Monday, July 4, 2011

Mercy and Judgment

I want to make two announcements before I get into today's message. Any day now the "address" for this blog will change. It will be and will open to the blog as well as contain all the Voice of Joy Ministry and other pages - accessed by clicking on the name of the folder at the top of the blog page. Also sometime in August my husband will begin video recording "Parlour Talk" which will be me discussing the Word from my parlour - picture is above - where I spend time alone with Jesus as well as with others in His Presence. Please pray for that venture. Gary says the Lord told him to do it so I'm going to cooperate!

Now to the blog for today.

Yesterday was the Sunday before Independence Day. I signed up nearly a month ago for my church to be part of a program entitled Call2Fall which asked for commitments from individuals and churches to spend at least 5 minutes on their knees Sunday, July 3, in personal repentance and prayer for our nation. Over a million signed up - and since that included churches which could have populations of hundreds or thousands, no telling how many people knelt to intercede for our nation. I truly expect to see revival sweep the land as a result of this effort.

I began several weeks ago talking about repentance and revival from the pulpit. I handed out two sheets of questions to ask ourselves and let God's Spirit show us where repentance and purging is needed.(If you'd like copies of them, e-mail and ask and I'll attach them and send to you.) On July 3, seven people in Mortonsville United Methodist Church led us in prayers for:
Repentance & Revival among Christians
God's Power poured forth in and through the Body of Christ
Evangelism & Lost Souls
Respect for God's Word in the Church and Nation
Standards of Morality in the Church and Nation
Godly Government
Economy of the Church and Nation

After the prayers, I called for those who could to come forward and kneel to pray. I purposefully went to kneel at the first pew and did not look to see who did or did not come because I didn't want to be tempted to judge those who didn't. Later on I said to Gary "I don't want to know who did, but were there many who came to kneel and pray?" He said that with the exception of himself (in a wheelchair) and two other people for whom it is impossible to physically kneel, everyone in the church went up to bow in humility before the Lord. It's moments like that which make a pastor's heart beat quickly with joy.

I led in prayer also and prayed something that has never come out of my mouth before. I can only believe that it was the Lord leading me to pray that way. I've always been very much a believer in "Mercy rejoiceth against (or over) judgment" James 2:13. I love knowing that God loves to show mercy instead of judgment. My favorite beatitude is "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7. Knowing that I need lots of mercy, I have been quick to show mercy to others! But Sunday morning I prayed a little differently.
"Father we hold up those in this nation that are the enemies of Your standards of morality, enemies of Your Word, enemies of the freedom on which this country was founded, enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who are Your enemies in ignorance we ask for Your mercy and that You send Your light to shine Truth into their hearts, and prepare their hearts to receive truth. Upon those who know what they are doing, who have chosen to be the enemies of You and Your people, enemies of Truth and Freedom, we ask You to bring judgment."

Frankly, I was in a state of shock the rest of the day. I've never ever asked for judgment to come to anybody, even those who have hurt me or my family.
But when I think of those Christian settlers who came to this land so they could have the freedom to worship in whatever way they chose - and when I hear that Christianity is the only faith that is being persecuted and mocked and even forbidden in places- I hurt. When I think of all those who gave their lives to protect our Constitution which is based on God's Law, and how often judges today rule against that Constitution, how often I hear it said that our Constitution is outdated - I hurt. And if I hurt, I know that the Heart of our Lord hurts first.

Please pray for mercy for all people but for those who see no need of mercy, those who are purposefully the enemies of God and His Word and His Law, pray that judgment comes to hinder their influence so that JESUS IS LORD over our country.
God bless you, and God bless America!!!