December 8, 2017 Brethren Letter

Dear Brethren,

Give thanks to God for He is good;

He who alone doeth great works!

His Kindness shall always endure,

His mercy never fails!

(The Bible Hymnal)

When my wife and I began attending the Worldwide Church of God (over forty years ago), one of the first hymns was, “His Mercy Never Fails.” It’s still one of my favorites!

Many scriptures reveal God’s loving mercy toward us. Here are some:

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, (Psalm 33:18)

The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. (Psalm 103:8)

For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; (Psalm 103:11)

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)

Surely, we would agree that God in His mercy called us (John 6:44), led us to repentance (Acts 11:18), and gave us His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). No doubt, each of us could write a lengthy list of the many blessings we’ve received because of God’s loving mercy toward us. Then again, sometimes being human, we may forget those blessings.

My wife and I knew a man several years ago whom we had always thought of being loyal and faithful to God. However, in later life, he began to doubt God, following a severe trial. Eventually, we learned that he even took his own life. Somehow, his spiritual focus went wrong.

Here are some paragraphs Mr. Armstrong wrote in the Good News magazine, October 1957:

…God will permit trials and tests to come upon you — severe problems. He will permit CIRCUMSTANCES to drive you to HIM for HELP — for deliverance! You may soon think no one in the world is troubled like you are. You will begin to wonder why you have greater trouble to face than anyone else on earth — not realizing that all other real Christians are going through the same tests! Perhaps closest relatives will turn against you, probably because of the Word of God — the TRUTH you have embraced and started to live.

But, if you learn the lesson of FAITH — and if you have PATIENCE … You see, you are now His very own child actually begotten of Him just as much as you were begotten of your human father. When God gave you the precious gift of His Holy Spirit — placed His Spirit within you to renew your mind, give you a sounder, more understanding mind, fill you with His love, faith, patience, power, goodness — His own character.

In short, YOU became an actual begotten SON — or daughter — of GOD.

We must never forget, in His mercy God wants us to learn things from a spiritual perspective. If a trial is not resolved as quickly as we think it should be, we must keep in mind that God’s mercy is still quite valid. God is all merciful, and we are to grow in God’s character no matter what we face.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you … for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest … upon me! (II Corinthians 12:9 – AMP)

Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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