GREAT MERCY

When you’ve blown it , and you KNOW you’ve blown it, and you have no reasonable excuses — THAT’S when you need to appeal for mercy, not try to strut your stuff like some sort of big shot.

Today we’re going to see how a person learned that lesson the hard way. And get a lesson on the easy way, too.

Before we get to the lesson learning, let’s get to the greeting! Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!

Today’s prime example is Joe, a county commissioner in Florida. (In case you’re not familiar, a county commissioner is a relatively minor public official. Not like the state governor or the President of the United States, for example.) But Joe thought he was pretty important. He seems to be convinced that the rules don’t apply to him.

A few weeks ago the Florida State Police pulled him over on one of our major highways. He was driving his Mercedes Benz SUV at 89 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone — almost 30 MPH OVER the speed limit. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that, when pulled over for speeding, your best chances to be sent away with a warning can be found in a polite demeanor. Evidently that isn’t covered in the county commissioner training program. Joe, having already been pulled over once and given a warning, decided that the best approach during this traffic stop would be to act “extremely condescending, belligerent, illogical and disrespectful.” (That’s a quote from the police report.) So he was issued a traffic citation with a fine of several hundred dollars.

But that didn’t stop Commissioner Joe!! A couple of weeks later he took his Ferrari out for a spin. A very FAST spin, actually. This time he was stopped for going 92 mph. And this time he decided to interrupt the State Trooper explaining the infraction to him and tell him, “I run the county, so I know how that works; I’m the chairman of the county commission.” As you might imagine, the trooper was not impressed. Commissioner Joe got another speeding ticket.

Today’s verse says IN HIS GREAT MERCY HE HAS GIVEN US NEW BIRTH INTO A LIVING HOPE.

What Commissioner Joe needed was MERCY, not justice. Just like you and me.

We’ve broken the law, too. If we know God’s written law from reading His word, then we know clearly how we’ve violated His law, ignored His directives and followed our own ways. But there are people who’ve never been exposed to God’s written law, so what happens to them? Well, because we’re created in His image, all of us have an internal understanding of right and wrong. It’s called a conscience. And when we violate it, we know it. We may not like, and we may even do it deliberately; but we know when we violate our conscience all the same. Either way. we’re guilty and we know it. We need MERCY.

But here’s the key to getting mercy – you humble yourself.

Joe’s approach was to write separate letters to each of the judges on these cases seeking leniency for both incidents. Did he offer an apology? Did he commit to being more careful in the future?? Nope!!! He told the judges he was in a rush and not paying attention to how fast he was driving. I’m pretty sure the “I’m in a hurry and don’t care” tactic is not going to work real well with these judges.

By the way, don’t expect that the “God would never send people to hell” argument is going to work if you decide to try it. He already identified the penalty AND IN HIS GREAT MERCY offered to pay the full “fine” you owe. The “I’ve been basically good” argument won’t get you very far. The issue is not the things you didn’t do; it’s the things YOU DID!! I could go on and on, but you get the point.

If you choose to humble yourself before the Judge of the Universe now, and you repent and ask for mercy – He will give it. Then you will be able to say with me and the others who’ve come to Him in faith …

Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ! IN HIS GREAT MERCY HE HAS GIVEN US NEW BIRTH INTO A LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

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