The LORD Delights
in those who Trust in His Mercy
and not their own Merit-less Righteousness
—- We all get various spam emails and see ads for many things, including background checks. NEVER MIND mere man’s “background checks” … How does our background check out with Him? Isn’t that all that matters? The Almighty has the full version of the “background check” of our whole lives – including every thought and motive of our hearts (Proverbs 15:3; Hebrews 4:13). And He’s the only Judge before whom we shall all stand to give account ….. WHO do you fear? … David cried “Let my sentence (verdict) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.” (Psalms 17:2) In other words David was only concerned about how the LORD viewed him and had no concern for what mere sinful men thought or said about him. ….. The apostle Paul wrote:
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:33-37
“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Psalms 147:11
According to Psalms 147:11, just WHO did your Maker and Judge say that He takes “pleasure in”?
- “them that fear him”
- “those that hope in his mercy”
Those who truly fear God will repent to be saved and will continually repent as needed (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; 12:21, etc.). “Repent” is the very first word of the Gospel (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30, etc.).
Concerning your initial thoughts when you see that mug shot, examine yourself for a moment by answering the following questions:
- Do you hold out mercy and understanding for yourself while harshly judging others in your attitude, never knowing the shoes they walk in?
- Do you understand that Jesus promised that His children will be accused of “all manner of evil against” them “falsely” and instructed them to “rejoice” when this happens? (Matthew 5:10-12) Do you rejoice at persecutions?
- Do you know that Psalms 17:2 says our “sentence” ultimately comes from the LORD and not mere men?
Holding out mercy is important. Having a mercy-filled disposition is godly.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Bible Hint: God says that if you want mercy, you must show mercy. In many cases, in eternity, things will reverse completely as the Bible teaches. Many of those in positions of authority in this brief life will be in hell for eternity (Ezek. 21:26; Lk. 16:19-31; Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 6, etc.). Many who are judges today and send people to prison, will themselves be submitted irrevocably and eternally to the prison of fire by the Judge of their eternal souls. as As they sat in their high seats (benches) and hundreds and even thousands of times sent souls to jail, they themselves ignored their own need to repent before a holy God and Judge against whom they has grossly sinned.
The fires of eternal damnation shall forever feed upon the hopeless souls who leave this earth without having received and walked in (to the end) the mercy of the Almighty which He offers all men through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
The Bible establishes the inherent sinfulness of all men and that would include you, my friend.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10, 23
May the only final law enforcement Judge who sits atop the Highest throne in the supreme court of the Universe show us our own mug shot today – the fact that we ourselves are completely guilty of sinning against Him and that we are in utter need of the One who came and bled that we might be forgiven.
The Bible establishes that the whole world – every human being, without exception – is “guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19)
Those whose mug shots we often see of those caught for their sinful activities and whose sins are made public are just like you – sinners! Just because our sins aren’t known to the mass public does not make them any less a violation to the holiness of our Maker and Judge. If you have ever stolen anything, lusted or hated in your heart, you are no less a sinner than the mug shot guy or girl. The only difference here is that they have been caught and are in jail for a temporary time in this brief life. When you die your doom or bliss is sealed. Don’t wait friend – turn to the Good Shepherd today. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.” 1 Timothy 5:24
God sees/knows ALL sins. He knows ALL of the sins you have committed in your heart and then those you committed in action. Nothing escapes Him.
Do you realize that if you die in sin that you will spend eternity in the lake of fire?
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Will your mug shot be forever posted for all to see as you sizzle in the flames of eternal damnation?
Getting Off the High Horse
The LORD delights in His people and wants them to see things the way He sees them (Romans 12:2). His first desire is to restore and show mercy and He does so when the sinner repents.
All is recorded in Heaven (Hebrews 4:13). God sees ALL your sins and will pull the curtains back and roll the tape of your life on Judgment Day. Every single thought and deed of your life is on file with God. He made provision to remove and desires to forgive all. If you die without His forgiveness, you will face the Almighty on Judgment Day in the Supreme Court of the Universe as a guilty sinner who refused to be pardoned. In trembling ruins you will stand shameful and without excuse before a holy God.
Put your own face in that mug shot! Admit to your own sins! Own up to your vile thoughts, meditations, lusts, adulteries, fornications of heart! And then begin praying for God to show mercy on others as He has shown upon your own filthy soul! Beg Him for a pure heart so that you can see Him! (Matthew 5:8; Proverbs 20:9)
Why do you self-righteously and arrogantly boast as if you have no need for divine mercy this very hour?
“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Proverbs 20:9
If you will be in Heaven eternally, you had better get in touch with your infinite need for divine mercy (Matthew 5:20; 21:31).
Let’s ask: Where are “the eyes of the LORD”? – “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3
What does God behold? – “beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3
What did Jesus tell us is going to be “covered”? – “nothing.”
“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. “ Matthew 10:26
Word to the wise – You better get off that high horse or the flames of eternal damnation shall forever feed upon your helpless, conscious corpse!
It’s time to dismount from the high horse of pride and mount the lowly donkey of humility. God is going to eternally bless the lowly, humble souls who live to celebrate His Majestic, blessed only begotten Son who bled for our sins. Don’t miss this eternal celebration and bliss!
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10
Back to the Mug Shots….
When is the last time you lifted the mug shot person in prayer? What about the flashy story on TV about some evildoer? Did you pray for them?
What is your very first thought concerning mug shots you see in print in your mail box or on TV or the internet?
Firstly, it’s time to get a clue! Do you know how many false arrests go on in this nation? Staggering! Do you know how many false imprisonments go on in our injustice system? Staggering! Do you know that many Christians are in jail right now serving sentences as a result of persecutions and false evidence fabricated against them in order to jail them? Many of the LORD’s most blessed patriarchs of Christ were jailed! Joseph, several of the prophets, John the Baptist, Paul, etc.
God does not forget people in this earth’s jails but he does forget those who left the earth outside of a relationship with Christ – those who chose to “forget” Him. They will forever be vanquished into the fires of damnation (Psalms 9:17; 50:22).
Concerning this matter, Mark McIntosh writes:
“Sometimes it’s BETTER to be in a PRISON and be found by JESUS and TRULY REPENT of our SINS than to be free in a world where your SOUL is in BONDAGE and hell is pending! Repent and BE FREE INDEED …. in jail, prison or in society … it doesn’t matter where … AMEN?”
But just what if that next person in a mug shot you see is truly guilty? Are they beyond God’s hand to redeem and forgive? Is God’s hand shortened? (Isaiah 59:1-2) Is God’s Word lying when it tells us that Jesus is alive and well at His blessed Father’s right hand and able to save from the uttermost to the uttermost? (Hebrews 7:24-25) Where is your faith? Repent of such evil thinking that is emanating from an uncircumcised heart! (Mark 7:20-23)
Think like a disciple of Christ, friend. Memorize Romans 12:1-2 today!
Are you still so very blinded by your own sin that you join the depraved hearts of the world’s sinners in condemning criminals? The reality is, that in the “Holy, holy, holy” eyes of the Almighty, you are in need of no less mercy that the vilest of criminals in this fleeting life (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).
What did Jesus do to the two criminals who were at each of His blessed sides while He hung for YOUR sins? He gave both of them the full privilege to be saved into His eternal kingdom of bliss and praise God one of them received Him!
“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43
Looking for His Mercy!
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7
Do you realize that gutter prostitutes and the vilest of criminals in this world have a better chance at going to Heaven than self-righteous religious people who pastor churches, cast out devils, speak with tongues, serve in their church, sing in the choir, go on missionary trips, and do many wonderful works in Christ’s name?
The Son of God says to the religious leaders of His day:
“Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots (whores, prostitutes) go into the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:31
Who did the LORD tell us will receive the full strength of undiluted judgment upon their own heads?
“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against (triumphs over) judgment.” James 2:13
Did you catch what James says here?
Read it again and answer this:
- Who will receive to themselves “judgment WITHOUT mercy”? – Those who “shewed no mercy” to others in their thoughts and out of their mouths!
Some self-righteous soul may still be saying “But, but, but that criminal did this or that…” … Jesus died for unholy criminals like you and me! He found and saved your wretched soul didn’t He? Does He love that mug shot soul any less?
My advice to you is to genuinely surrender to Christ, to die to self completely, to cry out to Him to break you to the core of your being. Then, you will cease sitting in the seat of the scornful, and truly be able to be used of Him. Get low or to hell you also will go (Psalm 1). Whatever you do, read Psalm 51 and take special note to every word this time!
God’s Word tells us that those who will be saved are “looking for the MERCY of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” They do not stand in their own self-righteous, filthy, sinful rags but rather they stand looking to the LORD for His blessed mercy!
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the MERCY of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:21
Just what are believers to be “looking for” in light of the fact that we shall all meet our Maker soon? – “mercy”!
Live and Preach this – The Pharisee and the Publican
“And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
The only one of these two guys who was justified and ready to survive the holy wrath and judgment of God was the one who cried from his needy heart “God be merciful to ME a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)
If you are being convicted by the truth and the Holy Ghost of God, it’s time to repent and truly turn to the LORD and be broken, crying out to the LORD for His mercy upon your own wretched, self-righteous and evil heart before it’s too late.
Read Psalm 51 and beg the LORD to forgive you as you cry out to Him to search YOU, to cleanse YOU … it’s only “THEN” that He can use you.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
Just because the mass public doesn’t know about YOUR sins doesn’t mean that your sins are hidden! The LORD saw your evil thoughts, lust, covetousness, and hatred! God saw you do it! What shall you do?
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***We must make sure we are walking in the “true holiness” that is only possible by the mercy of God shown to us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:23-25). Please beware of the false holiness that is being taught all around us. True or Feigned Holiness?