Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #44: Truth and Mercy have Met

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My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

My favorite Proverbs:  Proverbs 16:6  

“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.”

Observe these soul-saving ingredients: fear, mercy, and truth. 

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).  Why is fear important?  One powerful tool of the Devil, who loves to work in religion, is to subtract the fear of hell from both atheists and professing Christians.  Yet it is that fear that makes us crave and appreciate mercy and truth.  Consider that these two—mercy and truth—are often paired together in the Old Testament:

“And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren” (Gen. 24:27).

“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies” (Psalm 25:10).

“He shall abide before God forever. oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!”(Psalm 61:7).

“Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed” (Psalm 85:10).

“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

This is a combination of characteristics seen in their perfection in our God. But we are commanded to use this combination in Christianity and the church as we hold one another accountable.  For example, elders who lead their flock in the process of withdrawal of the church from an impenitent member (according to the truth of the Word in 2 Thessalonians 3:6), will perhaps remember that Jesus gave Jezebel a space to repent (Rev. 2:20-21) and will apply that mercy to the member in the process of discipline. Mercy and truth have met together.

Jesus gave instruction about a Christian against whom a fellow-Christian has sinned.  Consider how His teaching involves both mercy and truth: 

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17). 

We clearly see the combination of the establishment of truth and the will to forgive and gain the brother. Everlasting mercy and enduring truth (Psalm 100:5).

Today consider that in the application of truth there is space for mercy.  Considering God’s application of this pair motivates me to want to be sure I get this combination right in my relationships.

FamilyBible Time with Glenn and Cindy:

It’s quiz night again! Just see how much fun you can have remembering what Jesus said in Matthew 25 (and Luke 12). Act out the following in a game of “Guess Who I Am.” Pretend to be each of the following and see if your kids can guess who you are. After each successful guess, have your children tell you what Jesus said about whomever you were pretending to be. The response will be repetitive, but that’s a good thing.

  • a sheep
  • a goat
  • a hungry person
  • a thirsty person
  • someone who needs a place to stay
  • someone who needs clothing
  • someone who is sick
  • someone who is in prison
  • the rich man tearing down his barns

Sing the song from Matthew 25 (Hannah’s Hundred) if you’ve been learning that. If not, sing Each Day I’ll Do a Golden Deed. Here are the lyrics:

A Beautiful Life
Each day I’ll do a golden deed
By helping those who are in need
My life on earth is but a span
And so I’ll do the best I can
Life’s evening sun is sinking low
A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done
Where there will be no setting sun
The only life that will endure
Is one that’s kind and good and pure
And so for God I’ll take my stand
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand
Life’s evening sun is sinking low
A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done
Where there will be no setting sun
While going down life’s weary road
I’ll try to lift some traveler’s load
I’ll try to turn the night to day
Make flowers bloom along the way
Life’s evening sun is sinking low
A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done
Where there will be no setting sun
No setting sun
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Rea Garvey / Sacha Skarbek
A Beautiful Life lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Red Brick Music Publishing

 

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