TENDER MERCIES

TENDER MERCIES

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Ps.51:1

David is crying out to the Lord for mercy, we have all been there. He knew that his only hope was the undeserved favor of God, actually that is always our only hope. This is an amazing verse of scripture, David appeals to God’s mercy using three different hebrew words (see the previous two devotions). The phrase translated “tender mercies” is the most powerful of all. This word is racham and is connected to God’s eternal love for us, a love that existed before we were born. Strong’s word dictionary brings out the subtle beauty of this verse.

“racham * rakh’-am – compassion (in the plural); by extension the womb (as cherishing the foetus); by implication a maiden”

David is describing a love comparable to a mother’s love for her child, a love that began as the mom carried her child in her womb for nine months. What an incredible picture, He has loved us from our mother’s womb, this kind of love has no bounds. This description of the matriarchal bond of love describes the most powerful human relationship imaginable, the physical and emotional bond between a mother and a child. How far would a mom go to help her child in trouble, what obstacle would keep her from her liitle one in his time of need? Nothing, a mom would give her everything to take care of her child. This love just begins to portray the powerful love the Lord has for His children. David used this terminology to show us the depths of our Father’s love for us.
In this portrayal of His love, we begin to see the eternal nature of our Father’s love for us. Before we did anything, before we were even conceived, He loved us. This is the kind of tender mercy that carried David in his darkest hour. He had sinned, The Lord seemed far, far away, but David remembered this “racham”. He remembered the love of God that had no conditions, the love that called him from his youth could bring him back to that place of intimacy. Not only could he be forgiven, he could be restored.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Ps.51:10-12

LOVINGKINDNESS

THE LOVINGKINDNESS OF THE LORD

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Ps.51:1

What an amazing prayer! In this one verse David appeals to the mercy of the Lord with three powerful words. They are chanan, chesed, and racham. The second word, chesed, is translated in the NKJ as lovingkindness (check yesterday’s and tomorrow’s devotions). It is a beautiful word expressing the deep love and kindness displayed to us in the life of Jesus. Zodhiates’ word book has a great definition of this word.

“The basic idea is that of an act of kindness, love or mercy shown to someone. The quality of the kindness shown is usually that reserved for close friends and family members.”

I love that, this word describes lovingkindness especially to those who are “family”. Again, this is revealed to us through the life of Jesus Christ. David was family because this incredible Savior would be called the “son of David”. What about us? We have become “family” through the redemption found in Christ. We have become heirs together with Christ, we have been placed in the family by His precious blood and by the infusion of His Spirit into our lives. The lovingkindess of the Lord, the “chesed” reserved for family, has been extended to us in Christ.
How does this effect my everyday life? It effects us in every way. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning, you are “family” now. One of the privileges that come with this relationship is forgiveness and restoration. He not only forgives us but He helps overcome the consequences that go along with our previous bad behavior. Along with that, our new “family” relationship changes our hearts, we are different now. Our nature has taken on His nature and our lives are changed. The “chesed” of the Lord not only fixes our circumstances, it fixes us. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindess.”

HAVE MERCY

HAVE MERCY ON ME

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Ps.51:1

This is any amazing prayer, prayed by David after he had sinned with Bathsheba. In this verse we see David crying out for mercy, using three different words describing the mercy of the Lord. The first word is the word chanan. This is the first use of the word mercy in this verse. This is a beautiful word that describes the love of God stooping down to minister to us. Strong’s word dictionary defines this word like this.
“chanan-properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition)”
This is a beautiful picture of the condescension of Jesus Christ as He stooped down to us by becoming a man. His whole life was a defining of this word chanan. Throughout His ministry, He was “stooping down” to minister to the blind, the maimed, the cripple, the poor, the depressed; this is the reason Jesus became a man, to display the mercy of God to broken people like us.
Today, Jesus is exactly the same. He is constantly ministering to the hurting today, just as He did during His time on earth.
Maybe you can relate to David’s prayer, his sins were bringing destruction into his life. In his desperation he called to the Lord. Maybe you find yourself in difficult times today, facing troubles because of decisions or sins in your past. Rather than being discouraged, condemned, or even angry about your circumstances, you can look to the Lord for mercy. The Lord is a merciful God, call out to Him in prayer. Call upon His “chanan”, He loves to stoop down and show His love to those who call out to Him in desperation. The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever. Today, He is still stooping down, He is reaching out in love to you, call upon Him when you are in trouble, He will deliver you and you will glorify Him.

OVERFLOW

FILLED

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Phil.4:19

What would it look like to have all of my need; my spiritual need, my emotional need, my financial need, absolutely everything met by my relationship with Christ? That is what Paul is talking about in this verse, a kind of overflowing of God’s goodness effecting every part of me. He uses a powerful greek word, pleroo, in this verse translated in English as “supply every need”. Dick Mills has some powerful insight into this beautiful word.

“Pleroo is a verb infinitive meaning “to fill to the full.” It might be defined as “to cram the net,” “to fill up a hollow place,” “to cause to abound,” “to load down,” “to fill the stomach,” “to fill the void,” “to pay off a debt,” “to complete a person so that there is no lack in him.” By consulting certain key lexicons and translations, we could translate this verse to read: “But my God shall [liberally, fully, gloriously, amply, abundantly] supply all your need [by imparting richly and furnishing abundantly, in a lavish and magnificent way]….”
Try reading out loud as one composite verse all the above amplifications and I believe you will be quickened by the Holy Spirit to discover the immensity of God’s provision.”

What a powerful verse of scripture, loaded with revelation and insight into God’s goodness revealed in His multi-faceted provision. What kind of need are you facing today? Is it family related or maybe financial? Or maybe you have troubles haunting you from the past or even worries about tomorrow. Regardless of what your facing, the answer is always the same. Jesus Himself is more than enough to remedy every situation. He is all sufficient, all knowing, all powerful, ever present, and infinitely generous and kind. One encounter with Him and you will need no definition of fullness or sufficiency, you will see for yourself the fullness of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus will meet all of your need, fill to the full, furnish abundantly, by imparting richly, amply, abundantly in a lavish and magnificent way Himself who is more than enough.

BLIND MAN’S FAITH

ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.
Matt.9:27-30

“Son of David,have mercy on us.” It was only by faith these blind men could call Jesus “Son of David”. This was the same as calling Him Messiah. That was a radical declaration made possible by grace, their spiritual eyes had begun to open, but there was more. There is always more! As they drew close to the Lord, their faith began to soar, they were receiving an increased dose of grace or spiritual light. In that atomsphere they received their physical sight. Adam Clarke describes this increasing nature of grace and faith, listen to his explanation.

“Let the mercy thou requestest be equal to the faith thou hast brought to receive it by. According to thy faith be it done unto thee, is a general measure of God’ s dealings with mankind. To get an increase of faith is to get an increase of every grace which constitutes the mind that was in Jesus, and prepares fully for the enjoyment of the kingdom of God. God is the same in the present time which he was in ancient days; and miracles of healing may be wrought on our own bodies and souls, and on those of others, by the instrumentality of our faith. But, alas! where is faith to be found!”

Where is faith to be found, why it is found in the Presence of the Lord. Just as in the Old Testament, Moses would draw near to the Presence of the Lord in the cloud and God would speak from the cloud, today we draw near to His Presence revealed in His Son. In that nearness God begins to speak, our faith begins to come alive, and miracles are the result. Like the blind men, we should never be satisfied with the current “light” that we have but should draw near to the Lord. As we draw near, we break into the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness who has risen with healing in His wings. Then the moment comes, we hear His incredible voice, “Be it done to you as you have believed.”

HAVE ANOTHER DRINK

HAVE ANOTHER DRINK

Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!
He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. John 7:37,38 Amplified Bible

I will never forget those first days when I was in the revival meetings in Rockwall Texas. It was 1994 and the first time I had met Rodney Howard Browne. The atmosphere was charged with power, God’s power, and people from all around the world were coming for a “drink”. “Drink” seemed to be the new word on everyone’s lips, Rodney kept saying “Have another drink”, I had no clue what any of it meant. After several days of meetings, I begin to understand, drinking was receiving, something I had all but forgotten how to do. During that next week, my life begin to change as I took on a whole new way of life, a lifestyle of drinking in the water of the Spirit. Everything was becoming brand new to me, worship was becoming new, church was becoming new, the Bible was becoming new, this drinking was effecting every part of my life. In today’s verse we catch a glimpse of this “drinking lifestyle” that Jesus began to introduce. His terminology is very interesting, He actually says to drink and keep on drinking. The word drink in is His declaration is a continuous action word, keep on drinking and the Spirit will keep on flowing. The receiving of the Spirit is not a once and for all proposition but a lifestyle of total dependency on the Lord. How often can I be filled, as often as I drink. When will I drink, when I am thirsty. Are you thirsty for God, are you aware of your spiritual need? When you become painfully aware of your spiritual condition and your great need for the Lord, that is when you are ready to begin to drink in God’s Holy Spirit. What is the outcome of this kind of drinking? You become aware of God’s incredible presence, you become more and more attracted to the Bible and to Christ Himself, you become involved more and more in this new lifestyle characterized by spiritual thirst. Do you feel those “thirst pains” in your belly, then come to the river, open up your mouth, and have another drink.

THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST

THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1Cor.15:52 & 1Thes.4:16

Do you ever think about the end of the world? Do you really think Jesus Christ will return physically to our world? What about during our lifetime, are the end of all things as, as we know them, at hand? I believe the end of all things is right at the door, the return of Christ is imminent, His kingdom reign on earth is certain. The strange thing about the fulfillment of prophetic events is their timing, it seems like they are delayed and may never be fulfilled and then, suddenly, they are dramatically in place. In the today’s verse we see this dynamic displayed. Paul uses the phrase, translated in English, “the twinkling of an eye”. This is describing a sudden, supernatural fulfillment of God’s prophetic plans, here is Dick Mills thoughts on this beautiful Bible word.

“Paul had in his vocabulary the following words to indicate time: millennium (1000 years), century (100 years), decade (10 years),year, season, month, week, day, and hour. (These are all Bible words. Paul did not have the words minute and second; these came later.) Yet when describing the return of the Lord, none of these words would suffice. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write “in an atomos,” “in the twinkling of an eye.” Jesus is coming in an atomic second. A second can be calibrated to a half second, a tenth of a second, a hundredth of a second, even a thousandth of a second. But an atomic second is a unit which is incapable of being further divided. ”

That is incredible! The Lord will suddenly appear, literally in “an atomic instant”. How should that effect our lives? First, it produces a joyful anticipation in our hearts knowing our reward is at hand. Secondly, it fills our hearts with an incredible sense of fear and awe, our incredible Lord Jesus will suddenly appear. I want to be ready for that moment, how about you?

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD

Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid – consider it. Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.
Haggai 2:18,19

All of us are looking for increase, especially in the area of finances. Face it, life is a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about money. In today’s scripture, the prophet Haggai is giving a word from the Lord to the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. The Babylonian captivity was a very difficult season for the jewish nation, it had all come upon them because of bad decisions that flowed out of cold hearts having departed from the Lord. The Lord brought them back to their land after seventy years with clear instructions to rebuild His temple in Jerusalem. Upon their return, they ignored the instruction of the Lord and gave their attention to the building of their own houses, things continued to go badly. After receiving correction from Haggai, they gave the their attention to the construction of God’s house. This is where the awesome word came into play, “From this day, I will bless you”. What day was he referring to, the day they turned their attention to the work of God.
How has it been for you recently? Before the jews turned to the Lord, the Lord had brought blight, mildew, and hail upon them, not very good. Do you feel like you have been going through one of those “blight, mildew, and hail” seasons?
What has your relationship been like with the Lord? How about your relationship to your local church?
In the Old Testament times the Lord revealed His manifest Glory from within His temple, in these last days the Lord has chosen to reveal Himself through the local church. This is God’s plan for reaching the world today, the local church is His only plan. When you turn your heart, your gifts, your work, and your finances to the support of your local church, you qualify for Haggai’s word from the Lord. “From this day, the day you turned your heart to the house of God, I will bless you”.

SPECIAL MIRACLES

SPECIAL MIRACLES

Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Acts 19:11,12

This is a very unusual verse of scripture, it has always been very special to me. Miracles, by their very nature are special, but Luke is describing another level of unusual. Dick Mills spoke of this verse saying, “A miracle is always special, so what does Luke mean here when he speaks of special miracles? Other versions of the Bible translate this word as “unusual”, “extraordinary”, or “uncommon”. Since by definition a miracle is always something unusual, extraordinary, or uncommon, this verse is almost a play on words: “God wrought ‘special specials’, ‘extraordinary extraordinaries’, ‘unusual unusuals’ by the hands of Paul”.
What made these miracles special? Mills goes on to say that it had something to do with where these miracles happened. They happened in Ephesus, along with Corinth, one of the most depraved of all the cities at that time. Today we would think of San Francisco, Las Vegas, or New Orleans, in those days it was Corinth and Ephesus. Brother Mills continues by saying, ” There is a spiritual isometric that states, …’where sin abounds, grace did much more abound’. The greater the sin, the greater the need of a Saviour.”
In the same way, great troubles, and great problems provide the atmosphere for these “special miracles”. Maybe you are facing insurmountable odds in your circumstances of life, rejoice, it is time for one of God’s “special miracles”.
The climate for these kinds of miracles is described best by the word, saturation. Paul was conducting daily meetings for two years in Ephesus. In that atmosphere created by spiritual saturation, these special miracles began to appear. Maybe you are in a season where only a special miracle will do, if that is the case, take desperate action. Saturate in God’s Word, saturate in His Presence praying in the Holy Spirit, create a miracle atmosphere through worship, and then, get ready. I think a season of special specials and unusual unusuals is headed your way.

RECOVERY

RECOVERY

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
Joel 2:25,26

Many of us have lost precious things over the years. Lost time, lost relationships, lost houses, lost loved ones, we could all make a list. Some of these things have been lost because of bad choices we have made, some because of sinful lifestyles, and others simply because we live in an imperfect world with trouble everywhere. The good news is that there is recovery and restoration available to us in Christ. Dick Mills has some awesome thoughts about this, check it out.

1. Restored physical soundness (Jer. 30:17.): We are told by doctors that some ailments leave people with no hope of recovery. This word from the Lord says that lost health can be regained.
2. Restored happiness (Ps. 51:12.): Upon confession of wrongdoing and receipt of God’s forgiveness, joy returns to the soul. If you have lost your joy, search your heart to see if there is something you need to confess and repent of.
3. Restored paths (Is. 28:12.): During times of spiritual declension, the path of service is not always easily discerned. When revival comes, the plan leading home to the Father’s house is always clear.
4. Restored life (Ruth 4:15.): Here is a promise of rejuvenation despite the aging process. The Lord promises us that our youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s. (Ps. 103:5.)

If you have been discouraged over past losses and failures, this is good news. There is recovery and restoration available for you in the Lord. Your time of recovery can begin today. How can that happen? As soon as you call, He will answer. He is here now, drawing you to a new beginning. Actually, He is drawing you to Himself.