Mary tries to kill the judgement

This is not a statement of a major theological inaccuracy, but rather my 3-year old’s version of a current worship song…

You delight in showing mercy…

…Mary tries to kill the judgement (sic)

This may have become an ongoing joke in our family, but I hope that the real punchline of that verse is not lost for us forever…

Mercy triumphs over judgement

I recently read in this book (emphasis my own):

When you judge one sin in another person you have committed seven sins yourself! You fail to love Him, fail to be merciful, you have judged, you have condemned him in your heart, you have not sought to restore him, you have disobeyed God’s Word, and you are guilty of self-righteousness and pride in raising yourself above the one you have judged. So who is in the a worse state? You need God’s mercy to remove the plank from your own eye!

— Colin Urquhart, The Lord’s Orchard

This is one I have been contemplating in my marriage, as surprise, surprise, neither my wife or I are perfect. I am acutely more and more aware each day of the grace and mercy I need from God, but like the unmerciful ruler I don’t always seem to be able to pass that mercy or grace on to those who I feel wrong me, least of all within my home and marriage (and needless to say, normally about the most mundane of issues).

The truth is that when I judge, when I fight for ‘my point’ to be heard, or when I withhold forgiveness, I am actually putting barriers in the way of reconciliation.

God built in mercy and forgiveness to the very fabric of the Jewish culture through the sacrificial system. Jesus modelled grace to the highest degree when he took death upon Himself without a single fault of His own (Is. 53:7), James said we should ‘consider it pure joy’ when we face trials – even persecution…

So again, I’m left thinking… ‘how much more should I be showing mercy in my own home?!’ if God chose to forgive the worst of sinners, if Jesus took the weight of all of our sins upon Himself, if the apostles could be joyful in the face of persecution.

Which all leads me to one conclusion:

Through God’s grace, reconciliation with mankind was made possible…

…and if mercy opens the door to reconciliation, my prayer is that God blows that door right off!

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Conditions on love?

Do we put conditions on our affection? When love is freely received by us, why do we struggle to freely give?

Luke 6:32-36

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

If Jesus is asking me to love my enemies freely, how much more should I pour love out on those within my own home?

Matthew 18:32-35

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Romans 5:8

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He pours His love and forgiveness out on us when we are not worthy.

In my marriage, do I pour out the incredible,  death-defying, generous, merciful, gracious, faithful, forgiving, unending covenantal love that was poured out on me?