Thursday 1, May 2014
Bible Passage: 2 Kings 12: 1-15
Memory Verse: ''Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.'' Psalm 51: 1 - 2 NKJV
The Grace of God continues to baffle me. Each time I ponder on it, I cannot totally grasp its full depth and ramifications. The story in the Bible passage for this month is very apt to discuss the grace phenomenon. The story was told by Prophet Nathan to David as a metaphor to underline David's sin and cause him to, with his own mouth, pass judgement upon himself. Earlier on in Chapter 11, David committed the grievous sin of adultery and premeditated murder.
He slept with Bathsheba, another man's wife and then plotted the death of Uriah, her husband, in order to cover his sin. What I find most detestable in the whole saga is David's callous plot of wanting Uriah to become the father of a bastard, and having failed, he sent him back to the battle field, carrying his own death warrant! It is an unforgivable sin and God seriously frowned on it.
However, having been convicted of his sin, even with his own mouth, God had mercy on him and forgave him. But the forgiveness of sin by our God does not necessarily remove the consequences of sin. Though God's grace is able to circumvent His own plan for punishment, his mercy is still available to those who come with a repentant heart, recognizing their sins, but not by trying to justify themselves. David did not attempt to justify himself, rather when he was 'found out' and confronted with his sin, he accepted his transgression and pleaded for mercy. In the memory verse, we see David confessing his sin, asking God for mercy and forgiveness. David's call for mercy is the only appropriate request that a confessing sinner can make to activate the grace of God and receive mercy and forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness is God's gift to a confessing sinner, activated by His grace. Let me however sound a note of warning! The availability of grace is not an excuse or an occasion to continue to wallow in sin. Grace does not condone sin! As Apostle Paul said; What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Rom 6:1-2. We note in the story of David that, though God had mercy on him and forgave his sins, he still suffered the consequences of his sin. According to God's judgement: bloodshed persisted all the days of his life as exemplified in the violation of Tamar by her brother Ammon; his own family brought adversity against him in the violent death of his sons Ammon and Absalom; and his wives were taken by another man, when Absalom appropriated his concubines for himself. So grace, mercy and forgiveness which lead to assurance of salvation are not to be seen as licenses to continue in sin.
The times in which we live!
Our nation Nigeria, and indeed the whole world is going through a traumatic experience. We are experiencing serious turmoil in our world! We have continued to see cases of terrorist attacks where thousands of innocent souls are being sacrificed daily for reasons that cannot be understood. Kidnapping, ritual killings and cannibalism have become the order of the day all over our land! The sin of corruption continues to have a free reign in all facets of our lives! We go on as if in a stupor, hypnotized, burning in our own stew. Serious sins, which cannot be repeated rules our land from the mighty to the lowly! In our world things happen that we cannot understand. These are evidences of the imminent close of our times. All these are consequences of our sin of corruption, disobedience, apostasy and permissiveness. As Christians, we have to rise up and stand in the gap and pray. That our God will intervene in our times and save us from ourselves. Only God can deliver us.
The Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore. Have a splendid month.
1. Do you have secret sins in your life that you think is hidden and nobody knows about? You deceive yourself! God is not mocked. Why don't you confess the sins now and ask God for mercy and forgiveness?
2. Note, the consequences of continuing in sin are grievous and will certainly come. Why don't you ask for Gods help to overcome such sins. He is faithfully and just to forgive our sins and unrighteousness.
3. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in the hour of need. Our nation needs grace, mercy and help. Come to God on behalf our nation, confessing the sin of corruption, wickedness and greed. Ask God for forgiveness on behalf of our nation.
4. Perchance, maybe, we are suffering the consequences of our sins. Ask God for mercy and that he will temper His judgment upon our land with mercy.
5. Lets pray for our world and the body of faith. That the Lord will help us to stand perfect and complete. That we will not be part of the problem of our world, by our ways and conformity. But that we will be solution givers to the problems and issues of our world.
6. Pray and ask that the Lord will do what is good in his sight for our world and the enemies of the body of Christ. That there will peace round our borders in Jesus name.
Grace Leadership Foundation