VIDEO Have Mercy

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

There are several key words in the biblical lexicon that are similar, but different. And their difference makes all the difference! Justice means getting what we deserve. Mercy means not getting what we deserve. And grace means getting what we don’t deserve. All have their importance, and each has its place in our life.

Justice we leave to God, of course (Hebrews 10:30). Grace we can generously dispense toward others. But mercy? That’s a harder one. Remember: mercy means not giving someone what they deserve. We have received mercy from God in that He spared us from the punishment for our sins and punished His Son instead. So what do we do when someone offends us and we feel they deserve our reproach? We should do what God has done for us—show mercy. Instead of dispensing judgment or vengeance, we show love, forgiveness, and understanding. In short, we show mercy. Why? Because God has shown mercy toward us.

The next time you are impulsively or deliberately inclined to judge or retaliate, remember to show mercy. Give to others what God has given you.

‘Tis God that justifies their souls, and mercy like a mighty stream, o’er all their sins divinely rolls.  Isaac Watts

Drew Landry – Forgiveness – Ephesians 4:32

Refined in the Fire

Refined in the Fire

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 1 Peter 1:7 nlt


Twenty-four–karat gold is nearly 100 percent gold with few impurities. But that percentage is difficult to achieve. Refiners most commonly use one of two methods for the purification process. The Miller process is the quickest and least expensive, but the resulting gold is only about 99.95 percent pure. The Wohlwill process takes a little more time and costs more, but the gold produced is 99.99 percent pure.

In Bible times, refiners used fire as a gold purifier. Fire caused impurities to rise to the surface for easier removal. In his first letter to believers in Jesus throughout Asia Minor (northern Turkey), the apostle Peter used the gold-refining process as a metaphor for the way trials work in the life of a believer. At that time, many believers were being persecuted by the Romans for their faith in Christ. Peter knew what that was like firsthand. But persecution, Peter explained, brings out the “genuineness of [our] faith” (1 Peter 1:7).

Perhaps you feel like you’re in a refiner’s fire—feeling the heat of setbacks, illness, or other challenges. But hardship is often the process by which God purifies the gold of our faith. In our pain we might beg God to quickly end the process, but He knows what’s best for us, even when life hurts. Keep connected to the Savior, seeking His comfort and peace.

What challenges have you faced that led to your growth? How did you respond to them?

Father God, help me see how the trials of my life bring out the gold in me.

Faith to Endure

Hebrews 11:24-40

We all love the victorious stories in the “Hall of Faith” of Hebrews 11—enemies are defeated, people are rescued, lions’ mouths are shut, and the dead are raised. But what about those who pleased God with their faith yet suffered and died? The last entries in this beloved chapter convey a spiritual reality many people today are reluctant to embrace—that faith is not a means by which we get God to do what we want.

We who belong to Jesus Christ have God’s promise that He will heal all our diseases, rescue us from every trouble, and give us great riches—not now, but in eternity. The Lord said, however, that in the meantime we can expect tribulation, persecution, and suffering (John 15:18-21). So it’s important to remember that faith doesn’t rescue us from all this but will get us through it.
God wants us to remain steadfast in the face of affliction and temptation. Like Moses, we may be called on to endure “as seeing Him who is unseen” (Heb. 11:27). So let’s place our hope in God and hold fast to Him in faith through good times and bad.

A Divine Mission

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

This great challenge to Queen Esther by her cousin Mordecai, urging her to be willing to risk her own life to save the lives of her people, embodies a timeless principle that has challenged many another man or woman of God in later times. One thinks of Paul, for example, who could testify that “what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:7) and whom, therefore, God used so greatly in the critical times of the early church.

Then there were Wycliffe, Hus, Martin Luther, and many others in post-biblical times who, like Paul, could say, “Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:24).

Who is to say that the same principle does not apply, at least in some measure, to everyone? Our role in history may not be as strategic and far-reaching as that of Queen Esther, but God does have a high calling in mind and a vital ministry of some sort for everyone. The great tragedy is that most people “hold their peace” when it comes to taking a vital and dangerous stand for God and His truth, and therefore “enlargement and deliverance” have to be raised up by Him “from another place.”

May God help each of us, called as we are to some significant ministry that we can best perform “at such a time as this,” to be able to say with Esther “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16), but also with Paul “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). HMM

“I Gave It All Up!” for Him

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

—Ephesians 1:3


I have been asked more than once what I gave up when I was converted and became a believing child of God. I was a young man, and I well remember that I gave up the hot and smelly rubber factory. I was making tires for an hourly wage, and I gave that up to follow Christ’s call into Christian ministry and service.

As a youth I was scared of life and I was scared of death—and I gave that up. I was miserable and glum and unfulfilled—and I gave that up. I had selfish earthly and material ambitions that I could never have achieved—and I gave them up.

That forms the outline of the worthless things that I gave up. And I soon discovered that in Jesus Christ, God had given me everything that is worthwhile.

If God takes away from us the old, wrinkled, beat-up dollar bill we have clutched so desperately, it is only because He wants to exchange it for the whole Federal mint, the entire treasury! He is saying to us, “I have in store for you all the resources of heaven. Help yourself!”   JAF049-050

Thank You for all we gain through our new life in Christin exchange for all the junk we give up! Amen.


The Fine Touch of the Spirit

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye…may abound to every good work.

—2 Corinthians 9:8


The Holy Spirit never differs from Himself, and wherever He touches a human mind His sure marks are always present so plainly that there can be no mistaking them.

Anyone familiar with the work of the French artist Millet will notice a similarity in everything he painted, as if the very breathing personality of the man had somehow gotten into the paint and onto the canvas.

So the Holy Spirit teaches the same thing to everyone; however different the subjects may be from each other, the fine touch of the Spirit’s hand may be detected on each one. NCA103

O fire of God, begin in me;

Burn out the dross of self and sin,

Burn off my fetters, set me free,

And make my heart a heaven within.

Baptize with fire this soul of mine;

Endue me with Thy Spirit’s might

And make me by Thy power divine

A burning and a shining light. HCL246


Hindrances to the Blessing

Hebrews 12:1-2

Holiness has not legs and does not go walking about visiting idle people, as a lazy Christian seemed to think who told me that he thought the experience would “come” to him “some day.”

Be sure of this: it will not come, any more than a crop of potatoes will come to the lazy fellow who sits in the shade and never lifts his hoe, nor does a stroke of labor through all the spring and summer months.

Therefore, the part of wisdom is to begin at once, by a diligent study of God’s Word, much secret prayer, unflinching self-examination, rigid self-denial, hearty obedience to all present light.

Before a watchmaker can clean and regulate my watch, I must give it unreservedly into His hands. Before a doctor can cure me, I must take his medicine in the manner and at the time he requires. Before a captain can navigate me across the trackless ocean, I must get on board his ship and stay there. Just so, if I would have God cleanse and regulate my heart with all its affections, if I would have Him cure my sin-sick soul, if I would have Him take me safely across the ocean of time into that greater ocean of eternity, I must put myself fully into His hands and stay there.

The second hindrance in the way of him who would be holy is imperfect faith. If you will be holy you must come to God “with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22 KJV).

Holiness is a great blessing. It is the renewal of the whole man in the image of Jesus. It is the utter destruction of all hatred, envy, malice, impatience, covetousness, pride, lust, fear of man, love of ease, love of human admiration, self-will and the like.

Is your soul hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of perfect love? Do you want to be like Jesus? Then, lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset you (Hebrews 12:1). Present your body “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1 KJV), and “run with patience the race which is set before you, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith” (Hebrews 12:1, 2 KJV).

Come to the Lord with the same simple faith that you did when you were saved. Lay your case before Him, ask Him to take away all uncleanness and to perfect you in love, and then believe that He does it.

Samuel Logan Brengle, Helps To Holiness


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