After having a short interaction with a worn out guy who was wandering aimlessly on this wet Portland day. He was pretty altered, pupils like pin holes. He was trying to use someone’s phone. I offered mine and asked what number he wanted to call so I could dial it. He lost his train of thought and started asking me if I do certain drugs. He listed off some of the worst ones first and I thought dang… he’s really deep in that mess. I said, “I used to do some drugs, but never messed with powders, anything you have to shoot up, or immediately destroys your brain.” And it came out pretty easy…
“Have you ever tried Jesus?” He sobered up in a moment looking right at me and then fell back into his stupor. He began to say, “People that love God…. that have the Holy Spirit in them………they………”
Again he lost his train of thought. I told him that Jesus has taken me places no drug ever has. I thought about the brave people that had the courage to speak to me about sin, about the love of Christ, and best of all that read me scripture when I was so lost. So… I opened up my bag. Grabbed the Bible and read him scripture from a pamphlet I got from Anawim entitled God’s Mercy, which I used as a bookmark. :)
What good would any words do a person in that state? More than ya think. His tough shell began to melt and the true suffering of his daily walk began to breath. Like a child I gave him the scripture covered pamphlet and told him, “put it in your bag and save it for later.” He dropped it after a while and a girl at the bus stop said, “Hey you dropped that.” He reluctantly picked it up. The bus arrived and he wanted to follow me. “Where we going?” he asked in doorway of the bus. I smiled and said, “I don’t know where you’re going, but good luck.”
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make em drink.
I pray he get some rest and begins the long, yet worthwhile journey of shedding the poison of the world in exchange for the peace of God’s love.
Having broken the greatest of all
Having destroyed all sense of decency
Having ruined all that is good.
Karma tells us:
“He deserves nothing good!
He was born in sin,
No good dwells in him
Surrender him to the judgment of God
Get him out of our sight!”
Grace tells us:
“We are no more deserving than he
To grant mercy is to be like God
Forgiveness allows us to be forgiven
Welcome, feed and encourage.”
We receive what we give
- Omnipotent: God is all powerful
- Omnipresent: God is in all places
- Omniscient: God knows all things
- Eternal: God is timeless
Biblically, I have questions about all of these statements. But the fact is, biblically, to say that the nature of God is his being or essence is to miss the point. That is a metaphysical answer to the question, not a biblical one.
There is one statement about the nature of God that is repeated many times in Scripture, and yet it is rarely quoted, or certainly not quoted as often as the omnis. The best answer to “what is the nature of God?” is:
“Yahweh, Yahweh God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in merciful faithfulness and truth, who keeps merciful faithfulness for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, yet he will not leave the guilty unpunished.” Exodus 34:6-7
This statement, in whole or part, is repeated at least 12 times in the OT alone*. It is the basic creed of who God is, and is the basis for the statement “God is love” and is the basis for the NT statements which say that we, as God’s children, should imitate God (Luke 6:35-36; Eph 5:1).
Thus, we should focus on God being:
Compassionate: One who understands and desires to help the weak.
Gracious: One who gives of Himself to those in need
Slow to anger: Doesn’t instantly respond to offenses, but takes time to consider a proper response
Abounding in merciful faithfulness: When he keeps his promises, he does it for the benefit of those he is blessing
Abounding in truth: Doesn’t lie, doesn’t break his promises
Forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin: Is ready to cleanse the heart, mind and any debt incurred from any sin, real, ritual or imagined.
Will not leave the guilty unpunished: Forgiveness is for the repentant, not for those who continue to purposely hurt others.
This is the true nature of God, and the basis of all biblical truth.
*Passages that are a reference to Exodus 34:
II Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:17, 31; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 111:4; Psalm 112:4; Psalm 116:5; Psalm 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3
I was at Fred Meyers today and I was just doing some light shopping. As I walked through I was thinking of that passage that said a “A days wages for a Loaf of Bread” because I was looking a loaves of bread that were selling for $8 to $12 per loaf and Milk was $5.29 for a gallon. A dead uncooked Chicken was selling for $11.
IT IS INSANE.
So I got my non organic food and because it is Seniors Day I got out for under $20.
So as I was passing the cat food Isle I saw the sticker “10 cans for a dollar– no limit” and this old man and this old woman were busy filling a couple of bags with cat food. I heard the old man pipe up to his wife “O Hun, don’t get that flavor it gives me terrible gas”. In all they had about a 100 cans.
A little while later there was a call for cleanup and a bag of rice had fallen and burst open. With push brooms and sweepers all was collected into a trash can and hauled away. About 30 lbs and the haulers were being tailed by these two girls.
The can was just outside the employee only door and unattended. Suddenly one of the girls was on her cell phone for ladies descended and in moments the rice was collected and transported out – the – door with excellent precision.
So this activity continued especially in the produce section it is like a highly trained secret force. Some Chinese, some Russian some young and some old and all women. It was a sight to behold.
Talk about recycling ……
God has made every one of us with two distinct moralities, battling like two dogs after the same bone.
The morality of Karma sees every person as unequal. Some deserve more reward, some deserve more punishment, but all deserve uniquely. It is the task of Karma to protect, to preserve, to provide equality.
The morality of Grace sees every person as the same. All have the same requirements to survive, to thrive, and grace gives. Grace sees lack and responds with compassion and then action. Grace is charity unhindered. It is the task of Grace to nourish, to empower, to provide opportunity.
Karma and Grace are in all of us. We all want to punish those whom we see are the worst offenders in our world. We all want to assist those who we see are most in need in our world. We all judge, we all empathize.
All moral arguments are based on who or what deserves which treatment.