Our God is a God of Mercy. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that we can come boldly to the Throne of Grace – or the Mercy Seat – and receive grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.
Jesus said to the Pharisees to “go and learn” what mercy over sacrifice means. They were obsessed with outward religion, but neglected to offer mercy to the weak and the struggling. They hadn’t understood the mercy in the Father’s heart.
Here’s today’s encouragement for our prayer focus.
Today we begin our Autumn Fasting and Prayer in Golden Valley Church.
It’s not a coincidence that we are beginning our season on the Jewish and Biblical “Day of Atonement” [Yom Kippur].
Yom Kippur in the Old Testament was the day when the High Priest entered into the Holiest Place to make atonement for the whole nation. Today it is still the holiest day of all in the Jewish calendar.
We also believe these days to be highly significant as they are part of Heaven’s calendar for the earth. Although as Christians we believe that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Day of Atonement in the sense that He was both the sacrifice and the High Priest, and that He opened up the heavenly Holy of Holies for us to enter boldly through His blood, it is still highly profitable to make specific and special time to draw near to Him on this day.
Yom Kippur ends 10 days of soul searching, repentance, forgiveness, and cultivating the fear of the Lord. Of course, in one sense we should do this all the time, however, it’s expedient and powerful for us align with heaven’s dates and seasons.
Let’s approach the Throne of Grace – the Mercy Seat – with boldness and confidence, and yet with deep humility, repentance, and awe. I believe God will meet us as we do, in this fast time.
Peter Jackson from Toronto, shared with us a wonderful encounter where he found himself looking into the eyes of God his father. He saw Gods eyes gazing at him with such inexpressible delight and unconditional love that astounded him and totally ‘undid’ him. This experience has transformed his life entirely. He has never been the same again and he now longs for the body of Christ to realise their full inheritance and walk as true sons and daughters of God on this earth. Peter carries one message from God. In his own words, he plays a one string guitar, and it’s always in tune!
Peter reminded us that our father delights in each one of us just as we are. His love is unconditional because all of the conditions were met by Jesus. He loves the worst of the worst in a wild and reckless love and we can allow ourselves to be wrecked by His love. Wow! How do we do this? So often we live under the law of sin and death, comparing and competing with one another and finding we fall short. This is shame based. We are either living out of a blessing or a curse. Galatians says we are one in Jesus. This is the truth but do we believe it? It’s easier to believe the bad stuff about ourselves. We cannot live out of two opinions as this is double-mindedness. Only God’s opinion is the truth and good news has to be freely received.
God wants to work in us from the inside out and turn us upside down. We are His church and are not our own as we’ve been bought with a great price and God is only interested in our complete transformation. Religion is working from the outside in. Christianity is working from the inside out. Peter admonished us to let God out!
God wants to give us His power to glorify Him in this world but he can only give it through humble hearts. Power is dangerous in the hands of an orphan. Humility is the currency of the kingdom of Heaven and Heaven is a kingdom of honour. Jesus prayed that “all of them may be one” He went to the cross to give us redemption, but not just redemption but also adoption and placed as an older son to the father. He has brought us ALL of the way in. We are co-heirs with Christ! It’s not adoption papers but a bonding – the spirit of adoption.
We are so thankful for the truth that has been brought to our hearts over the weekend. Peter has urged us to be as vulnerable as we are able so that we become all who we are called to be. We must remember that God never allows us to be tested more that we can bear. We can let an avalanche of grace comes down the mountain to surround us. Lets step out in faith and risk it. Open up the gates of Heaven so that the King of Glory will come in!
The subject of grace is a hot topic in some parts of the church right now. I have observed friends who have received greater revelation of the grace of God in Christ which has given them a new sense of freedom, joy, and peace. I applaud such fruit. The grace of God which is ours through His Son Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross is meant to produce in us such results .
What can we say about grace?
It is ‘amazing‘, as the hymn goes. It is meant to make us stand in awe and wonder at the goodness and kindness of God in dealing with our sins and sin-nature, once and for all.
It is ‘extreme‘. The Father welcoming back His prodigal sons and daughters and throwing a party for them, completely covering their shame and dirt with His own robe of righteousness sounds almost too ‘extreme’ to be true! Yet that is the grace that has been imparted to us through Jesus Christ. He came to bring us to this very Father as sons and daughters.Continue reading “HOW EXTREME IS GRACE?”