Thankful (Part 3): Thankful for God’s Mercy

Thankful

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).

As Paul wrote to Timothy, he told of his own background as a persecutor of the church and how he considered himself as the “chief” of sinners (KJV). Yet he was able to be forgiven and become a part of the Lord’s work because of the mercy that was shown to him. He explained to Timothy that the Lord’s treatment of him is an example for all believers. As Paul received mercy, we also receive mercy from God. As Paul thanked the Lord for this, we are to be thankful for God’s mercy as well.Continue Reading

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

James 2:13

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

This passage contains an important lesson for us, yet it is often misused by those who twist this passage in order to defend their particular ideology. Like anything else in the Bible, context is important. So in this article, we are going to see what this verse – in its context – teaches us so we can properly apply it and not be guilty of misusing or misapplying it.Continue Reading

Things Which the Lord Hates

Proverbs

The book of Proverbs contains wisdom to guide us through life. In it we are shown the way that is right and warned about the way that is wrong. In the following passage, the wise man warned about things which the Lord hates.

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Hate is a strong word, yet that is the word given by inspiration. Therefore, we should not gloss over the items on this list; instead, we should be sure we understand what these things are and heed this warning.Continue Reading

Sermon on the Mount (Part 5): A Just Life

Sermon on the Mount (Part 5): A Just Life

In this lesson, we are going to consider how the life of a disciple is a just life. The word just means to be fair. As we will see, this does not mean that we treat everyone the same. This may sound surprising, but misunderstanding this about “justice” is common. Politically it is seen in systems like socialism. Culturally it is seen in the acceptance of sins like homosexuality. Jesus was not advocating some sort of “social justice” or instructing us to be tolerant of sin and error. Instead, He taught that we should be just in our lives. This passage explains what that means.
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Sermon on the Mount (Part 1): A Blessed Life

Sermon on the Mount (Part 1): A Blessed Life

Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with statements that are commonly called the Beatitudes. In these verses, He described those who were blessed. This word does not merely mean that one is happy. Rather, to be blessed means to be approved of God. This results in true joy that surpasses the temporary moments of “happiness” in this life. This is particularly important because, as we will see, there will be times when those who are “blessed” are those who are suffering. Let us consider the Beatitudes and see how the life of a disciple is a blessed life.
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 16): Riches

The Psalm of the Word

I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.

Be surety for Your servant for good;
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.

My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation
And for Your righteous word.

Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
And teach me Your statutes.

I am Your servant; give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.

It is time for the Lord to act,
For they have broken Your law.

Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.

Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:121-128)

The psalmist made a contrast between the commandments of God and gold. As we consider these verses, we can see why the riches of God’s word are so much more valuable than gold.
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The Application of Wisdom: Character (Part 1)

Notes on Proverbs

As one learns to accept the wisdom that comes from above, the result will be a change of character. As we consider some of the character traits that one will gain from a pursuit of wisdom, let us first begin by contrasting them with the negative character traits of one who rejects divine wisdom. Below is a list the wise man gives of seven abominations.
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