“Why bother, I’ll Just GIVE UP and QUIT!”

A Study in Philippians 1:12-20 –So grab your Bible.

I have taught a class for many years.

Borne many burdens, toiled with tears;

But folks don’t notice me a bit.

I’m so discouraged

I’ll just quit.

 

Sometime ago I joined the choir

That souls I might inspire;

But folks don’t seem moved a bit,

So why bother to sing?

I’ll just quit.

 

Christ’s cause is hindered everywhere,

And folks are dying in despair.

The reason why?

Just list a bit;

The church is full of folks who quit.  

[See Footnotes [i] ]

Giving up is always a temptation when there is a lack of visible results…

Some of the REASONS WE WANT TO GIVE UP AND QUIT can vary:

1.  FEAR OF FAILURE.

2.  SKEPTICISM I’M NOT THE ONE.

3.  I’M NOT TRAINED ENOUGH.

4.  SOMEONE ELSE CAN DO IT BETTER.

5.  I DON’T WANT TO BE THE FIRST, LET SOMEONE DO IT AND THEN I WILL FOLLOW.

6.  I HAD A BITTER EXPERIENCE.

7.  THIS IS NOT MY CUP OF TEA.

8.  I DON’T WANT TO BE EMBARRASSED.

9.  I’M JUST TOO SENSITIVE TO HANDLE FAILURES.

10.  MY SUPPORT SYSTEM IS POOR.

11.  I DON’T PREFER TO TAKE THIS RISK WHEN ALL IS FINE.

12.  WHY GET IN A MESS?

Some of the reasons I listed are overlapping, but still this is how we can feel and reason out…whether to QUIT & REMAIN A BIT SATISFIED…even though we know we can do it more than we’ve ever tried.

Marilyn von Savant once said,  “being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent.”

Thomas Edison –  “many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up and quit.”

King Solomon –  “for an upright man after failing seven times, will get up again”  (Proverbs 24:16).

“THE LITTLE SATELLITE THAT COULD”–

In 1972, NASA launched an exploratory space probe named the PIONEER 10.  The primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph its moons, and beam data it collected back to earth.

This was a bold plan.  Up until then, no satellites had gone beyond Mars and scientist feared the asteroid belt would destroy PIONEER 10 before it would ever get to the planet Jupiter.

But the “little satellite” accomplished its mission, and much more!  Flying past Jupiter in 1973, PIONEER 10 continued on its journey to the edge of our solar system.  It passed Saturn, flashed by Uranus, past Neptune and then Pluto, some four billion miles from the Sun.  And it’s still going!  Now, over 8 Billion miles from the Sun, it keeps sending signals.  Despite the distance, PIONEER 10 continues on to beam back signals to Earth.

Commenting on the “little satellite” in Time Magazine, Leon Jaroff says,

“Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that those signals

emanate from a eight-watt transmitter, which radiates about 

as much power as a bedroom night-light, 

and takes more than nine hours to reach earth.”

“The Little Satellite That Could” Wasn’t Even Qualified…

Yes, according to the scientists, to do what it accomplished it wasn’t qualified.  But it kept on going and going.  By simple longevity, its tiny eight-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone ever expected.

So it is when we offer ourselves to SERVE the LORD in any activity, no matter how large or how small the mission seems to be.  God can work even through someone with only “eight-watt” abilities.  [See Footnote [ii] ]

God cannot work, however, through someone who GIVES UP and QUITS. 

Many times we are too quick to blame others, even blame God for our personal decisions.  Many times our personal decisions are based on success or more specifically the lack thereof!

Paul's Stairway to Imprisonment
Paul’s Stairway to Imprisonment

You would think BEING CHAINED to a guard in a Roman prison might make one question if  “God was telling Paul to quit?”  That thought never crossed the apostle Paul’s mind.

What did he do?  He used it as an opportunity to witness to others, to share the gospel with the guards and even took the time to write a letter [today, we would probably TEXT instead of write a personal letter], to the believers at Philippi.

The Christian Life Today…

Though we may never be thrown in prison for our faith in Christ Jesus, there are times in our walk that may resemble imprisonment:

— Those times of difficulty…

— Times of struggle…

— Times of adversity…

— Times of discouragement, disillusionment, and depression.

I’ve been there!  And in those times…I JUST WANTED TO QUIT…to throw in the towel and GIVE UP on my church I was attending, the people who made the decisions, and so on!

FINDING ENCOURAGEMENT:

In reading Paul’s story while writing this letter to the church, Paul says,

“Everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Gospel.”

Here is the Apostle, bound in chains for his preaching and he is REJOICING because the palace guard knows that he is in chains because of Christ.

He goes on to tell his readers that “because of his imprisonment, many other believers have gained CONFIDENCE and boldly speak God’s message without fear.”

Perseverance Prevents Giving Up and Quitting…

Roget’s Thesaurus says to PERSEVERE is to “persist, die-hard (STUBBORNNESS).”  References in our bibles to the perseverance of believers who “stand firm (i.e. endure) to the end”,  [Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13].

There’s a REASON for where we find ourselves in a given situation:  failures in ministry, a dysfunctional family, ‘stuck’ in your job, etc.

For PAUL….we find the REASON for his imprisonment–

[12] Now I want you to know, brothers, that what happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.  [13] As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

News Travels Fast…

It was no different in Paul’s time.  Just imagine for a moment the talk of the Imperial guard and those who were present when Paul made his defense for himself known to all  (let me tell what that crazy prisoner just said to the Governor!).

Paul knew, that because of his imprisonment, JESUS was being MAGNIFIED and he was delighted in knowing this!

What if you were put in prison for a crime you had not committed?  Would you be a WITNESS for Christ or would you wallow in self-pity? Whatever your PRISON might be, the principle still applies.

Paul understands the reason for his own predicament he is facing…BUT he also sees in his spirit, the RESULT of this particular situation.

OTHERS WERE ENCOURAGED – v. 14

Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

The BRETHREN that had knowledge of Paul’s imprisonment were ENCOURAGED by his boldness and stand; his not giving up regardless of the ‘stuff’ he was going through.

Our CONFIDENCE can bring about changes…

PAUL was confident – v. 19

“For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.”

The Jews had denounced Paul as an enemy of Caesar.   And yet, he was CONFIDENT that when the fullness of the GOSPEL was known, he would be released.

In their PRAYERS – through your prayer…

Paul knew that they were genuine followers of Jesus and their constant prayers were being lifted up to God for him which in turn…gave him the CONFIDENCE to “stand firm”, “endure to the end,” not to give up and quit!

In 1999, I faced the difficult situation when facing open heart surgery.  I knew before going into the operating room that PRAYERS from all over the country were being lifted up in faith on my behalf.

I can give personal testimony to a JOYFUL CONFIDENCE I received before being rolled down to surgery…GOD WAS IN CONTROL!  And in recovery from the successful 7-way Bypass Surgery, I gave testimony of God’s hand to all who would listen…or not!

In Christ’s Provision…

And the Spirit of Jesus Christ SUPPLIED…furnishing whatever is necessary.

Paul knew that JESUS would supply his needs:  “And my God will liberally supply  (fill to the full)  your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:19 AMP).

BEING COURAGEOUS IN DIFFICULT PLACES– V. 20

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

Earnest Anticipation…{G} (Apokaradokia) (ap-ok-ar-ad-ok-ee’-ah) – intense anticipation or expectation.

This idea that Paul presents is, there is the idea of WATCHING FOR SOMETHING.  Paul wasn’t ashamed and he was bold in his defense of the Gospel of Christ Jesus.

Paul didn’t care about the CONSEQUENCES.

His GOAL in the midst of his difficulties was to MAGNIFY JESUS, even if it cost him his life.  It is never a SACRIFICE unless it will cost you something (Hebrews 13:15).

COMPLACENCY IN THE ASSEMBLY HAS ITS DANGERS:

Paul’s Counsel from his Jail Cell–

” [13] Brothers [sisters], I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  [15] All of us who are mature should take that such view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  [16] Only let us live up to what we have already attained”  (Philippians 3:13-16).

Paul’s Advice and God’s Promises if…

“…for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap…if we do not give up”  (Galatians 6:9).

I hope you get some understanding from God’s Word–through the apostle Paul’s prison letters.  GIVING UP and QUITTING isn’t an option!

WHY?  Jesus anticipates that question with His answer in Galatians 6:10:

“So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].”

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Footnotes:  [i] Eldorado Evangel – Sermon Illustrations.com  [ii] Craig Brian Larson, Pastoral Grit: The Strength to Stand and to Stay; Bethany House, 1998.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible, NIV

Photos:  Photo Pin.

Waiting With Expectancy

A Study in the Book of Job 1:13-22; 42:12:

THE “DIFFICULTIES” THAT CAN ARISE IN THE WAITING ROOM–

The WAITING Room
The WAITING Room

A few years back, my wife was given the news after her yearly scheduled mammogram, that there was a lump found in her breast.  Her doctor explained that it had to be removed BUT with the diagnosis…he wouldn’t know for sure if a mastectomy or lumpectomy would be performed until the actual surgery.

It is hard to wait!

The ‘not knowing’ can definitely play tricks on ones’ mind.  You can pretend to be “spiritual” in times like these, but PRETENSE doesn’t last for long.

My wife and I began listing numerous Scriptures on pieces of paper, then placed in our bibles and even on the refrigerator–constantly reminding us of God’s promises of healing.

However, the difficulties of waiting for the results; the process of upcoming Radiation Treatments after surgery tends to erode the concept of being “spiritual” through it all.

Job found himself in God’s waiting room…

The most famous man on earth; extremely wealthy; the best of the best.  But Job lost it all.  Not only did he lose everything, surrounded by carnal, judgemental friends…even his wife urged him to curse God and die!  Job found himself in the waiting room.

Some of you reading this POST can identify with Job.  I certainly did as I read, studied and mediated everyday.  You’re waiting to hear from God…you can’t see what’s going on in your difficulties whether it is personal or someone who is close to you.  But you find yourself in the WAITING ROOM.

FAITH is believing God is at work in a GIVEN situation, even when we can’t see His hand (Psalm 46:1-2):

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,” 

Not understanding all that is going on is frustrating.  I remember sitting in an enormous hospital waiting room the day of my wife’s surgery, looking at an electronic display on the wall with her name listed and the time of the surgery, updates were posted regularly, but the results were absent.  I trusted God’s hand guiding the surgeon’s hands, but it was still frustrating.

God chose not to explain the “whys” while Job was in the waiting room– 

The “waiting” is a place of delay as I found out while I fidgeted in the hospital waiting room.  My two daughters were waiting as well, as my oldest daughter kept patting me on the shoulder to comfort me.  “It will be okay dad.  Mom is in good hands.”

God is never late! 

As I discovered and as Job realized later on, God’s greatest work in and through you may be “soon” and the worry and anxiety that may arise during the anticipation of the results won’t change a thing. “WORRY” is convinced that God doesn’t care and not

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TRUSTING THE ONE WHO IS IN CHARGE–Directions posted while waiting…

Job 13:15,  “Though the Lord slay me, still will I trust Him”

Job 42:2,  “I know that You can do all things…”

Job 41:33,  “Upon earth there is none like Him”

Psalm 46:1,  “God is our refuge…”  Able,” …a very present help in trouble…”Available!” “The Patience of Job” while pacing in the waiting room–

IMPATIENCE…

I’ve always wondered about that old cliché, “The Patience of Job.”  For the more I read and study the book of Job, the more I see how impatient he really was.

—  He couldn’t understand what was going on.

—  He didn’t like how his life was going.

Aren’t our lives at times so very similar to Job’s?

One day we are secure in a profession–friends and family surround us–a “roof over our heads”–“good health”–and then all of a sudden… everything is snatched like a rug under our feet.  And yet Job still had the sense to WORSHIP God in the midst of the pain and agony.

Staying Close in waiting… Job 42:5,  “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You.”

Don’t desert the WAITING ROOM. That is where you are the most likely to hear from God.  [Illus. Elijah at Cherith].

PRAY… In the midst of our long-suffering, we are misguided in our thinking by the enemy…“God isn’t going to act here”, and we stop PRAYING for answers  (Job 42:1-5 a).

God doesn’t do His deepest work in the shallowest parts of our lives. Get alone with God in a time of reflection, evaluation, correction, and dedication.  Remove yourself from all the distractions.

All the while my wife was going through surgery two floors above the waiting room, I forced myself to walk outside for a few minutes to refocus on Dianne and not on myself by having a conversation with Abba Father.  Afterwards, I returned to the waiting room refreshed and with a new direction of anticipation.

Be still…and wait!

This is really hard.  All the WAITING…the “where, when, and why’s”…

WHERE ARE THE RESULTS OF THE TESTS?  WHEN CAN I SEE MY WIFE IN RECOVERY?  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO OUR FAMILY?

Psalm 46:10,  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Literally, “Let your hands hang down.”  We want to always do something;while God may need to do something in you before He does something special for you or through you.

ANTICIPATE GOD’S RESPONSE…

“Anticipate” means to expect, hope, bargain for, foresee (EXPECTATION, FORESIGHT); predict, augur...[i]

When waiting and praying, do you EXPECT…FORESEE…even EXPECT a response from God?

Job 42:10.  “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job…”

Psalm 46:10,  “I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted (lifted up!) in the earth.”

God never left Job alone in the waiting room, nor will He ever leave you alone in the “waiting”.

DISCOVERIES FOUND IN “THE WAITING”: A New Perspective…

“And it was so that after the Lord had spoken these words to Job…”  (Job 42:7)  [NOTE:  Romans 5:3-5; 8:18].

God gave Job a new perspective, one he would never have had if he had abandoned the waiting room.

Sometimes, when we find ourselves lying our backs, we are forced to look up and have a dialogue with Jesus:  “Lord, I feel so helpless in this moment. I need your help and comfort as I lay here in bed.”

A New Provision found in waiting… Job 42:10,  “And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before…”

In GOD’S WAITING ROOM, the Apostle Paul found…

JOY…  “In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with JOY (delight)”  (Phil. 1:4).

PURPOSE…  “I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward”  (Phil. 3:14 AMP).

PEACE…  “Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me…and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you”  (Phil. 4:9).

POWER…  “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]”  (Phil. 4:13 AMP).

That particular verse in Philippians (Phil. 4:13), [ I wrote it down on the top of my special list of Bible verses claimed], gave me special encouragement while my wife went through her surgery and through the six weeks of radiation.  She told me afterwards, this same verse gave her peace and expectancy as she was prepared for the operation.

Dianne and I were “empowered” by Christ towards the outcome, while at the same time, I waited with expectancy.  God was about to do a mighty work!

And PLENTY…  “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”  (Phil. 4:19).

As a WAITING HUSBAND on that one day, I spent many hours in the waiting room of the hospital; not knowing all that was going on during Dianne’s surgery; not understanding it all, not being able to control the situation as I normally try to do in everyday life while pacing the floor… until it seemed I had worn the color off the tiled floors…trying to conceal my worry and anxiety from our adult children.

I trusted in the doctor’s hands, stayed close to the nurses station for expected good news, prayed, and waited… anticipating the results, knowing God had this.

When the doctor met with us all in a side room while my wife was in recovery, the good news came as expected.  The cancer had been totally removed–and a lumpectomy had been performed in lieu of a mastectomy.  The surgery had gone even better than what was expected by the physicians.  But the JOY I had received eclipsed all the difficulties of the WAITING!

Finding yourself in God’s Waiting Room…

TRUST HIM, STAY CLOSE, BE STILL… and with ANTICIPATION, with EXPECTANCY…and get ready for some wonderful DISCOVERIES!

 

Footnote:  [1] The New Roget’s Thesaurus In Dictionary Form

Researched Source: Commentary– http://www.jackiekay.org.  *An outline published November 1997 “In God’s Waiting Room”.

Scripture: Amplified Bible; NIV Bible.

 

Are We MERCIFUL?

Our pastor concluded a sermon series this past week entitled: BIG FAT FAKE (week #5)–HUMBLE PIE.  He started his message by giving us the following:

Psalm 139:23-24

[23] Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

[24] See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Great verses to memorize and plant God’s Word Seed in out hearts–“Search me, God…”

Pastor Kyle had us then turn to The Sermon On The Mount–the Beatitudes, as some call it; specifically Matthew 5:3:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

When reading and meditating on Scripture, my mind often leaps in anticipation, I NEED MORE!… more explanation, more examples and more application in my daily life  [‘more is better’].

I was almost disappointed when pastor’s preaching time on the clock had run out!  And then the Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit,  “Mel, you’re the ‘Word Detective’...you get something going, start digging in the Word…press on in the meantime!”

7062800113_eda2d4c87eSo I’m not going to do a whole study of The Beatitudes, but to expand and expound my thought process in and with,  Matthew 5:7.  

Actually, before diving into God’s Word, it’s important for us to take Jesus’ Sermon as a whole, not just one Bible Verse, before we come to the details.  It’s like the cliché, “missing the wood because of the trees”.  We become ready to fix on certain particular statements and not realize that this Sermon On The Mount of Jesus, cannot be understood except in the light of the whole.  They build upon each other–each verse.  That being said, “Are We Merciful?”  Then “Search me, God…”

Matthew 5:7 :  (NIV)

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”

Dealing with MERCY–What MERCY IS NOT…

MERCY ISN’T:

1.  Pretending to have a heart of care and compassion.

2.  It is NOT Self-Seeking – Not trying to act nice so that others are nice to you.

3.  It is  NOT Self-Righteous – Like the Pharisees who thought they were getting brownie points from God by giving to the poor.

4.  It is NOT bothering to show kindness only when you think something’s in it for you.

I’ve given a few examples of what MERCY isn’t, so the obvious next step….

WHAT IS “MERCY”?

I found by reading various Commentaries [i]–that a good place to start is to compare MERCY with GRACE:  “GRACE is especially associated with men in their sins; while MERCY is especially associated with men in their misery.”  While GRACE looks down upon sin as a whole, MERCY looks especially upon the miserable consequences of sin.

So MERCY really means, “a sense of pity plus a desire to relieve the suffering.”  That is the essential meaning of being MERCIFUL; it is pity plus action.  So the professing Christian has a feeling of pity and your concern about the MISERY of others leads to an ANXIETY to relieve it. Another way to describe it:  “an inward sympathy with outward acts in relation to the sorrows and sufferings of others.”  

A New Testament Illustration –  The Parable of the Good Samaritan:

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JESUS gives us a parable in Luke 10:25-37, that is an old familiar story about The Good Samaritan.

On his journey he sees a poor man who has been in the hands of robbers, he stops, then goes across the road to where he is lying.  The others who have passed by the scene, have already moved on.  They may have felt compassion and pity, yet they have not done anything about it.

But here is a man who is MERCIFUL; he is sorry for the victim, goes across the road, dresses the wounds, then takes the man with him and makes arrangements for his well-being; until he can get back on his feet.  THAT’S BEING MERCIFUL.  Now that doesn’t mean only feeling compassion; it means a great DESIRE, a desire to do something to relieve the situation.

TRUE MERCY IS COMPASSION THAT GOES INTO ACTION!

JESUS is the greatest example of this kind of MERCY.  He saw those in need, showed compassion by doing something about it:  He healed the sick; made the lame walk; gave sight to the blind; made deaf ears hear; and gave life to the dead.

“But that’s JESUS!”

The Word of God asks us these questions:

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity [Amplified Bible says, “a heart of compassion”] on him, how can the love of God be in him?”  (1 John 3:17 NIV).

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food,    If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”  (James 2:15-16).

Suppose someone you know is living without the “Armor of God” ( Ephesians 6:11-17) without Spiritual food?  Will you and I be content by feeling sorry for them?  Or, will we spiritually show TRUE MERCY and do something about it!

“…the MERCIFUL will be shown MERCY.”

What happens do you suppose, to persons who are not full of TRUE MERCY?  What happens to the MERCILESS?

— WHAT HAPPENS TO THE UNRELENTING BOSS?

— WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CUTTHROAT BUSINESSMAN?

— WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ABUSIVE FATHER?

— WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MANIPULATIVE MOTHER?

What happens to any of us who refuse to put our COMPASSION INTO ACTION?

For those of us who are content to say, “That’s a shame”, “Look at those poor people”, “That’s too bad for him”, “That’s a pity what’s happened to her”, “I really feel for them”, “Isn’t that something?”, and the list goes on.  We’ve all thought or made similar statements from afar.

Whether they are glaring words, or passive, we will have to answer for not being MERCIFUL.  Scripture warns us all with these words,  “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged…because judgement without MERCY will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful”  (James 2:12-13).

AN “UNMERCIFUL SERVANT”:

JESUS says in Matthew 18:33-35:

[33]  And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant (servant), as I had pity and mercy on you?  

[34] And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all he owed.  

[35] So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.”

Some people think after reading that passage of Scripture…“Well; doesn’t that teach that I’m FORGIVEN by GOD only as I forgive others to the extent I forgive?”

I believe that’s the wrong understanding, for two reasons:

1.  If you and I were judged strictly on those terms, it is reasonable to say not one of us would be forgiven or see heaven.

2.  If that is the interpretation of the Beatitude and parallel passages, then we cancel out the doctrine of GRACE from the New Testament.

If that is your thinking, then you must never again say ‘we are saved by grace through faith, and not of ourselves’, we must never read again those eye-opening words of the Gospel, telling us that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’, even ‘when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God’, or ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself’.

Scripture Must Be Interpreted by Scripture…ALWAYS!

We must never interpret Scripture by contradicting other Scriptures–‘rightly divide the truth’.  

Applying this all, the explanation is perfectly simple:  JESUS is really telling us to say to ourselves,  “I am only truly forgiven when I’m… TRULY REPENTANT.”

‘Repentant’ means, I realize I deserve nothing but punishment, that I am FORGIVEN because of GOD’s MERCY and GRACE–His LOVE for me.

In other words,  if I am truly repentant, realizing my position before God Almighty, and realizing I am only forgiven in that way, then of necessity… I shall FORGIVE those who trespass against me.

In the Operation of God’s Grace–

When GRACE comes into our hearts with FORGIVENESS…it makes us MERCIFUL–

None of us has by nature a ‘forgiving spirit.’  And if you have such a spirit, you have it by one reason only:  You have seen what GOD has done for you in spite of what you deserve, and you say,  ‘I know that I’m truly forgiven; therefore I truly forgive’.

 ‘Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy’.  Because they have already obtained MERCY, therefore they are merciful.  What makes me MERCIFUL is the GRACE OF GOD.

“Let every man examine himself”

I’m not asking you what sort of life you are living.  I’m not asking whether you do this, that or the other.  I am simply asking this:

“Are you merciful?”  “Are you sorry for every sinner, even though that sinner offends you?”

THAT IS THE TEST!

‘Blessed–happy, happy, happy–are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.’

~

Footnote:

[i]  Exerts quoted from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones “STUDIES IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT” – WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING COMPANY Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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