~Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Many times I am like Peter. I want so badly to do the right thing and follow the Lord only to find myself doubting. I set my eyes on the circumstances and take my eyes off Him. How miserably I fail when I do this. I shouldn’t judge Peter too harshly as I am no different. The Lord, in His mercy, looked on Peter as he was sinking and crying out. Christ’s mercy was shown in immediate action as He stretched out His hand and caught Peter.

~Matt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth [his] hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Oh what a mercifully compassionate Saviour we serve! He holds us up when we are ready to fall. He knows that we won’t always keep our eyes fixed on Him and His mercy prevails! How grateful I am!!

~Psalm 94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

A young friend in the Lord asked me this question and I’m glad that she did. It caused me to dig into the Scriptures! 🙂

One of God’s characteristics is that He is merciful.

~Luke 1:77-78 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

~Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

~Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

As well, He is a God of love.

~1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

~1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

He is also a God of judgment.

~Revelations 20:12 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.

These are merely three areas of God’s character.  We must understand that we can’t possibly understand God’s reasonings behind everything that happens in our lives.  His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).  There is nothing more heart wrenching for a parent than to see their own child suffer and die. There are two replies to this question.  One reply is for those parents who are not true born-again Christians and the other is for those who are.

Let’s look at when a child dies whose parents do not know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.  God’s word says that in order for one to be saved, one must repent and believe.

~Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

A child who has not reached the age of reasoning [where he understands what sin is and that he is a sinner] cannot repent from his sin and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, when a child dies before the age of reasoning, he goes to Heaven. Once you understand this, it makes it easier to comprehend why God would allow such a tragedy.  Unsaved parents who lose a child will be grieving and searching in their hearts for comfort.  This allows the Holy Spirit of God yet another opportunity to reach them with the Gospel so they can be saved. So where’s the mercy, you ask?  God could have taken the parents instead of the child.  But where would their souls have gone if He had?  They would have been condemned to an eternity in Hell. (John 3:18) Do you not see God’s mercy now? Instead of losing these precious parents to the devil, God chose to take their child because that child would be with Him. This is just another attempt by God to give the parents another opportunity to come to Him.

Then there are those times when God takes away the child of a saved couple. However, He promises to be in the midst of the trial by providing comfort (Psalm 23:4).  This couple knows where their child is and they are encouraged because that child is with Christ and they will see their child again (John 14:3). Why would God take away a saved couple’s child?  Missionaries to Cuba (the Cretzmans) recently lost their daughter in a car accident. You can Google their name and read article after article about the outpouring of love that was shown to this couple – it was amazing! As a result of their daughter’s death, opportunities for ministering to a lost and dying world arose and this grieving family was able to share the Gospel with others. God was glorified through it all and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up – as they witnessed the strength in this couple’s lives.  That precious child’s death brought glory to God! In that trial, God comforted this family and showed His love and compassion through others. That precious family showed a dying world just how personal God was to them!

We cannot always understand God’s ways. But we know that all those things He allows in our lives is for our good. (Romans 8:28) For example, we read that Jacob was distraught when he thought that Joseph had died. (Genesis 37:34-35) We know by this account in Scriptures that Joseph had not died but went through years of imprisonment and suffering. In the end, God used this situation for the good of his people. It was because of Joseph that the Israelites were brought to Egypt and saved from famine.  As well, later in time, Moses led these people to the Promised Land!  God had a plan that wasn’t visible at the time but in the end, it became evident.

~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

God doesn’t want anyone to perish and go to Hell. He provides every opportunity for man to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, the Christ, Saviour and Lord of mankind. It is more merciful to take a child from his parents and allow the parents to come to salvation than to take the parents in their lost condition. That is true mercy!

~2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

~Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 

In day-to-day living, we human beings learn by watching, reading, and listening. We watch some one’s actions and learn from them – there’s no better example of this than our own children and how quickly they “pick things up” – whether good or bad. What we read teaches us and influences our thoughts. Listening also teaches – that’s if we are good listeners. 🙂 What we watch, read after and listen to is so important!

The best example and Teacher is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If anyone was perfect in mercy, it was Jesus. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines mercy as:

1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.

The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Numbers 14.

2. An act or exercise of mercy or favor. It is a mercy that they escaped.

I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Gen 32.

3. Pity; compassion manifested towards a person in distress.

And he said, he that showed mercy on him. Luke 10.

4. Clemency and bounty.

Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy. Prov 28.

5. Charity, or the duties of charity and benevolence.

I will have mercy and not sacrifice. Mat 9.

6. Grace; favor. 1 Cor 7. Jude 2.

7. Eternal life, the fruit of mercy. 2 Tim 1.

8. Pardon.

I cry thee mercy with all my heart.

9. The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy.

To be or to lie at the mercy of, to have no means of self-defense, but to be dependent for safety on the mercy or compassion of another, or in the power of that which is irresistible; as, to be at the mercy of a foe, or of the waves.

What a difference in definition when compared to today’s Merriam Webster Dictionary:

1 a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment b: imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder2 a: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b: a fortunate circumstance 3: compassionate treatment of those in distress

The Christian has seen mercy from the Lord first hand. This lesson in mercy ought to pierce our hearts in such a way that we would want to be merciful to others. How merciful are you toward those who have offended you? Do you mete out mercy equal to that which Christ has shown to you? Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36)

If we are not merciful toward others, we cannot expect the Lord to be merciful toward us when we need His mercy. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7) Showing God’s mercy to others brings happiness and joy to the believer because we are not oppressed by the consequences of sin. We have been freed and are free to love others and be merciful to them. We don’t feel like we are in shackles and bound. I don’t know if this makes sense to you but it’s the only way I can explain how I feel when I am not being obedient to God’s Word in an area that I know I should be. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Proverbs 14:21) This is probably one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in my Christian walk. It is not human nature to be merciful. Our first reaction is to fight back and prove our point. The furthest thing from our minds is to obey this verse: And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31) But Christ tells us that this is what is required of us. Jesus could have easily chosen the same merciless path as I but instead, He submitted to His Father’s will and showed mercy to all. We would be in sad shape had Christ taken the same route as us, wouldn’t we?

…Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (Job 11:6b) We don’t deserve God’s mercy – but praise His Holy Name that He has shown mercy to us despite of our sin! So much the more should we Christians show mercy to those who hurt and abuse us. This is not an easy teaching to swallow but it is a needful teaching for our spirit. These lessons mold us and form us into the image of Christ and make us into vessels of honour for His use.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. Psalm 103:10,11

Praise the Lord that our Heavenly Father does not reward us according to our sins the way we deserve to be dealt with. Had it not been for our Saviour’s work on the cross, we would all be gonners! But the fact that we no longer have to worry about spending eternity in hell’s burning flames does not mean that it stops there.

A good study on hell and what it has in store for those who are not born again and blood bought is so needful today! I can probably count on one hand the number of times the topic of hell has been the center of conversation in those Christians around me. I have maybe heard two messages in my 30+ years of salvation on the teaching of hell. Why is that? Not only do the lost need to hear where they will be spending eternity but I believe the saved would be more challenged to be soul winners if they had a clear understanding of where these lost souls are going!

What is hell all about? The Bible mentions the word “hell” 54 times. There are three terms that are used to reference hell: Sheol, Hades and Gehenna. Most of Christ’s accounts of hell were referring to Hades and Gehenna. The most popular use of Hades was the account of the rich man in Luke 16:22-24. Here all of the rich man’s natural senses were affected by being in Hades. The account shows that the rich man could see what was happening, he spoke to Father Abraham, he could hear Father Abraham’s response, his mind was clear because he recognized where he was and where Father Abraham was, he cried to him for mercy, he asked Father Abraham to help his family on earth, he felt the pain because he thirsted and asked for water. All his senses were affected, as well as his emotions. He was so aware of his surroundings and what he was suffering that he did not want his family to go through the same thing. He knew he could not escape the torment he was in and it was too late for him, but not too late for his family. It was too late for him to be a soul winner at this point.

Gehenna is another term for hell which refers to the Lake of Fire after Great White Throne judgment. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. The souls in hell (Hades) will experience a second death at this point and be thrown into Gehenna (the lake of fire). Gehenna’s fires are so real that Jesus warned that it would be better to lose an eye or other part of our bodies than to be whole in the Lake of Fire! (Mark 9:43-48 ) That’s pretty serious stuff – to be told to cut off a part of your own body! Jesus said it is better that we cut off a hand and enter heaven a partial man than to be in that Lake of Fire with a whole body!

Jesus also said in Matt. 18:8 that the flames are everlasting! Have you ever burned yourself on the stove or with a hot iron? The first thing I do is run to get a cold glass of cold water filled with ice cubes and dip my finger in it until the pain subsides. But this won’t be an option to the unsaved person who is cast here! Matthew 3:12 also says that the fires are unquenchable. It’s not like a campfire that dies down after a while. These flames keep going.

The Bible shows us that the Lake of Fire will have different degrees of punishment also. God’s punishment will be given out to the lost in same degree that they denied His Word. Luke 12:47-48 describes it well: And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (47) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (48 ) I also think of Rom. 2:5-6, But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (5) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:(6)

My friend, all will stand before Christ and give an account of every action we have done. For 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 hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10) It’s reiterated in Rev. 2:23, And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

I look at it this way, those unsaved who get “few stripes” will burn for all eternity at a level like being burned all over with the most horrible sun burn he’s ever had. The unsaved who gets “many stripes” will be burning at a level of being totally engulfed with fire!! Both will be suffering but at different degrees. However, they will all share equally in hell’s permanence (eternity) and its unquenchable flames – there will be no reprieve – there will be no death as a result of these burns. Granted, there is no way for me to know exactly the pain levels the lost will experience – this is just my interpretation which helps me to imagine. Whatever it takes for you to get a burden for the lost soul, do it! This is just my way of keeping myself motivated to win the lost.

The unsaved stand no chance. Luke’s account of the rich man says it all. Once the unsaved dies, it is too late. There is no going back and changing one’s mind. The Hitlers and Neros of this world will suffer greater punishment once they are released from Hades and cast into that Lake of Fire. In my soul winning efforts, I’ve come across people who just don’t see their sin. They can’t be saved if they don’t know they are lost. But upon death, it will be a horrible awakening in a place where the worm dieth not. Christ spoke this statement three times in Mark 9:44-48. Not only is there no escaping hell’s fire for the unbeliever, but the pain and torment of being burned continuously goes on for all eternity. I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like for a person to be engulfed in flames and to continuously be burned and their body not turning to ash – just continuously burning and burning and burning. Not for just an hour, a day, or a week – but forever!

Christian, have I helped you to realize your need to tell your lost loved ones about where they will be spending eternity if they don’t repent and get saved? Prayerfully, this has renewed your zeal for lost souls! If not, shame on you.

If you are reading this and you are not born again, won’t you reconsider what you believe today? You may not believe in a literal hell. Many may say that hell is here on earth. But Jesus did not preach that at all. Don’t take what others say and make it your belief. Could you possibly be wrong? Have you been right about everything in your life? What if you’re wrong about this?

God created hell for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is your choice to remain in the lost condition you are in right now. No one is forcing you to get saved. But admit this one thing … deep down inside you, you’re wondering if what I have said is even remotely true. I would rather exercise my little faith, be saved, and find out when I die that the Bible was true than to ignore my little faith and enjoy life full of sin only to find out that everything about hell was true and now I have to spend an eternity burning, writhing in pain for all eternity.

A wise Senior Saint once told me, “Hell’s fire is too hot and eternity is too long for me to ignore salvation!”

Dear God…
Please open the heart of the one who reads
What You have laid on my heart today
Create in me a burden so heavy and great
That I need to show someone salvation’s way.

~Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

My Shepherd guides me and provides for me – not just my physical needs, but also my emotional and spiritual needs. I shall never lack anything as long as I stay close to my Shepherd. James 4:8

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I find rest for my weary body, spirit and soul when I search His word – when I glean from it and apply it.  He provides water from His word which gives me everlasting life.  John 4:10

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul could not be restored unless it was lost to begin with.  I was born a sinner (Romans 3:10) – we all are. However, at the moment of salvation, Christ restored me and placed His righteousness upon me.  Colossians 1:20 and Colossians 2:14

~Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff they comfort me.

God removes the sting of death for me, therefore I have no need to fear evil because Christ conquered sin and death. I Corinthians 15:55  The Lord guides me and directs me.  When I fall into sin, He uses His rod to correct me. When I stray from the path I should be on, He guides me with His staff!

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One day I will eat at His banquet table at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I will be in His presence forever! Luke 22:30  I am so overwhelmed at God’s goodness! Praise be to God in the highest!

~Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Because I am a child of the King, His mercy and His goodness are always with me.  I have a promise that I will dwell with Him forever!

Thank You, Lord!

~Exodus 20:1-6 And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

I came across this quote by J.C. Ryle in his sermon Fire, Fire! and was totally amazed as to how it fit into today’s “church”! Take a moment and read his words and meditate on them.

Beware of manufacturing a god of your own: a god who is all mercy but not just, a god who is all love but not holy, a god who has a heaven for everybody but a hell for none, a god who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a god is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

Beware of making selections from your Bible to suit your taste. Dare not to say, ‘I believe this verse, for I like it. I refuse that, for I cannot reconcile it with my views’. Nay! But O man, who art thou that repliest against God? By what right do you talk in this way? Surely it were better to say over EVERY chapter in the word, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth”. Ah! If men would do this, they would never deny the unquenchable fire.

-J.C. Ryle {from ‘Fire, Fire!’}
1816-1900

Today’s Laodicean church is everything described in Mr. Ryle’s excerpt! Today’s manufactured god is all merciful, all love, only provides Heaven, and does not require eternal judgment for sin. This god has been designed by men whose hearts have strayed from God’s Holy Word and they have designed their god around their own religion. Paul warned us about these latter days.

~2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The truth of the matter is that when we stray from God’s Word, we begin to seek those who are in agreement with us. We find a church that preaches what we want to hear. We hang around people who do not challenge us to dig deeper into the Word to be convicted by its power. The God of the Bible is a merciful God because He gave His Son to take our punishment. However, John 3:16 also says that the soul who does not accept Christ will perish. This same merciful God also passes judgment. You cannot have one without the other. This same loving God is all love but is also Holy. His righteousness cannot allow sin into Heaven. As Christ hung on the cross dying, the Father had to turn (Matt. 27:46) His back on His own Son because of His Holiness. This same God resides in Heaven where sin is not allowed. He, therefore, had to create a place to hold the devil, his angels and those who would not accept His Son (Matt. 25:41). And lastly, because of man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we are all born with a sin nature. It is this sin nature that allows the bad to reside with any good that comes into our lives. The path to Heaven is narrow and there are few that want to walk it (Matt. 7:13-14). However, the road to destruction and Hell is broad and it is a much easier road to follow.

Mr. Ryle said it right, “But O man, who art thou that repliest against God? By what right do you talk in this way?” Man will be judged on what he has done with God’s Word. We of all generations are blessed. Many of us have at least one King James Bible on our shelves. It is available for free on-line along with countless wonderful Bible software programs to help one study.

Today’s church may be the lukewarm church but it will be held accountable for having the living Word of God freely at its fingertips but yet neglecting to open its pages and freely drink! What god have you made for yourself? Be careful what doctrine you hold dear to your heart, Christian.

~2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Be sure that your God is the God of the Bible!

~Mathew 23:23 Woe unto you, … hypocrites! for ye pay tithe …, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

My life growing up was spent attending church and following my parents’ example. I followed their religion because it was the thing to do. I didn’t question it – I just did it. It was no different in Christ’s day. The Jewish religion had the same type of followers as I claimed to be.

My outer shell (my flesh and bones) had the appearance of being a religious person. But once I got around my friends or by myself, my true sinful nature came out. I think we can all say that this is true at some point in our lives. The Jewish law was a schoolmaster and, as Christ points out in today’s verse, involved judgment, mercy and faith. The New Testament covenant that Christ brought is the same: judgment, mercy and faith.

Judgment:

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Mercy:

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Faith:

~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

I was a hypocrite. I lived one kind of life at church – pious, self righteous, and lost as lost could be. Outside of church, I did what came naturally and that was to sin! My nature had not changed!

However, thirty years ago today, I was presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that I had never heard before. It did not involve anything that I could do to earn my salvation. But it did involve acknowledging that only Christ could provide that salvation because He is the One who died on the cross, paid the price for my sins, and opened the door for me to be born again! Thank You, Lord!

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Dansun

~1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

How wonderful our God is! Praise His Holy Name!!! How thankful I am that He saved my wicked soul and now I have that assurance that I will be in Heaven the moment that my eyes close in death!!

God’s mercy endures forever! There is no end to His mercy! In fact, this is so important that God saw fit to record it forty-three verses in the Old Testament alone! I found it interesting that it was not recorded in the New Testament. Why? Because God’s mercy was shown through Christ and His word on the cross. Mercy arrived nearly 2010 years ago as a baby! Praise His Holy Name!!! That same baby lived a sinless life and went to the cross to die for our sins! On the third day, He rose again according to the Scriptures and now reigns with the Father.

This is the blessed Gospel and it is to be shared with all. This Gospel, found in God’s Word, will endure forever. There is no compromising – no changing – no multiple paths. It is plain and simple. It is all about Christ and no one else – no other way.

~1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

When we stand before God, our friends and family won’t be the ones that will pass judgment. It is God and God alone. If the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ has not been accepted, our eternal fate will have us separated from God and Heaven for all eternity. That was the purpose of His coming! That is the peace that the Christmas celebration is all about.

Piece it together, my friend. Allow the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation that He died for become a part of your life today!  Although gifts are given to one another at Christmas time, God’s gift is what should be focused upon at Christmas.  Four times is this gift spoken of in the New Testament :

~John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

~Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Salvation is our wonderful gift from a merciful God! He knew it would be impossible for us to be good enough to enter into His presence. He left Heaven just for us! He died just for us! He paid the penalty of death just for us! He is a gift to us! He came to earth and we celebrate His coming for a reason. Don’t miss the message this Christmas season.

Jesus is truly the reason for the season!

Birds and waves

~He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Can you imagine if God dealt with us and rewarded us according to the amount of sin in our lives? We would all be goners! That is why His mercy is so overwhelming! There is NO man who has ever lived that is without sin – contrary to catholic belief. God did not say it only once, but four times in His Word:

~Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

~Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

If even one person were born without sin, these four verses would not be in God’s Word because God cannot lie.

~Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie;

God’s Word is truth so there cannot be anything false in the Bible.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Since all of us are sinners, we all fight the same battle with our flesh.  We desire to sin because we were born with a sin nature because of Adam and Eve’s fall.  Praise be to God that we are not dealt with according to our sins! God in His mercy sent His Son to take on our punishment. That is love!

*The above photograph was taken by Pam Banegas.

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