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Anointing

5

Show Mercy And You Will Receive Mercy

Show Mercy And You Will Receive Mercy

"I knew he was a fraud the first day I set my eyes on him. You should have seen him walking around the church acting like he was a true 'MAND' of God. Well, I thank God for the spirit of discernment so I could pick out a wolf in sheep's clothing. It serves him right to fall from grace like that. He should 'buss' hell wide open. We don't need any of his kind in this church. He's just not up to our standard of hooooliness. Ooooh, I feel The Spirit. Ooooh, He's moving inside of me. Mooove Spirit... moooove. Cleanse this house of this unrighteousness. Oooo, I feel the power! Wash us Lord. Rababababah..."

Today, we continue with Part 6 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 5 - "You Are Responsible For What You Know". We'll continue today with 3) Those who have shown mercy to others will receive mercy from God. His Kingdom is based on seed, time and harvest.

1 Corinthians 10:12(NKJV) - Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

"If your neighbor's house is on fire, throw water on your own."

That's some priceless advice. Never celebrate someone else's demise because you might be next. Be slow to point a critical index finger because at least three others will be pointing right back at you. It's not always easy and it rarely comes naturally but it pays to be merciful. I have learned over the years to take advantage of opportunities to show mercy to others because one day I may be the one looking for it.

James 2:13(NLT) - There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Wounded, hurting Christians are slow moving, easy targets. Don't give into the temptation to pick on them. Have you ever had mercy on someone who clearly did something wrong and thanked God later when someone did the same for you? Those who show mercy are figuratively sowing seeds of mercy into the lives of others which they can harvest later in their own lives. However, the direct opposite is also true.

People who don't show mercy end up needing some later in their lives and don't always find it. Why is it that some of the most critical, judgmental people end up getting caught in some kind of indiscretion of their own? They sentence people to hell with their words while their secrets are safe until God exposes their sins for the world to see. Everyone is then completely shocked when the tables are turned and they have to beg others for mercy. Ouch!

Show Mercy And You Will Receive Mercy

Matthew 18:23-35(NLT) “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

If you give mercy you will get mercy. If you don't give mercy you won't get it when you really need it. That's a Kingdom principle that God established. Why do some people get more mercy than others? Some people give more mercy than others. One of the master principles of The Kingdom of God is the principle of seed, time and harvest. In short, it means, whatever you sow you will reap.

The servant who showed no mercy for the debt of a few thousand dollars actually had a right to demand payment. He was justified to put his fellow servant in jail until he got his money. If this was based purely on a man's rights, this man had the right to do what he did. However, exercising your rights is not the only or best option in every situation. That's what mercy is all about.

Mercy is demonstrated when a man has a right to punish or execute judgment on another but gives up that right and liberates the person who does not deserve it. Like the unforgiving servant, you don't have to show mercy if you don't want to. However, if you have been shown mercy or will need some in the future you probably should.

You have a right to sue that brother in The Lord who owes you money but should you? You have a right to expose that person's past to other people but should you? If you were cheated on you should be free to cheat too, right? After what he did, you have a right to walk away when he needs you the most but should you? She hit you first so you have a right to beat her like she stole something but should you?

Matthew 5:7(KJV) - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Life is strange. You never know what's around the corner or what the future holds for you. That's why you should always play it safe. Create your future by sowing the right types of seeds today. Be quick to forgive. Be quick to give people the benefit of the doubt. Be quick to accept other people's flaws. Be quick to show mercy. By doing so, you store up mercy for your future.

Psalm 109:14-17(NKJV) - Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be continually before the Lord, That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth; Because he did not remember to show mercy, But persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.

Don't be that guy! Show mercy today.

14

You Are Responsible For What You Know

You Are Responsible For What You Know

"Only God can judge me!"

And judge you He will... Have you ever heard that statement before or perhaps, have you said it? Many people who use it know they are doing wrong and just don't want to be held accountable. God is a righteous judge. He is just and His judgment is fair. He is full of grace, longsuffering and merciful. Nonetheless, at the right time He will execute judgment and each of us will have to answer for what we know.

Today, we continue with Part 5 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 4 - "Caught! What Do You Do When God Exposes Your Sin?". We'll continue today with Point 2) God judges people based on what they know. Every man is not treated equally.

Luke 12:42-48(NLT) - And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

God judges everyone differently. Our ultimate standard is The Word of God and how much of it we know directly affects the level of mercy we receive. According to The Parable of The Servants in Luke 12:42-48 any servant who does not do the will of the master receives stripes.

However, the number of stripes is determined by the servant's knowledge base. Additionally, the servants to whom the master gives more, a higher return is expected on his investment. Usually, in parables like these the master represents God and we are His servants. Therefore, we should be able to easily figure out how this applies to our lives.

Let me make this very practical. Two people can commit the same sin. God will judge both. The first person knew exactly what he was doing and willingly went ahead but the second person acted out of ignorance. The second person may escape with light punishment but holding all other factors constant, God will drop the hammer on the first person. Is that fair? In God's eyes, it sure is. Since He is the judge and jury that's all that matters. Now let's go even deeper.

You Are Responsible For What You Know

Hebrews 6:4-6(AMP) - For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance—[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace.

Have you ever met someone who walked away from God and all hell broke loose? Better yet, have you ever been so offended that you considered walking away from The Lord? OK, maybe not forever but just for a little while? Have a little fun? Play around a little? Maybe you're all "churched out" so you need to take a break, worship an idol or two for a few years then maybe give this "Jesus" thing another try in the future? OK, let's fantasize together for a moment. Think about it.

We can see it already. We're going to have the time of our lives out there then come back with awesome testimonies and the church will treat us like heroes. The young people will think we're cool and we'll have "church street cred." Who knows maybe we can write books about our experiences and end up on TBN some day?

It worked for the Prodigal Son so it should work for us too right? I'm sure you have seen other people do it for years and walk right back in almost unscathed haven't you? Well, depending on who you are that might not be your story. The Prodigal Son was young and ignorant but you might not be. I know of people who walked out on God and never made it back. They walked out the door and BAM! It was over! FLAMES!

When you get to a certain level in your Christianity you can't just walk away. When The Holy Spirit starts to move in your life and you begin to receive deep revelation from The Word of God you can't just walk away. When you start hearing God's Voice on a regular basis and begin manifesting the gifts of The Spirit you can't just walk away.

You Are Responsible For What You Know

When you get to visit heaven and encounter God's angels you can't just walk away. When you speak in other tongues and God unlocks mysteries to you, you can't just walk away. Even if God never answers another one of your prayers you can't just walk away. You're in the family now. You're in too deep. You can't just walk away!

1 Timothy 1:12-14(KJV) - And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

When Apostle Paul was ignorant in unbelief he blasphemed against God, persecuted Christians and hurt people. He did some really bad things but God was merciful. God poured His grace all over him with an abundance of faith and love. God's expectations of Paul were low due to ignorance so God let those things slide. Paul was very thankful. I would be too. However, Paul's perspective changed when he matured in Christ. The bar was raised.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27(NKJV) - Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

When Apostle Paul was mature enough to teach others The Word of God he became completely responsible for his actions. He just knew too much for God to let him off the hook too easily. The same is true for some of us. Other Christian people can do whatever they like but that won't work for us because we know too much. Apostle James has some more to say about this.

James 3:1(NKJV) - My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

James 4:17(NKJV) - Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

I love the Book of James. Apostle James had a reputation of challenging The Church to live what we preach. The higher we go the harder we fall. My heart always hurts for men and women of God who climb to the highest heights of the kingdom only to fall all the way back down. Lord, you chose us to teach others your Word, please be merciful!

Acts 17:30-31(NLT) - “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

It's time for us to get it together. We have Christian television, Christian radio, Christian websites, Christian books, Christian music, Christian movies, Christian smartphone apps, Christian tablet apps, multiple Bible translations, audio Bibles, Bible Man for the kids, Vege-tales.... Need I continue? We are saturated with God's Word. We can get it anywhere.

We just know too much. Maybe if we lived in The Dark Ages, God would wink at our ignorance but it's 2013. Knowledge has greatly increased (Daniel 12:4). We are responsible for what we know. Let's make God proud and live like we're supposed to. He has given us much so He expects a huge return on His investments.

10

Caught! What Do You Do When God Exposes Your Sin?

What Do You Do When God Exposes Your Sin?

CAUGHT! Your heart stops suddenly. You're frozen in time. You don't have an alibi. You don't have an excuse. You can't get out of this one. You don't have a chance. You can't even think of a lie now. It's too late. You wish you could just wake up from this bad dream. You wish you could turn back the clock but it won't budge. It's stuck. You wish everything would just disappear but it can't. You're CAUGHT!

Today, we continue with Part 4 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 3 - "Questioning God's Mercy? - Understand True Repentance". We'll continue today with our third and final installment on Point 1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at the heart and knows if it's real or not. As you can see, this is going to be a very long series so I suggest that you make yourself comfortable. 🙂

Proverbs 30:5-6(NKJV) - Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Today's message is a Word from The Lord. As we see it in The Bible we accept it as the truth. We're not going to add anything to His Words. We have no intention of getting rebuked or being found as liars. If God said it, we say it. If God didn't say it, we don't say it. So let's dive in.

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Lying is hard. If you start lying about something you usually have to continue lying to cover it up. Eventually you could get your own mind caught in such a thick web of lies that you refuse to accept the truth and start believing the lies. When it gets to that point you need help. Your reality is skewed and your mind becomes reprobate (Romans 1:28). Then suddenly God exposes your sin. You're CAUGHT!

1 Corinthians 4:5(NLT) - So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

BOOM! When God is ready, He suddenly turns the light on and the party is over. It's judgment time and nobody can escape! Those who have been living right should get excited but those who are in sin and want to stay there can't help but be totally terrified.

John 3:19-21(NLT) - And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

The conviction of The Holy Spirit is a good thing. It means you're still connected to God and you have not yet been cut off. Read Romans 1:18-32 in the New Living Translation for more. God only wants you to repent and be restored so that's why His Spirit wrestles with your heart until you let darkness go. It doesn't matter what you've done the only way to break free of darkness is by running to the light. You cannot escape the grip of darkness if you remain in darkness.

Case Study #2: King David - True Repentance 101

What Do You Do When God Exposes Your Sin?

2 Samuel 12:1-10(NLT) - So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.

Ouch! That was intense!

King David - “As surely as the Lord lives, any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”
Prophet Nathan - You are that man!

...and cut....

What do you think was going through David's mind? He had just gotten all worked up about the sin of this fictitious man in Nathan's story only to find out that he was that man. Wow! He was caught! At that moment it must have been the worst day of his life. His heart must have hit the ground and stuck there. God was the judge and found him guilty. Then the prophet told him his sentence.

God's Sentence

2 Samuel 12:11-12(NLT) - From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

My goodness, even King Saul didn't get punished this bad. Read "Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?" for more on that story. God really threw the book at David and there was nowhere for him to hide. At this point, King David was in exactly the same position as King Saul when Prophet Samuel accused him of sin in 1 Samuel 15:14. In each case, God used His prophet to expose the king's sin but the similarities end there. King Saul lied, denied and tried to hide his sin but King David is about to teach a class called; "True Repentance 101".

David's Confession and God's Forgiveness

2 Samuel 12:13(NLT) - Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.

In Proverbs 28:13(KJV), The Bible says; "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." It was that simple. King David immediately confessed and God forgave him. This is why God exposed his sin. He loved David and just wanted him to repent. God loves you too and would do the same for you. Saul hid his sin and got no mercy. David repented and received forgiveness. That's a kingdom principle which still works today. However, there's another kingdom principle that comes into play in situations like these.

What Do You Do When God Exposes Your Sin?

God's Judgment

2 Samuel 12:14-20(NLT) - Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?” When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.

In Galatians 6:7-8, The Bible says; "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." It is true that God forgave David but the harvest of his actions was serious. He slept with Uriah's wife and killed him once he discovered she was pregnant so unfortunately the child died.

This kingdom principle of "seed, time and harvest" is as important as the principle of repentance. God may forgive you in an instant for any sin you've committed but you may still have to reap a harvest of your actions on the earth. That's what The Bible says and it's the gospel truth. I would be deceiving you if I said you could do anything and once you repent, never face the consequences.

God has forgiven murderers but they remain in jail. He has forgiven money launderers but their financial empire remains ruined. He has forgiven adulterers but that marriage they destroyed may never have been restored. Their eternal consequences were paid by The Blood of Jesus but they reaped a harvest on earth for the seeds they sowed. So after you ask for forgiveness should you still plead for mercy? Oh yes! Even in the midst of a harvest for sin God shows mercy to those who truly repent.

God's Mercy To David

2 Samuel 12:24-25(NLT) - Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.

Do you know that David and Bathsheba's second son became the great King Solomon? God took David's first son because of his sin but blessed his second son because of his repentance. This introduces a third Kingdom principle that applies to us found in Romans 5:20-21(NKJV); "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.".

Even if you get caught red-handed in sin, quickly repent and ask God for His grace and mercy in your situation. It's available in abundance and even has the power to show you favor when you least deserve it. When David sinned, God chastised him but returned soon after to bless him again. That's grace. David didn't deserve for his second son with Uriah's wife to be blessed but God chose to do so anyway. God guarantees forgiveness to every repentant heart but He does not guarantee that no consequences will be faced for the decisions made. His grace determines how much, how soon or if any at all of the earthly consequences will be faced by the one who repents. That's really up to Him.

1 John 1:8-9(NKJV) - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

David repented and received God's grace but Saul hid his sin and never got another chance. In 1 Samuel 15:35 The Bible says that after pronouncing God's judgment on King Saul, Prophet Samuel NEVER went to see him again. The Bible says in Romans 1:24-25(NLT) - "So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen."

When God exposes your sin who would you like to emulate? David or Saul? If you choose to be like David, after you are reproved, God will return to you with His grace and mercy but if you choose to be like Saul you just might end up on your own. Choose wisely.

We'll be back tomorrow.

14

Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

We received the following question from Kathrina;

Hi Donnell,

Can you explain this expression for me please? “many are called/invited but few are chosen” Matthew 22:14… how do i know if i’m called or chosen? what is the difference? many pastors talk or preach about answering the “call” but i can’t remember ever hearing anyone talk/preach about the difference between “called and chosen”.

Great question Kathrina, I see you've been paying attention in church.

I've heard it many times before but my former pastor did offer the following interesting explanation. The "called ones" are the people God invites but the "chosen ones" are those who show up in response to the invitation. That simple explanation sounds pretty good to me but let's see what we can discover on our own by reading through the scripture reference for ourselves.

Matthew 22:1-14(NKJV) - And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Let's begin with a brief study of the words "called" and "chosen" from Matthew 22:14.

The word "called" was translated from the Greek word "kletos" which means;
1) called, invited (to a banquet)
a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ
b) called to (the discharge of) some office
1) divinely selected and appointed

The word "chosen" was translated from the Greek word "eklektos" which means;
1) picked out, chosen
a) chosen by God,
1) to obtain salvation through Christ
a) Christians are called "chosen or elect" of God
2) the Messiah is called "elect", as appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable
3) choice, select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians

Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

The 14th verse of Matthew 22 should be interpreted in context of the 13 preceding verses. Many people were invited to a banquet. Only a few people responded to the invitation. In the same way, at the most basic level, many are invited by God into His Kingdom. Those people are "the called." Out of that group, those who actually respond and obtain the salvation that is offered are known as the "chosen" or "elect."

Another interpretation of this scripture is that each one of us was born with a "call" of God on our lives. We were each given a purpose to fulfill during our lifetimes and it's our responsibility to discover what it is. According to Romans 11:29 this call is irrevocable and is directly accompanied by our natural gifts. Unfortunately, many of us make excuses and find reasons to justify doing absolutely nothing with God's call on our lives. The chosen few are the people who know God's call on their lives, perfect the gifts they've received, then carry it out with excellence. They become the best of their class and are chosen for special honor by The Lord.

Last but not least, the call of God is an open invitation to everyone which means nobody has to be specially qualified to be called by God. In contrast, those who are chosen by God are individually picked out by God for special reasons. For example, check these scriptures out;

2 Corinthians 5:17-19(KJV) - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

If you don't know your purpose or where you fit into God's Kingdom at the very least you should know this. God gave all of us the ministry of reconciliation. Every single Christian is called to the ministry of reconciliation. The same way God reconciled you to Himself through Jesus Christ you should go out and reconcile the world to Jesus. That's what it means to be called by God. He gave you a ministry of reconciliation and invited you to participate. As long as you're a Christian you qualify for this ministry. You just have to answer the call.

Ephesians 4:11-13(NKJV) - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Here's the difference between being "called" and "chosen". All of us were given the ministry of reconciliation which means all us are "called" to the ministry of reconciliation. On the other hand, God only gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers which means these people are "chosen" to do so by God. I hope this short study on being "called" or "chosen" was easy to understand.

6

Questioning God's Mercy? - Understand True Repentance

Questioning God's Mercy? - Understand True Repentance

"But I said I was sorry? Why isn't that good enough? What's your problem?"

Has someone ever said something like that to you before? Better yet, have you ever said it to someone else? Why isn't just saying sorry alone good enough anymore? Isn't the phrase "I'm sorry" the secret password back into someone's broken heart? Shouldn't it heal a broken relationship? Shouldn't it win someone's trust again? Aren't those supposed to be magic words like "open sesame" or "abracadabra"? What's the big deal?

Today, we continue with Part 3 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 2 - "Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?" We'll continue today with our second installment on Point 1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at the heart and knows if it's real or not.

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Who gets God's mercy? God promises mercy to those who confess and forsake their sins. As we explained in the last blog there is a major difference between true repentance and just being sorry you got caught. Again, based on The Biblical definition here's what we learned: "When someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it."

Today, let's continue Case Study #1 - King Saul (Israel's First King) - An example of what true repentance is not! In the last blog we focused our attention on the riveting exchange between the prophet Samuel and King Saul. After repeatedly denying any wrongdoing even in the face of the truth, King Saul eventually relented. Unfortunately for him, at that point, God had enough of his lies and didn't show him any mercy. Why was God so hard on King Saul? There is even more to this story. Today, let's dig even deeper.

Questioning God's Mercy? - Understand True Repentance

1 Samuel 15:1-3, 16-19(NLT) - One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”...... Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!” “What did he tell you?” Saul asked. And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

There was something special about King Saul's assignment to destroy the Amalekites. God really wanted them wiped off the face of the earth and He had a reason for it. It was so much bigger than Saul. These people had been on God's heart for generations. It was personal for God. It was time to settle a score and as Israel's first king, Saul was selected by God to carry it out. Here's the background story.

"Why didn't King Saul receive mercy from God?

1) King Saul's disobedience was special because of the weight of the instructions. What God had asked Him to do in 1 Samuel 15 was a big deal to God, a big, big deal.

Exodus 17:8-15(NKJV) - Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

When The Children of Israel escaped Egypt they spent forty years in the wilderness under the leadership of Moses. During that time, God had a special relationship with Moses. Here's what The Bible says about it in Exodus 33:11; "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend...."

The Amalekites were a thorn in Israel's side. They attacked The Children of Israel in the wilderness and it took a miracle of God through Moses with the help of Aaron and Hur to defeat them. That day, God promised He would completely annihilate these people. Therefore, long before King Saul was even born The Lord had made that promise to Moses and He never forgot. He was so serious about it that He told Moses to write it down and make sure Joshua was a witness.

Consequently, when God asked King Saul to destroy the Amalekites it was not about King Saul at all. It wasn't even about his generation. It was about a promise God had made to His friend Moses many years before. God gave Moses His Word to Moses and took great offense that King Saul got in the middle and screwed it up. There are certain instructions from God which carry more weight than others and this one was heavy. So when Saul disobeyed the instructions he messed up big time.

Maybe King Saul didn't understand how serious God's instructions were. However, he had no excuse because even though God didn't owe him an explanation, God still told Saul why he had to do it. Here's what God said; "I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys."

In case Saul forgot, God reminded him about what the Amalekites had done to the Children of Israel in the wilderness so he knew why God wanted them dead. That made it even worse. Now let's make this personal. Has God asked you to do something? The truth is that you probably have no idea how important His instructions are. You probably want to obey Him and protect yourself. It could be the answer to someone's prayer in the past or maybe even in the future. It could be the key to someone's freedom. It could be the fulfillment of a prophecy. You have no idea. Don't take any chances.

2) Saul had a reputation for disobedience. From early in his reign, he showed relative disregard for God's commandments. By His second year, God was already prepared to get rid of him.

Questioning God's Mercy? - Understand True Repentance

1 Samuel 13:1-2, 6-14(NKJV) - Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent away, every man to his tent...... When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. And Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

Saul had just become king and had a mind of his own. He had no regard for God's order and chose to bypass prophet Samuel and go directly to God. His heart was in the wrong place and God saw that. Hence, even though initially God intended to establish Saul as a king for generations, God changed His mind and picked David.

By the time God told King Saul to get off the throne in 1 Samuel 15 it was no surprise. It wasn't about his disobedience when it came to the Amalekites. It was about his pattern of disobedience and his disdain for God's instructions concerning the Amalekites was the last straw. Even though King Saul eventually said he was sorry he didn't mean it.

Joel 2:12-14(NKJV) - “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

God has great mercy and He's longsuffering but He frowns upon patterns of disobedience. At some point people who consistently and completely disregard God's commands run out of chances and hit the judgment of God headfirst. Even though God promises to always accept repentance, saying sorry alone isn't true repentance. God knows what's going on in a person's heart.

"When someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it."

We'll continue from here next time.

7

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

True Repentance Or Sorry For Getting Caught?

Welcome back. Today, we continue with Part 2 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". We'll start today with Point 1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at the heart and knows if it's real or not.

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

God bless America, the land of the free, the home of the brave. It's also a country where so many public figures lie, deny and hide any wrongdoing until the evidence against them is so overwhelming that they have no option but to confess. After initially denying any involvement in any discretion whatsoever they end up with their backs against the wall. At that point, they suddenly claim to be sorry for what they've done, the people they've hurt and the trust they've abused.

After sometimes years of denial they instantly strike a tone of true penitence as they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. However, as many of us may have already figured out, some of them are not repentant at all, they're just sorry for getting caught. Why? Before their sins were exposed to the world they had no desire to stop what they were doing wrong. That's exactly what God sees and that's the criterion He uses to choose whether or not to show mercy.

Joel 2:12-14(NKJV) - “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

Why did God tell those people not to rend their garments anymore? In those days people would tear their clothes as an outward display of repentance. Apparently, many were doing it as a mindless, religious exercise and God was having none of it. If His people were truly sorry for what they had done, He needed to see it in their hearts. They needed to be saddened by their sins. Their hearts needed to be broken for breaking His heart. They needed to be real.

..... and cut! God had enough of the acting so He said; "I'm not impressed. Quit ripping your clothes and repent for real this time."

So what's true repentance anyway? In The Bible, the word "repentance" is the English translation of the Greek word "metanoia" which means "change of mind" and "to repent" is "to change one's mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins". Repentance is also a translation of the Hebrew word "nocham" which means "sorrow." Therefore, when someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it.

Case Study #1 - King Saul (Israel's First King) - An example of what true repentance is not!

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

1 Samuel 15:10, 11, 20–29; 16:1 (NLT) - Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night..... Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”..... Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”

Wow! King Saul had it rough. God kicked him off the throne and already picked his replacement. Come on, God, why didn't you forgive him? He said He was sorry, didn't he? What happened to your mercy that's everlasting? As we say in Trinidad, "Gih de man a bligh nah?" which means "Come on, give him a chance." If you have the time, why not read all of 1 Samuel 15 so you can understand what's really going on here. Whenever we question God's justice we do so from a position of ignorance. We know He is just so if we don't agree with His judgment it's because we don't know the whole story or we don't see it from His superior perspective.

1 Samuel 15:1-3(NLT) - One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”

Those were King Saul's instructions and God was careful to be very detailed so there would be no confusion. When Saul was finished with the Amalekites they should have only been a memory. However, King Saul had a plan of his own. He destroyed what was worthless and kept the most valuable goods as well as the king. There was no room for error in this assignment from The Lord but somehow King Saul created some for himself. Let's study this account and squeeze some of the wisdom of God out of it by asking a few pointed questions.

Why didn't God have mercy on King Saul? In light of the definition of true repentance that I shared with you earlier was King Saul truly repentant or just sorry for getting caught? What was the first thing King Saul did when the prophet Samuel accused him of disobeying God? What was the second thing He did? Did He lie, deny and hide or did He confess right away? Let's take a closer look at this exchange.

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

Lie #1

1 Samuel 15:13-14(NLT) - When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.

Saul started things off with what we call a bold faced lie. He acted like he was naive and with a smile on his face told Samuel that he had obeyed The Lord. However, it looked like those sheep, goats and cattle wanted no part of the lie so they started making as much noise as they could. If Saul was about to go down they were not going down with him. I could imagine what they must have been saying in their animal language; "Baaah, Saul, you better stop lying! Mooo, Samuel, we're over here. Bleat, bleat! Get us out of this mess." Stop laughing, this is serious. 🙂 Let's continue watching this drama unfold. Since Saul was caught red handed I guess it was time for him to come clean, right? Check this out.

Lie #2

1 Samuel 15:15(NLT) - “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.”

Whew, it's for a sacrifice? Now it all makes sense. Ok, everything's fine. For a moment, it actually looked like Saul disobeyed God but with an explanation like that surely God would be appeased or would He?

1 Samuel 15:16-19(NLT) - Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!” “What did he tell you?” Saul asked. And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

As the lie left Saul's mouth, Samuel told him to be quiet. The Lord had compassion on Saul and reasoned with him asking him why did he disobey. This was a perfect chance for him to fall on his face and start crying. The game was over, he was caught. Just repent already.

Lie #3

1 Samuel 15:20-23(NLT) - “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Saul insisted on lying again and that's when God dropped the hammer. It was over. He gave Saul three chances to repent for his sin and not once did he repent. He lied, denied and tried to hide but refused to repent. Do you realize that each time God accused Saul of sin, he tried to deflect it? Instead of taking responsibility for his actions he either lied, made excuses or blamed other people. That's not true repentance.

Saul's Judgment

1 Samuel 15:24-29(NLT) - Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!

After attempting to lie his way through the entire process Saul eventually gave up but it was too little, too late. God was done with him! By the time Saul decided to confess his sins, God had already made up His mind and was not going to budge. He knew that Saul was only sorry for getting caught. As I said earlier, "When someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it." Saul was missing all. God had no mercy to give him because he refused to repent.

When God chooses or refuses to show mercy to someone it's none of our business to question Him. There's always a story behind God's judgment and He doesn't owe any of us an explanation.

1 John 1:9(NLT) - But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

My friend, if God exposes your sin, don't make excuses, lie or try to cover it up, just repent and He will forgive you. It's really that simple so why do some us make it so complicated? Are you truly repentant or just sorry for getting caught? We'll continue from here next time.

22

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

Psalm 94:18(KJV) - When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

I have a confession to make. This was The Word of The Lord for yesterday but I chose to release, "What's Your Philosophy?" instead. This is such a deep topic that I tried to wiggle my way out of it. Nonetheless, I need to obey God. I know the story of Jonah and since I prefer to eat fish instead of the other way around let's get back to the series at hand. If God wants us to focus on His mercy right now that's exactly what we're going to do. 🙂 Therefore, this is a continuation of our current series on The Anointing. Click here for the previous article, "When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue." Today, we're going to continue the study with some thoughts that came out of that blog.

Exodus 33:19(KJV) - And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Romans 9:13-15(NKJV) - As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

Wow! That's intense. God said He hated Esau but loved Jacob. Read Malachi 1:1-3 for the direct quotation from God. That's exactly what He said. Wow! Why did Jacob get God's mercy and not Esau? Hmm... That definitely makes me think. To whom does God show His mercy? That's a simple question. God shows mercy to whomever He chooses. He makes the rules and we just have to live by them. Good, that's it for the day. See you tomorrow. 😉

.... and we're back. Seriously, for the last few days I wrestled with this question in my heart. Why is it that certain people get more chances after they slip up than others? Some people live in sin for decades without facing the judgment of God while others slip up once and are instantly chastised. God is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34 so there must be some method to His mercy. Maybe it's beyond our human understanding but since He wants us to study it, let's try to understand what He shows us. Everyone reaps what they sow but how soon or how much is a reflection of God's mercy.

Let's start by defining the word "mercy" as it's used in The Bible. According to "Strong's Lexicon" it appears in many places in The Old Testament as the word "chanan" which means "to show favor, be gracious or pity." So why is it that after people disobey God's directions, some are shown great favor or pity while others are not shown as much? Is it completely random or does God have a method to His mercy?

Before I go any further let me clarify something that may trigger confusion. This topic is not about salvation or your eternal destiny. That's covered by The Blood of Jesus as long as you're saved according to Romans 10:9&10. However, after salvation there are certain principles which still govern life on earth before the return of Jesus Christ. According to Apostle Paul's letter to The Church in Galatians 6:7-8, whatever you sow you shall reap. They were already Christians so if this principle applied to them, it also applies to us.

I'll list a couple points today and we'll address them in detail starting tomorrow. You can meditate on these scriptures and prepare your heart as we dig into this topic. Get ready to dive into some deep revelation from the scriptures. We have to do this and we have to do this now. It's on God's heart so it needs to be on our own too.

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

A Method To God's Mercy

1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at people's hearts and knows if their outward repentance is real or not.

Joel 2:12-14(NKJV) - “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

2) God judges people based on what they know. Every man is not treated equally.

Luke 12:47-48(NKJV) - And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

1 Timothy 1:12-14(KJV) - And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

3) Those who have shown mercy to others will receive mercy from God. His Kingdom is based on seed, time and harvest.

Psalm 109:14-17(NKJV) - Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be continually before the Lord, That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth; Because he did not remember to show mercy, But persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.

Matthew 5:7(KJV) - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

James 2:13(NLT) - There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

4) People who judge themselves before receiving God's judgment get special access to God's mercy.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32(NKJV) - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

5) People can inherit mercy because of their family history.

Deuteronomy 7:9(NKJV) - “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Psalm 18:50(KJV) - Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Luke 1:50(KJV) - And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Luke 1:70-75(KJV) - As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

1 Peter 2:9-10(KJV) - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others

6) God's decision to show mercy is affected by a person's relationship with Him. Certain people access more mercy than others.

Exodus 20:5-6(KJV) - Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Psalm 25:10(KJV) - All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 32:10(KJV) - Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Psalm 33:22(KJV) - Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalm 86:5(KJV) - For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 103:11(KJV) - For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

7) God's mercy and truth go together. When people accept God's truth, they unlock His mercy.

Genesis 24:27(KJV) - And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren.

1 Kings 3:6(KJV) - And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

Psalm 85:9-10(NKJV) - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Proverbs 3:3(KJV) - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Proverbs 16:6(KJV) - By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

2 John 1:3(KJV) - Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

That's enough for today. There is so much more to say but I don't think we can handle any more today. It looks like we're at the beginning of a very long series. I invite you to stick around and see where The Lord will take us. Let's take our time, launch out into the deep and try to understand more of God's mercy tomorrow.

3

When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue

The Heart of The Anointing

We started off the year with a fascinating study of The Anointing. It's also this month's topic in the devotional "New Every Morning" published by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. Click here for yesterday's installment, "Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?" It's a fascinating topic that can take us a lifetime to exhaust.

Nonetheless, when I asked The Lord for His Word for today, He said, "When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue". Throughout history, many have received The Anointing and then completely rebelled against The One who anointed them. Let's study what happened to them.

Today's blog comes directly out of my latest book, "Faith Science". If you haven't read it yet. You're missing out. 🙂

Samson: The Connection between Obedience and the Anointing

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine or strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for this child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Judges 13:3–5 kjv

And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judges 13:24–25 kjv

The angel of the Lord prophesied to Samson’s mother before his miraculous birth, and it defined his life. As long as she believed what was said, it came to pass. Our hypothesis states that biblical faith is “complete trust in the invisible evidence provided by the Word of God confirmed by commensurate action.” This story is interesting because it shows us the truth about the invisible anointing and how one prophecy controlled the future of Israel.

There was nothing Samson did to deserve it, but God used him to teach the Philistines a lesson and deliver Israel. Study Judges 13 and 14, and you will see a man with total disregard for the things of God. All the same, God used him and turned his anger and lust into tools of despair for the Philistines. Samson must have looked like a regular man because few were intimidated by his appearance, but when the Spirit of God came upon him, everything changed. He knew what God had said about his life, and his faith in those words was all he needed.

And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house … And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords, that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
Judges 14:19, 15:14 kjv

God used Samson’s temper to put a beating on the Philistine army. Even so, he always places limits. There was only one instruction that Samson had to follow to keep the anointing. Unfortunately, one day he disobeyed it. Out of all the case studies in this book, this one demonstrates what happens when the gift of God’s invisible anointing is abused.

And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up this once, for he hath shown me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.” And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, “I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself.” And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
Judges 16:18–21 kjv

Have you ever heard the story about the straw that broke the camel’s back? If not, let me give you the short version. The load on a camel was increased to its maximum capacity without any problems. Somehow, the wind blew a single straw on top of the load and the camel collapsed with a broken back. Was it the straw that broke the camel's back? Well, yes and no. Yes, because if it wasn’t there the camel would have been competent to carry the load. No, because it was all the other weight that caused the camel to be fully loaded in the first place; the straw just topped it off.

I know that God is forgiving and his mercies endure forever. However, there comes a time when he has had enough. People can push him but one day they will wake up without the power of the Holy Ghost. They might try to do the same thing they used to do successfully, but at that moment they’ll fail. If they have no anointing, they have no superhuman ability. Samson was caught in the trap set by the enemy and did not even know what hit him. That’s because the anointing is just like the blessing of God. It’s invisible and cannot be evaluated with human senses. Interestingly, Samson was not the only man to openly lose the anointing.

When The Lord's Anointing Go Rogue

Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel saying, “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.” And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. … And Saul said unto Samuel, “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” And Samuel said, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:10, 11, 20–23 kjv

Saul disobeyed a clear instruction from God, which tipped the scale just like Samson. God knows the standard he set for Saul, and eventually he decided to act. If you pay attention to legal proceedings, you would understand the role of a precedent in the decision made by a judge. If a similar case was given a specific verdict sometime before, the judge is compelled to do the same. God made the same decision with Samson’s case as he did with Saul’s. What do you think he’ll do with one of us? The good news is that God always responds to repentance.

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Judges 16:28–30 kjv

This is a great way to end the case study on Samson’s faith. God will restore his purpose into your life once you reject your sin and return to him. Samson ended his life with a bang (pun intended) because he repented and repositioned himself to be used by God. If Samson, with all of his imperfections, was recorded in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:32, there must be room for you. The lesson learned from the faith of Samson is that God responds to repentance.

19

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

Click here for our response to last Friday's question; "Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?"

We received the following question from Martin;

So you are gifted when you can naturally do or perform a task like singing or playing football from childhood. The anointing is basically when someone can perform or fulfill a particular task or act like street evangelism or open air preaching with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Am I correct? So next question, How can you recognize when you are operating by the anointing? Does the anointing display itself as something that you could never see yourself doing? Or does it empower a gift that you already have?

Martin, that's a great question. It's really my purpose for writing this month's devotional in "New Every Morning" published by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. For the last week of the devotional, my focus was on identifying the tell-tale signs of The Anointing. I also did an in-depth series right here on the site a year ago. You can read it here. I'll summarize the main points for you today.

The Anointing is not about what you do. Not because someone does "church-related" activities well means the person is anointed. Open-air preaching or street evangelism can be done using natural ability. People hold open-air political meetings and get people to respond in droves. Additionally, top marketing companies know how to release street teams to "evangelize" communities in order to push their products. That has nothing to do with The Anointing.

The Anointing is measured by the results of what you do. In other words, you can't just watch someone do something well and assume that if it's not church related then it's natural ability and if it's church related then it's The Anointing. The proof is in the results. What happens as a result of what is done? That's how you recognize The Anointing!

The Anointing Test

1 John 2:27(KJV) - But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The Greek word used here for anointing is chrisma (khris'-mah) which means an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment ("chrism") of the Holy Spirit:

The Anointing is the residue of The Holy Spirit when He rests upon someone. As a result, if you want to recognize The Anointing you just need to know how to recognize The Holy Spirit in action.

1 John 4:1(NLT) - Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

It doesn't matter how spiritual someone looks or sounds that does not mean they're operating by The Power of The Holy Spirit. It's the last days. Deception is everywhere. The Holy Spirit is not the only one empowering people to do supernatural things. You have to be very careful.

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

1) The Spirit of Discernment

1 Corinthians 12:7-11(KJV) - But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

If you already operate in The Power of The Holy Spirit you have it easy. The Holy Spirit inside of you can recognize The Holy Spirit in someone else. If you pay attention to His voice inside of your heart He'll either give you peace or a sense of uneasiness when you encounter what may seem to be The Anointing. In fact, that's the reason behind this entire message series that I've been sharing since last year.

I once heard a popular gospel singer refer to another popular gospel singer as one of the most anointed men in gospel music. Immediately, The Holy Spirit inside of me said, "No way! There's a difference between being gifted and anointed." Within a matter of months "this most anointed man" came out of the closet as a practicing homosexual. He could still sing like a bird but his ministry diminished to nothing. He released another album and his music sounded the same way it did before but something was missing. There was no anointing. He was done!

2) The Anointing Sets People Free

Isaiah 10:27(KJV) - And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

2 Corinthians 3:17(KJV) - Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

One of the most obvious signs of The Anointing is the liberty that it brings. A natural gift can move you emotionally or even blow your mind but only The Anointing can set you free. It's the residue of The Holy Spirit which destroys yokes that have you bound. It's The Spirit of The Lord who breaks the hold of the enemy on your life. It's The Anointing which delivers you from bondage. It's the "chrism" of God which can set you free and keep you free. If you have struggled with any sicknesses, addictions or strongholds in your life and have been set free as a result of someone's ministry, you encountered The Anointing.

3) The Anointing Lifts And Strengthens You

Psalm 16:11(KJV) - Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Nehemiah 8:10(KJV) - Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

In God's presence is the fullness of joy. This is not merely a temporary feeling of emotional happiness because you don't need God's presence to be happy. Winning a hundred million dollars in the lottery can make you happy. What you get in God's presence is The Joy of The Lord. This joy strengthens you from deep within. When someone ministers under the power of The Anointing it builds you up from the inside. You might walk into the room worn out and fatigued but when you encounter The Anointing you get the strength to move on. It encourages you and leaves you stronger than you started.

4) The Anointing Impacts Your Heart

Luke 24:31-32(NKJV) - Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

John 6:63(NKJV) - It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

A third sign of The Anointing is what it does to your heart. When Jesus Christ, The Anointed One, spoke to some men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 His words burned in their hearts. Anointed words are Spirit Words. They expose your heart! They have power! If you walk into a place where The Anointing is flowing you're inspired to go deeper in God and if you're in sin you will be convicted.

The Anointing inspires you to be a better Christian by cutting to your heart. When you hear or see someone operate under The Anointing it penetrates your heart. It moves you toward God. Also, there is no way you can be walking in sin and not be convicted by The Holy Spirit. So when you're in His presence expect to feel extremely uncomfortable with your sin.

5) The Anointing Cannot Be Denied

Luke 4:17-21(KJV) - And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Jesus was anointed when He walked the earth and He proved it. You cannot deny when you're in the presence of The Anointing because you cannot deny when you're in the presence of The Holy Spirit. The Anointing changes you. You cannot walk out the same way you walked in. If you're moved emotionally but you walked in messed up and walked back out messed up you may just have encountered an awesome natural gift. Gifted people can temporarily sway your emotions by an unusual display of skill or a moving performance.

Only The Anointing gives you lasting change. When your burden is taken away and your yoke is destroyed you just encountered The Anointing. When your spirit man is strengthened and you are empowered to move forward in the things of The Lord you just encountered The Anointing. If you're bound, weak, broken and struggling in sin it sets you free, gives you strength, heals you and helps you to walk right. There's no denying it!

Martin, when you know what to look for you'll always be able to recognize The Anointing.

6

Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?

We received the following question from Kathrina;

hi Donnell…. happy new year!

hmmmm i have been struggling with this for a long time and i even get sad when i think about it. then i read “new every morning” and the first thing is you talking about gifts… what have i done with my gifts?. i dont know what is my gift or gifts…. this bothers me alot because i feel like i am not pleasing GOD at all. i serve in church but i dont know if any of the ministries i’m apart of brings out my gifts or giftings. o this frustrates me! how can i identify my gift(s) ???

Kathrina, this is a great question. Let's dive right in.

Romans 11:29(NLT) - For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

There are two main types of gifts; natural and spiritual. Your natural gifts were placed within you at your natural birth and your spiritual gifts were placed within you at your spiritual rebirth. As a result, you have to discover two sets of gifts. Your natural gifts or talents are sometimes revealed at a young age, especially if you're in the right environment. Your spiritual gifts are revealed while you serve in the ministry. Spiritual gifts are a result of The Anointing. Even if you're not sure where you are spiritually gifted just serve as The Lord leads you. Ask Him to reveal your spiritual gifts as you need them to operate in ministry. According to James 1:5-8, He will answer you.

To discover your natural gifts start by asking the people who have known you all of your life like your parents. Did they notice anything come naturally to you but not to others? Is there something you can do much better than the average person? Are you just a "natural" at anything at all? Natural talents have to be both discovered and developed. You may be gifted in a particular area but it you don't develop that gift you may not ever realize the full extent of that gift.

Romans 12:5-8(KJV) - So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

To discover your spiritual gifts just keep serving The Lord in your local church as you are doing already. As the need arises you'll be able to tap into those gifts. You won't always get to serve in a department that perfectly aligns with all of your gifts. However, stay faithful right where you are and trust The Lord to order your steps.

Sometimes, The Lord will speak to your leaders and they will assign you to do certain things in The Church for this very reason. If you obey and serve, certain gifts on the inside of you will be unlocked. You may discover things about yourself you would have never known otherwise. Once you discover those gifts, put them to work for The Kingdom of God.

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