OH THE MERCY OF GOD

God will fight for you

morning- cross

Does God hold our sins against us?

 

Oh, do not hold us guilty for our former sins! Let your tenderhearted mercies quickly meet our needs, for we are brought low to the dust. Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the honor of your name. Oh, save us and forgive our sins for the sake of your name.… Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.  Psalm 79:8-9,13 NLT

 

Petition for Mercy

 

A plea to God for mercy presumes that the petitioner is guilty. It is the cry of someone brought low, dishonored, and in need of forgiveness. When God shows mercy, he isn’t forgiving that person because of what he or she has done, but because God is compassionate to those who repent of their sins and ask for forgiveness. It is only because of God’s goodness that sinners are forgiven. Asaph understood that it wasn’t his worthiness but the Lord’s greatness that prompted the Lord to rescue him. In light of this truth, Asaph dedicated this prayer to praising God for being so merciful.
Are you in need of God’s mercy? His love and goodness are the source of your hope. Cast yourself on his mercy and let your lips overflow with grateful praise.From The One Year Book of Bible Prayers (Tyndale House), entry for February 22

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Father God

How do you see God as Father?

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“To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

John 1:12 NLT

God’s fatherhood

Most people in the world would agree with the statement that “we are all God’s children.” It’s a nice sentiment. It just isn’t what the Bible teaches. According to God’s Word, unrepentant sinners are actually God’s enemies (see Romans 5:10 and Colossians 1:21)! It’s only when we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to God and experience forgiveness and adoption into God’s forever family (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

For a Christian going through hard times, this “adoption” truth is the best of all possible news. God is not just the powerful Creator or a righteous Lord, he is a loving Father. He sees your trials. He listens to your pleas. He cares and protects and supports. He is never harsh or impatient with you. He is never “too busy” for you.

Take all the best qualities of all the best earthly dads you’ve ever seen, add them together, and multiply by infinity. That’s the kind of heavenly Father God is to Christians who hurt.

Lord Jesus, I do believe in you. I have accepted you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for saving me! Because of your grace and my faith, I am a child of the living God. I praise you. What a privilege! What joy to know that in every situation I have a loving, wise, and good heavenly Father to counsel and help me.

Adapted from Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Woods, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), pp 68-9


As a substitute father for hundreds of youth over the past thirteen years, I’ve yet to encounter a young person in trouble whose difficulty could be traced to the lack of a strong father image in the home. PAUL ANDERSON

A child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father. AUSTIN L. SORENSEN

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE!

The Fruit of Kindness

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“When the Holy Spirit controls your life, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:…kindness, goodness.”

Galatians 5:22 NLT

 

In spite of it all

On that ghastly Friday morning, which ironically has become known as “Good Friday,” Jesus was a swollen, bloody mess. Most of his friends had hightailed it hours before, leaving him alone to face the physical agony of crucifixion, the emotional anguish of a jeering crowd, and the spiritual horror of separation from God the Father.
Yet during this entire nightmare, Christ responded, well, strangely. On the way to his execution, he paused to console a group of grief-stricken women. He used what little breath he was able to catch to pray for those who were so merciless to him. He demonstrated compassion and forgiveness to a criminal dying at his side. And he took pains, literally, to see that his grief-stricken mother below him would be cared for by a friend.
In the ultimate “tough time,” Christ oozed kindness and goodness.  And because his Spirit lives in us, we also have the capacity to use personal tragedy as an opportunity to care for others.

Praying God‘s Promise: Cause your kindness and goodness to flow through me, Lord. It is not natural for me to think of others or to think of glorifying you, especially when my own life is filled with pain. Teach me to live supernaturally. I want to be selfless like you, Jesus, always looking for opportunities to bless others.
From Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Wood (Tyndale) pp 154-55

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT “I AM” LORD

PHILIPPIANS 4:3

PHILIPPIANS 4:3

Psalm 46:10

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Where is the focus of your life?

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true, and everyone should accept it. We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.”

1 Timothy 4:8-10 NLT

The faithful worker

A friend of Bernie May‘s (U.S. division director of Wycliffe) had the opportunity to meet a king and queen. This man worked in a tiny nation, doing community-development work. Struggling to encourage tribal people living in the high mountain valleys was difficult, and he often wondered if he was doing any good. It was easy to get discouraged.
He was invited to a stand-up dinner party on the castle lawn, hosted by the queen. He felt deeply honored to be invited. In the crowd of about 400 local people, he stood out as an obvious Westerner.
The king and queen spent an hour and a half going through the crowd, greeting each guest. When the royal couple came to May’s friend, he told them his name and the work he was doing. The king hesitated. He was not familiar with the mountain village where the man worked. The queen, who had met him earlier, gave a brief explanation to the king. The king then asked how long he had been there.
He replied, “Sixteen years.” The king seemed touched. Looking him in the eye, he said meaningfully, “Excellent.” He then moved on to the next person.
Bernie May’s friend admitted it was a short conversation, but that was all he needed to hear. He had heard the king say, “Excellent.”

From John Blanchard, The Truth for Life (H.E. Walter) quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale) p 201  

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

HUMILITY

 God blesses humble people

hug

Humility, not humiliation

Father, You Always Said...

Father, You Always Said…

“You rescue those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud.”

Psalm 18:27 NLT

The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”

Isaiah 57:15 NLT

“May God’s grace give you the necessary humility. Try not to think — much less, speak — of their sins. One’s own are a much more profitable theme! And if on consideration, one can find no faults on one’s own side, then cry for mercy: for this must be a most dangerous delusion.”

Humility is not effacing oneself. It is not destroying one’s sense of self-worth. It is honest recognition of our own worth, our worth as God sees us. Pride elevated us above others, and often above God himself. But to destroy one’s sense of self-worth is also unacceptable, for it denies the value God placed upon us when he created us in his image and when he sent his Son to die for us. Christ did not die for worms but for people he loves very much, and those people have great worth or value in God’s eyes. To see ourselves as God sees us — that is our goal. From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 1217

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

 

God is a refuge for the oppressed

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God blesses in the midst of suffering

 

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Psalm 126:5-6 NLT

For he has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and walked away. He has listened to their cries for help.

Psalm 22:24 NLT

Those who suffer the same things from the same people for the same Person can scarcely not love each other.

English: Psalm 90 of The Holy Bible, King Jame...

English: Psalm 90 of The Holy Bible, King James version, 1772. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suffering — the soil of spiritual growth

The Bible does not promise that Christians won’t suffer. In fact, the Scriptures give much evidence that we can expect to suffer, given the evil that is in the world around us and the sin that is in us.
What God does promise is that our suffering can become the catalyst for new growth. God promises to redeem our suffering into his glory.
What griefs are you currently suffering? Can you entrust them to God, confident that he will use them to bring new growth into your life?
The worst kind of suffering is that which we experience alone. When we suffer with another person who is sympathetic to our problem, the suffering is easier to bear. Throughout history, God has sympathized with suffering people. He hears our cries. How would your life and outlook be different if you become convinced that God never failed to respond to your pain?
From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 538, 479

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 538, 479

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

A sincere heart

English: Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deu...

English: Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy 6:1-15, illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Are you looking at God’s mercy as a quick fix?

 

After giving instructions to completely destroy a town, including its people and livestock, should the people of Israel be enticed to turn to the worship of foreign gods? Moses tells the people: Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.

The Lord your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.

Deuteronomy 13:12-18

 

A sincere heart

 

These verses make it clear that God’s mercy is extended to those whose hearts are sincere. The Israelites were headed for a land that, much like our society today, was infested with materialism, the craving of creature comforts and “the good life.” God is not interested in sharing his mercy with those who simply need a quick fix for the problems their sinful lifestyles have created. Such people have no intention of accepting God’s mercy as a new lease on life; they are simply looking for a way to save themselves from deserved consequences.

God wants to show us abundant mercy, but he is looking for those who will gratefully accept it and allow it to change the way they live. Do you want God’s mercy as a quick fix or as a permanent new way of life?

From the TouchPoint Bible
(Tyndale House), p 167

 

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House