Mercy

I posted the following on Facebook one year ago:

I have been a Christian for over 47 years now and I thank God for His love, mercy and grace throughout the years. For anyone who does not know this, being a Christian does not mean that we have arrived and are walking in perfection. Some people who are not Christians are quick to point that out as a reason to not have anything to do with Christianity. However, for anyone who has done that, don’t judge a perfect God by His imperfect people! If you are a Christian and judge other Christians because they sin in other ways than you do, stop that! ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! We should be praying for each other. 

I will be quick to admit that I am far from perfect and have made some bad choices in my life which took me wondering down a wrong path for awhile. The great news is that once we realize we are on the wrong path, if we genuinely repent, God not only forgives us but He FORGETS our sins! God is AMAZING! HE is perfect so He is the ONLY one who would have a right to judge us but He forgives and forgets! 

In my case, I have always been my harshest judge! Even after I repent for bad decisions that resulted in sin (anything that pulls our attention from God and what He wants for us) , I have continued to lament those decisions and condemn myself. Satan wants to keep us down by reminding us of our imperfections even after we repent. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and he wants to keep us from what God has for us. The Christian singer Carmen says that whenever the devil reminds him of his past, he reminds the devil of his (the devils’) future! In my case though, I have been a harsher judge of myself than satan has. The funny thing about this is one of my main spiritual giftings from God is mercy! I have no problem extending mercy to others but it is different when I need to show myself some! Our judgment of ourselves can hold us down and back from what God has for us. This morning I was thinking about times I have missed God and He spoke to me to “Get over it!”  With God’s help, I will extend the same mercy to myself that I extend to others and learn from it!  

What I have learned is that ALL failure is a prayer and relationship failure! When we become distracted and our one on one time with the Lord diminishes, we are opening ourselves up to deception and sin. Satan does not come to us and tell us to commit a sin because we would recognize that was wrong and not do it. What he does is try to distract us with things that will steal our time with the Lord and hinder our relationship with God slowly. This can even be done by seemingly good things like ministry. We can get so busy with ministering to others that we lack in our time ministering to the Lord and letting God minister to us! We need to watch out for anything that starts taking our focus off of the Lord and make sure that God truly comes FIRST in our lives!

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Words and Judgments

Christians, be VERY careful about the words you speak about other Christians and what they are doing. If a brother or sister in the Lord is in error or sin, we need to correct them in a spirit of love and humility but I am not talking about situations like that. I am talking about visions, callings and ministries. Not everyone is called to do the same things in the same ways. Be very careful not to criticize someone because they don’t have the same vision or calling as you! Each of us will be held accountable to God for what God has told US to do. We must be faithful and obedient to God in that calling..even if it means that we are criticized and misunderstood! If God has placed something in our hearts to do for Him, we MUST be faithful and obedient to God, keep our hearts and motives pure before Him and do it! However, while we are doing what He has given us to do, we must guard against being critical and judgmental of others who are doing other things in different ways than we do them. Please read Luke 9:49-50 and be VERY careful not to judge and criticize others!
I posted the following comment on a post that a dear Brother in the Lord posted on his page: Every Christian has a calling and vision from the Lord. Some will not have the SAME vision and will not understand what God has put in YOUR heart. Just be faithful and obedient to what God has put in YOUR heart and do what God is asking of you. God will bring others with the same vision to join you. If we ALL do the things that God has put in OUR hearts to do, have the right motivations and are faithful to our callings, think of how the world will change! The main thing for every Christian to do is love and pray for each other and to stay humble and obedient to the Lord at all times! God bless you!

Patricia Styers