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1 month 4 days ago #11777 by FemiClef
  *ABUSING GOD'S MERCY* *TEXT:* EXODUS 9:27-35._*KEY VERSE* "And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants" (EXODUS 9:34)._  When anything is applied or used wrongfully, it becomes an abuse. This can apply to a privilege, a right or an opportunity. In our text, Pharaoh made a promise, which he never intended to keep. He broke his promise immediately after he had made it and brought more trouble upon his people. This shows that his repentance was not genuine. Pharaoh did lie intentionally; when confronted by trouble, he did everything to appease God but soon after, relapsed into his former evil mindset. He pretended to be submissive and repentant when calamity struck his land in order to escape the consequences but when his fear departed, he reneged on the promises earlier made. This is likened to the life of Saul, the first king of Israel who confessed to his own disgrace and the innocence of David but, as soon as he had escaped from the danger and was free from fear, he did not cease to persecute and pursue him. He was merely taking God's mercy for granted.  He who continues in sin because God is merciful is abusing His mercy. It will not be long before mercy turns against him. God's mercy is not for those who deliberately sin and think that He will always forgive. Do not be deceived by Satan to commit sin because of God's mercy. Doing this is like hurting one's bone because there is a surgeon in sight. Be careful not to abuse God's mercy. Those who do such will be punished without mercy. The mercy of the Lord is upon them that fear Him (Psalm 103:17). If God were to always forgive and never punish, where is His justice? Do not take His mercy for granted and incur His wrath. *THOUGHT FOR THE DAY* God will punish those who take His mercy for granted.  *BIBLE IN ONE YEAR* JOHN 1-3. *MEDITATION* Another look at human nature *1. Wilful wickedness*Pharaoh knew that what he and His people were doing was wicked but he continued in it. The same for sinners today, v27.*2. Way of the word*He knew that God was righteous and no better morality than what the word of God says, yet he stuck to his ways and ignored the righteous way, v27. That is human nature for you*3. Worldly wisdom*His confession of sin was not borne out of repentance but just to "deceive" God and receive deliverance from pains and sufferings, vv27,28,34. Many church goers have this hypocritical mindset of the human nature.*4. Wicked wiles*Pharaoh bottled up wicked strategies to feign repentance and look nice to God and His servants while wickedness and abounded deceitfulness in his heart, vv30,34, 35. *Q* Are you free from this trait?*5. Wasted work*All the good miracles that God did to turn Pharaoh and his servants to God were wasted. They ignored the goodness and the love of God and still hardened their hearts, vv33,34. *Note* The above traits of Pharaoh and his servants are common to every natural man. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" *Check up* if there is any trace of the natural man in your life and ask Jesus to circumcise your heart because there is no heaven for the unregenerate or a "pharaoh-like" heart no matter how religious *Prayer points*Ask God to forgive you in any way you might have behaved like PharaohAsk the blood of Jesus to reach deep into the foundation of your nature and make it divine and truly holyPray that God will transform the heart of those having the nature of Pharaoh at the retreatAsk the blood of Jesus to be desired by all church goers for total cleansing of the heart *HYMN* Wash me O Lamb of God (GHS 40)

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