I know this blog title may sound harsh. But that's exactly what God said to my heart this morning. I thought, "Surly he's not talking to me!" But, no, he was!
I've been doing a bible study in the mornings and I've been in the Word...or so I thought. Last night at church the preacher said, "Put away your study, and just BE with God. Don't just read your bible, but stop and meditate on what he is speaking to your heart. Let the Spirit lead." I opened my bible to Proverbs because it's one of my favorites. He always convicts me there. But as I was reading, it didn't feel right, my mind started drifting (I kept getting this vision of Jesus on the cross) and I wasn't understanding the words. I was thinking, "Jesus died for me on the cross; he went through all of that pain. I don't want it to be for nothing....I need seek him with all my heart, let him lead. Stop trying to do this on your own." So, I just started praying and flipping through the pages. I ended up in Romans and that small still voice said stop.
First thing that jumps off the page was Romans 7:18 "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."
I stopped right there. That was the only verse I read... My sinful nature WILL take over if I'm not in the Word. So I began to pray again. I want to do his will and cannot do it on my own. Show me your way, Lord!! I flipped one page over and Romans 12:2-3, 6-8 jumped out at me:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Now I could hear God yelling at me in my own mind, "Get over yourself!" Mercy is my gift, as it usually comes very easy. Usually! I know this is already long, but I want to share this story:
Tuesday we went bowling with some friends. I hadn't had lunch, so I stopped and got something on the way. I took it in, as the boys were playing I was going to scarf my food down. The old man (who is never very nice) said, "I guess I didn't need to pay someone to work the snack bar if you're just going to bring in your own food." I ignored it the best I could and finished while waiting on the rest of our group. Heather finally got there (she is in charge of leading this up for us homeschoolers) and we went up to pay. And again, this old man says to her, "You need to tell your people not to bring food in!" Instead of telling him I was sorry and it wouldn't happen again, I just handed her my money and walked away. Even though I could feel the Spirit telling me to show mercy. I let anger win. Thank goodness!, Heather was very sweet to him and stood there talking to him. Come to find out, he is battling cancer and was in need of a little Jesus. That doesn't give him the right to be rude, but maybe his momma didn't teach him manners. But that day I didn't teach my boys grace and mercy. Everyone in your life needs His mercy and we need to give it. I missed it that day, but I won't next time!! Thank you, Heather, for being the mouth of Christ to that man! I'm sorry I didn't reflect Christ as I should have.
Who in your life needs compassion? What is your gift? What is God calling you to do that you're not doing?
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9