Insights: Growing Before the Lord

I am in the process of finishing our lower level so that it will become a warm home through these cold winter months coming. I’ve done the general contracting before and electrical work on two homes, but not the work myself.  I have a plumber coming, because of a lack of confidence, but right now I’m enjoying the joy of doing the framing work.

There are several interesting obstacles to work around like 8″x12″ beams across the whole house and six windows to frame around, including five that go above the projected drop ceiling. Continue reading

Suffering: What Should Your Attitude Be Toward Those Who Cause Suffering? Part 3

This is Part 3 of 3 parts answering the question, “What Should Your Attitude Be Toward Those Who Cause Suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?”

Bless Those Who Inflict Harm

Scripture is clear that we are to not seek vengeance! Peter wrote to those Christians who were scattered about the ancient world during a time of intense persecution and suffering, Continue reading

Suffering: What Should Your Attitude Be Toward Those Who Cause Suffering? Part 2

This is Part 2 of 3 parts answering the question, “What Should Your Attitude Be Toward Those Who Cause Suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.

Follow the Lord’s Attitude Toward Inflictors                

The Lord Jesus always exercised compassion and mercy during His time on earth, and sought forgiveness for those who inflicted suffering upon Him even as He hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 NKJ) This attitude and action requires Divine empowerment and forgiveness, which is exactly what glorifies the Lord! Continue reading

Insights: The Heart of the Issue Part 5

This is Part 5 of 5 parts looking at “The Heart of the Issue relating to people.”

Peers Exercise Mercy

The problem is often that if it is a peer that you are having trouble with, your mercy will often be seen as weakness and just ignored. At that point, you have to let the peer go. You have to wait until that peer comes to his senses and will respond to the godly mercy that you exercised. Peers check themselves and do not practice judgment (Matt. 7:1,5). Continue reading

Insights: The Heart of the Issue Part 4

This is Part 4 of 5 parts looking at “The Heart of the Issue relating to people.”

Every area of life is Sacred

Before we go any further, let’s understand that every area of life is sacred. There are no secular areas of life for the believer. Everything the believer does is for the glory of God. As Paul said, “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) Therefore, your worship is sacred, but so is your golf game, shopping trips and your time spent in front of the television or out in a park. Everything the Christian does is considered sacred. Continue reading

Insights: The Heart of the Issue Part 3

This is Part 3 of 5 parts looking at the “Heart of the Issue relating to people.”

Asked Questions Rather Than Impose Divine Discipline

Even after the Ninevites repented, God did not impose judgment on Jonah. Instead, the Lord was trying to help Jonah at the heart level. God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jon. 4:4 NKJ)  Jonah was MAD that God relented on punishing the Ninevites. After all, they deserved to suffer! Jonah was like the older brother in the prodigal son account (Luke 15:11-32). He wanted to exercise judgment! But God exercised mercy toward the Ninevites and was exercising mercy toward Jonah. Continue reading

Insights: The Heart of the Issue Part 2

This is Part 2 of 5 parts looking at the “Heart of the issue in relating to people.”

Seek the Heart Change in All Areas of Life

How do you discern when to reach the heart or just impose behavioral change? How you discern the difference in a family, or at a business with employees, or even at church? Additionally, when is something a business and when is it a ministry? Continue reading

Insights: The Heart of the Issue Part 1

This is Part 1 of 5 parts focusing on the Heart of the Issue in relating to people.

When my daughter, Katy, was a little three-year-old girl, I learned an important parenting lesson from my wife. In the winter time, when it was time to go to church, I told Katy, you need to put your coat on. She was (and is) a very bright gal, but on that day, she was very slow to put on her coat. She was still playing with her dolls and standing by the door ready to walk through the snow in order to get into the car. I thought I would reason with her, so I said, “Katy, it’s cold outside, so don’t you think you should put on your coat?” Continue reading

MSG: God Mercifully Restores Jonah to Himself – Jonah

 

We had the best VBS in several years. Thanks to Cristi, Vickie, Holly, Gabe and a full staff of helpers and workers!  This VBS Sunday is special, because of the culmination of ministry to children and adults and the enjoyable picnic to follow. The theme and message this year was on Jonah. God spoke to Jonah, who decided he did not want to obey God’s Word.

How many of you would be willing to move to northern Iraq right now? The country is being taken over by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is a violent extremist group worse than Al-Qaeda. Continue reading

Truth: God is merciful in all things

God is merciful in all things 

Rarely would anyone question God’s mercy.  We know God is all-powerful and able to judge.  Paul teaches in Romans how the attributes of God are revealed to all men, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20) 

Yet we only see God’s mercy through His written Word. Paul writes, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” (Eph. 2:4) In what way do we see God’s mercy?

First, we see God’s mercy through forgiveness of sins.  Daniel, in his prayer on behalf of the nation acknowledges God’s mercy, “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” (Dan. 9:9)  In fact, David who escaped God’s judgment, proclaimed God’s mercy in Psalm 86, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” (Ps. 86:5)  Man falls short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and because of sin, man is separated from God (Rom. 6:23).  Consequently, man deserves judgment in condemnation, but because of God’s mercy, God forgives and reconciles the world to Himself through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

Second, God is merciful in correction.  When God uses one believer to care-front another person, that correction is merciful.  That correction prevents many more sinful choices from being made.  James writes, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”(Jam. 5:19-20)  Covering a multitude of sins or prevention of additional sins is a demonstration of great mercy.

Thirdly, we see God’s mercy in judgment of the wicked. God’s judgment on the wicked is actually a form of mercy, because that person or group of people are prevented from committing more wickedness and hence they have less of a harsh judgment than they might have had.  Jesus explained that principle when He rebuked the wicked cities,

  • 20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:
  • 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
  • 22 “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
  • 23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
  • 24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” (Matt. 11:20-24)

Hence, God’s judgment is a tremendous form of mercy.  When Joshua destroyed the wickedness of Canaan, that was the mercy of God in action, because it prevented greater wickedness from mounting up and spreading to other people. The wickedness is cut off and the punishment is kept at a lower level that it would have been. Unfortunately, the wicked will likely not give appreciation for God’s mercy. The wicked, however, will bow their knee and confess Jesus as Lord (Phil. 2:9-11)

God is merciful.  God is merciful in forgiveness.  God is merciful in correction.  God is also merciful in judging and destroying the wicked.  Have you praised God for His mercy today or thanked God for His mercy in forgiveness of your sins?