Is God merciful and compassionate? Yes! And does He provide Grace to us? Yes! But is He obliged to provide these dispensations? No! For God stated; “I will be Gracious (considerate, accommodating, available) to whom I will be gracious, and will show Mercy (pity, forgiveness, protection) on whom I will show mercy” - Ex. 33:19. How His Mercy, Compassion, and Grace are given is mainly dependent on us; and how the world has been disobedient to His Laws and precepts. To note the distinction is to look at the Parable of the Prodigal son. But to set this foundation consider how Jesus demonstrates the character of God by how He addresses them with the three main sets of people that He was in contact with.
First; the Pharisees, Scribes, and anyone who were part of the Body but only use it for their advantages. These individuals, organizations, and, affiliations are to represent God’s will for the church and the world as outlined under Jesus and the traditional five-fold ministries. Because of this responsibility; God’s judgment on these offices will be harsher not only to those appointed to the five-fold ministries but also to some extent; to those that only sit warming the pews because they are an extension of these ministries. Jesus spoke sternly and angrily to these overseers of His church and called them; “Brood (generation) of vipers” - Matt. 23:33; not once but several times in front of their peers. Any church including their congregation that fails to point to the One Shepherd will be under God's heavy hand of judgment. So where was the Grace, Mercy, or Compassion in these cases? There was none because of their attitudes, arrogance, jealousy, and deceptions. Therefore these compensations could not be applied in contrast to the Pharisee Nicodemus; who Jesus accommodated because he stated; “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” - Jn. 3:2. When we are knowledgeable about God; then our dispensations from God are stricter because as Jesus stated; “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you (and) how long shall I bear (teach, carry, tolerate) you?” - Matt. 17:17. We must remember Jesus’ prime focus was the Jews but being adopted into His family brings with it equal blessings and judgments.
Secondly; the hungry and good-natured people. Generally, known as the Gentiles; meaning outside the Faith. These are those who being ignorant of the Truth stumble constantly trying to make their lives better and are seeking a Lord, Savior, and Teacher to improve their lot. They exercise hope and through trial and error have a tentative expectation for good results. They are as Jesus stated; “To proclaim liberty (freedom, enlightenment, Truth) to the captives (enslaved, blinded, chained)” - Lk.4:18. Jesus treated them with mercy and compassion on a merit basis based on how they sought the Kingdom and its Truth. And regardless of their outside status; Jesus had no choice but to acknowledge and recognize their hopes and their actions. He saw their Faith fulfilling the Law as stated; “by Faith is God pleased” - Heb. 11:6. Jesus rewards the woman of Canaan because of her Faith and boldness as stated; “O woman, great is your Faith!” - Matt. 15:21. The same occurred with the Roman centurion who looks to Jesus for his servant's healing as stated; “I say to you, I have not found such great Faith, not even in Israel!”- Lk. 7:9. Even though these people were outside the church; they received God’s mercy and compassion for their requests. Did they eventually become followers of Christ? The Bible doesn’t say that because there is no significance to be recorded, which in my opinion is that, they did not convert. But what it indicates is God is more concerned with one’s approach to Him where hope, trust, and Faith are revealed by one’s attitudes and humility for His hand to move on one’s behalf. If they converted then as stated God’s will would have applied; “For by Grace through Faith are you saved” - Eph. 2:8.
Thirdly; the world by the free will of thoughts and actions rejects God, His Kingdom. They are idol worshippers of self, corruption, and the devil. Rome represented that status but today it would be unrighteous governments and self-serving organizations. Jesus often recognized but did not acknowledge them and certainly did not submit to them. We see this when He is presented before Pilate - Jn. 18:28, and even the Sanhedrin- Matt. 26:57; which in today's terms would be the One world government and the One world church; respectively. A facade imitation of the true Kingdom of God and His priesthood in Jesus Christ. The ultimate supplanting of all Righteousness with unrighteousness as desired by the pride of Lucifer and his antichrists. The world will not receive God’s Grace, mercy, or compassion because of another law as stated; “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” - Mk. 3:24. We must not confuse God’s Grace, mercy, or compassion for His patience, long-suffering, or restraint as stated; “The LORD is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” - 2 Pet. 3:9. Eventually; by what is sowed; a harvest of God’s wrath will be reaped by these individuals.
When Jesus went to the cross; judgments were passed including God demonstrating His Grace, mercy, and compassion. Remember the three examples of people whom these dispensations are applied. Peter and other disciples came under Grace because of their discipleship with Jesus even those most of them scattered in fear; just like some in the Body who are followers of Christ have. This period started as Jesus stated; “before this evening you will deny Me three times” - Matt. 26:31. This is after Peter put his foot in his mouth with pride, Jesus prophesizes to him the judgment of humility and shame that would manifest before the rooster crows. Now, what is key here is that Peter regardless of his Messiah's prophecy did not ask for forgiveness at that moment but instead compounded his judgment further as stated; “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” - Matt. 26:35; which the other disciples also endorsed. Remember, Grace delays judgment and often God is hinting to us to repent our offense which is usually prevented by our pride. After this incident with Peter; it is recorded they went to the place called Gethsemane where Jesus prayed while His disciples slept. What is interesting is that Jesus sees them sleeping but specifically states to Peter; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” - Mk. 14:38. What temptation? They are alone from the world and sleeping. This temptation is a reference to Peter’s pending denial which Jesus observes as stated; “(Peter’s) spirit indeed is willing, but (his) flesh is weak”.
So often, we are warned by God but fail to heed His Spirit for our welfare and then suffer the judgment where we become exposed to the devil and his devices that metaphorically force us to our knees for God’s intervention, and more often than not we hear as stated; “My Grace is sufficient for you” - 2 Corth. 12:9. This period of Grace only ended when Jesus after His resurrection states to Peter three times as satiated; “Peter do you Love Me” - Jn. 21:15.. Each time Peter responded; he effectively repented for his three times of denials of Jesus’ (God’s) sovereignty over his life. Grace’s time period and delayed judgment are dependent on several factors including how we recognize our current walk under God’s Kingdom Laws of the Spirit and the flesh. For most of the disciples that fled and hid in fear; their period of Grace trial ended with Jesus’ visitation to them after the Resurrection but especially at Pentecost when without a doubt they surrendered to the Spirit of God - Acts 2.
In contrast to this Grace is the Mercy and Compassion that Jesus applied while He was on the cross. That even when His only concerned should be His death; God through Jesus willingly applies His Mercy and Compassion to those whose heart is calling out to Him. Jesus took the time to declare an unusual request for those misguided, lost, and in fear from the world as stated; "Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing" - Lk. 23:34. But the most poignant act of Mercy and Compassion comes from Jesus and speaks to the Father's heart is when the debate starts with the two thieves that are being crucified with Jesus. The unrepentant thief did not receive any empathy from Jesus because he mocked Him as stated; "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us"; but the repentant thief because of his humility and Righteous confession as stated; "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation; and we indeed justly, (shall) receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong; (but) LORD, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom"; which resulted in Jesus' words that saved this man as stated; "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" - LK. 23:39-43. This Mercy and Compassion is applied under Righteous conditions in an instant which is no different for anyone on their death bed with their last breath receives Jesus as Savior and LORD. For how can Grace be applied in these fatal circumstances?
Eventually, the prodigal son, after his suffering receives the Light of the Spirit and returns to his father for forgiveness, security, and provision; expecting his father to be angry, disappointed, and punish him as stated; “Make me like one of your hired servants; (and) no longer worthy to be called your son” - Lk. 15:19/21. But the father is not only elated to welcome him but also celebrates as stated; “And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” - Lk. 15:23. Now; when did the father apply Grace, Mercy, or Compassion?
This is why God’s Grace is sufficient! God’s desire is for those who are Faithful and are doers of His will, purpose, and plans. But He will not aid us until we demonstrate both of these traits required to be an Heir of His Kingdom. His intent for His Grace which is unmerited favor and divine intervention is not casual but purposeful in its application. Remember; God will have mercy on whom He chooses! Here lies the Truth of Grace, Mercy, and Compassion. God chooses! If God was to have His justice; He would not only condemn all but His judgment would be swift and devastating such as what was done in Sodom and Gomorra. This is why as the Body; we must be grateful that His core character is that, He is Grace; He is Mercy, and He is Compassionate. From Genesis to Revelation this is demonstrated! This is because His heart is that of a Father who knows His image are eons behind His Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding. Very often we inter-change Grace with Mercy and Compassion but their distinct applications more often have to do with our individual status as the saved, and the lost. It is not sufficient as a defense to use ignorance as the reason for not obeying God’s will because to be sure especially today no one on this Earth will be able to claim they never heard the Name of Jesus Christ; including those who do not have modern technologies. Why? Because God is Just and by virtue of His will as stated; “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the Knowledge of the Truth.” - 1 Tim. 2:1-4. God is obligated by any Spiritual means to reveal the Word and its Truth to all mankind and will accomplish this so as not to be under His judgment as stated; “For You (God) have magnified Your word above all Your name” - Ps. 138:2.
All of us, including the world, have been prodigal. But only those in the Body are Prodigal sons and daughters and are therefore able to receive God’s Grace. In the Parable of the Prodigal son; God is that father of great wealth, property, and holdings. The Body is that son who, not recognizing what he has in support, decided to abandon his father’s guidance as stated; “journeyed to a far country” - Lk. 15:13. So often, we ignore what is before us and become distracted because “the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence”. These distractions by the devil are designed to remove the Word from our minds, for the indulges of the flesh which as in the Parable, are prodigal (wasteful), irresponsible, selfish living. Now; this is where many Christians lose it and don’t even realize what is happening because of the fear of loss of status, wealth, or health. Rather than bring to memory the Word of Faith; many compounds their dire straits by as stated; “joined himself to a citizen of that country” - Lk. 15:15. In other words, they look to the world for advice such as “social influencers
God’s Grace is not limited to protection, provision, and providence; but its real purpose is for His desire for us to become like His Son Jesus demonstrated. To display the fortitude and tenacity to overcome what may be challenging our Faith walk by our spirit, mind, and body with the Word. This is why these last days are the Age of Grace! When we crossed over into God’s purview; we gave up certain excuses that God may accept to apply His mercy and compassion; just as Jesus demonstrated to those outside the Faith during His ministry. We are no longer in Jesus’ ministry but under God’s! Yes; the Body are ministers of Jesus Christ but having done His works; He now as stated; “sit at the Father’s right hand as our intercessor” - Mk. 16:19. Just like a defense lawyer; Jesus advocates for our crimes of disobedience to God to suspend, put on probation (trial period), or acquit us of the pending judgment by God. He is able to do so because as a man He walked what we face each day as stated; “makes intercession for us” - Rm. 8:34.
In all three examples; it must be noted in how God handles, treats, and pass judgment on these individuals and groups of people. The fourth example is within the story of the Prodigal son. The Prodigal son or daughter are those who are reborn into the Kingdom of God and because of their renewed Blood birthright have the Father’s Love for their journey, failings, and disobedience. This is why religion is inadequate to receive God’s Grace because mindless works of conformity do not meet the standard God set for His Grace to be dispensed which is more dependent on the condition of your heart and not how much one bawls, prostrates, or make deals with Him. God does not endorse any unrighteous, disobedience, and rebellion against His Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding of all things before Him; especially of those marked as Heirs for His Kingdom. What He does is provide Grace! This is not the same as mercy or compassion! Grace may reflect mercy and compassion but at its core; Grace will have a sterner judgment if as the saved we do not repent our unrighteous ways and is why as stated; “If we confess our sins, He (God) is Faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” - 1Jn. 1:9. In simple terms; Grace has a longer time before judgment is passed than mercy, and compassion which are generally instant or timely.
Apr, 17, 2022.
Grace, Mercy, and, Compassion.
Just like our lives being Heirs; God will apply His Grace more than His Mercy or Compassion to us. In the Parable the father applied Grace the moment his prodigal son wanted his inheritance; abandoned his house for the world; and continued until his son returned home. The father allowed his son to experience firsthand the wickedness of the world. Its disappointments, destitution, and deceptions! The father intended to teach his son a lesson for his Salvation. And at no point in time of his son’s absence, it is recorded the father sought after the lost son to show him mercy or compassion by helping him with his demise and self-inflicted sufferings. But as it states; “Train up a (immature) child in the way (Kingdom) he should go: and when he is old (mature), he will not depart from it” - Prov. 22:6. By free will, the prodigal was immature but became mature after his worldly experiences only because the father’s lessons and examples reminded him of all that was good and Righteous within his father’s house and estate as stated; “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare” - Lk. 15:17.
What is Grace? It is God’s way to uphold us especially when we test Him and the delay of judgment for our sins after claiming and pledging to the Blood of Jesus Christ as Savior but more so LORD. God will hold us accountable for not being as stated by Jesus; “Be perfect as Your Father is perfect (obedient, responsible, and have integrity)” - Matt. 5:48. There are two sons in the Parable and each receives their father’s just reward because of their actions. The prodigal son may have been welcomed back into the fold but his sinful actions resulted in the loss of his father’s current wealth portfolio unlike his Faithful son who stayed under his father’s authority and as stated; “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours” - Lk. 15:31. As the Father of all things of welfare, status, and prosperity; God is not unjust in His giving to those who are more Faithful to His house being sons and daughters who do not take for granted His Grace, Mercy, and Compassion.
Flush it Out! - God's Grace is under the Blood of Jesus.
What is the difference and when do they apply speaks to as stated; “the Spirit is Life and the flesh is death” - Rm. 8:6. For if you have the understanding of God’s will; then your walk will be as an Heir and not that of a slave. We are not born into subjugation but into authority as our birthright is under the Blood of Jesus. Now; we all have as brother Paul tells us; “All have fallen short of the Glory” - Rm. 3:23. But to think as the Body; we are incapable of attaining to Jesus Christ is to miss God’s intent and precision for our individual journey into divinity by as stated; “run the race set before you” - Heb. 12:1; and “Take up your cross and follow Me” - Lk. 9:23. That race is not about its finish line which is assured by Christ but about the mountains placed in our path along the journey of Salvation by which Grace, and not by mercy or compassion is made available. For it is the call, that God provides His Grace as stated by Gideon and others; “if now I have found (acquired, possess, beholden) Your Grace (favor, attention, divine help) in your sight (God) then show me a sign (light, manifestation, direction)” - Jud. 6:17.
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