Why the delay in sharing this? Because I have been full of fear; doubt; and feebleness.
So why share it now? Ann Voskamp, in her book ‘The Broken Way’, reminded me that: “God believes in me. Christ in me makes me enough. I have more and become more, the more I pour out.” So I take hold of that and believe God loves me so outrageously that fear; doubt; and feebleness are being defeated in my life!
On the 30th of October 2016 Pastor Mark Ireland preached on mercy. As I processed just what that means for me I heard a headline on the tv news:
“Manus Island, Nauru refugees to be banned from entering Australia, Malcolm Turnbull says”.
Now I am forced to be brutally honest! The refugee situation is something I’ve been greatly confused and conflicted about. I feared what it would look like to have many refugees enter in. I feared so many things.
But I can no longer ‘put my head in the sand’. It is simply no longer an option! I am no longer a slave to fear! I boldly walk forth in all God has called me to be.
I truly believe that there is a solution! There is a way forward! I believe that as the desperate cry out for mercy we have no other option but to respond with grace and love!
- The Well it’s in our national anthem:
Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
“Advance Australia fair!”
While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We’ll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England, Scotia, Erin’s Isle,
Who come our lot to share,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair!
In joyful strains then let us sing
“Advance Australia fair!”
- It is biblical
We are urged to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and defend the rights of the poor and the needy – Proverbs 31:8-9
Job 4:8 warns us: “my experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.” New Living Translation (NLT)
Galatians 6:7 confirms this warning: “don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (NLT)
But there is also solutions contained in the bible:
“So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.”
James 2:12-13, 15-16, 22 (NLT)
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (NLT)
“Give, and it will be given to you. You will have more than enough. It can be pushed down and shaken together and it will still run over as it is given to you. The way you give to others is the way you will receive in return.” Luke 6:38 New Life Version (NLV)
Let’s become a generous nation! Let’s walk in all God calls us to!
- Good News!
There is another way! There is a person of great faith that has a solution! Something not thought of before! Something beyond comprehension! I know there is someone with a well thought out plan, researched data and spreadsheets. I know that someone has a clever and compassionate strategy!
Let us reveal the heart of God to these people! Psalm 68:5-6 declares that God is a father to orphans – He is Father to the fatherless, and He defends the widows – a Champion for them even! God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy! (NCV, MSG & NLT paraphrased)
May we as a nation rise up to defend those weak and afraid!
May we remind those who feel forgotten that God is their loving Father in heaven.
God has heard their cries for mercy and responds!
He urges us to be His ambassadors, to show His love and mercy to the poorest of the poor.
God wants to turn mourning into joy!
God wants to turn fear into hope!
We cannot ignore this!
We cannot sit and do nothing!
Mercy we must become!
Compassion we must reveal!
We need not fear, for those who come with wrong intentions will be transformed!
Hate will become love as we extend God’s grace!
Lord God calls us a new to life! Even better than that He calls all to an abundant life! A life that will overflow with His goodness and grace! If we allow His power to work through us we can accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think! This is promised in John 10:10 & Ephesians 3:20
God has something new! It will transform lives! It will transform this state! It will transform this nation!
It begins with mercy! It begins with grace! It begins with generosity!
So arise – deep cries out to deep!
Let’s take on a new disposition, a new state of mind; let us incline our ears to their cries for mercy!
Let us show them compassion, refrain from passing judgment!
Let’s extend acts of kindness, compassion and favour!
Let us reach out in faith to touch the lives of the lost; the broken hearted; the displaced…. the solution that Australia designs will be a model, an example, to the rest of the world!
“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” Bill Bennot
Test this word:
“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-21 (NLT)
Again, I say test this word! Ask God to reveal to you His great plan for your life in this. Seek and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your part to play.
“Australia needs to be open to the world, not turn inwards in troubled times” Tim Costello
Love Alone Is Worth the Fight (acoustic) Switchfoot cover- Lauren Daigle – YouTube clip
Love Broke Thru – TobyMac – YouTube clip
Tim Costello’s article
Pic cred Will Milne