Tag: merciful

Finish what you start in Christ

Scripture reading for November 27th: 2nd Peter 2, Psalm 86, Proverbs 19

2nd Peter 2:18-22 “For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Peter is a seasoned pastor and Apostle. He has watched Judas walk with Jesus and then go his own way, ending his life in suicidal misery. He evidently watched many others over his years of ministry start out right and then succumb to false teaching, fleshly enticements, or Satan’s deception. False teachers were in the church of his time and he plainly warned the people of God to beware. He used two very strong word pictures to describe what happens when a believer goes back to the world and the flesh. A dog may vomit up his food, but later the dog returns and eats it again. A sow, an unclean animal, washes herself but then goes back to wallow in the mud. The idea of a pig washing themself is somewhat humorous. Pigs wallowing in the mud is common! Thankfully, God is merciful to even use humor to help us!

Psalm 86:15-16 “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this humorous but clear warning to keep moving forward in our relationship with You. Thank You that You are merciful and gracious to us and have given me strength through Your Word and the Holy Spirit to stay on the right path. Use me to warn others that may be falling away from Truth to avoid the mud, vomit and folly of a backslidden life.

Proverbs 19: 3 “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.”

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Patience required waiting for the Lord

Scripture reading for October 11th: James 5

Key Scriptures: James 5:7-9 “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

James knew and believed that Jesus Christ would return to earth for His people. He taught the church using the example of a patient farmer who had planted seed and was awaiting its growth to maturity and a harvest. In the waiting, the crop would need rain from heaven early to get it started and growing. It would also need the later rains to fill the seeds and fruit and bring maturity. In the same manner, believers having in them the Seed of Christ, would also need patience to wait for Christ’s return. They would need early rain for the Seed of the Word to grow and be planted in them. The later rains would refresh them and bring the fruits of their lives to maturity. Grumbling and living in known sin would not prepare them for the coming of the Judge–Who was standing right at the door awaiting God’s signal to come for His Bride.

James 5:10-11 “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, as a farmer, You have taught me the need for patience in waiting for the precious fruit of the earth. Help me to have the same patience with my brothers and sisters in the church as you cultivate their lives through the trials and tests of life. Allow me to rescue the wanderer and see restoration. Give me the steadfastness of Job that I might experience Your mercy and compassion and share it with others.

James 5:19-21 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

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Trustworthy and True!

Scripture reading for December 27th:  Revelation 21, Psalm 145-46, Proverbs 12

Key Scriptures:  Revelation 21:3-5  “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  

John heard a wonderful announcement from heaven’s throne, with God Himself speaking,  (possibly through an angel.)  God stated that His dwelling was now with men and He would attend to all their needs by making everything new.  There would be no more crying, pain or mourning because of death and sin.  These words can be trusted!  Take them to the bank of Heaven!

Faith Confession:  Father God, I  believe Your holy and trustworthy Word today and rest in Your great love and mercy.  How I long for their complete fulfillment but I am thankful for the down-payment.  You alone are worthy to be worshiped and praised forevermore.

Psalm 145:8-10 “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.  All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, and all Your saints shall bless You!”  


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Acting in Faith!

Scripture reading for June 11th: Acts 27, Psalm 116, Proverbs 23

Key Scriptures:  Acts 27:34-37 “”. . .Therefore I urge you to take some food.  For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”  And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.  Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.  (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)

Paul had warned the ship captain not to sail because of a coming storm.  But the ship had sailed and the storm arose, threatening to sink the ship.  Paul was encouraged by an angel who assured him not to be afraid because God had granted protection to Paul and all who traveled with him.  He shared this message and encouraged the men to eat.  He acted prophetically by faith in God’s Word!

Faith Confession: Thank You for Your Word that brings faith and encouragement of Your divine protection.  Thank You for angels who serve You and us, the heirs of salvation.

Psalm 116:5-7 “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.  the Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me.  Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”

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God stood by me!

Scripture reading for October 5th:  Isaiah 29-31 and 2nd Timothy 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 4:16-18 “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Paul was writing his last words here on earth to Timothy, his son in the ministry.  He showed mercy to those who had deserted him and focus on the priority of the Gospel message being fully preached.  He declared his faith in God’s power and presence.  His merciful Father would be given glory forever and ever!

Isaiah 30:18  “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you.  For the Lord is a God of justice: blessed are all those who wait for Him.” 

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the confidence You inspire in me concerning Your faithfulness, justice and mercy!  You have been merciful to me and I trust in Your mercy forever and ever.  Amen.

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Blessed Kingdom Kids!

Scripture reading for October 5th: Matthew 5-7

Matthew records one of the longest discourses of Jesus in the Bible.  It contains a rich wealth of teaching for those who are followers of the great Rabbi and teacher who is the Son of God.  Today we will focus on the blessedness of those who embrace the King and His kingdom!

The kingdom of heaven was the subject of this great teaching.  God, the Father, was to be King over the nation of Israel and they were to be His loyal children.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)  Kingdom kids were not to be proud, boastful or self-sufficient.  Their sufficiency came from their Father who gave them a rich inheritance.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) They would be satisfied by their King with a banquet of bread and wine He supplied. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)   They would have a new heart given as a gift!  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9)  Father gives peace that the world can’t understand!  Even when persecuted for their righteousness, they have the Father’s wisdom and know that the best is yet to come!  They have a reward in heaven that no one can steal or destroy. (Matthew 5:7-12)  They will see their King’s face one day and bask in His glory!

Kingdom kids are blessed to be the light of the world.  They reflect the glory of their King everywhere they go.  They are the salt of the earth!  They bring out the “God-flavors” of this world according to the Message Bible!  (Matthew 5:13-16)  They help stop the corruption of sin and bring out God’s saving message of Gospel hope.  They are a people who love God and love their neighbors from their hearts, fulfilling God’s law.

God’s kingdom kids do not worry about tomorrow or fret over provisions.  They know how to talk to God in prayer and trust Him for everything.  He is their provider and protector!  They are blessed with all they need.  (Matthew 6:33)  They have built their houses on a Rock!  Storms may come but they are secure and safe in Him!  We are so blessed to be “Kingdom Kids” of our amazing Father in Heaven!

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