ATM INSIDE

Several weeks ago, Donald and I were driving to Home Depot when I saw a church had a sign posted outside saying “ATM Inside.” My first reaction was why they would advertise that they have an ATM machine inside.
However, as I got closer to the church, below the letters “ATM” were the following words: Atonement, Truth, and Mercy. God’s ATM is available to all, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Atonement: The atonement of Jesus must be exhibited in practical, unassuming ways in our lives. Every time we obey, the absolute deity of God is on our side so that the grace of God and our natural obedience are in perfect agreement. Obedience means that we have entirely placed our trust in the atonement, and the delight of the supernatural grace of God immediately meets our obedience.

The atonement allows those who have faith in Christ to be saved from their sins.
 Isaiah 53:5 – “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.”

Truth: C.S. Lewis wrote, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” Perhaps you have experienced this as well — that truth, in the end is immovable and unavoidable. Often, we come to terms with the truth when we have no other choice. The truth is like light. It illuminates and exposes what is real.

Our generation hungers for an answer and desires to find something valuable to believe in and trust. While we are an informed generation, linked together by technology, aware of many of the answers our culture provides, our instinctive hunger for truth continues, and we experience a gnawing dissatisfaction.
The good news is that there is an answer to this quest for truth, found in the Bible. The Bible is not just there to offer us rules. This is why Jesus claimed if people followed Him and His teachings, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32] The Bible offers a relationship with the Truth.

Mercy: “Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” [Matthew 9:13 NIV] Jesus came into the world to save sinners before they ever did something to earn it. God's mercy flows out of His character. It is part of who He is and how deeply He loves His people. We find that we are blessed when we show mercy because it is evidence that we belong to God.
Too often, we get caught up in trying to please God by our acts of worship, including sacrifices—that is, giving things up to please God. However, if our actions are just self-serving, they are not sacrificial. Yet, ironically, if we act mercifully toward someone struggling to turn their life around, that is a sacrifice that pleases God.

Faith Walk: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you?
 But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” [Micah 6:8 NKJV]

Prayer:
“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.” Amen!
By Donnis Prass