Be Merciful


James 2:13: “He shall have judgment without mercy, that has shown no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.”


In yesterday’s post we saw how God has mercy on us and today we discover that God expects us to have this same mercy toward our fellow man.

The time of Judgment: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
1.  For Christians: “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12). “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
2.  For the non-Christians: ”I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:11-12).

Show no mercy, receive no mercy: For those who have shown no mercy there will be no mercy in their time of judgment.

God expects us to show mercy towards others:
1.  Inward:  We are to have an inward compassion and pity for those facing difficult times and temptations.
2.  Outward:  We are to express this compassion and pity in ministering to the needs of others.

Mercy rejoices against judgment: Showing mercy to others encourages our hearts for the judgment that will come. Where mercy is received in judgment there can be rejoicing. Where there is no mercy in judgment there remains only pain, loss, and sorrow.

In Time Of Need


Hebrews 4:15-16: “We have a great high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”


We have a great high priest: Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven and intercedes for us, pleading on our behalf.
1. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities: Jesus has compassion with the urge to help us in our weaknesses. These weaknesses are related to temptations or difficult times that we face. He has compassion for us because He has “been there and done that” so to speak.
2.  He was tempted in all respects in like manner as we are: Jesus has been there and done that yet without sin. He understands how hard it is to hold up against the temptations of this world. He also understands how hard it is to hold up in the midst of the things we humans have to face in this world.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace: We can come boldly to the throne of grace even though we don’t deserve it because we have a high priest as described above.
1.  The throne of grace: This is God’s throne and is a throne where we receive God’s unmerited and undeserved favor. What we receive from the one who sits on this throne is not based on our works nor on any accomplishments on our part.
2.  That we may obtain mercy: Mercy is the outward manifestation and expression of the pity God has for us. It comes in excess of what we might expect. God has a tendency to do things in a big way. God’s pity is expressed outwardly and openly in His ministering to our needs.
3.  That we might find grace to help in time of need: In our time of need we can experience God’s support in whatever is needed. He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

So in our time of need, let us call upon God in prayer for
“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Stand Fast In The Lord


Philippians 4:1: “Stand fast in the Lord.”


Let us examine what it means to stand fast in the Lord.
Stand fast:
We are to stand firmly and not be easily moved, swayed, or drawn away from the Lord. There are people who would try to move us or sway us away from the Lord with their false doctrine and religious ideas. The things of the world will draw us away from our vital relationship with the Lord as we focus more upon them and seek to obtain them. The devil would draw us away from the spiritual life in the Lord to live out our life in the flesh. The lusts of our own flesh, if not held in control, will draw us away from the Lord.

In the Lord:
1.  The source of our strength–”I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
2.  The source of our wisdom–”Of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
3.  The source of our spiritual character for living–”The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
4.  The source of our spiritual gifts for ministry–”The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7).
5.  The place of our protection–”My refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalms 62:7-8).

Stand Fast In The Lord

Be Filled With The Spirit


Ephesians 5:18-20: “Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Be filled with the Spirit: We are to be continually full of the Holy Spirit. The divine nature which dwells in us is to fill us to overflowing.

Its results: Being filled with the Spirit enables us to live on a higher level. It enables us to walk in paths of righteousness and bring glory to God. It enhances our relationship with God. It stirs our soul and lifts our spirits. It creates in us a great awareness of God’s presence. It causes us to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. It causes us to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord. It is so wonderful that it causes us to break forth in thanksgiving for all the things God has done for us in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It makes us joyful, enthusiastic, and grateful.

Living our spiritual life in all of its abundance: Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Christians experience this new life in Christ in varying degrees. Being filled with the Spirit is having the new life more abundantly. It is the new life at its max. It is experiencing and living the new life to its fullest. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.

Understand What The Will Of The Lord Is


Ephesians 5:17: “Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”


Wherefore is a conjunction linking what he is about to say to what he has just said. This carries us back to yesterday’s post. We are to live attentively, in wisdom and redeeming the time, understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Understanding what the will of the Lord is: The wisdom in yesterdays post refers to understanding what the will of the Lord is. God expects us to understand what His will is for us individually and collectively.
1.  Individually: God has a will for each and every one of us. It is related to what God wants to do through us when, where, and how He wants to do it. It is related to the spiritual gifts that God has given to us individually.
2.  Collectively: God’s will for each and every one of us, will be related to our position in Christ. It will be related to our position in the body of Christ, the church. “Now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased Him” (1 Corinthians 12:18). “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11). The Spiritual gifts God has given each of us reveals how God wants to use us within the body of Christ. Each Christian’s gifts are to work collectively with the gifts of other Christians to carry out God’s Will in this world.

Understanding what His will is: There are two basic ways that we come to know the will of the Lord.
1.  The word of God: We must redeem the time and take advantage of the opportunities we have to study the word of God, memorize it, and hide it in our hearts.
2.  The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is our helper sent to indwell us and to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). He is our teacher to teach us all things and to bring to our remembrance what Jesus has said to us (John 14:26).  We are to be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
3.  Prayer: God says, “You have not, because you ask not” (James 4:2). If we ask God with a heart that is intent on doing His Will, He will reveal it to us. If we ask, it shall be given unto us; If we seek, we shall find; and If we knock, it shall be opened unto us (Matthew 7:7).

As we give ourselves to the word of God and to the Holy Spirit and prayer we will come to understand the will of the Lord.

Live Attentively, In Wisdom, Redeeming The Time


Ephesians 5:15-16: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

The days are evil: Evil is rampant in our world today. It is increasing in intensity and in frequency.


Walk circumspectly: We are to live our life carefully and cautiously, being attentive to everything lest we be overcome by this evil. How are we to live our lives in the midst of the innumerable temptations we face?
1.  As wise: This applies not just to knowing but to using and applying this knowledge so that we get the most out of the knowledge. In other words we are to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves” (James 1:22). Wisdom is understanding when, where and how to use or apply the knowledge God has given us. Wisdom is understanding the times: ”To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
2.  Redeeming the time: We are to purchase the opportunities that are available to us. It means to take advantage of the time we have. Doors of opportunity often remain open for a short period of time. In fact our lives exist for only a short period of time. “You know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). The older I get, the more I realize how short my life is. The brevity of our lives provides only so much opportunity

Because the days are evil: This is the reason we need to live our lives attentively, in wisdom, and taking advantage of the time and the opportunities we have on this earth. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). Evil and wickedness will get worse and worse until Jesus comes. He said, “As it was in the days of Noah” and “As it was in the days of Lot”, “So shall it be at the coming of the son of man”. In the days of these two men evil and wickedness got worse and worse until God had enough. God then removed Noah and Lot and sent great judgment. One day Jesus is coming back to receive His bride, the church, and to take us to heaven in what is referred to as the rapture. Then judgment will come to the earth again.

Let us live attentively, in wisdom and redeeming the time.

Stand Fast In Your Freedom


Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”


Stand fast–Remain firmly fixed. Don’t allow anything or anyone to move you.

In the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free:
1.  Jesus said, “If you continue to hear, believe, and to follow my teaching and instruction you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
2.  Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)

Freedom from:
1.  Sin– “Being then made free from sin” (Romans 6:18).
2.  The law of sin and death– “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
3.  The power of darkness– “Delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).
4.  The law– “You are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
5. The flesh– “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1)

Freedom abides where the Spirit of the Lord is: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage: We are to remain firmly fixed in our freedom and not be entangled again with the things we have been set free from. We are not to place ourselves in the yoke of bondage. If we do we will labor and be heaven laden-ed and burdened.

We are to take Jesus’ yoke upon us: “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Mathew 11:28-30).

Facing This World


2 Corinthians 4:8-9:“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”


We can be victorious in life: We can be troubled on every side and yet not be distressed. We can be perplexed and yet not be in despair. We can be persecuted and yet not forsaken. We can be cast down and yet not be destroyed.

The reason for this victory: The source of our victory is the treasure we have in these earthen vessels (our bodies). The treasure as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:7 is the Spirit of God. “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He does not forsake us to the things that we face in this world. We don’t fight for the victory, we fight from the victory. The victory we have in Christ Jesus.

So let us walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh: If we walk in the flesh, we walk in our own abilities and strength, and we shall experience defeat. If we walk in the Spirit we walk in the abilities and strength of God and we shall be victorious.

Joy In The Presence Of The Angels Of God


Luke 15:10: “I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.”


There is joy in the presence of the angels of God: When one sinner repents, comes to God and receives salvation in Christ Jesus there is joy in heaven, in the presence of the angels of God.

We learn two things from this Holy Scripture.
1. We are being observed by those in heaven: All the beings in heaven are watchful over the things that happen here on this earth and are aware of what God and His grace is doing in the lives of people here.
2. What happens here has an affect on those in heaven: What happens here on the earth can cause rejoicing in heaven. It also causes worship and praise of God and the Lamb. God and His grace are glorified because of the impact they have on the lives of each and every one. What happens in your life and in my life can bring joy in heaven

Priorities


Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”


Seek: To search in order to obtain and enjoy that which we seek.

Seek first: This speaks of priority. Our first priority should be to obtain and enjoy the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This should be the most important thing in our life. “You shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). This whole hearted seeking and searching is what God is talking about here in Matthew 6:33. If we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness in this way we will find it. God will be only as real as our hearts desire.

And all these things shall be added unto you: “All these things” is explained in the previous verses. They speak of food and clothing and shelter. These are the basic needs of our life. The previous verses explain that God watches over us and that we are very valuable unto Him. When we have our priorities right as mentioned above, God will provide for us. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

“What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul”? (Matthew 16:26).

Let us keep our priorities in correct order.