A Testimony of God’s Mighty Hand

“As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried:
He is a shield to all those that trust in Him.”
-Psalm 18:30-

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We ended up postponing our April 21 meeting to April 28 due to the fact that my siblings and I were in a plane crash while on a ministry trip to Canada the week before.  It’s only because of the Lord’s goodness that we were able to have this Bright Lights meeting.  We could have died in the crash, but God mercifully spared us.  My mom, sisters, and I wanted to share the amazing story of God’s mighty hand with the girls in our group.

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A lot of the moms stayed to hear the story as well, and we were able to share the great things God did for us with a large group!  The Lord’s hand is all over every little detail of the crash and we wanted to show the greatness of our God through telling the story.  We challenged the girls: are we living our lives in such a way that we won’t be caught off guard if we are unexpectedly called home?  Are we living a life that counts for eternity?

You can read the story of the accident and see more pictures over on our family blog.

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For our activity time, we made candle holders with verses that remind us of God’s power, protection, and perfect way.

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“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge
and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
-Psalm 91:2-

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“…and in the shadow of Thy wings I will make my refuge…”
-Psalm 57:1-

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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
-Psalm 46:1-

Mercy

P4076405What is mercy?  Mercy is replacing punishment with kindness—when someone gets someone else out of trouble at his or her own expense.  Mercy is undeserved kindness.  Mercy isn’t fair because it involves receiving unfair benefits, blessings, or rewards that we don’t deserve at someone else’s expense.

Mercy is: “That… 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.” —Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

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Parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35)

Both truth and mercy are very important in understanding the gospel; one must know the truth that Jesus is the only way, and must recognize that he/she is guilty and ask the Lord for mercy.  Truth tells us the trouble that we face as sinners; mercy frees us from it.  When we know the truth about our condition, we must ask for mercy.  God is just—meaning He must punish sin, but He is also merciful—He does not want to punish sin.  Jesus became our substitute, taking our punishment and satisfying God’s justice.  Now God can extend mercy to us.

“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

—James 2:13

It is so easy to repay evil for evil without even thinking about it, but God calls us to be merciful to others – to have an attitude of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness toward those who have hurt or wronged us.  It takes mercy to repay evil with good.  It takes humility and meekness (not weakness!) to extend mercy to those who have wronged us.

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Parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

Evangelism requires mercy.  Unbelievers are saved by asking God for mercy.  For belivers, it takes an attitude of mercy to share the gospel with others.  Many people don’t seem to care and don’t do anything about those who are lost and dying in sin.  An attitude of mercy will motivate us to share the gospel with others.

When we realize that we have done something wrong and are in need of mercy, what is the best way to get it?  We need to admit the truth and ask for mercy with a humility and sincerity.  Each of us stands guilty and helpless before God—we are totally unable to pay the debt we owe.  The more we recognize the exceedingly great mercy of God, the more we will love Him.  If we look at ourselves as “pretty good” we will only love the Lord a little, but if we see the seriousness of our sin as He sees it, we will love Him much!

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Parable of the Pharisee and tax collector (Luke 18:10-14)

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

—Lamentations 3:22-23

God’s mercy is given to us daily.  It is new every morning.  It endures forever.   The more we understand how utterly dependent we are on the Lord’s mercy daily, the more we will appreciate His incredible kindness and gift of salvation.  It is important for each of us to recognize the tremendous mount of mercy we’ve been shown.

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Parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)

We finished the lesson with reading Psalm 136 together

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever;”

—Psalm 139:1-4

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Parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7)

For our activity time, we acted parables that illustrate the concept of mercy.  As always, the girls were creative and loved coming up with their parable “skits”.  See you all at our next meeting!

Mercy

Hannah, Emma, and Maria

On May 24, our Bright Lights meeting was on the topic of mercy.   So what exactly is mercy?  We defined it as replacing punishment with kindness, or when someone gets me out of trouble at his or her own expense.  Mercy is undeserved kindness.

Each of us stands before God guilty and helpless, unable to pay the debt that we owe.  God has extended great mercy to us by sending His Son, Jesus to pay our debt.  The more we recognize how utterly dependent we are upon God’s mercy, the more we will love Him.  It is so important to recognize the tremendous amount of mercy we have been shown.

Showing mercy to others is often times very difficult.  After all, they don’t deserve it.  But as mentioned above, mercy is undeserved kindness.  When we think of the many ways others have showed mercy to us, its not that hard to show mercy to others.  God calls us to be merciful to others, having an attitude of mercy and compassion toward those who have wronged us.

For our activity, each small group was assigned a parable from the gospels and were supposed to see how it illustrated mercy.  Then they were supposed to act out the parable for everyone else, using a bag of props.

 

The girls in their costumes
The parable of the lost sheep
The parable of the unmerciful servant
The parable of the prodigal son
The parable of the good Samaritan

Our yummy snacks were provided by Maria and Jenna.  During snack time, the girls surprised me with baskets of goodies, home made items, and thoughtful cards.  I was so blessed and encouraged by their generosity and their sweet notes.  Thank you, girls!  You are all such a blessing to me.

Thank you, girls!