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Lord, Have Mercy

sorrowLuke 17:11-14

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

 

Leprosy is a painful, disfiguring, and debilitating disease.  People of Jesus’ day believed leprosy to be a sign of God’s displeasure and judgment.  As such, lepers were banned from social interaction with anyone except other lepers.  Cut off from mainstream society the lepers did the only they could do to find comfort—they banded together into colonies with other lepers.  I don’t imagine it was much comfort—but it was the best they could do.  You’ve heard the saying: “Misery loves company!”  Well, these lepers were miserable—and you could tell by looking at the company they kept.

Their plea was a simple one:  “Have pity on us! or “Lord, have mercy!”  What they wanted was obvious.  They wanted to be healed.  Perhaps they had heard about the great miracles performed by Jesus and hoped he would do the same for them.  We’re not sure—but one thing was certain.  In their misery they reached out to the Lord and begged for mercy.  Some of your understand what they were feeling, don’t you?

You labor long and hard to make your business prosper so that you can provide for your family, but your business fails.  “Lord, have mercy!”

 You sit in silence over a cold dinner after a long and bitter fight with your spouse and the thought crosses you mind again and again—divorce.  “Lord, have mercy!”

 You’ve invested several decades as a dedicated employee of a particular company, but the bottom line is still the bottom line.  You show up for work one morning and get a “pink slip.”  You’ve been laid off.  “Lord, have mercy!”

 You weep at the graveside of your spouse and you wonder how you will make it alone.  “Lord, have mercy!”

 You get a phone call late on a Friday night calling you to the emergency room.  Your teenage child has been in an awful accident.  “Lord, have mercy!”

 You drive home from the doctor’s office after your annual physical examination.  Your doctor has referred you to a specialist.  She suspects cancer.  “Lord, have mercy!”

Many of us understand a little about how the lepers must have felt.  We have known misery and cried out to God, “Lord, have mercy!”

The lepers boldly appeal to Jesus for help.  They dare to believe that he has the power to heal.  Jesus responds to their request and commands they to go and show themselves to the priest.  The text tells us that “as they went they were healed.”

You’ve offered that prayer before, haven’t you?  “Have pity on me!”  “Lord, have mercy!”

Explore today how God has responded to your prayers for mercy…your pleas for help.

 

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine
by: Max Lucado
publisher: Thomas Nelson, published: 2012-09-11
ASIN: 0849920701
EAN: 9780849920707
sales rank: 9188
price: $12.00 (new), $8.84 (used)

Grace.

We talk as though we understand the term. The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. We describe an actress as gracious, a dancer as graceful. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings, and premeal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means.

But do we really understand it? Have we settled for wimpy grace? It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, “Do you believe in grace?” who could say no?

Max Lucado asks a deeper question: Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace?

God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly.

Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.

Let’s make certain grace gets you.

 

 

Endorsements for GRACE:

“God’s grace—His unconditionally loving, unmerited favor—is sometimes difficult for people to grasp, even though each one of us is in desperate need of it. But in Max Lucado’s new book, GRACE, it is completely embraceable and understandable. Through Lucado’s characteristic narrative style and profound biblical understanding, we learn that God’s grace is truly much more than we deserve and greater than we imagine. “ –Dr. Charles F. Stanley

“Max Lucado has blended his creative writing style with honesty about how he has experienced God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness in his own times of failure and despair.  You will find comfort as Max shines the light of the Word of God revealing that Jesus Christ is truly the only hope that brings everlasting peace.” –Franklin Graham, President and CEO, Samaritan’s Purse, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

“Reading Max Lucado on grace is like hearing Warren Buffett on money or Julia Child on food—it’s a subject he spent a lifetime falling in love with.” –John Ortberg, pastor and author, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

“Few writers are better than Max Lucado, no subject is better than God’s grace.” –Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and If God is Good

“Max gives us encouragement, hope and a needed reminder that the grace we all possess as followers of Jesus should empower us to move mountains, vs simply settling for pushing wimpy molehills.” –Brad Lomenick, President and Executive Director, Catalyst

“Max offers up a biblical vision of God’s grace that comes drenched in sweat and with a set of six-pack abs; a life-defining newness and relationship-refining kindness straight from the heart of God.” –Tim Kimmel, author of Grace Based Parenting

“Some writers aim for the mind, others for the heart and a small number for the soul. With his latest book, ‘Grace,’ Max Lucado hits the trifecta, touching on all three.” — Cal Thomas, Syndicated and USA Today Columnist and Fox News Contributor

“If you love the writings of Max Lucado, this will probably become your favorite.” — Stephen Arterburn, Founder and Chairman of New Life Ministries, host of “New Life Live!” and best selling author

“I can think of no more needed message for weary people everywhere, and no better writer than Max Lucado to paint so gloriously the hope that “Christ in you” affords.” –Louie Giglio, creator of Passion Conferences and pastor, Passion City Church

 

 

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