Tuesday, September 13, 2011

But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matt 9:13)

Kind hearts and helpful deeds are more pleasing to God than outward ceremony (going to church and professing one's faith). Sacrifice is right, but mercy is first in importance. If we do not show mercy and forgiveness, we do not honor our God. Forgiveness is the key to living a Christ-centered life. We must learn to truly forgive and that doesn't mean to just say "I'm sorry".

For the past three years I have held a prayer request close to my heart. There are days when I tell God to "forget it", but I quickly submit to His will and His authority, knowing exactly what He wants for me and has promised me. I continue to pray.

We all have issues and hurts, losses and hindsight. Often what takes place in our lives is necessary to bring us to our knees and closer to Him. His will for us is paramount. He does not skimp on the blessings He bestows upon us. We are His first priority. He holds us accountable and teaches us many things along the way. When we have completely and successfully learned what it is He is trying to teach us, we receive a blessing so great that the tears roll down our faces. The ultimate joy is realized. While we wait, we pray, we hope and we prepare ourselves both inwardly and outwardly for that day. Then, without the slightest bit of warning, we are blessed. And the process begins again with another teaching.

Hold tight to the promises of God. Know that the teachings in the Gospels are not just stories - but glimmers of hope that were set in motion long before we began to pray. Let the guiding hand of the Father draw you closer to Him. Continue to offer mercy and forgiveness to others and you will be a recipient of the same love. I sit in awe as I see changes in other occur that could only be answered prayers. I watch as God's mighty hand changes hearts and righteousness prevails. God's plans are often realized in the quiet souls who seek Him...

(photos by Celia Darrigo)