Mercy and Love

River

One day, a simple man of God, named Moses, made a humble request of his God. Picture this with me……Moses wants to know, encounter and experience God, so he asks Him to reveal Himself.  Moses is desiring to understand and connect with his God.  In the book of Exodus we see this amazing transaction.

As the Creator God, Elohim, passes in front of Moses, He makes a powerful declaration of who He is. The great I AM speaks…..”I am merciful, I am gracious, I am long-suffering and I am full of goodness and truth. I am merciful and keep mercy….and I forgive all iniquity, transgression and sin.”

I have paraphrased Exodus 34:6-7.

God has just shown Moses, and us, five beautifully tender aspects of Himself. God is merciful, compassionate/gracious, steadfast in love, tenaciously faithful, and forgiving. Through these, God wants us to experience and know Him. All through time, God has revealed Himself this way and the people of Israel, against all odds, did indeed experience Him thus way.  And today, this is how you and I can enter in and have an encounter with the great I AM.  Through this revelation and encounter with God, He grows us from the inside out.  This is the unthinkable concept of grace!

Over and over, God describes Himself as having steadfast love for His people. Despite their unfaithfulness and failings, He reminds them of His unconditional love or covenant love extended to them.  God always deals with His people, His creation, through the revelation of His name and nature.

You see my friend….God doesn’t just have love, HE IS love! God is His own reference point – I love that!

God’s faithfulness has never been dependent on our worthiness or readiness. He is faithful to His name and nature first and foremost. Since you and I can never keep our own right standing with God (righteousness), we constantly enter into and proclaim that HE is our righteousness, through the shed blood of Christ. He is our expression of love and faithfulness. His mercy is ours and we partake of His merciful nature. Remember, in Exodus that was the first attribute He declared to Moses – His mercy.

When you and I cry out for God’s mercy, it will always get answered because God cannot deny or ignore His very nature or essence.

In Ezekiel, God is speaking through the prophet and telling Israel He has had enough of their unfaithfulness and idolatry. In reading the entire text, you can see that He is fed-up with His people and reminds them of His anger towards them and their despicable behavior. The great I AM is in the processing of scattering them among all other people groups and nations as result of their rebellion.  However, in the next instance we see God relenting, and having a very merciful moment. God makes a very tender statement – “I am not doing this for your sake, house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22).  

This, my friend, is restoration and divine justice. This is how a merciful God responds to His children.

Divine Love is not determined by the worthiness of its object, but by the total generosity towards its subject.

This is good news – by His grace I am saved!

“Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3

http://www.powerofhislove.com

Bill & Lisa Roitsch – ministers of transformation

Friends With Benefits

friendship

I always like to take the week between Christmas and New Year and contemplate all of the past year. For me, 2016 was packed full of surprises, pain, joy and tight pressure from situations that God used to shape me more into His image.  Sometimes restricting me to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  But God……

As I was sitting in my easy chair today, drinking my lukewarm coffee, I began to entertain the thought of how rich I have become. Now, before you think I am bragging, please understand that my fullness does not come from earthly possessions or material treasures.  Rather, my wealth is found in the abundance of amazing people that have chosen to walk through this season of life with me.  To be specific, my girlfriends.

So, I have decided to dedicate this blog to all the incredibly strong women in my life. Some I have only known for a few months and others, I have known for over 30 years.  Each of you are special, unique and my life would be poverty stricken without you in it.

When I ponder all my girlfriends, tears well up and begin to fall on my lap. I have always prayed and asked God to bring people into my life that He knows will be best for me and wow! has He answered that prayer a thousand-fold!

I think of my oldest friend who has recently moved away and I don’t get to see as much, but now I have a beautiful lake house to go enjoy the hill country with. And then there is my oldest homeschool, all girls family friend, who is like a blood sister in so many ways.  We can go months without speaking and then pick right back up where we last left.

I have some friends who have lived across from me or next to me and know things that no one else does – hee hee!   I pause to muse on one of my newest friends who I found through a “google” search and realized she lived only 25 minutes from my house – my life is so much richer!  I remember friends who have mentored me from afar through their books and writings and then become mentors in the faith for me close up.  Friends who have encouraged me, cheered me on, trusted me and loved me unconditionally.

There are so many friends whom I have raised my girls with, cried with, prayed with, and laughed with. Bold and beautiful….women who are leaders in their ministry, or work place and home.  Tall girlfriends, short ones, little and petite and the lovely curvy ones.  For me, each woman represents a special answer to my prayers.

Our marriages have not been perfect, and our kids certainly have not been. But these women have modeled and shown me how to be strong in weakness.  I think of all the scriptures we have memorized together over the years, all the bible studies we have done, and the long telephone conversations asking each other questions and sometimes never arriving at an answer.

{Big Sigh} Would you like to take the time to sit back with me and name all the wonderfully, imperfect people in your life? You may be surprised and end up embracing a new level of hope and joy, as I have.

I pray you have a friend who will bail you out of jail when there was a big misunderstanding over a check you wrote, or a friend who will drive for hours in the night just to see you.  I pray you have a friend who will allow you the luxury of staying at her house when you needed a fun place to stay instead of paying for a hotel.  Or perhaps you need a friend who knows just the right cheesy card to send you when you are having a bad day.

Bravo, bravo to all the wives who I have sobbed with and counseled to keep loving their marriage, their spouse and their family. Sometimes, the world tells you to “just throw in the towel”….but that was NEVER an option for you!   Thank You!  For I have become a better person because YOU didn’t quit!

Here, here to girlfriends! Homage to all the women who refuse to give up!  Who don’t back down and love a good challenge.  Blessings to all the fearless ladies who have raised children, kept their marriages, sometimes with passion and sometimes with pain, cooked countless meals, cleaned up poop and throw up and then rescued the neighborhood’s stray animal.  To all the women and ladies who have ministered to the homeless, counted out their last change to give away, and who stood and believed when you were not able….

WELL DONE! You are a good and faithful servant and friend!

I love to read Oswald Chambers, My Upmost for His Highest. At the beginning of every year, I read the first post, January 1.  At the close of his writing, Oswald states, “When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”

I am so blessed to be surrounded by women who have determined to keep themselves entirely for HIM! For Christ alone. I have not done this perfectly, and neither have they, but I sure am grateful that we know the One who did!

To all the faithful ones, the forgiven, the saints……thank you Robin, Nicole, Tina, Michelle, Charlotte, DeeAnn, Maggie, Kathi, Gloria, Susan, Gail, Carolyn, Angela, Kim, Toni, LeeAnn, Diana, Victoria, Jean, Monica, Jodi, Ghia, Melissa, Billie, Amanda, Gigi, Tiffani, Ronnie, Adryanna, Shannon, Vanessa, Laura, and of course, Carissa, Loryn and Kaleigh Ann, my 3 “grown up” angels.  #bebrave

http://www.lisaroitsch.com