jonathon and David made an oath before God that they would care for each others families no matter what happened. When Jonathon died, David set out to keep His promise. “And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.” (2 Samuel 9:3)

That son was Mephibosheth. As he was brought before the king, Mephibosheth had at least two strikes against him. First he was lame in both feet. In that day, the lame could do little more then beg. Second, as a relative of Saul, David would have been justified (at least culturally) in killing him. The exchange that follows shows that Mephibosheth was all too aware of this. It is a wonderful picture grace and mercy.

“And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (2 Samuel 9:7-8)

David could have killed him, yet he spared his life and gave him all the land of his grandfather. No only that, but since he was lame, David sent his servants to take care of the land! Amazing! Not only did he spare him from what he did deserve, he also gave him what he didn’t deserve!

Jesus offers us an ever greater gift—eternal life when we deserve death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) We are all sinners. After all, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) In some ways this should be enough, but it’s only the beginning of the blessings God offers us.

He also:
• Calls us His sons and daughters (John 1:12)
• Gives us an advocate (I John 2:1-2)
• Gives us richly all things to enjoy (2 Timothy 6:17)
• Wants an intimate relationship with each of us! (Revelation 3:20)

As I close I just want to encourage you! God loves you. He has a place for you at his table, so if you haven’t come to Him yet, make today the day! If you have, spend time with Him! When we think of all He has done for us, how can we do any less?

“No one knew how alone I was feeling,
And the emptiness I tried so hard to hide.
Though I laugh and said my life was fine without you.
I was covering up the secret tears I cried.
Then one day someone told me of your mercies,
And the love you showed on a Hill called Calvary.
There you died and purchased my redemption,
When you broke in spite and set my spirit free.

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through Your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

Yes there've been days when I've failed you.
Lord you know the many times I've gone astray.
Lord I've learned your love is stronger than my weakness,
And your ear is open every time I pray.
No one else has ever cared for me like you Lord.
Other friends could never be as close to me.
I'm not afraid to face the problems of tomorrow,
Knowing you are everything I'll ever need.

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away”

—Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir


Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Love of God!

"The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a sunhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the son shines on it." C.S. Lewis

Tomorrow is Valentines Day! I hope that each of us will take the time to express thanks to God for the people that we love. GOD has been so good to us! He knows how to give good gifts! This is especially evident when we consider that we are not even worthy of our next breath

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:21-25)

Be encouraged friend! God has given us so much! We deserved death, he gave us life. We deserved Judgment and damnation. He gave us life and took our Judgment upon himself! “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

As if that were not enough, God gave us many earthly blessings. One of the greatest gifts he ever gave to men is women. They are precious and we as men (whether married or single) have a duty to protect and defend them. Remember that a godly woman has a price that is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:1) For those who are married, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Give yourself for her on a daily basis. If you are not married, take seriously this time God has given you to prepare!

Ladies, be patient with us. We are not perfect. We realize that we have a long way to go, but we also know that we are works in progress! The good news is that HE is faithful to complete his work! (Philippians 1:6)

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther

Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Once and For All!

"Knowing that Christ being raised
from the dead dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once:
but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."
(Romans 6:9-10)
It's here...Superbowl weekend!! The single biggest weekend in American Sport. Well, at least one of the biggest (I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on TV), but it's pretty big.
  • Sports radio hosts have been at the site of the big event for the past two weeks talking it up.
  • Commercials during the game fetch multi-million dollars even for 30 second spots. (which begs the question "Why are they most of them so stupid?)
  • The whole world watches, and the day after the Super Bowl is one of the biggest "sick days" in the calender year.

Yet for all of the hoopla and fanfare (especially among the fans in the cities represented) the excitement and sense of accomplishment is fleeting. Before the fireworks burn out, and the confetti drops the question on everyone's lips for the winners is "Can you repeat." Sometimes it's even asked during the trophy presentation! All that hard work, and all anyone really cares about is what you can do next!

I am so glad it's not that way with God! When Jesus died on that cruel cross and uttered those glorious words "It is finished," it really was! No one need ask, "Can you repeat." It's done. The Resurrection was God's stamp of approval on the redemption process. He died once for all!

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. " (Hebrews 9:11-12)

Rejoice today! Gods gift of Salvation is secure for all time. No one can take it away. So let's rest in him, serve him out of love, and share him with others. Unlike many gifts, there is plenty to go around!

"Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!"

Charitie de Cheney Lees Smith Bancroft 1841-1923


Andrew Gommesen