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Summary: When we excuse ourselves for our prejudices of color, education, culture, or status, we undo the love mercy of God in our lives.

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A church painting-

A church decided to paint their building. It had become a bit dingy over the years, but the church members felt that a complete painting was a bit expensive, so they bought only as much white paint as they thought they might need. After painting the front of the building they were already almost finished with the paint, so they faced a decision. “Why don’t we just thin out the remaining paint to make it go a bit farther” one wise member suggested. It seemed the best and cheapest thing to do, so they added some paint thinner and found the paint, indeed, did spread a bit farther and they were able to complete the job, though the paint seemed a bit thin, at least it covered the building. Just then, the wind began to blow and huge thunder clouds appeared. A torrential rain began to pour, and all of the newly purchased, thinned and pasted paint washed away into the drain. A booming voice then came from heaven “Repaint! And thin no more!”

Sometimes in our efforts to economize our lives we leave ourselves spiritually unadorned. We give less than God’s best and in the process lose the beauty God desires to pour into our lives.

James saw compromise in the church, and it disturbed him.

James 2: 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

The frightening issue discussed here is that the person who shows favoritism to someone who is wealthy or powerful is on the same level before God as the adulterer and murderer.

God will judge us for such favoritism, and for those who expect to be favored for such reasons.

Kudzu, a British cartoon character, ponders how to re-write Amazing Grace to make it more modern:

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a stunted self-concept like me

I once was stressed out but now am empowered.

Was visually challenged, but now I see.

Kudzu, to his credit, decides he doesn’t like it.

Judgment begins in the House of God.

Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

When we have to make a decision about how to treat someone who is different from us, the world has a variety of options to offer us. God only offers us one option-Love.

Today there are at least four major signposts that hasten people out of the moral world that we have inhabited in the West for a long time

These for shifts are

From thinking about virtue to thinking about values

From thinking about character to personality

From thinking about Nature to self

From thinking about Guilt to shame

And once people follow these signposts to where they are pointing they find they are exiting the moral world, and once we have exited the moral world in our minds the character of God and the cross which that character required become simply incomprehensible. David Wells

MERCY has been shown to us by God, therefore we must show mercy.

Ephesians 2: 4b . . . Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy Matthew 5:7

Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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