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Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, HEB 12:14.

 The infinite holiness of God's nature vehemently hates sin. It is this same holiness which so strongly inclines His heart to show mercy. This can be seen clearly from the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel," PRO 12:10. This cruelty reveals a wicked heart; as mercy reveals holiness.

When a person has difficulty with acts of mercy and forgiveness, the seeds of wickedness that remain hidden in the heart are revealed. We are admonished in ROM 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." This is only done by showing mercy and forgiveness after gaining the victory over one's own heart.

Oh, beloved, how often it seems as though our patience is spent, and we can bear no longer. Showing mercy and forgiveness seems to become impossible. Then, the only way to gain the victory over our evil heart is by, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds," HEB 12:2-3.

Jesus so beautifully reveals the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father in MAT 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" The holiness of God is demonstrated by His compassionate heart, filled with mercy.

The acts of mercy and forgiveness are the fruits which lead to peace with all men, which is holiness. A right view of God's holiness reveals His pardoning mercy, for it is His holiness that obliges Him to be faithful in all His promises. Is not this the consolation a poor trembling soul has in Christ?

The Lord uses His holiness to pledge His promises in ISA 41:14, "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." It is the holiness of God which gives us the assurance that, "All the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God," 2CO 1:20.

The reason for a man's unfaithfulness in a promise proceeds from some unholiness in the heart. Jacob ascribed faithfulness unto God's promises, even though he complained, "Your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me," GEN 31:7.

To the man who follows peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, "...a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not," PSA 15:4. Amen.

Who, O Lord, with Thee abiding,
In Thy house shall be Thy guest?
He that slanders not his brother,
Does no evil to a friend;
To reproaches of another,
He refuses to attend.
Wicked men win not his favor,
But the good who fear the Lord;
From his vow he will not waver,
Tho' it bring him sad reward.


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Gospel Chapel Ministries by Ralph Bouma
601 8th Ave SW
Conrad MT 59425


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