Return to Me… Mercy and Grace

16 Then those revering the Lordeach and every one, spoke among themselves. The Lord paid attention and listened to them. Then a scroll of remembrance was written before the Lord about those revering the Lord, the ones meditating on his name.
17 On the day that I am preparing, says the Lord of heavenly forces, they will be my special possession. I will spare them just as parents spare a child who serves them.
18  You will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between those serving God and those not serving him (Malachi 3:16-18, Common English Bible).

When I read the lesson for today my mind goes to a few other lessons. Verse 16, “Then those revering the Lordeach and every one, spoke among themselves. The Lord paid attention and listened to them. Then a scroll of remembrance was written before the Lord about those revering the Lordthe ones meditating on his name,” made me think of 2 Chronicles 7:14, “… if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” I do realize this isn’t quite the same the same thing. Still, the people are humbling themselves before God and the scroll of remembrance, at least to me, could be a written prayer on their part. I also think that when we “meditate on His name,” we are in prayer. As we read through the remainder of the lesson we can see evidence of mercy and grace, “I will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

When I read verse 17, “On the day that I am preparing, says the Lord of heavenly forces, they will be my special possession. I will spare them just as parents spare a child who serves them,” I thought about a passage that is the exact opposite from this verse. I thought about Genesis 18:23-33. This passage is Abraham begging God to not wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction that followed in chapter 19 when God couldn’t find ten righteous people. Mercy and grace are part of God’s nature, even though none deserve it. But, mercy and grace do not remove the consequences of unrighteous behavior. But, if we choose the path of God, God will may us God’s “special possession” in spite of how we may have lived before. That is the very definition of mercy and grace.

Then there is verse 18, “You will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between those serving God and those not serving him.” The words “distinguish between,” make me think of The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats,” Matthew 25:31-46. In that passage, God separates (distinguishes) those who are righteous, those who serve God by serving others, from the unrighteous, those who fail to serve God and others, most likely because their focus is on themselves. The righteous receive mercy and grace, while the unrighteous receive eternal punishment.

The lesson makes the identity or the righteous, those who revere God and meditate on His name, very clear. For them, there will be an eternal reward.

I want to be among the righteous. Lord, have mercy.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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