Grace...even speaking the word seems to give a sense of calm. It is almost as though the word itself emits a fresh and breathable air that clears away the stuffiness of a confused life. Grace can have lots of different meanings, from something that comes with elegance to a powerful heavenly gift. So, what is grace and more specifically, what is God’s grace? How does it work? Who gets it bestowed upon them? Can grace change your life?
Sometimes in the overwhelming flow of life we can forget the simplest things. We get so caught up in a “me first” – and sometimes a “me only” mentality - that it never even crosses our minds to stop and consider some of the most basic and healing attributes available to humankind – kindness and mercy. What is mercy? How does it work? If we were to apply mercy on a regular basis, would it change our world and more importantly, could it change the way we see our world?
The Old Testament Law provided a way for Israel to function as an individual society as well as a society that interacted with the world around it. So, how did this Law treat the less fortunate, the sick, the indebted, the slaves, the aliens, and so on? What kind of “social programs” were available and how did they operate? Was there justice? Was there mercy? Did the Old Testament Law promote individual accomplishment at the expense of others? Did it promote a socialistic approach of spreading the wealth evenly to everyone? Stay with us as we take a fascinating walk through God’s unique Old Testament model for society.
Anger, revenge and grudges! Sometimes our tolerance for others wears thin and we just want to...why we just want to let ‘em have it! Let ‘em know the heat of our wrath and the consequences for what we see as their wrong-doing and misbehavior. We want them to know that they can run but they cannot hide, for the long arm of justice will prevail! Now that that’s been said, the question is, SHOULD that be the way we think and act? Is there ever a time when we as Christians “take off the gloves” and show the full force of our dissatisfaction? This weekend, being the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we thought it appropriate to not only assess our position nine years later, but also to try and understand some current events and put it all in the context of God, tolerance, hard-heartedness and forgiveness.