7.23.12 "Accepting Compassion"

Welcome to today’s blog and thanks for tuning in!Before reading the scripture verse, please take time to pray that God would prepare you and open your heart to what He has to say to you through His word and today’s blog.

Titus 3:3–7 “ 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

The gut-wrenching compassion described in verses 4 – 5 reminds me of Pastor’s story of his father’s compassion shown toward him when he and his buddies took an ill-advised side trip to the water tank, deeply disappointing his father. Verse 5 starts by making it clear what the motivation for God‘s compassion IS NOT: righteous things we have done (basically anything we may consider “good” coming from within us). Then the verse continues by stating what the motivation for God’s compassion really IS: his mercy (basically all of the love and grace that flow from the heart of Jesus).

I’m not very good when it comes to accepting hand-outs. There is something deep within my heart, some sense of justice that says I only want to receive what I deserve. I don’t want to take anything I haven’t earned. I struggle with this and I think many of us do. It is a part of our American system of values: don’t become a burden to society, work for what you receive, don’t rely on other people, etc. When it comes to graciously receiving the gifts God has for me (compassion, grace, mercy and peace), my reluctance to accept these gifts and insistence that these gifts come in return for my “good behavior” is nothing less than a sin against the 1st commandment. God says “You shall have no other gods before me”. When I refuse to accept God’s gifts or look upon them as my reward for good behavior, I am placing myself as a god before the God of the Universe.

He is God and I am not! What about you? What is it that is getting in the way of you accepting God’s gut-wrenching compassion? There is so much in these five verses. When did God save you out of a period of foolishness, disobedience, deception, and enslavement? What will you do today to remember/accept God’s real motivation for that compassion (mercy) and forget/put aside our misguided notions for his motivation (our “righteousness”)?

I’m interested in hearing what God is saying to you. May He bless your walk today!

mark liebenow