Behold His Unfathomable Mercy!

Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:32

[Jesus] wraps a servant’s girdle around his waist, takes up the basin, and kneels before one of the disciples.

He unlaces a sandal and gently lifts the foot and places it in the basin, covers it with water, and begins to bathe it. One by one, one grimy foot after another, Jesus works his way down the row.…

You can be sure Jesus knows the future of these feet he is washing. These twenty-four feet will not spend the next day following their master, defending his cause. These feet will dash for cover at the flash of a Roman sword. Only one pair of feet won’t abandon him in the garden. One disciple won’t desert him at Gethsemane—

Judas won’t even make it that far! …

Behold the gift Jesus gives his followers! He knows what these men are about to do.… And when they do, he wants them to remember how his knees knelt before them and he washed their feet. He wants them to realize those feet are still clean.… He forgave their sin before they even committed it. He offered mercy before they even sought it.

Just Like Jesus

Essentials of Effective Christian Meditation

Psalm 37:7

In our modern world, we often hear this familiar call to action: “Don’t just stand there—do something!” However, there’s an inherent danger in trying to force this way of thinking into our spiritual life.

Too often, whether we voice the belief or not, we act as though God needs our help. We wrestle with Him for some degree of control over the events in our life. In effect, we proudly make a stand and proclaim, “Okay, Lord. I think this is what You want to happen, so I’m going to work and work and work and make it come about.”

Somewhere in the back of our mind, we hear the oft-quoted counsel, “God helps those who help themselves.” In fact, the vast majority of Christians believe that this word of advice is found in the Bible. It is not.

Actually, this statement is entirely contrary to the Word of God, which instead tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10 NIV). The Father knows we cannot help ourselves. That is the very reason He sent His Son to die—because we were utterly helpless to improve our sinful condition (Rom. 5:8).

While we seek to do God’s will, we must not forget His fundamental call to stillness before Him. When we are quiet in His presence and focused on Him, we put ourselves in the most teachable position possible.

Are you too busy trying to keep up with God? Lay down your efforts and simply become quiet. What you discover in the stillness may revolutionize your call to Christian service.

Commitment to God

“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5)

Frustration must come as the saints of God battle with evil forces. The pain and pressure of torment is nonetheless real as these evil “devices” (Isaiah 32:7) take their toll on the people of God. The Lord will destroy the plans of the wicked (Psalm 33:10), but while those plans are active, they can cause much hurt.

Nevertheless, we must maintain trust in the Lord and commit our lives to Him if we are to be victorious. The unusual Hebrew word galal used here is more often translated as “roll on” or “roll with” something. It seems to imply a unity in the commitment, that the committed one is bound up in the actions or activities of the thing or person committed to—we “roll on” or “roll with” the Lord in our “way.”

Paul spends much of his letter to the Philippians describing the link between the Creator-Savior and the mind, heart, and lifestyle of the Christian who has given his life over to God. “Being confident of this very thing,” Paul says, “that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). We are to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).

While admitting that he had not yet “attained,” Paul was so focused on the work of the Kingdom that he was “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). God’s promise to “bring it to pass” is conditioned on our being committed to His sovereign will for our “way.” HMM III

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.—2 Timothy 2:1.

I WOULD arise in all Thy strength
My place on earth to fill,
To work out all my time of war
With love’s unflinching will.
Firm against every doubt of Thee
For all my future way—
To walk in Heaven’s eternal light
Throughout the changing day.
ANNA L. WARING.

EVERY trouble is an opportunity to win the grace of strength. Whatever else trouble is in the world for, it is here for this good purpose: to develop strength, For a trouble is a moral and spiritual task. It is something which is hard to do. And it is in the spiritual world as in the physical, strength is increased by encounter with the difficult. A world without any trouble in it would be, to people of our kind, a place of spiritual enervation and moral laziness. Fortunately, every day is crowded with care. Every day to every one of us brings its questions, its worries, and its tasks, brings its sufficiency of trouble. Thus we get our daily spiritual exercise. Every day we are blessed with new opportunities for the development of strength of Him. GEORGE HODGES.

Jesus wept

Jesus wept. John 11:35

A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. — We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. — It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. —

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

Behold how he loved. — He took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Isaiah 53:3. Hebrews 4:15. Hebrews 2:10. Hebrews 5:8. Isaiah 50:5,6. John 11:36. Hebrews 2:16,17.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. Numbers 6:24

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. — Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. — I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.

Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept.

The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Proverbs 10:22. Psalm 5:12. Psalm 121:3,5,7,8. Isaiah 27:3. John 17:11,12. 2 Timothy 4:18.