February 15, 2017

Romans 3:23 (NLT) — 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

I am convinced that the more we know God and understand his love, grace and mercy we will want to honor him all the more with our bodies. It will help us to stay away from sin. There is a brief account in Genesis 46 that gives us another window into God’s love, grace and mercy that he has literally showered on us sinners. There is a famine in Canaan and Jacob and his family are moving down to Egypt to live with Joseph so that they can survive the famine.

Genesis 46:1–5 (NLT) — 1 So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. 2 During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called. “Here I am,” Jacob replied. 3 “I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. 4 I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.” 5 So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons took him to Egypt. They carried him and their little ones and their wives in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for them.

This promise of God to make Jacob into a great nation speaks volumes about his love, grace and mercy. Jacob and his family are leaving Canaan. Jacob and his family were supposed to be witnesses for God to the people of Canaan. They were supposed to be a godly influence in that pagan land. So what kind of legacy or influence did they leave behind? How accurate of a picture did the people of Canaan have of God because of Jacob and his family?

When Jacob left the people of the land had seen him quarrel with his brother, lie to his father, they had seen his sons kill the people of Shechem because their sister had been raped, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, there were always quarrels going on amongst family members; Rueben slept with his father’s maid, Judah’s first two sons were so wicked that God killed them. Judah slept with his dead son’s wife thinking she was a prostitute and fathered twins from her. What godly witness did Canaan have from God’s chosen people? And yet God was still there to guide Jacob and his family and even promise to make them into a great nation. Oh the patience, the longsuffering, the love, the mercy and the grace of God!

We are all sinners. We have all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. But we have hope because we have God! We also are to be a godly influence in our cities. Will people cheer when we are gone or will they be saddened? Will we be remembered as people who brought life to the community and were a blessing to the neighborhood? We must anticipate that we will not be here forever and the day our witness ceases what kind of witness was it? Dorcas made a good impression in her community. Perhaps we can learn from her example.

Acts 9:36–42 (NLT) — 36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37 About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38 But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!” 39 So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40 But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive. 42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord.

If your witness has been less than it ought to be, take heart. God has not left you. He wants to make you great in your community. Ask the Holy Spirit to raise you from the dead so to speak and be the godly influence your community needs. Perhaps many will believe in Jesus because of the grace of God that flows through you!

Be Inspired Hilltop!



  1. Mark Gundersen says

    Remember God’said hall of fame of faithful followers in Hebrews 11 were by no means perfect but we’re faithful.