Remembering Mercy Two Years Later.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:21-23

Tomorrow marks Mercy’s second birthday. For those who do not know, Mercy is our daughter who died 15 minutes before delivery on January 23rd, 2015. We found out at our 20 week appointment that our girl had trisomy 13. As we reflect on the time leading up to our beloved girl’s delivery, death, and birth; we are sweetly overwhelmed by the steadfast love of the LORD. We are called today, as we are every day, to remember his works, and his great faithfulness to us every morning.

To “remember” is to call to one’s own mind. It is good for the soul to remember all the Lord has done. To remember, rejoice, and overflow in thanksgiving upon how our sovereign God works in adversity. Today our family has found ourselves in a new, and in some ways deeper season of adversity. And so, it is good for our soul to remember how faithful he was to us in our loss of baby Mercy. We were showered with love through all the meals, the visits, the calls, the gifts, and the prayers. Numerous times, even times when despair knocked our door down; a verse, a song, or a text message shined hope into our feeble and shaky souls. Remembering today the steadfast love of the Lord causes new mercies to flow from grace through pain.

Hebrews 13:15 reminds us to “continually offer up the sacrifice of praise to God”. Sometimes, especially during times of adversity, giving thanks to God is a sacrifice. When the soul becomes clouded in the darkness of despair; it is at that point a thankful spirit feels an eternity away. Yet it is precisely during these dark times we must sacrifice our despairing thoughts on the alter of thanksgiving.

Today we remember Mercy. We rejoice this day in our sufferings, and offer up the sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for the brief moment of time we had with our daughter. We never knew one another face to face. And even now we know dimly of the sustaining grace, and future blessing Jesus has in store for our family. But we rejoice in hope of seeing the glory of God reflected upon every molecule in heaven. We rejoice in hope of that day when we will know in full, and see perfectly clear, that Jesus always has, and always will be for us and not against us.

We call this to mind, and therefore we have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new this, and every morning; great is his faithfulness! Happy Birthday Mercy! Your family misses you, loves you, and eagerly hopes through Christ to see you again soon. Even now, come Lord Jesus, come.

Scott & Karie David

Not Worthy

John 1:25–27 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

There are two kinds of worth; material worth, and moral worth. Mankind arrives on this earth with neither kind. It is possible to have material worth before birth based upon an inheritance destined to you from another. But no person earns a cent prior to birth. Moral worth has been unattainable to every human child after the fall of our first parents in the garden. We are born, as Romans says, dead in sin.

Material worth is value based upon possessions. Moral worth is value based upon righteousness. This second kind of worth is the value John the Baptist knew he had none of compared to the One wearing the sandals. Yet it is the one thing we receive as a gift simply through trust in the One John baptized. Faith makes the worthless one valuable. Keep your eyes on Jesus today; he makes diamonds out of dust.

A FAITH THAT SAVES, AND A FAITH THAT DOES NOT: WHAT IS GOD

Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,(g) infinite,(h) eternal,(i) and unchangeable,(k) in his being,(l) wisdom,(m) power,(n) holiness,(o) justice,(p) goodness,(q) and truth.(r)

(g) Deut 4:15-19; Luke 24:39; John 1:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:29

(h) 1 Kgs 8:27; Ps 139:7-10; Ps 145:3; Ps 147:5; Jer 23:24; Rom 11:33-36

(i) Deut 33:27; Ps 90:2; Ps 102:12,24-27; Rev 1:4,8

(k) Ps 33:11; Mal 3:6; Heb 1:12; Heb 6:17-18; Heb 13:8; Jas 1:17

(l) Exod 3:14; Ps 115:2-3; 1 Tim 1:17; 1 Tim 6:15-16

(m) Ps 104:24; Rom 11:33-34; Heb 4:13; 1 John 3:20

(n) Gen 17:1; Ps 62:11; Jer 32:17; Matt 19:26; Rev 1:8

(o) Hab 1:13; 1 Pet 1:15-16; 1 John 3:3,5; Rev 15:4

(p) Gen 18:25; Exod 34:6-7; Deut 32:4; Ps 96:13; Rom 3:5,26

(q) Ps 103:5; Ps 107:8; Matt 19:17; Rom 2:4

(r) Exod 34:6; Deut 32:4; Ps 86:15; Ps 117:2; Heb 6:18

(g1) John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (h1) Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (i1) Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (k1) Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (l1) Psalms 115:2-3 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (m1) 1 John 3:20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. (n1) Jeremiah 32:17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (o1) 1 Peter 1:15-16 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (p1) Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. (q1) Matthew 19:17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” (r1) Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

I love the question, “what is God?”. It is so common in our culture today to speak of “faith”; but faith in what? What is the object of our faith? It’s not so much about how strong our faith is, or whether we have it or not. The question is really, what is the object of our faith; what are we trusting in?

Question four asks and answers the question of what God is. God is a spirit. He is immaterial. He can not be seen through material eyes. God is infinite. He can not be measured by man made limits and boundaries. He is eternal. He has never been born, nor will ever die. There was never a time when God was not.

God is also immutable. This means he is unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and in truth. This is our God. We can not redefine him. This is who he has revealed himself to be in the Word of God. We can only accept him, or reject him as he is. But we must never redefine him. If we redefine him and then claim we have faith in him. It is a faith placed on an object entirely different than the one true God. It is a faith that will fail you when you stand before his throne.

THE BIBLE POINT TO JESUS: WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God,(e) and what duty God requires of man.(f)

(e) Gen 1:1; John 5:39; John 20:31; Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:15

(f) Deut 10:12-13; Josh 1:8; Ps 119:105; Mic 6:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17

(e1) John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (f1) Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (f2) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The Bible is more than just a collection of sixty-six ancient books bound together in one. It is more than a worldview curriculum. It is the living breathing word of God. Yet it is less than something also. Some people think knowing and understanding the Bible gains them favor with God. They think that if they just know the Scriptures, they will have eternal life. Jesus speaks about this is John chapter 5. He says:

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,”

The Scriptures do not give life in and of themselves. They rather point to Jesus, the one who lived, died, and rose to offer eternal life to all who believe upon him alone. The Bible testifies about Jesus. Why do we need a book to tell us the truth? Because all of us, beginning with our first parents Adam and Eve, have a tendency to believe and tell ourselves lies. The Bible cuts it straight. It teaches us what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty he requires of us.

THE BIBLE CONTAINS A COMPLETE WORLDVIEW: WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH


Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God,(e) and what duty God requires of man.(f)

(e) Gen 1:1; John 5:39; John 20:31; Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:15

(f) Deut 10:12-13; Josh 1:8; Ps 119:105; Mic 6:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17

(e1) John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (f1) Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (f2) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

What is a worldview? It is a cluster of beliefs one holds to make sense of life and the world at large. It has been compared to a set of eye glasses we look through to view all of life. The main cluster of beliefs which make up a worldview are what we believe about God, knowledge (epistemology), reality (metaphysics), humanity (anthropology), and good/evil (ethics). All people have a worldview, though few have thought through what their worldview is.

The Bible contains a complete worldview. It tells us about the one true God (God). It tells us how we know what we know, and why (epistemology). It tells us what is real, and what is imaginary (metaphysics). It tells us of our origin, our nature, and what mankind’s problem is (anthropology). And the Scriptures lastly inform us what is good and what is evil (ethics). The Bible contains a complete worldview.

WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God,(e) and what duty God requires of man.(f)

(e) Gen 1:1; John 5:39; John 20:31; Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:15

(f) Deut 10:12-13; Josh 1:8; Ps 119:105; Mic 6:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17

(e1) John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (f1) Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (f2) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The Bible is a big book. It is actually 66 different books, spanning over 1500 years, written by over 40 different authors, penned upon 3 different continents, and in three different languages. These 66 different books were preserved by God and bound together in the one book we call the Bible. So what is the book about?

The third answer in our catechism answers the question of what the Scriptures principally teach. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

Without the Scriptures, we are simply left to ourselves to try and determine what God is like, and what he requires of us. If you ask people what they believe about God, most will have some sort of opinion. But which opinions are true, and which are false? What standard do we use to compare each opinion against? Our own human reason?

The standard we are to compare all truth claims to is the Bible. It is the one trustworthy source which teaches us what we are to believe concerning God, and what duty he requires of us.

WHY DO WE NEED THE SCRIPTURES: WHAT RULE HATH GOD GIVEN

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,(c) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.(d)

(c) Matt 19:4-5; Gen 2:24; Luke 24:27,44; 1 Cor 2:13; 1 Cor 14:37; 2 Pet 1:20-21; 2 Pet 3:2,15-16

(d) Deut 4:2; Ps 19:7-11; Isa 8:20; John 15:11; John 20:30-31; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 John 1:4

(c1) Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (c2) 1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. (c3) 2 Peter 1:20-21 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

(d1) John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (d2) 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (d3) 1 John 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

A few weeks ago a friend came over to our house and brought her four year old daughter. The kids were playing downstairs next to the room I was painting, so I had plenty of time to listen to their conversations. Elsa (my four year old), Sammy (my six year old), and Nora (their friend), continually wanted to lead the play time. I was very surprised how often they said the phrase no let’s pretend that…. Over and over again, one would say no, let’s pretend that you were this, and I was that. No, let’s pretend that that I was doing this, and you were doing that. If I could have written down all their words, each paragraph would have started by one of them wanting the others to pretend something. Why?

Nearly from birth, we all want to create our own reality. Our hearts from the beginning desire to be the masters of our own kingdom. We want to determine for ourselves how we should live, and what is right, good, and true. We don’t want to be told we’re wrong, but rather that others are wrong for having the audacity to tell us what to do. We want so much to be autonomous.

Second Timothy 3:15-17 tells us all of Scripture is breathed out by God, and is intended to complete us. This indicates to us that God himself declares each one of us incomplete. The good news is that God has given the Scriptures to mankind so that we might become complete. The first step is to realize that God sent his son Jesus into the world who was perfectly complete. He lived a life of perfection, completing the requirement of mankind to be perfect. God asks you to trust him, and then believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ so that you might be saved. Becoming a Christian places you on a road which leads to eternal life in heaven. Those on the road become more and more complete. This process is called sanctification. It comes when the Son of God sends the Spirit of God to apply the Word of God to our hearts.

The Scriptures are the only rule God has given to mankind to instruct us how we can fulfill our purpose in life; to Glorify God and enjoy him forever.

How Do I Prove The Bible Is The Rule Book: What Rule Hath God Given

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,(c) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.(d)

(c) Matt 19:4-5; Gen 2:24; Luke 24:27,44; 1 Cor 2:13; 1 Cor 14:37; 2 Pet 1:20-21; 2 Pet 3:2,15-16

(d) Deut 4:2; Ps 19:7-11; Isa 8:20; John 15:11; John 20:30-31; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 John 1:4

(c1) Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (c2) 1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. (c3) 2 Peter 1:20-21 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

(d1) John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (d2) 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (d3) 1 John 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Our main duty in life is to bring glory to God and enjoy him forever. We learned from question two that the bible is the source and standard of truth by which we understand the ways to accomplish our chief end. Since this is true, a question comes to mind:

How can we expect to fulfill our main duty in life if we are not on a regular intake of Scripture? It would be equivalent to believing the main way our body is replenished with energy and strength is by eating good food, but yet we never have something to eat. How long do you suppose your body will have sufficient energy to function? The same is true with our spiritual energy and strength; we must find time for a regular intake of that which gives us life.

James proves his faith by his works (James 2:18). We prove what we believe by what we do. If we believe the Bible is the only rule God has given to instruct us how we glorify and enjoy him; we will evidence that belief through actual intake of the scriptures.

Let’s Talk About It:
  • Describe your normal intake of Scripture (bible memory, reading, studying).
  • Describe how you should change your daily habits to reflect the truth that the Bible is the only rule that God has given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

The Bible Is The Rule Book: What Rule Hath God Given

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,(c) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.(d)

(c) Matt 19:4-5; Gen 2:24; Luke 24:27,44; 1 Cor 2:13; 1 Cor 14:37; 2 Pet 1:20-21; 2 Pet 3:2,15-16

(d) Deut 4:2; Ps 19:7-11; Isa 8:20; John 15:11; John 20:30-31; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 John 1:4

(c1) Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (c2) 1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. (c3) 2 Peter 1:20-21 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

(d1) John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (d2) 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (d3) 1 John 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Our world swims in a sea of confusion regarding who or what has the authority to instruct us how we should live. What is the standard of right and wrong, true and false, wisdom and foolishness? Here are just a sampling of authorities which compete:

The government, Hollywood, actors and actresses, large corporations like Apple, Target, or Harley Davidson, churches, Priests or other religious leaders, tv in general, news reports, sports authorities, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, logicians, teachers, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, the society as a whole (general consensus), schools, music, movies, artists, our family, a group of friends, boy scouts, a.a, book authors; both past and present, Buddha, Mohammad, or the Taliban. And last but certainly not least, me; human autonomy.

With so many competing voices for truth, which one is above all authority? Which one has the right to trump and silence all other truth claims?

The Bible is the only rule to direct us how we should live; how we can glorify God and enjoy him forever. The Scriptures, both the Old Testament and the New, (as originally inspired) are the very words of God written down for our instruction. The Bible holds all things necessary for life and godliness. It is the one and only source of truth handed down and given to mankind. It is God’s history book, his revelation to us so that we might not be confused regarding our origin, our purpose, our our destination. It tells us who we are, why we are the way we are, and how we can be corrected. It tells us of the promise he has given to mankind to deliver and redeem us from sin. It tells of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the Bible, we would be without hope, without direction, and without a promise.

Who has the authority to instruct us on how we should live? God does. And what resource do we have to tell us these instructions? The Bible, the living and abiding Word of God.

Why Can’t I Fulfill My Purpose: What Is The Chief End Of Man

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,(a) and to enjoy him forever.(b)

(a) Ps 86:9; Isa 60:21; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 6:20; 1 Cor 10:31; Rev 4:11

(b) Ps 16:5-11; Ps 144:15; Isa 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil 4:4; Rev 21:3-4

(a1) Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (a2) 1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (a3) 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

(b1) Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (b2) Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (b3) Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice

Man’s main purpose and goal in life is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever. We do this by growing in our understanding of him and the world he has made. We do this by bringing ourselves and the world around us under dominion. And we do this by spending ourselves serving the Lord and others. If this is our main duty and purpose in life, why does it seem so contrary to our natural desires? Our natural desires are frankly the opposite. We become infatuated with the world and the people in it. We find ourselves looking to every other source of truth for our direction other than the Bible. We don’t seek to bring ourselves and the world under dominion, but rather let ourselves go towards disunity and arbitrariness. We become consumed with me, myself, and I. And when we do serve others, we do so that they might think well of us, thus bringing glory back upon ourselves instead of God.

The reason for this contradiction is that we are fallen and sinful creatures. The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Every second that ticks by is yet another moment we break these commandments. We don’t glorify God, nor enjoy him because we are sinful to the core.

The good news intended to bring great joy for all people, is that 2000 years ago in the city of David a Savior was born, who is Christ the Lord. He was born of the virgin Mary. He dwelt upon this earth and lived the ultimate life. He glorified God with perfection and is still enjoying him now, and into eternity. He suffered under Ponticus Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father. He makes intercession for the saints; those who through repentance and faith believe upon Him (Jesus Christ) for their salvation and eternal hope. If you come to Jesus confessing your sin, confessing him as your Lord and Savior, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead; you will be saved. And if you are saved, the Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell inside of you. When he comes, he changes your nature so that you can begin to truly bring glory to God, and enjoy him forever.

What is the chief end of man? It is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. The first step in fulfilling our purpose in life is to come to Calvary. The cross of Christ is the greatest display of love mankind has ever seen. And the cross of Christ is the only place mankind receives the grace and ability to glorify God and enjoy him forever. O won’t you come to him today?