The LORD Is Longsuffering and of Great Mercy
"The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty." (Numbers 14:18a)
This verse (Numbers 14:18) shows in one place how God can be so forgiving and yet still so holy. He will not let sin go by without dealing with it ("will by no means clear the guilty"), but He will deal forgiveness out to those guilty people who come to Him asking ("longsuffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression").
Have you ever met an "unforgiving" person? When someone refuses to forgive something, we say that person is "holding a grudge." God does not hold grudges. If you confess your sins, 1 John 1:9 promises that God is faithful and just to forgive them and to cleanse you from all your unrighteousness. If you are repenting of the things you have done against Him, God will not hold them against you. Instead, those things are covered by the righteousness of Christ.
How about you? Are you longsuffering and patient with other people? Do you "put up with" them, or do you choose to "hold a grudge" over them? Do you show mercy to your sister or brother? Do you forgive your friends when they do something wrong against you? Are you the kind of person who loves holiness but also loves to be merciful? It is hard for human beings to be like that!
Only God can be perfectly longsuffering. Only God can show mercy that great. Only God is powerful enough to forgive people who sin against Him. We can pray that God will help us have the strength and patience we need to forgive others. We can pray that God will help us be humble enough to ask Him to forgive our iniquity and clear us of our guilt.
God is merciful and powerful enough to make repentant sinners "not guilty."
» Am I humble enough to confess my sins to God and ask for His forgiveness?
» Can God forgive me and still be holy? How?
Truth In Real Life
Frances Ridley Havergal
“I committed my soul to the Savior, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.”
Frances Ridley Havergal was born in England on December 14, 1836. Her father, William Henry Havergal, was a well-known and well-respected hymn writer. She would grow up to be much like her godly and talented father.
From an early age, Frances was well-educated. She learned to read at age 3, began memorizing the Bible at age 4, and wrote her first poetry at age 7. As a teenager, she memorized entire books of the Bible, including Psalms, Isaiah, and most of the New Testament!
Her father encouraged her to write hymns and sent her to study in Germany when she was 16. While in Germany, she devoted her life to Jesus Christ.
Frances wrote 71 hymns in the English language, including “Like a River Glorious”; “Who is on the Lord’s Side?”; and “Take My Life, and Let it Be.” She also wrote the music for some of her hymns, and her father wrote the music for others.
Frances Ridley Havergal and Fanny Crosby – two of the most famous women hymn writers in history – were contemporaries, which means they were living at the same time. Although they never met in person until they reached heaven, they were friends and pen pals. Frances once sent this poem to her friend Fanny:
Dear blind sister over the sea –
An English heart goes forth to thee.
We are linked by a cable of faith and song,
Flashing bright sympathy swift along
One in the East and one in the West,
Singing for Him whom our souls love best.
Are you using the gifts and talents and opportunities God’s given you? Do you use them for yourself or for His glory? Do you value God’s Word? Have you ever learned a Bible passage just because you wanted to?
Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.