Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law. Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is,… For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). (Romans 13:10, 11 AMP)
To Him Who by wisdom and understanding made the heavens, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever; (Psalm 136:5 AMP)
God made the sky, the stars, the beauty of the universe for us. He didn’t just form it so spectacular from His skill, though He had skill. He formed it by wisdom and understanding. He knew that we would appreciate vastness, and twinkles, and puffy cumulus clouds. In fact in His wisdom He created us with a capacity to enjoy the heavens.
He was a God sitting on His throne longing to show His mercy to someone. Mercy burns in the heart of God. It’s nothing with no one to give it to. So He made us. He probably taught Adam and Eve mercy and kindness and wisdom as they walked and chatted those days in the Garden. Then we fell. What did He do? He sacrificed animals for their forgiveness, clothed them both. All out of mercy He cleaned up the spiritual mess they had made.
When we’ve been in heaven 10,000 years we’ll still be learning the kind of mercy that burns in our hearts for the good of others. This verse sits in the middle of a Psalm that has “His mercy endures forever” in every single verse. It’s a reassurance over and over when we doubt God’s goodness to us. And it shows that every perfect gift He gives us is from His mercy.
And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself]. (James 1:18 AMP)
His Word of truth is a seed He’s planted in each of us. He wants it to grow inside us to cause us to birth fruit. In this verse they were the firstfruits, long before us, to be an example of what was to come…us.
A missionary who goes to Haiti or any other country long term are consecrated seems to me. They give up their activities and possessions and luxuries to go and share Jesus with people who may or may not be receptive. These missionaries have to be consecrated to the Savior, pulled away from the world unto His love that reaches out to the needy.
He created all of us to be consecrated to Himself. That means leaving the world behind and keeping his cross in our hearts.
But it also means we are consecrated or very near to His heart. Pulled away from everyone and everything and pulled tight to Him. We still live here on this earth, still have problems, but live in the healing of our Savior.
Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. (James 1:17 AMP)
There’s a gift God gave us that is perfect. It is a letter from Him to me, to you. There is information to teach us how to pray, to show us how to live, to show us His anger at unholiness and to give us the most sacrificial, personal picture of His love for us and the washing away of our unholiness so that He can have a tender, warm relationship in our hearts.
This letter of course is the Bible, God’s word to us. Because it’s a true picture of history, of people and of the Accuser, there is some darkness in it. But our God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. There are verses scattered profusely throughout the Bible that are bright light, joy and encouragement.
I went through a time of struggle when God’s letter and His love was all I had. It brought me through that time feeling loved and it’s continued even to the present. Adrian Rogers said that every other book can be read by us but the Bible is the book that reads us. It seems to understand our need and is able to fill it because the Lord of Lights is present at the reading of His word.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,(Ephesians 3:14 KJV)
All of us on earth are one family, named after Jehovah and our Savior Jesus. We’re not only named after Him we also are created with the image of God, even the most lost of us. And we have a common enemy, the Accuser Satan. We should all realize, especially those who read the Bible, that we on earth are on the same side. Our enemy is not people, it’s the demons of the Accuser.
The evil one tempts me with food.I enjoy eating too much. But I maybe know someone who may not love Jesus who is disciplined in food and exercise. I bet this person could encourage me in how to eat better. Maybe I could pray for him/her when they have a need. We’re on the same side. We have a common enemy.
In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23 AMP)
I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side, and your actions also reflect what you have heard and learned from your father. (John 8:38 AMP)
My brother and I had taken a trip to Miami from Central Florida. I had two cups of coffee that morning rather than my usual one and I was odd for me. I chattered away almost all the way down there. I said some important words and said some rather idle words. But I was entertained by me for four hours.
I desire to sit at my Father’s side long enough to have something worthy to give. Jesus is our example here in how to be wise. Jesus talked to the people not in high, holy words but simple everyday stories that He had received from Abba, our God and His and our Father.
A short story comes to mind when in a simple way by words and actions someone was Jesus to me. My legs were a little misformed when a baby. So I was an extra awkward teenager. A popular guy acquaintance of mine came to me when we had free time on a youth group camping trip. He said “Wanna do the hustle?” It was a popular dance with fun foot moves. I could tell he was genuine so I said “Sure.” He spent 15 minutes teaching me the foot moves. I had so much fun! I did pretty good by the end of his free, sweet lesson. What a kindness from someone who didn’t have to pay attention to me. That’s Jesus. And it wasn’t idle for this heart of mine.
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I lay down and slept; I wakened again, for the Lord sustains me. (Psalm 3:3-5 AMP)
David was in danger. Much of his country was against him. His son had tried to take his throne. He cried out in anger in verses earlier but in these, still in the midst of trouble he began praising his Helper. “You are my protection in disaster. Even though I am a mess from being hunted YOU are my glory.
And you lift my head to give me dignity I don’t deserve because of what I did to Uriah and Bathsheba.” He talked to God then had so much peace that He went to sleep and awakened with Him near having given David exactly the grace he needed to get him through the next day.
Maybe God whispered over David that night, “I love you. You are Mine. I will keep you and hold you near Me all during your battles. You are forgiven and white as snow is your heart. You remain within My heart from your tears and prayers for forgiveness. I’ll honor your name through the ages.”