Great Is His Mercy

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King James Bible StudyAnd when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2020
Chapters: Book of Joel
Message: Great Is His Mercy

Hello My Friend,

There is something I fear I lost through this pandemic, and that is my fear of God. Oh, there are some things I will never do because I know God is a jealous God and will have no other gods before Him. However, for lack of better judgment, I have let some things slip through the cracks of my faith, although repentance was not far, I still managed to allow it in the first place. Every morning I thank God for His longsuffering, and beg Him to restore my fear because I never want to get to a place in my life that repentance is no longer a factor in my mind. Then again, I must still have a little fear in me because I never want to be where I was before I got saved, and for that reason repentance is my only option. When you stop to think about all the evil, immoral, and corruptible things that are going around the world today you come to realize just how merciful God is, and it takes a lot to get Him angry, [Psalms 103:8-11  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.  9  He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.  10  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  11  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.]

What does it mean to fear God? It means to have respect toward Him, to honor Him, love Him, obey Him, and when we fail Him seek repentance. The Book of Joel contains three chapters, the author is Joel and it was written to the people in Judah. The timeline for these events took place approximately 400–380 BC. The purpose of the book was to warn Judah of their sin and need for repentance and to inform them of God’s future restoration for the nation. What we are to learn from the book is that even in the midst of God’s chastening, His plans always include restoration. The book itself was written around the same time that Ezekiel prophesied, I believe he was in Jerusalem during that time and God sent him to prophecy there as He describes similar visions that Ezekiel saw about the end of the world and begs for the people to return to God before that happens.

[Joel 1:2.8-15  Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 8  Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. 9  The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’S ministers, mourn.  10  The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.  11  Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.  12  The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.  13  Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.  14  Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,  15  Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.]

[because joy is withered away from the sons of men.] Where does our joy come from? The LORD! I do not care how famous you are, how wealthy you are, how much you possess, or what you possess, nothing in this world brings joy without Christ in it. You see, the material things are temporal, we tire of them quickly, but the heavenly things are eternal, as long as we seek those things first our joy will be fulfilled, otherwise, it withers, [Matthew 6:31-34  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.]

One day Jesus will return to claim His people, His throne, and put an end to sin and suffering for good. Dead or alive, we will stand before Christ, which is why we must keep telling the lost the Gospel before that time comes. This warning was not just given to us today, it always has been, through Joel, God gave this same warning also.

[Joel 2:11-17  And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?  12  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  13  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  14  Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?  15  Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:  16  Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.  17  Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?]

[And rend your heart, and not your garments,] Appearance means nothing to God, you can change your clothes, religion, but that does not mean you have repented and are trusting in Christ as your Saviour. True repentance comes from the heart, and by the way, when the heart changes so do the garments because we start to become a reflection of Christ as we walk with Him. God is so merciful and slow to anger that He gives all a chance to be saved, in fact, several times before their death, but if they die without knowing Christ as their Saviour, they will surely see Him, and believe in Him, but by then it will be too late. Jesus will not recognize us as His unless we accepted Him while we are still alive in the flesh, [Matthew 7:22-23  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.]

Zion is the hill in Jerusalem on which the temple was built, God will dwell there and it will be the final gathering place for all His people, Jew and Gentile, none will be strangers to God if they repent and ask Christ to save them. God is merciful and slow to anger in that He promises to restore anything we have lost and protect even the vilest of sinners. Through Joel, God assures His people (believers) that while His judgment stands, He will restore all that has been lost, and protect them when it comes, but they must call on Him to be saved.

[Joel 2:21-27,32  Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.  22  Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.  23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.  24  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  25  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  26  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  27  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 32  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.]

[that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:] This is no mystery, and it certainly is not anything the Jews have never been aware of. This is proof that salvation has always been through Christ, they may not have known His name as Jesus Christ, but those whom kept their faith in Him coming to save them knew that He was the only way to be saved. And death will not save you, if you died not knowing Christ as your Saviour you will resurrect out of hell only to stand before Christ a second time and be cast into the lake of fire, [Revelation 20:12-14  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.]

Yes, that is a scary thought, and something we need to fear greatly. There is only one way to God and heaven, and that is by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, and accepting Him as our Saviour. Our countries are in the shape they are in because the ministers are tired, many are quitting, and becoming part of the world, some are just content to preach the Gospel and that is it. We need to lift up and encourage those who are tired, we need to fast and pray for God to work in our lives like never before, and we need to remember how merciful and slow to anger God is toward us. However, one day that mercy will run out, and all will stand before Christ for judgment. Through Joel, God explains the day of judgment, where it will take place, and who will be saved from it.

[Joel 3:11-18  Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.  12  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.  13  Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  14  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.  15  The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  16  The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.  17  So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.  18  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.]

[Let the heathen be wakened,] We are all heathens until we recognize that we are sinners and need Christ to save us, [Romans 3:22-24  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:]

[and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD,] This is the same river that Ezekiel talks about, the fountain of living waters, [Revelation 21:6-8  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.]

Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for your mercy, grace, and that you truly are slow to anger, I think of the life I lived and sometimes even the things I do today and know that I truly do not deserve Your good graces, but am grateful that I can wake up each day knowing that my Saviour lives and because I am solely trusting Him as my Saviour I know I will stand before Him, cleansed, and unblemished. Lord, I know the harvest is white, and You could send Jesus any day now, lead me and guide me, let me be a faithful witness to reach as many as I can with the Gospel. Restore unto me the joy of my own salvation, my fear, and renew a Your Spirit within me as I rejoice in the unending hope of knowing that I can stand before You and hear you say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,

Christina

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