mercy

Faith Doesn’t Change Anything - The Surprising Truth

In this short video, we get a quick peek into the lives of two men changed by their darkest days. May you find freedom as Frank reveals the truth about what having faith really accomplishes.

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Faith Doesn’t Change Anything - The Surprising Truth

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David said that because God was for him, those who sought to destroy his life were going to go into the depths of Sheol and they would be delivered over to the power of the sword and would become prey for jackals. He said the mouths of those who spoke lies would be stopped. And it all happened. Absalom fled from the army of Israel, his wild hair getting caught in a tree, and Joab came and delivered the death blow with his sword. We can’t read this casually; we can’t forget that this is a dad we’re talking about - David just lost his boy. And let me tell you, I'm a dad, and no matter how much that boy rebels, he will always be my boy, right? So David is going to grieve, and if we go back and read what the passage says, he grieved heavily, but he also rejoiced that the will of God ended the rebellion and restored the nation of Israel.

I've said this many times, and I’m going to say it again, believers are the only ones that can have tears of sorrow AND joyful hearts at the same time.  And when the world sees that, they don't know what to do with us! It’s one of the greatest times we have to testify for the faithfulness and truth of who God is. The world can't relate to a foolish plastic facade of the Prosperity Gospel, they don't relate to that! But they do relate to your tears, and they'll see your faith and that will give you a bridge to introduce them to who God really is.

In David, we see a man in the wilderness. Did you notice in this passage he didn't get delivered from the wilderness right away? The world is still the world and that's not going to change. We're not going to get restored to a playground until Jesus Christ comes back, this world is going to remain a wilderness. The key here is that not only does the wilderness never change, our God never changes! He will be all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith and that will allow one thing to change, and that's us. We will be the ones who change.

Like David, Jeremiah too became a changed man. The book of Lamentations reveals to us Jeremiah's heartache; he was a man of affliction.

While sitting in the ashes of destruction, with murder babies and slaughtered people all around him; miserable, hopeless and dying, he recalled to his mind that he had a hope greater than the death around him. He had the mercies of God. He knew that it was only by God’s mercy that they weren't destroyed. He knew this was not the end of the story.

Nothing had changed; the ashes and the slaughter, the murdered babies, Jerusalem, nothing had changed. The wilderness had not changed but Jeremiah had. This might tempt you to say, “That is what faith will do.” But that would be a lie! Faith doesn't change anything; all faith does is connect you to to the One who brings the change. That's the key beloved, and when you have faith in Him, He will be all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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Get on the list here.

Saved From Our Sins

Our gracious, forgiving, merciful God, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

Our gracious, forgiving, merciful God, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

I raised my kids on a mantra; life is all about choices and choices have consequences, so make good choices. Why did I drum that into my kids? Because I wanted them to experience Life. I wanted them to have joy and peace and rest. I didn't want them making choices that would leave a trail of guilt and shame and loss. The same is true for you and me as adults. This mantra is not just for kids. Every one of us in this room is confronted daily, on a moment by moment basis with the need to make good choices and avoid bad choices. 

We were all placed into this predicament by Adam who made a very, very bad choice. He could have chosen God, but instead, he chose the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He could have done what God said, but instead, he chose to do what Satan said. He could have believed what God said, “You shall surely die" but instead he chose to believe what Satan said, “You shall surely NOT die.” That terrible choice, my friends, had very horrible consequences. 

It says in Romans 5 that death spread to all men. To personalize that, death spread to you and I. The world became under a curse, and thus every one of us experiences things now that we were never designed to experience. Having left our state of innocence, we're now confronted daily with the potential to make a wrong choice that will lead us to experience a harmful consequence. Scripture is filled with people who've done this; Cain murdered his brother, a terrible choice that caused him to suffer being cursed from the earth. Hagar gave her handmaid to Abraham and caused family division AND national division, a consequence we still face today; Arab and Jew to this day because of that choice. Noah chose to get drunk and caused his sons to be judged and disciplined. And of course, David chose to have an affair with Bathsheba and brought chaos not only to his family but to the entire nation. 

Galatians 6 says, “Whatever a man sows that shall he reap. Sow to the flesh; you'll reap corruption, sow to the Spirit you'll reap Life everlasting.” What I want to share with you friends is this; that law is NOT a universal law because there is a God who has revealed a place in His New Testament that says, “But God.” 

Ephesians 2 says, “Even though we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and by nature, children of wrath, BUT GOD who is rich in His mercy and His great love with which He loved us, saved us from our sins.” 

God proclaimed His name to Moses in Exodus 34 when Moses said, “What is your name?” God says, “My name is God, the Lord God. Merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” That's a whale of a name, isn't it?! This gracious, forgiving, merciful God, my friends, will overrule the bad choices that can bring bad consequences. 

I think of Jacob; he made a choice to wrestle with God. That's not a good choice! He ended up with a limp for the rest of his life, BUT he also ended up with a changed life. I think of David and his sin with Bathsheba; it had horrible consequences, BUT that union later brought a great gift named Solomon who brought great wonder and mercy to the world because God is who He is. Don't you just love Him?!

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Only Goodness and Mercy Have Followed Me

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

Psalm 23.

Everyone knows this beloved psalm. He leads me through the valley of the shadow of death. He is my shepherd.

Interesting insight: Remember, David wrote this as an old man. As he reflects on his life and the faithfulness of God to him, he closes the psalm with these words--- "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."

Why did I highlight the word "surely"?

Because it can also be translated "only". As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him. What does that mean? That even the pain and sorrow and tears have led to and been overwhelmed by the goodness and mercy of God.

Wow. I think of Rev 7:17 and 21:4 - He shall wipe away every tear and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE PAIN.

May this be the reality for all his saints who journey through this valley of the shadow of death, which is life in a fallen world.

May you see the goodness and mercy in your life so fully that you no longer see the pain and sorrow....

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But God...

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Perhaps my "favorite phrase" in the Bible is --- "But God"

It is found all over the New Testament.

For example:
"we formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh... and were by nature children of wrath... BUT GOD Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love... made us alive together with Christ"

You will find this pattern all over the New Testament. The writer will state a sad or negative reality, then declare "But God" and demonstrate the ability of God to overrule that sad or negative reality with the truth of Who He is and What He has done. 

BUT GOD!

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The Mercy of God is Greater Than You Believe.

In the Bible, God has multiple names, which is as it should be to help us define and embrace His multi-faceted character. After all, He is so big and so good, no one name can suffice to describe Him. Hence we have, "Adonai" = Master; "Yahweh" = Lord, "Elohim" = Mighty God, "Jehovah Rapha" = God our healer, "Jehovah Nissi" = God our banner, "Jehovah Tsidkenu" = God our righteousness.... and so it goes.

One of my very favorite names is found in Exodus 34. What is fascinating is that this is the name He personally revealed to Moses, following the making of the golden calf and the drunken orgy by the children of Israel. STOP! DO NOT READ THAT LIGHTLY! This horrid sinning was done by the people of God, who personally experienced the miraculous plagues God put on Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea! After receiving so much, isn't much to be expected? Wouldn't a holy God be done with such a people who "know better" because they know God? So what is His name?

"The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin!"

Now that is some kind of name! As I ponder it, it seems as if even God Himself cannot find the words to describe His mercy to man. I would put it this way my dear friend, "No matter how great you believe the mercy of God is, it is greater than you believe."

"No matter how great your sin is, even sin as a believer, his mercy is greater than your sin. His mercy is like the light.... the greater the darkness, the brighter the light will be made manifest!" IT IS TIME!

It is time for you who have committed GREAT SIN (even as a believer), to recognize how much greater is the mercy of God toward you if you would only run to Him, instead of from Him. What a great name!