Good Monday Morning to you!
Did you have a good week? I sure did. For the first time in a long time I was able to get away from everything and relax. We went up to our friends, The Middletons, for some “down time.” It was nice to just sit around and talk. We also took a boat ride on the St. John’s River. The St. John’s is one of only two rivers that flow backward. It flows from south to north. All the others in the northern hemisphere flow from north to south. Do you know the name of the other backward flowing river? If you’d like to guess, e-mail me at email@example.com. There is no prize for knowing the right answer --- just knowing it is prize enough. Hint: it too is home to both gators and crocs. Next week I’ll reveal the name of this second river.
Did I also mention that the car ran just fine. Lately I’ve been burning 93 octane in it and it runs much smoother and quieter. It costs me about $2.35 more for a tank-full, but I believe I’m getting better mileage. All things considered, I think the extra money is well spent.
Yesterday I preached Psalm 106:1-5. This Psalm begins and ends with the phrase “Praise ye the LORD.” It only takes one Hebrew word to express that phrase. That Hebrew word is “hallelujah.” The Psalm begins and ends with hallelujah, but in the body of it is a long list of many of Israel’s past sins. Notice that even with the many sins recounted, it can still end with hallelujah. Verse one says, “Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Like the beginning of this Psalm, when we trust Christ and are born again, our new life starts with a hallelujah. However, life, things, pressures, and come-what-may gets in the way and just like Israel, a long list of our shortcomings and flat out sins can be listed. But child of God, do not despair for, “… His mercy endureth forever." Do you know what mercy is? Mercy and grace might be two sides of a single coin, but they are not the same. Allow me to give you a quick lesson in Theology. Mercy is not receiving from God that which you deserve. The Bible says we have sinned, and sin has a price: death. Here, death is not cessation of life, but eternal separation from God. When God saves a sinner, He gives them a new life and a new nature. Mercy says, “You deserve eternal punishment, but you shall not receive it.” That gives your first, “hallelujah!”
Because His mercy endures forever, your life will end just as the Psalm does, with a hallelujah. Even though there are the “mess-ups” in between, a believer’s life will end just as it started --- with a hallelujah. Here’s another lesson in Theology; receiving the first hallelujah guarantees the last one --- it’s automatic. Why? Because “His mercy endures forever!” A-men!! Hallelujah!!! It gives you a new respect for that word, doesn’t it?
If you have not trusted Christ as your Lord and have not received that first hallelujah, please contact me. You can e-mail me or feel free to call; I’d love to share the blessings of mercy with you. If you are a believer, but you seem to be adding to that “laundry list” of sins, you too are encouraged to contact me; perhaps I can help. I’d love the opportunity to try.
Be sure to encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to visit Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. Maybe this blog will be a blessing to them as well. I hope so. Have a good and a safe week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.