The Superiority of Mercy

James 2:13 Judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Mercy is a deep compassion. It not only forgives the repentant with extravagant love, mercy brings better-than-before restoration and intimate reconciliation with the favor of a royal. Mercy is excessively lavish with what is not deserved to the one who turns back home.

If you don’t extend mercy to a repentant brother or sister with loving action, attitude, and articulation, then mercy will not be extended to you by your Father in heaven.

Greek word for triumph: “to exult over, to glory over, to boast itself to be superior, rejoice against, to boast over causing injury to the person or thing.”

Mercy trumps judgment. Whatever judgment brings as evidence to convict and condemn the repentant trespasser, mercy comes in with more authority and more power.

To ignore the authority and power of mercy is a serious crime. It is severely disrespectful of a Father of mercies, a God named “Love.” Refusing mercy is a strong defiance, positioning oneself contrary to Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, dishonoring the punishment He endured to set the humble free.

Mercy shows kindness, sensitivity and tenderness to those who have been broken, bruised and battered by their sin. Mercy is like the good Samaritan, pouring in oil and wine to heal the devastation of a life lived apart from Life, whose name is Jesus.

To come against those separated from God without an offer of hope of rescue or the message of salvation, is representative of a pharisaical spirit that comes to condemn, unlike the Savior, who came to save. It comes to fight for change instead of persuade to repent. This spirit is blind to the deeper matters of the spiritual blindness of their opponent, attempting to control behavior instead of yielding to the Spirit of God who change hearts.

Does mercy mean we can’t feel anger at injustice?
Does mercy mean we can’t speak out against wrong doing?
Does mercy mean we can’t take action to change laws?
Does mercy mean we can’t have a voice against wickedness?

Of course not.

Mercy means we don’t go into the world condemning sinners for sinning.
Mercy means our commission is to serve and save.
Mercy means understanding its is the kindness of God that draws people to repentance.
Mercy means we are careful not to break a bruised reed, or careful not to hurt hurting people.
Mercy means we are sensitive to humanity’s desperate need for grace.
Mercy means we don’t categorize people based on their job, their past or their political party.
Mercy means we consider those in need of an awareness and extension of God’s love.
Mercy means we listen before we speak, communicating the worth of those in our sphere of influence.

If our genuine, unadulterated goal is to rescue the perishing, then our message will not be void of a love that pursues, a humility that serves, a kindness that reaches, and a Gospel message that saves.

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Get It Girl / Part 3: Get it Together!

GET IT, GIRL!

In this blog series, “Get It, Girl,” that I believe the Lord is leading me to write about fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives, especially for women in leadership. Being a woman in leadership in ministry, this series is coming from my heart.

PART 3: Get It Together

“Get it Together” isn’t about getting your stuff together; this blog is about doing life together with others. God’s plan for our lives include the what, the why, the where, the when, the how, and the “who.” God doesn’t just call us to do our individual part; God calls us to do our part in conjunction with others. God knows we are stronger together, better together.

The people in our lives or business or ministry might be obvious champions, or they may be like David’s mighty men – the misfits. They are the people on our team and the people we serve. They are the ones we learn from, the ones we teach, the ones we restore and the ones we launch. They are the new ones and the old ones. They are ones we marry. They are our children. They are our friends.

Choose the ones God has chosen 

There are some people in our life that God has chosen for us. It’s important to take the time to seek God for the men and women He wants to join us together with. Some of the roles people fill are supportive roles, others are in varying degrees of leadership roles.

Just because people are present in our lives doesn’t mean they are people God wants us to put in a specific role. Attendance isn’t the only criteria for a team position. God often has choices for people that are outside our line of sight. In addition, we need to pursue God’s timing for filling positions. A person might be God’s choice, but not God’s choice for right now.

The people God has chosen for you will not be perfect. As you know, you are not perfect either. When we know God has chosen someone for our team, we still need to make the choice in our hearts to choose them too, even with their flaws and imperfections. We commit to equipping, restoring, resourcing and empowering our teams. When we choose men and women, we are committed to them through good and bad, beautiful and ugly. We need to be careful not to despise or make comparisons about the people God places in our lives; instead, we need to grow together in love and grace.

Choose the ones you want

Not every decision is a decision God makes for us. Some decisions God gives to us to make. We need to choose wisely. We love and accept, everyone, but not everyone is qualified for a position we might be trying to fill.

When choosing a team, we look at competency and character. We look for chemistry- how they will work with others. We look at culture- will they be adaptable to our region and to us? Can they catch the vision and our values? I also look for compassion- do they genuinely care for the people we serve?

Choose the ones you don’t want

It’s just as important to choose the ones you don’t want in a position as much as the ones you do want. We need to choose our teams wisely because these are the people we invest in. These are the people we will lean on.

All people are important. I believe when a person is humble, God can transform and empower anyone. I believe if someone can see their need for change, God can change them. However, if someone is still immature or troubled, he or she may not be ripe for a position I am looking to fill. There is nothing wrong with taking our time to let someone prove themselves. If their heart is for you, they will be patient and faithful where they are at, trusting you to follow God and follow your heart.

Let go of the people who let go of you

Life is too short to grieve someone who didn’t want to life with you. It’s okay to take grief to God in prayer, but we have to leave it there. We have to move on. Focus on the people who are with you.  If their heart is for you, they will show you grace when you are weak and show you mercy when they see your failures. They will keep the vision and not be distracted or derailed when they have a different opinion on an insignificant matter. They will be teachable, accept correction and stick with you for the long haul. These people are treasures, valuable gems God has not only for you, but also for His kingdom purpose. Work together in unity and faith, and give God all the praise.

 

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Get It, Girl! (Part 2: Choose It)

GET IT, GIRL!

In this blog series, “Get It, Girl,” that I believe the Lord is leading me to write about fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives, especially for women in leadership. Being a woman in leadership in ministry, this series is coming from my heart.

PART 2: CHOOSE IT

After we SEE it, we need to decide if we will CHOOSE it.

Who Me?

Yes, you. The need God sees for the world is a need He is asking you to help meet. Jesus is the answer. He died for the world. His salvation is here, but He needs you to take that good news to them. He needs you to be His hands, His feet, His voice.

God sees you as valuable to His kingdom. He doesn’t choose one over the other based on race, age or gender. You aren’t disqualified because of past failure. He has a place for each of us. We aren’t in competition with each other. We are here to be a compliment for the other.

If there is any voice telling you that you can’t carry the good news, that voice is a liar. That voice may come from someone you know, someone you don’t know… that voice might even be coming from inside of you. God has given you a voice. God is calling is calling you to tell the world of His love.

Saying “Yes”

God is calling, but we have to answer. God doesn’t force Himself on anyone. To do our part in God’s plan, we need to surrender to Him and say, “Yes.” The part you have is unique to you. The gifts you have, the talents, the opportunities to study, to train, to experience… all from God… and all for a purpose He has for your life.

You have a lot of options throughout a lifetime. There are many things you can do with your one life. Don’t just consider your life from this earthly perspective; consider your life when it is done. When your life is over, how did you spend it? Did it have a temporary effect? Did it have an eternal effect as well? Think of your life as currency, no matter what your age, how will you spend what you have left?

Please say, “Yes.”

God Has Help for You

You aren’t alone. God has also given you His Spirit. He’s not just any spirit; the Holy Spirit comes with some considerable experience. He created the universe, so there’s that. He also raised Jesus from the dead, snatching Him out of the belly of hell and restoring Him in the presence of His Father. That’s impressive. Every miracle recorded in both the Old and New Testaments was done by His power. Jesus left the earth so the Holy Spirit could come to each of us.

The Holy Spirit isn’t just someone we are willing to open up to for help; He is the One who gives us direction on what we are to do. He is our leader. We are to pursue Him. I not only choose to receive Him; I choose to follow Him.

Today and Everyday

Our initial choice to surrender to God can often be a memorable moment. We sense the Holy Spirit calling. We give Him our lives. Surrender is more than a letting go; it’s a going after. It doesn’t happen just once; our yielded heart seeks our Lord each day, choosing to fulfill His plan for His purpose.

 

LINK LEADING LADIES

Leading Ladies is a ministry of LINK Churches, a ministry for pastors and their spouses. Leading Ladies is for women who lead in ministry and the marketplace. If you would like to receive information on Link Leading Ladies, please email me at melanie@growchurches.com.

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Facebook

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Instagram

 

 

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Get It, Girl! (Part 1: See It)

GET IT, GIRL!

In this blog series, “Get It, Girl,” that I believe the Lord is leading me to write about fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives, especially for women in leadership. Being a woman in leadership in ministry, this series is coming from my heart.

PART I: SEE IT

Before you can go after your calling, you have to see your calling. If you can’t see it, you can’t have it.

When God called Abraham, He told Abraham to look all around him – to the north, south, east and west. God told Abraham he could have whatever he could see (Genesis 13:14).  If you can’t see it, how will you know where you are going, what you are going for, or whom you are going? Let me make this clear, God’s calling on your life isn’t about your imagination or your ability to dream. His calling is about much more; that calling is His determined plan for your life, a plan that He creates with His unconditional love, He equips with His limitless power and He supports with His infinite resources.

See that God has a calling and a purpose for you

Don’t ever doubt that. If you see yourself as worthless or less than someone else, you will miss your calling. If you see yourself as a failure or a mistake, you will miss it. Before you can see your calling, you have to see yourself through your Father’s eyes. Your enemy is always working against you, from the time you were born, even before, to blind you to the worth you have to your God. Satan knows if you see who you are in Christ, then you will soon see your purpose and your calling, and God will have you in intimate relationship and effective ministry. Remember that plan and purpose is not based on imperfect you; it is based on His perfect, full, abundant and overflowing grace.

Paul prayed for Christ followers, “[may] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18)”

See the need for your calling

A call always comes with a purpose. Not only must you see the “what” of your calling; but God will also show you the “why” of your calling. Why is He calling you? There is always a reason for our lives because of the value our Father puts on us and on His kingdom purpose. How can one describe the intense passion God has for His children- an love that motivates Him to aggressively and relentlessly be the answer to our cries, the supply for our needs, the peace to our storm. Often with calling is a shared compassion between us and our Father, a love He pours into our hearts by His Spirit (Romans 5:5). It’s a love that is meant to motivate us to action. Seeing the need coupled with divine compassion is God giving us purpose in the plan, the calling, on our life.

See to what He is calling you

God made you unique. You are special in your gifting, personality, training, education and experience. Finding our identity leads to finding our calling. We see ourselves, we see the need; we need to know where we fit into God’s plan. We need to be sure of our calling, certain of our calling and our purpose. Once we know our destiny, we are more likely to stay on target to fulfill it, to stay in our lane and finish our race.

Peter wrote, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).”

If you can see it, then you can “Get It, Girl!”

LINK LEADING LADIES

Leading Ladies is a ministry of LINK Churches, a ministry for pastors and their spouses. Leading Ladies is for women who lead in ministry and the marketplace. If you would like to receive information on Link Leading Ladies, please email me at melanie@growchurches.com.

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Facebook

Find LINK Leading Ladies on Instagram

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I Need a New Perspective!

Last week I worked on a bank statement and was off by $167.31. After checking the math in the checkbook and then my math in the reconciliation, I was still stumped, so I stepped away. Yesterday I picked it back up and almost instantly I saw the problem – I had checked it off on the statement as an online payment, but had not recorded it in the checkbook. There is was as plain as day… $167.31. Seeing the solution clearly, especially after feeling the frustration of not finding resolution – that’s a great feeling!
 
Why did I miss it last week? My focus was on the math, and the math was correct. My perspective was off. The same can be true in ministry. When we are frustrated because we don’t see resolution, it could be that we need to step back for a bit. Let go of that attempt – it’s not working. Pull away for awhile. Ask God for discernment, talk it out with someone, or even do something else to find distraction. Then come back and try another angle.
 
In addition, when it comes to spiritual matters (in ministry or the marketplace) we often look at life through our natural mind. Sometimes getting a spiritual mindset will help us find the answer we need. Some solutions are found when we pray in the spirit. Breakthroughs happen when we take the time to fast and pray. Change happens when we rise up in our spiritual authority and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We have to remember we are spirit beings living in a natural world. It’s a different perspective!
 
So if you feel like you are stuck in place or hitting your head up against a wall, step away and get a different perspective. God is faithful and He will always make a way through!
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