Wonderful, Merciful Savior

“Supreme Court to Address Marriage”, “Berkeley Student Group wants to Ban Salvation Army”, “Church Calls Off Charlie Brown Christmas Show Amid Controversy”. These are a few of the headlines I recently read on the CitizenLink newsletter that I receive from Focus on the Family.

These headlines grieve my heart and my spirit. These stories highlight the fact that the people of America are falling farther and farther away from the one true, Holy and righteous God. A nation that disobeys God and has no regard for His commands cannot remain in favor with God. This is very evident in the Old Testament.

It saddens me that true Christians are becoming the minority in our country. America was built on Christian principles. Our founding fathers never forgot God and did not fail to give Him credit for His blessings on this great nation. How far removed we are from that today. At every turn, someone is challenging even the mention of the name of God in the public arena. Groups are working day and night to tear down any laws regarding marriage as God intended and the blood of millions of unborn babies covers our hands.

Yet in all of this, God gives us a promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Our land desperately needs to be healed and God is the only one capable of this great task. This promise from God contains an “if, then” clause. I pray that we as Americans will choose to humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways. Our hope is in the knowledge that God is gracious and merciful.

I like the way Pamela Rose Williams defines grace and mercy. “Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor. Mercy means you do not get a punishment that you deserve; compassion, forbearance.” Take time to read these definitions again. Think about what they really mean, then spend time giving thanks to God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son.

One of my favorite praise songs is “Wonderful, Merciful Savior” by Selah. It reminds me that we have a Savior who desires to rescue us. We have a Savior who is merciful and gives us healing and grace even when we’ve hopelessly lost our way.

My favorite version of this song is as performed by Selah. I could not find their version on YouTube, but I did find it as performed by the Women of Faith. Click the title of the song below. You can see all credits as the video begins. Please listen and praise our wonderful, merciful Savior.

“Wonderful, Merciful Savior”

Praising Him,
Karen

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Brave

We watched the Disney/Pixar movie “Brave” this weekend. I was never very impressed by the trailers of the movie. It looked a little dark and violent to me. However, we had a free Redbox rental for the weekend and “Brave” was the movie of choice.

My first impressions were correct. It was a little dark and violent. A witch with spells, a bear that kills, Scottish men who fight for no reason. You get the picture. I was prepared for the possibility of those things, but I was not prepared for the daughter who was so disrespectful to her mother. Yes, she apologizes in the end and all is well, but I was not impressed at all.

The next day, as scenes from the movie were replaying themselves in my mind, I started thinking about the title of the movie. Brave? Who was brave? Merida, the daughter and main character was very skillful in archery. She was also quite adventurous, but I don’t remember her being so brave that the entire movie would be named after this quality. Was she brave when she yelled at her mother and told her she would never want to be like her? Was she brave when she asked a witch for a spell to change her mother so she could have her own way? Maybe I’m missing something, but I didn’t view Merida as brave.

I discussed it with my husband and he agreed. We couldn’t come up with an explanation for the title.

As we were having lunch Sunday afternoon, my oldest son, Jonathan shared with us that they had heard two stories during Sunday School. They were true stories from the “One With Them” website.

Jonathan had heard about a 14 year old girl in Uganda, named Susan, who lived with her Muslim father and brother. One day at school she trusted Jesus as her Savior as the result of a visit from an evangelist. A month later, she could hold it in no longer. She shared with her father about her new life in Christ. In response, he locked her in a dark room and instructed her brother not to give her food or water and not to tell anyone. Her brother could not bear it and slid roasted bananas under the door and made a small hole in the floor so he could pour drops of water for her to lick with her tongue.

After six months in a dark room, a neighbor began to question where Susan might be. The police eventually found her. She had lost the use of her legs and of course was very malnourished. After 10 months in a hospital bed, she was able to go live in Kenya with a family who loves The Lord. Her prayer is that she will regain the use of her legs so she can tell others about Jesus. She has forgiven her father and prays for his salvation.

Needless to say…Susan is brave. This was the perfect opportunity to discuss the glaring differences between Merida and Susan with my children. They completely understood and agreed that Susan was so very brave to tell her father about giving her life to The Lord Jesus Christ. She knew that most likely she would be punished severely. However, she couldn’t hold it in. She loved her Lord and she loved her father as well. She wanted him to know the peace and joy of salvation in Christ. She would not be ashamed of Jesus, no matter the cost.

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Susan’s story is one story out of hundreds of thousands. Every day, Christians are being tortured, persecuted, imprisoned, and killed because of their faith. Yet, they are not ashamed and they proudly proclaim Jesus as Lord. This is my definition of brave.

Lord, make me brave. I have nothing to fear but rejection. I have no threat of persecution and You have blessed me with legs that work just fine. Yet I shy away so many times from telling others how You’ve saved me from sin and changed my life. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to love You and love others enough to share with them how to stop living in darkness and find eternal life in You, the Light of the World.

Praying to be Brave,
Karen

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