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

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.

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!

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.

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

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!

Sharing the Gospel – Part 1

As young people, we are in a special position to share the gospel with others.  Adults usually aren’t intimidated by young people and so they are often willing to talk about spiritual things.  They are often curious about young people and enjoy conversing with them.  Since many young people today are immature, irresponsible, people notice a difference when they see a young person who takes a stand for truth and articulates what he or she believes.  As young ladies, we have energy, we have time, we have enthusiasm.  Let’s use it for Christ!


The word gospel means “good news.”  You can’t appreciate the good news without the bad news.  Many people don’t like to talk about the bad news.  They don’t like to tell people that they are heading for death and hell.  But it’s doesn’t make sense to tell someone God loves them and Jesus died for them unless they first understand the bad news.
When sharing the gospel, there are three things people people need to know:

1. The Bad News: Man’s sin and need for a Savior

  • God is holy and perfect, cannot allow sin into heaven.  (Rev. 15:4)
  • Man is sinful, has broken God’s law. (Rom. 3:10)
  • Man cannot meet up to God’s standard of perfection. (Rom. 3:23)
  • There is a penalty for sin. (Rom. 6:23, Rev. 20:15)

2. The Good News: The Savior, Jesus Christ

  • God loves us, He made a way for us to be right with Him. (Rom. 5:8)
  • Jesus came and lived a perfect life.  Because He had no sin of His own, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for us.  He took our place and became our substitute.
  • His death satisfied the payment that had to be made, and God raised Him up on the third day showing His power over death. He offers eternal life to all who believe on His name.

3. Man’s response

  • God has given each of us a free will.  Although God has done everything necessary to save us, He has also given us a choice to either receive Christ as our Savior or reject Him.
  • To receive Jesus, one must place their trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross  (Acts 16:31, Rom. 10:13)
  • It’s not a prayer that saves us, it’s not our parents’ faith that saves us, it’s not simply knowing about Jesus that saves us.  Only by realizing that we are totally unable to save ourselves and by putting our faith and trust in what Christ has already done—that is the only way we can be saved.  Christ alone!


God has given us the exciting privilege and responsibility of sharing His message of truth to the world.  Each one of us is called to be a missionary, ambassador, witness right where God has placed us.  We have been entrusted with the most valuable news in the world—the saving message of the cross.  When we think about the eternal destiny of those who don’t know the Lord, how can we keep the message of life to ourselves?  How can we think that it’s too inconvenient, requires too much sacrifice, or is too difficult?  It’s a matter of life and death.

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”

—David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

What will matter a million years from now?  The only thing that will matter is who is in heaven and who is in hell.  What are we doing to share the gospel with others?

We also listened to the story of “The Man on George Street,” Frank Jenner–a man who faithfully shared the gospel with others.  You can listen the audio clip on YouTube here.


Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

—Fanny Crosby

For our activity, we made “Beautiful Feet” bookmarks and poster to remind ourselves to be sharing the gospel with others.



Our lesson topic for February 25 was truthfulness. To start off the lesson, we played a quick round of balderdash.


The first spiritual battle on earth centered around truth and deception (Genesis 3:1-6).  Satan lied to Eve.  She believed the lie and suffered spiritual death—separation from God.  Life and death hinge on truth.  Satan is still trying to deceive the world today.  He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).  Satan’s primary attack against us is spiritual lies and deception.  The only way to escape the peril of his lies is to make sure that we know the truth.

It is important to know the truth so that we will not be deceived by the lies of the enemy.  Just like balderdash, sometimes his lies sound like truth or close to the truth when they really aren’t.  When we know the truth and apply it in our lives, we will be free from the trap of Satan’s lies and deceitfulness.  That is why it is so important to be reading, studying, and applying God’s Word in our lives–it is the source of truth (John 17:17).  The more we come to know the Lord and what He says, the more quickly we will be able to discern between truth and error.


What does God think about lying?

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.”

Proverbs 12:22

Lies are like traps. One lie often leads to another and another until you can’t break free.  Only the truth can set us free (John 8:32). When we’ve lied to someone, we need to go back, tell them the truth, and ask for forgiveness.  (Proverbs 28:13).  Acknowledging the truth by confessing sin and replacing the enemy’s lies with God’s truth brings freedom.

While speaking the truth is important, there are other ways in which we can be dishonest and deceitful without actually telling a lie.  For example: telling only part of the truth, keeping secrets from our parents, doing something behind someone’s back, or being deceitful.  More subtle forms of deceitfulness include exaggerating, pretending that you know something that you don’t, manipulating others, or acting differently around different people.


As we strive to be bright lights for the Lord, we need to avoid all forms of deceitfulness—if we have lies that we are covering up it will dim our light and hinder our testimony.  If truthfulness is a struggle in your life, find some verses to memorize about truth and lying. The Lord has a lot to say about this subject!

As bright lights for the Lord, we want to be valiant for the truth.  We want to be fighting against the lies of the enemy and explain God’s truth to those around us. We want to represent Jesus, the One who is the truth (John 14:6), everywhere we go.  So many people around us are believing the lies of the enemy and they are trapped.  We want to be able to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ, because only He can set them free.

For our activity we had a debate between lies and truth.  The lies team was supposed to come up with as many excuses and lies as they could for making the wrong choice, while the truth team was supposed to make a case for making the right choice.

IMG_0758We ended our meeting with a great time of snacks and fellowship.


Inner Beauty

Singing favorites from the BL songbook around the piano
Singing favorites from the BL songbook around the piano

May 7 was our last meeting for the school year and we had a special tea party while we studied the topic of “Inner Beauty”.  Throughout Set 8, we have been discussed different topics related to our outward appearance and behavior. These are all important, but we want to end by setting our focus on the most important thing of all—having a heart that is right before the Lord.  Yes, we must be wise, discerning, and obedient in regards to our clothing, appearance, countenance, and manners.  But all of these will naturally fall into place if we are loving the Lord with all of our heart.  This is where true beauty begins.

Object lesson: beautiful package contains rocks; ugly package contains chocolate!

It is easy for us to overemphasize outward things.  We tend to get wrong impressions about people because of the way they look or dress.  We often notice styles, fads, and fashions. We spend lots of time and money on things that are merely external.  While we are using up our time and energy on the outward, God is looking at the inward—the thoughts and motives of our hearts (1 Sam. 16:6-7).  As we get consumed with having a beautiful package, He is focused on the true product inside all the wrapping.  Outward beauty is really just a picture of true inner beauty that God desires to develop in each one of us as He conforms us into the image of His Son.  Physical beauty fades as we get older, but inner beauty will increase with age if we continue to obey the Lord and walk in His ways.

Object lesson: We had some balloons marked with Satan’s lies and once we read a Scripture to combat the lie we popped the balloon!

Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had someone else’s hair, your sister’s really cute outfits, your friend’s amazing smile, or that you could be just as pretty as so-and-so?  Satan has deceived many young ladies into believing that they need to gain a particular look or certain standard of outward beauty.  But keep in mind that there’s no such thing as an outward ideal—some perfect standard we are all trying to measure up.  The enemy tries to distract us with many lies about our appearance. Some of the lies we looked at were:

  • Lie: God is not enough to satisfy me. • Truth: Psalm 107:9
  • Lie: Being beautiful will make me happy. • Truth: Prov. 31:30
  • Lie: I’m ugly. • Truth: Psalm 139:14
  • Lie: If I don’t wear the latest fashions, people won’t like me. • Truth: Rom. 12:2
  • Lie: My body belongs to me.  I can do what I want to with it. • Truth: 1 Cor. 6:20

Don’t give in to the world’s lies!  They are empty and unable to satisfy.  They bring confusion and sorrow, rather than fulfillment and joy.

P1110324God created everything.  The entire universe already belongs to Him.  Isn’t it incredible to think that something could be “of great price” in God’s sight?  Scripture tells us that a meek and quiet spirit is of great price in the sight of God.   Ornaments of gold and silver and outward beauty may be of great price in the eyes of this world, but not to God.  It is our inner character that is so valuable to Him.  It is beautiful to Him.  It is precious in His sight.  Why is this?  It demonstrates humility.  Pride is something God hates.  Humility is something God loves. Meekness and quietness require humility and lowliness.  This is something that the Lord notices and values (Ps. 10:17).

P1110342So how do we put it into practice? With these thoughts in mind, here are some things we can do to cultivate inner beauty:

  1. Spend time seeking heavenly things instead of earthly things.
  2. Lean as much about Jesus as you can and imitate Him.
  3. Humble yourself daily by putting other people first, serving them, and giving up your own expectations.
  4. Submit joyfully to authorities.
  5. Do not defend yourself—let God defend you.
  6. Respond as Jesus would to those who irritate or offend you.  Speak gently and kindly, forgive them, pray for them, and trust the Lord to take care of the situation.
  7. Rejoice in the suffering God allows, which is strengthening your character and conforming you into the image of His Son.

This is difficult to do.  We cannot do it in our own strength.  We must cry out to the Lord for help.

Object lesson: every time “Joanna” responded to an irritation in a godly way, she got a piece of clothing or jewelry to wear to illustrate inner beauty

We ended our lesson with a story about a girl named Joanna.  One of the girls volunteered to act out the story.  As Joanna was faced with irritations and everyday problems, she chose to clothe herself with humility and in doing so, was cultivating inner beauty in her life.

For our activity time, we enjoyed making mini paper roses and enjoyed our adorable little tea snacks.


Everyone dressed up for the tea party, so that called for a group picture!


It was such a blessing to have all of you girls a part of Bright Lights this year. Let’s ask the Lord to give us wisdom each day as we seek to represent Him well.  Remember, one of the best ways to be representatives of Christ is by cultivating inner beauty.  As we focus on the inward—loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind—it will overflow to the outward!  Others will see and the Lord will be glorified as we shine brightly for Him.  He is worthy!

The Reliability of the Bible

On February 12, our lesson was about the reliability of the Bible.  In our life, we will encounter many people who say that they do not believe the Bible.  It is important for us to have answers for them.  It is also important to have answers for ourselves so that we know why we believe the Bible, and are able to have confidence in the Word of God.  We must stand on it without wavering.  This is such an important lesson because we are building our lives on God’s Word.  And if the Bible cannot be trusted than we have no foundation at all.


How Do We Know God’s Word is True?

The Testimony of Scripture (emphasis added below)

  • Titus 1:2—“…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
  • Hebrews 6:18“…that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
  • Psalm 18:30“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
  • Psalm 19:7-9—The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart… the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
  • 2 Peter 2:16-21For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty… and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretationfor prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”


Fulfilled Prophecy—Hundreds of prophecies in Scripture have been fulfilled.  For example, there are 60 major prophecies in the Old Testament that predict the birth, life, and death of the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of those prophecies.  Some people say that’s its just by chance that Jesus fulfilled prophecy.  However, mathematics shows the probability of this to be next to impossible.  The chances of one person fulfilling just eight of these prophecies is equal to 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Scientific Evidence—Scientifically, the Bible has been found to be trustworthy.  Many statements in the Bible were written before modern science discovered them to be true facts.  An example of this is found in Isaiah 40:22 which tells us that the earth is round.  500 years ago, people were afraid of falling off the earth even though the Bible was written a couple thousands of years ago.

Many people claim that the Bible cannot be true because it doesn’t line up with the theory of evolution.  However, evolution is simply a theory that has a lot flaws.  Evolution is really a belief system or “religion”.  When you think about it, it really takes a lot more faith to believe that the universe came from nothing, rather than being created by God.

We cannot pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we want to believe.  If we can’t trust one part of the Bible, how do we know that any of it is true?  For example, if we doubt the creation account in Genesis, how can we be sure that salvation is for real?  The Bible provides a basis for absolute truth established by the Creator of the universe.

There are many helpful resources available in learning more about science and the Bible.  My family has learned a lot from Answers in Genesis, Kent Hovind, and Jonathan Park audio drama. We’ve also been encouraged by visiting the Creation Museum in KY.


Archeology—Critics have often scoffed that the Bible is inaccurate because it described things that were not found in archeology.  However, through the years, many different archeological discoveries have confirmed people, places, and customs/traditions described in the Bible.  Check out this article on the excavation of Jericho.

Remember, science and archeology do not “prove” the Bible is true.  We know that the Bible is true because God said it is (He cannot lie).  God’s Word is the foundation; science and archeology support it. They just happen to reaffirm the Bible—just like we would expect it to!


The Amazing Word of God—Satan has tried to deceive people and write other counterfeits to the Bible such as the Koran, the Book of Morman, Hindu writings, and others.  But no other book as the credentials of the Bible.  No other book has the message, answers, and logic of the Bible.  The Bible alone explains sin and the only remedy for sin.  Christianity is the only “religion” that:

  • Offers eternal life as a free gift for those who believe.  All other religions teach that you have to earn it in some way.
  • Has a Savior.  Other religions have leaders or teachers who are now dead, but we have a living Savior—a substitute who was perfect, who paid the penalty for our sin, and the only One who ever conquered death.
  • Gives assurance of salvation and eternal life.  In other religions one can never be sure that he will make it to Heaven.

No book has been studied, scrutinized, and attacked more than the Bible.In spite of centuries of attack, the Bible still stands.  If God had the power to create the vast and complex universe, He certainly has the power to preserve His Word

There is a battle raging in the world today.  Christianity is under attack.  The Bible is under attack.  We need to know what we believe and why, and be able to defend the truth.  The Bible is our foundation.  It is trustworthy, and we must examine everything in the light of the truth of God’s Word.  God’s Word is 100% true; we can trust it and build our lives upon it.

For our activity, we divided into teams and each team was supposed to build a structure based on the strength of the foundation and the height.  After each team built their tower, we took a clipboard and created a “windstorm” to see how strong the structures were.  All of them stood firm!  It was a fun reminder how it is important to build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word.