Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Love and Grace (09/11/14)
- TITLE: AGREE WITH GOD
By Ramona Cook
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We think we understand the meaning of love, and we do to the extent that we know love blesses and never hurts. But that does not appear altogether true to a casual observer!
It is true that love blesses, love is not however, indulgent to the object of that love. Not if the Lover is a true lover.
Love comes in various forms, sometimes it has authority but more often does not possess any measure of authority, other than the power of itself upon the will of the object of that love.
Medical personnel have a type of love for their patients; it is caring and protective of their health, assisting in the maintenance of the patient's well- being; and yet if diseases are identified, the physician will attack and without evidence of mercy will set a regime of behaviors that the patient does not find to be indulgent of their comfort.
It falls to the patient to either comply with the regime prescribed, or to suffer the disease.
If a surgeon is performing surgery for a cancerous lesion, not only the cancer is removed, but also whatever amount of margin beyond the lesion that is required to have a perfectly clean periphery. The surgeon cuts deep and wide, well beyond the sickened location. At first thought that does not seem like love, nor does it appear merciful, but the second thought understands that it is very loving and very merciful.
The pastor who stands in the pulpit and brings messages of hope and love and salvation, and of correction and information about the wages of sin being death, sometimes mentioning the foul four letter word, "Hell," is also a loving and a merciful shepherd. Psalm 85: 10 The pastor/teacher knows that peace for the sheep is found in Truth.
The classroom instructor who demands perfection of the student is showing love, and grace is extended when the grade falls between the A and the B, and the A is awarded because the student was engaged in trying for perfection.
The parent who does not allow a teenager to be out all hours of the night is a loving parent; mercy is that the parent wrestles with the teen rather than giving up and allowing unhealthy behaviors and the certain experience of adverse results. Grace is realized when the parent continues to house and to feed such a child.
The truth is that sometimes the teenager is rebellious and suffers the consequences.
Our relationship with God finds Him to be full of merciful grace to us because of His love for us, and yet never doubt that as with all others in our life who show love for us, God is jealous to keep us safe and to prepare us for eternity with Himself in the realm of perfection called Heaven.
Because of His grace and mercy God has given us a message: His orders to us are to repent of wrong doing, and agree with Him regarding the regime of rules and instructions that He has given to us; not because He is an ogre and must have it His way, but rather it is because of His great love and mercy that He pursues us endlessly, all through the days of our mortal lives.
His grace is realized in that He continues to give us life and continues to pursue us for salvation and sanctification. Romans 10:3,4
It is likewise because of His kind nature and respect for us that He will allow us to perish, if we choose to do so, but it will not happen without His applied efforts to bring change to our hearts and minds, if possible. The choice belongs to each of us, individually; what will you do? Romans 10:13
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