“I want you to show mercy…” Ephesians 4:22-24

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)
22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Another powerful night at the jail. Hadn’t been to 3SE for a while because of all 350k Christians in our county, we can find three to go to the jail. Need one more to show up regularly so we can hit two pods. Seems like it’s to much. You never know how spending an hour with folks charged with murder, sexual assault, assault, etc. can change your life. To see how the brokenness of a family can play out in the life of a 20 year old, how the redemptive power of Christ change even the hardest, darkest soul…. I used to drive by a penal institution and think “throw away the key”. No more. How do I look at a young man my sons age and not feel his pain, to not pray for his redemption, to not reach out and pour into him with God’s love even if he does have multiple murder and other violence charges against him?

Jeremiah 32:27 (NLT)
27 “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?

The only one who can’t throw off his old nature is the one who refuses to. We talked about being other centered, not self centered and the only way there is through Christ. If you dwell on it, you’ll see that only by being a vessel for God will you truly be other centered. Nothing done in your own will can be anything but self created, self driven, self serving….

Matthew 9:11-13 (NLT)
11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

“I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices”. Christ quoting Old Testament (Hosea 6:6), showing again the continuity of God’s love that the world just seems to keep missing seeing.

Romans 10:9 (NLT)
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

Romans 6:23 (NLT)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope that some folks will take the time to read this and do something beside write a check – today’s burnt offering.

Psalm 40:3 (NLT)
3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
6 I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

And so do a lot of other people in your home, next door, down the street, in the next neighborhood over, one the other side of the tracks, other side of the county, state, country, world….

“I want you to show mercy…”

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