‚ÄúNow the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.‚ÄĚ (Romans 15:13) Is there any joy and peace for us as the children of God in the world? There are moments of joy and moments of peace in this world, but the reality of earthly joys and peace is this ‚Äď THEY WILL NOT LAST. They are only for a moment. But the joy and peace that comes in believing through the power of the Holy Ghost is that which comes from a true saving view of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is joy and peace that will last forever and ever as Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. While on this earth, it is most difficult for any of us to know that such joy and peace really exist. That is why it can only be known in believing. So we who are saved by God‚Äôs grace in Christ walk by faith, believing God‚Äôs testimony of Christ, not by sight. ‚ÄďPastor Bill Parker *****
MERCY AND TRUTH ‚ÄúFor Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee‚ÄĚ (Psalm 86:5). It is delightful to speak about the mercy of God, but forgiveness and salvation do not come to sinners by mercy alone without consideration for the legal requirements of God. ‚ÄúThe soul that sinneth shall die.‚ÄĚ The righteous Judge cannot clear the guilty apart from satisfaction for sin. The sweet mercy of the Lord will never be exercised at the expense of His justice. His violated law demands death for all transgressions. God cannot be at peace with sinful men in a way that is dishonoring to His truth and righteousness. His only begotten Son has rendered to Him the required price for the redemption for His chosen people. His precious blood has been shed so that God can be a just God and a Savior. The sacrifice of the good Shepherd to divine justice on the behalf of His sheep was the price that forevermore silenced divine vengeance, exhausted the wrath of God and, when revealed and applied to them by the Holy Spirit, speaks peace to the troubled conscience telling them all is well with a holy God. ‚ÄúMercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other‚ÄĚ (Psalm 85:10). ‚ÄďPastor Jim Byrd
***** ‚ÄúO LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.‚ÄĚ (Psalm 84:12) *****
(These are the last words of James Guthrie, Scottish preacher, spoken from the scaffold where he was beheaded for preaching the gospel.) I am come here to lay down my life this day, and I bless God, I die not as a fool; not that I have anything wherein to glory in myself. I acknowledge that I am a sinner, yea, one of the greatest and vilest that has owned a profession of religion, and one of the most unworthy that has preached the Gospel. My corruptions have been strong and many, and have made me a sinner in all things, yea, even in following my duty. And therefore righteousness have I none of my own. All is vile, but I do believe ‚Äúthat Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, whereof I am chief.‚ÄĚ Through faith in His righteousness and blood have I obtained mercy; and through Him, and in Him alone, have I the hope of a blessed conquest and victory over sin and Satan, and hell and death, and that I shall attain unto the resurrection of the just, and be made partaker of eternal life. ‚ÄúI know Whom I have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.‚ÄĚ I have preached salvation through His name, and as I have preached, so do I believe, and do commend the riches of His free grace and faith in His name unto you all, as the only way whereby you can be saved.