Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘grace’

Loving Mercy…

Children are often competitive in almost everything, and sometimes they love to “report” things their siblings have done.  For example, at a family meal, when everyone is glad to be together and thankful for God’s provision, we pause to give thanks; but as soon as “Amen” has been spoken, the “prayer police” can make their presence known.

“He had his eyes open the whole time!’, one will announce.

Another “official officer of offense” makes his case by adding, “Well, he didn’t even bow his head!”

prayer  call on HimIn our home, we had to ban the “prayer police” from making their reports.  We are trying to make our home a place where we are all on the team and have each other’s best interests at heart… even when we disagree.

As our boys grow in their faith and in maturity, our prayer for them is that they learn to focus on what is truly important.
The importance of a prayer posture of any kind is far less meaningful and significant than having a thankful heart.  Certainly, the focus and condition of our hearts matter most to God.  Any external posture or demonstration of reverence or piety is meaningless to Him without our true devotion and genuine gratitude.

While we can see the truth about what is really important easily when dealing with our children’s spiritual understanding, what about our own?

Are there areas of life, worship, and Christian growth

where we, who know the Lord,

who have been redeemed and given new life,

often focus on form and function

and on the symptoms of sin sickness and spiritual death

rather than on the heart attitudes

and awakened hearts and lives

and true love for the Lord

that are most important?

The answer is… YES! 

We, too, deal with a tendency to become…

the prayer police,
the sin spotters,
the style seekers,
the soapbox spouters,
the commitment captains,
and the pet peeve pronoucers.

Often, our tendency is to notice the behavior rather than the heart need of others.
This focus on style rather than the substance or on the external behavior rather than the motives of the heart can be revealed by what I’ll call “Hollywood Action Movie Syndrome”.  In the extreme scenarios often found in the plot lines of movies like superhero flicks, the bad guys are depicted as heartless machines whose sole purpose seems to be mayhem and pain.  Movie goers are relieved and even happy to see these bad guys “get what’s coming to them” as the hero stops the madness by destroying the bad guy.

Even in our own lives, we can be quick to label others as irredeemable “bad guys” with statements that get a lot of “likes” on social media.  For example, I’ve seen posts made by sweet Christian people saying that they are “sick” of the behavior of a celebrity or politician who seems to be seeking attention by being self-destructive or by choosing to do things that many people would consider shocking.  In other words,
our first reaction is often disgust and even extreme dislike rather than broken hearts over the spiritual need that is being manifested as bad behavior.

The Biblical perspective…

Perhaps we need to consider God’s attitude toward us… and toward our bad behavior, as revealed through scripture.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.”  ~ Ephesians 2:4 &5

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”  ~ Psalm 145:8

“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”   ~  Psalm 100:5
(note:  in some translations, lovingkindness is everlasting and faithfulness endures)

“For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy to all them that call on you.”  ~ Psalms 86:5

“The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”  ~ Psalms 145:9 

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”  ~ Titus 3:5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  ~ 1 Peter 1:3

What, then, should be our response to people and situations that we feel are less than they should be? 

“Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”  ~ Luke 6:36

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

The Creator God of the universe,

who is holy and good and yet who is so often talked about with disrepect, as people whom He loves and was intimately involved in creating blatantly choose to go against their God-given conscience and intentionally do what is wrong,



He loves showing mercy to me and you; and He wants us to love mercy, too.

He loves justice and goodness and holiness, but He loves mercy even more…because of His great love for all of the people that He has created in His image.

For a while, He is delaying His judgement and the fully realized reign of His holiness over creation…. because He loves mercy.  He is no less holy and no less just even as He is allowing the free will of man to sometimes cause pain.  He is always holy, always just, and yet, always merciful.

God wants to show mercy to us, whom He loves.  He wants us to experience and know His mercy and to choose mercy for others.  His mercies are new every morning because He chooses mercy over righteous anger.  If He did not choose mercy, all of mankind would have been consumed by the intensity of His wrath against sin, against wrong, and against our rebel hearts, which cause us to hurt others and even to hurt ourselves.  The pain of life in a fallen world would be eliminated by God’s final judgement NOW if it were not for mercy, chosen in every moment as the sun rises on another part of the world around the clock.  It is a very good thing for all of us that God loves mercy and that human beings are not our final judge and jury.

Have you ever noticed that it can sometimes be difficult to read certain Psalms?  I cringe as the Psalmist asks God to judge those who are his “enemies” or who are simply referred to as “the wicked”.  And yet, because God is the righteous judge and is no respector of persons, He is the only one who can judge with perfect fairness.  He says, “Vengeance is mine,” not just because He will someday make everything right but also because we would never be able to be as impartial, fair, and just as He will be.  He wants us to choose to trust Him here and now, although we are fully aware that there is still injustice in this world, but that at some point He will make everything right.  And yet, God delays the final judgement… because He loves mercy.

Even in the lives of people we read about in the Bible, we can see a struggle to learn to love God’s mercy for others.

In Psalm 73, the Psalmist Asaph speaks of being confused by the prosperity of the wicked.  He talks about how they almost seem free from care and begins to wonder whether his own efforts to live for the Lord, walk with Him, serve Him, and do what is right are all in vain.  However, he does come to his senses in these verses:

15 If I had spoken out like that, (questioning whether loving and serving God is worth it)
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.

Asaph realized once again the goodness of God and that fact that His mercy will not delay judgement indefinitely.  At that point, he began to actually view the wicked with compassion, and his perspective completely changed.  He realized that he, himself, is rich in what all of the money amassed by the wicked could never purchase… salvation and relationship with the Lord.  Asaph also realized how senseless his earlier comparisons have been and what he has possessed all along.

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Like Asaph, how can we do anything but rejoice in the fact that God is choosing mercy even for those who have wronged us, just as He chose mercy for you and for me?  He is a merciful and loving God.

So, in light of God’s mercy, what are we to do?  As we seek to focus on what is really important and to lay aside our tendencies to get caught up in what we observe, what frame of mind should replace our tendency towards judgement of others?  Here’s one answer, from Romans 12:1-2.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When we read the phrase, “in view of God’s mercy” in the scripture above, we need to think about what that really means.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,

…even though the world is filled with injustice…

…even though people prey upon and use other people…

…even though good people will sometimes be victimized…

…even though people we love may be hurt…

…even though the thoughtlessness of others breaks our hearts

…even though the evil of this world distresses and disgusts us

I urge you… in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,

…to offer your hurts…

…to offer your confusion…

…to offer your right to take revenge…

…to offer your all… even when life doesn’t make sense…

…. a sacrifice… holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.

(In choosing to make this sacrifice of surrendering our all, we are also choosing to trust Him with everything.  Why?  Because we know that He is good and merciful and just.)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What is God’s good pleasing, and perfect will for us?  It’s found in Micah 6:8.  We are called to “Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

☆ Do what is right.

☆ Be merciful to those who do wrong (and love the fact that God stands ready to be mercy-full to everyone at all times).

☆ And, walk humbly with our God (which we can only do when we remember that we, too, are recipients of His mercy).

Sometimes, we want to pick and choose the people who we feel “deserve” God’s mercy, although we really know better.  We know that truly, none of us deserve mercy.  It is freely given because of God’s amazing grace.  It is not earned.  We are incapable of earning His mercy.

So, when we feel the tendency to judge someone else without calling upon God’s mercy on their behalf and praying for their salvation…  when our expectations are disappointed…  when we have been hurt…  when we or someone we love has been victimized…  when we feel powerless over injustice…  when innocence is abused…

Let us always remember the final destiny of those who reject God, and let us desire His mercy even for these.

Because God loves mercy. 

God loves people, sinful people, and He longs to be merciful to them when they turn to Him in need of forgiveness and salvation. 

Let us fight the tendency in our lives to focus on the unimportant, and let us be transformed through the renewal of our minds.  Let us keep moving forward in this journey toward Christlikeness, and let us choose mercy.  Let us choose God’s mercy and grace toward others rather than becoming mired in our own opinions, which would only result in continual disappointment and stall our growth as Christians.

To that end, these are the things that I want to focus on in order to avoid becoming more caught up in what I believe is right than in the mercies of God.

love is a verb*  I want to avoid assumptions, realizing that we often don’t know the challenges that others are facing.

*  I want to have the mind of Christ, looking beyond the sad and shocking and even disgusting behavior to the person in need of a Savior.

*  I want to employ grace with fellow believers, realizing that we are all in the process of becoming more like Christ and that it is a long journey for all of us.

*  I want to learn to love mercy.  When it comes to my own behavior, I am required to behave justly and “do” justice.  However, when it comes to the behavior of others, the requirement changes.  In regard to others, I am required to love mercy, recognizing my own need for mercy and the fact that I was undeserving of the mercy that I have personally been shown by God, based upon my own actions in choosing my way over His.

***  Most of all, I want to remember these things:  ***

*  Judging any human being as “more unworthy” of God’s mercy because of what they are doing or saying, what they wear, listen to, or read, their current beliefs, what they eat, or substances they use, is just simply wrong.

*  Relationship with God, love for the Lord, and thankfulness are more important than any posture of prayer, any show of piety, and even more significant than a person’s current level of knowledge or maturity as a Christian.  God gives us the opportunity to grow in Christ, and we should extend that grace to others as well.

*  Connecting others with a message and an experience of grace and salvation is more important than our human ideas of behavioral perfection.

*  Style (in music, clothing, or anything else) is less important than the heart of worship and the hearts of people.

*  Opinions (and even deeply held convictions) will not reach hearts like the love of Christ.

*  Only God can work in the hearts of others to draw them to a place of deeper spiritual relationship and commitment.   Conviction of the heart over one’s wrong-doing or lack of love is the Holy Spirit’s job, not mine.
(I’m too busy dealing with my own spiritual mess.)

*  Finally (and most importantly), what bothers me about this world needs to be turned upside down…

love like Jesus…  so that I become

more and more bothered

by my own lack of concern

for the eternal destiny of others

than by the stinking graveclothes of sin and spiritual death

that have often prevented me

from seeing the person

rather than the actions

and words and attitudes

of a lost soul that needs Jesus

or a fellow traveller,

who, like me,

has encountered some bumps in the road

on the path to Christlikeness.

Love gives


Love is the cross

The Prayer of a Forgiven Heart

Lord, may my first thought be love.
May my second thought be a prayer.
May my actions demonstrate grace and humility.
May my heart be broken by the brokenness in this world…
and in my own life.
May my opinions matter less than my desire to bring You glory.
May my life be given to serving others and lifting up Your name.
May my heart be given to You.
May my mind be transformed by Your Spirit.
May my time and talents and resources be committed to Your plan for my life.
And may I always be mindful that You are the Giver of all good things,
the Lover of my soul,
the Joy of my heart,
the Fountain of mercy and grace,
and the Source of pure and sacrificial love.

In Jesus’ holy and powerful name,


Carry eacvh other's burdens


This post, including “The Prayer of a Forgiven Heart” was written by Cynthia A. Boyd.


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Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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You Are Greatly Loved!

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts throught the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Romans 5:1 – 5

There are so many ways that the immense and immeasurable love of God is manifested to us, His deeply loved ones.  He has written His love for us into His creation, and He has chosen again and again to show us mercy and grace because of His powerful, perfect, and almighty love.

Here are some ABC reminders of the many ways that God has demonstrated His love to us.

{ A }  God’s love accepts us just as we are.   When we are ready to see our own sinfulness and come to Him for forgiveness and salvation, God is always ready to receive us.  We don’t have to clean ourselves up first or get ourselves right.  He takes care of that after we have come to Him.  The invitation to come to Him for salvation and forgiveness has no other conditions.  It is the beginning point of our walk with the Lord and our journey towards becoming like Christ.

{ B }  God’s love blesses our lives in countless ways.  Every good gift is from Him.  (James 1:17)

{ C }  God’s love covers our sin with His mercy through the blood of Jesus.  “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed in the one to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”   Psalm 32:1 & 2
(Note:  the sin is covered by God only as we confess it and ask for His forgiveness, as in verse 1a)

{ D }  God’s love delights in fellowship with us.  He is never unavailable.  He is God with Us, Emmanuel.

( E )  God’s love is everlasting.   He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   God’s love for us will never change or grow cold.

( F )  God’s love is forgivingHe is rich in mercy.  As the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” expresses, He is “ever giving and forgiving.”

( G )  God’s love is generousBecause He loves, He gave the most precious gift ever given…His only Son.

“We love, because He first loved us.” I John 3:19

( H )  God’s love is holy.  There is no impure thought or motivation within the heart of God.  His love is the most pure and holy of all loves.

( I )   God’s love is immortal.   The Bible says that God is love. And, since God will never die, His love (that is the basic character of who God is and the fundamental motivation for all that He does) will never die.  Our mortal loved ones may leave us for a time on Earth, but God’s love has always been, constantly is, and will always be.  It is who He is.

( J )  God’s love is a jealous love.  He wants to be first in our hearts.  To some, that may sound out of character for our merciful and loving God; but He is the one who made us and knows us best.  He knows that our lives will be complete, abundant, full of joy, and our full potential will be realized only as we love Him first.

( K )  God’s love is kindHe has our best interests at heart.   As the lyrics from the chorus to the song, “Trust His Heart”  (recorded by both Babbie Mason and Cynthia Clawson) tell us so beautifully:  “God is too wise to be mistaken.  God is too good to be unkind.  So, when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

( L )  God’s love is long-suffering (patient even when it is painful to be so).  He allows the world to continue even though our sorrows bring him grief and our sin breaks his heart.  His desire is to allow us more time to come to faith in Him, even in this fallen world.  He sees beyond the present pain to the joy and victory that is to come and continues to show mercy.

( M )  God’s love is merciful.   Perhaps a better spelling for the word would be mercyfull!   Because God’s love for us is infinite in its fullness and in its capacity to forgive, God delights in showing us mercy.  His mercies are new every morning!

( N )  God’s love is near.  He is near to all who call upon His name.  We don’t to wait for someday to know the love of the Lord.  He is here.  He is near.

( O )  God’s love is the origin of all true loveWe love because He first loved us and created us with the capacity to give and receive love.

( P )  God’s love is powerfulHis love has the power to transform lives, heal hearts, and purify souls.

( Q )  God’s love has both…quality and quantityThe quality of his love has a purity that goes beyond anything we experience on earth.  And, as for quantitiy, there is always, abundantly, more of God’s love…enough to fill our hearts for eternity!

( R )  God’s love is redemptiveHe will redeem every experience, every pain, every rejection, every loss, every tear, and every heart that says “Yes!” to His  “Come Just as You Are”  invitation.

“For God so loved…”

( S )  God’s love is saving love.  In the words of Dottie Rambo, “He looked beyond my fault, and saw my need.”   Because of His great love for us,   God met our need for holiness, for relationship with Him, for abundant life, for purpose, for salvation.  He sent Jesus as our Savior and allowed the ultimate sacrifice of Christ to become a substitutionary payment for the wages of our sin.

( T )  God’s love is true.  We may wonder about the constancy of others, but God’s love is unaltered by time or circumstances.  There is nothing that can separate us from the true love of God.

( U )  God’s love is understanding.  There are those in our lives who may love us but not completely understand us.  God, on the other hand, understands us better than we understand ourselves; and the best part is that He loves us anyway!

( V )  God’s love is victorious!  The Latin phrase, “Amor vincit omni,”  means “Love conquers all.”   Our earthly loves are sometimes lasting in spite of obstacles, but we are inevitably separated by the enemy of death.   God’s love has conquered sin, hell, and death!  His love is victorious over all and will ultimately allow us to share in this victory.

( W )  God’s love is welcoming.  We are the prodigals, captivated by our own desires, undertaking risky and ill-advised paths through life to get to the destination we think we want, using other people to get our way, living as if there is no tomorrow, breaking the Father’s heart with our sin and self-destructive ways.  He is the ever-loving Father, waiting and praying for our return, continually watching for a sign that we are on our way home, ready to run to us and embrace us in all of our filth when He sees that we are ready to return, restoring our lives and our status as His own children, ready to celebrate and to give us every good gift!

( X )  God’s love is eXtravagant.  He always goes far beyond in everything he does for us.  He could have made us an earthly home that would have sustained us without all of the beauty and majesty that he has put into His creation.  The colors, the shapes, the textures, the variety of species…in every facet of life…birds, trees, fish, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, insects, flowers, grasses, leafy plants, crustaceans, mammals, food-bearing plants, shrubs, vines, and even microscopic creatures…it’s amazing!  Every idea that we think we have came from Him first.  Drinking straws?  Butterflies have a built in tube for drinking nectar.  The wheel?  Have you ever seen a tumbleweed in the wind?  The internal combustion engine?  Our sun and every other star.  Machines and factories?  Our bodies are a machine.  They are designed so that we can do work and accomplish tasks.  A robotic arm has joints that allow it to bend and move in ways that we take for granted.  Airplanes?  Obvious.  Electricity?  What about lightning and the electical impulses in brains and our nervous system.  Computers?  Our human brains are amazingly capable in storing information and in reasoning that goes far beyond what any machine can do.   What about identification technologies that quickly calculate all the relationships between the swirls of a fingerprint, the structure of a face, or the identifying points in an eye?  We are that individual, each one the Master Artist’s masterpiece.  None of these individual characteristics unique to every person could have come from evolution or natural selection.  Did our ancestors select each other for mating based upon such miniscule identifiers?  Such a thought is preposterous.  No, each of us is formed by God in the womb as a totally unique and individual creation.  Do we carry some genectic traits?  Of course.  God planned it that way.  As the founder of the family, he wants us to be connected to those who are related closely to us.  And yet, there is nothing in genetics that could explain the artist’s signature that is found in our fingerprints.  What about salvation?  He didn’t just send us a do-it-yourself guide.  He sent Himself, gave Himself, and sacrificed Himself in the person of God the Son, Jesus Christ.  Every moment His love and mercy allows us to live is a gift far beyond what His holiness and justice would require, were it not for God’s eXtravagant grace and limitless love.

( Y )  God’s love yearns for what is best.  He has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).  He will not rest until he has accomplished this.  He who began a good work (in us and in His kingdom purposes) will be faithful to complete it.

( Z )  God’s love is zealous for us.  He never loses His zeal for our salvation and sanctification; and He will accoomplish our ultimate glorification as we come to live forever with Him and are complete in Him, becoming like Christ in purity and in perfect love.


This post was written by Cynthia Boyd and was inspired by the awesome and limitless love of God, with the help of the prompting provided by the message of the Valentine used as the illustration for this post.

Note:  I have tried to include some scripture references and to be very specific in the references to salvation.  If you spot any confusing wording, please let me know.  This blog is being viewed by people all over the world, and I don’t want to confuse anyone.  Thanks, C. B.


Do you know Jesus? 

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/



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