A Visual Representation of Redemption, Propitiation, Justification and Imputation.

Quite a few years ago, I spent two years studying the book of Romans precept upon precept. It was amazingly fruit bearing.

During that study, I created a visual representation to help me remember four key Biblical terms: Redemption, Propitiation, Justification and Imputation. These terms are words used often in scripture, but not used often in our everyday lives.

I pray it would be a blessing to you.

You are welcome to download them by right clicking on the image below. You’re also welcome to share, but please link back.

The Knowledge of the Holy – God is Transcendent and Omnipresent (Chapters 13-14)

I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from week 9. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!

In the past two months, we have already discussed that God is eternal, unchanging, all-knowing, all-wise and omnipotent.

Today we will be studying chapters 13 and 14 of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” where A.W. Tozer teaches that God is transcendent and omnipresent. How wonderful to study God’s transcendence and omnipresence on the same day!

God is transcendent. The word “transcend” reminds me of the more common words “ascend” and “descend.” Ascend (a+scend) means to climb up, while descend (de+scend) means to go down. We can ascend and descend ladders or stairs or mountains. 

In Genesis 28:12, Jacob saw a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder, and in John 1:51, Jesus tells Nathanael that he will see heaven opened and see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.

But transcend means “to rise above or go beyond, to exceed.” A man or a book or a movie might transcend other men or books or movies, yet there will always be a better man, or a better book, or a better movie.

  • We might think of a goldfish as transcending a single cell amoeba.
  • We might think of a dolphin as transcending a goldfish.
  • We might think of young boy transcending a dolphin.
  • And a grown man transcends a young boy.
  • Surely the glory of an angel transcends the glory of a man.

But the gap between a single cell amoeba and an angel is small compared to the gap between angels and the Almighty God. Even the most wise, powerful, glorious angel is still a created being. God created the amoeba, the goldfish, the dolphin, the man, and the angel. God designed them in His own creative mind. God created each of them for His purposes. All of these created things are “that-which-is-not-God and can never be God.”

Tozer wrote, God is “exalted far above the created universe.” To exalt means to lift high, to praise, to glorify. In our modern world, people often praise and lift high worldly things.

Who are some people or what are some things that people today wrongly exalt?

God is the only one worthy to be exalted. God is the only one who is worthy of worship and praise. Before building a temple for the Lord, King Solomon said,

“The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.
But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him?
Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?” (2 Chronicles 2:5-6 ESV)

“我所要建造的殿宇甚大;因为我们的 神至大,超乎诸神。
天和天上的天,尚且不足他居住的,谁能为他建造殿宇呢?我是谁?
能为他建造殿宇吗?不过在他面前烧香而已。” 历代志下 2:5-6

When Solomon had finished the temple, he worshipped the Lord before all the people of Israel, saying,

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven
cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 ESV)

“神果真住在地上吗?看哪,天和天上的天尚且不足你居住的,何况我所建的这殿呢?”列王纪上 8:27

In our pride, we want God to fit into a little box. We want to live as if God is merely a man, limited in His power, limited in His knowledge, living far away and unconcerned with our lives.

Satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, telling her to eat the forbidden fruit. Satan told Eve that if ate the fruit, her “eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) We, too, want to be “like God.” But none of us can truly be like God, because God is transcendent.

Only God is perfectly transcendent. God rises above everyone and everything. God transcends space and time. God transcends wisdom and knowledge. As His faithful children, we must humble ourselves and worship Him.

Think of this – this Almighty, Eternal, Unchanging, Self-existent, Self-sustaining God hears our prayers!

In Psalm 34, Solomon’s father, King David, worshipped God saying,

“My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!”

Psalm 34:2-3

How can you praise and exalt God today? Let’s pause right now to praise and exalt God together!

This almighty, eternal, unchanging, self-existent, self-sufficient, transcendent God is also close and personal. God is omnipresent. Omni- means “all,” and “present” means “here, close to, next to.”

No matter where you go – in the middle of the greatest desert, at the top of the most remote mountain peak, at the deepest depth of the ocean, to the farthest reach of outer space – God is there. God is with me here in my little town in America and God is also with you in your big city on the other side the globe.

As Tozer writes, “there is no place in heaven or earth or hell where men may hide from His presence.”

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10 ESV)


‘我往哪里去躲避你的灵? 我往哪里逃、躲避你的面? 我若升到天上,你在那里;
我若在阴间下榻,你也在那里。 我若展开清晨的翅膀,飞 到海极居住,
就是在那里,你的手必引导我; 你的右手也必扶持我。” 诗篇 139:7-10

“The knowledge that we are never alone
calms the troubled sea of our lives
and speaks peace to our souls.”

A.W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy – Chapter 14

Let’s sing and pray together.

Knowledge of the Holy – God is Eternal and Infinite (Chapters 7-8)

I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from our fourth week. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!

In the seventh and eighth chapters of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” A.W. Tozer teaches that God is eternal and infinite.

Eternal means everlasting, endless, without end. Imagine a rope that goes on and on without beginning or end.

Infinite means unlimited, limitless, without limit. Imagine a piece of paper that goes out in all four directions covering your room, your house, your city, your nation, the globe, the universe.

Eternal is primarily used to describe time, while infinite is used to describe time as well as other things, like space or patience or mercy.

God has infinite wisdom, infinite patience, and infinite power, but people are not infinite in our wisdom or patience or power. We have limits on what we can think and do. We are finite. There are all kinds of things that we can’t do.

I can’t be in China and America at the same time. I can’t know what you are thinking. I can’t see what my children are doing right now in the other room of my house.

I can’t fly. I can’t bend steel or jump over tall buildings or shoot spiderwebs out of my hands.

We don’t like these limits. We can be frustrated by all of these things that we are unable to do! I think that’s a big reason why people like superheroes so much! Superheroes can do things that regular people can’t do.

What is something you wish you could do, but you can’t?

God alone is infinite (without limit) and God alone is eternal (without beginning or end).

God existed before time began and God will still exist after time comes to an end. Some number of years ago, God created the enormous universe and everything in it. The sun, moon and stars were created at a point in time. Time began at some point.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2

诸山未曾生出, 地与世界你未曾造成, 从亘古到永远,你是 神。” 诗篇 90:2

God created every human with an eternal soul, but every man, woman, and child who has ever lived came into being on a certain day.

I was born in January of 1973, and I was created by God about 9 months before that! 😊 Right now, I am 48 years old.

When is your birthday? How old are you?

The English language uses a lot of different verb tenses. My students must spend a lot of time and effort in learning how to use the correct verb tense. “Yesterday, I ran. Now, I am running. Every day I run to school. Tomorrow I will run at the park.” They also must learn: “comes before” and “comes after.” January comes before February. February comes after January. 2020 comes before 2021. 2021 comes after 2020.

God alone is the great “I am.” (Exodus 3:14) God came BEFORE the first day of creation and God will exist for all eternity. God is the only one who always WAS, who always IS, and who always WILL BE!

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:8b

圣哉!圣哉!圣哉!主 神是昔在、今在、以后在的全能者。启示 4:8

As human beings, created in the image of God, we are born with a desire to live forever. We have “eternity in our hearts.” But sometimes we forget that our time on earth will not last forever. We should remember that our days here on earth are numbered.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

求你指教我们怎样数算自己的日子, 好叫我们得着智慧的心。”  诗篇 90:12

Yet our lives after we die are eternal. We have souls that will never die. Our souls will live for eternity. We will either live forever with God in heaven, or with the devil in hell. In God’s infinite love and mercy, God sent His own Son Jesus Christ into the world to pay the price for our sin, that through faith in Him we, too, could have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给 ,叫一切信他的,不致灭亡,反得永生。 约翰福音 3:16

God’s love for us is both eternal and infinite. He loved us before the foundation of the world and His love for us is boundless, measureless, limitless. There is no limit to His love. God’s love is so infinite that He sent His own Son to die in our place. Can you imagine love like that?

When have you experienced human love?

When have you experienced God’s love?

Who do you know who needs to be reminded of God’s infinite, eternal love?

Grace Greater Than Our Sin – Sovereign Grace Music

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe,
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

The Knowledge of the Holy – God is Self-Existent and Self-Sufficient (Chapters 5-6)

I’m midway through a study of the classic Christian book, The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer. I’m studying it online with some friends in Asia. These are my notes from our third week. I hope they will bless you. If you would like to join us, please send me a message!

In the fifth chapter of The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer discusses the “Self-existence of God.” Self-existence means that God is the One who has always existed, the great “I am.” God has no beginning. God has no origin.

“origin” (noun) – source, where things come from

“Origin” is also a term used in math. The origin on a graph is at (0,0). Everything on a graph is measured relative to the origin, whether positive or negative from that original point.

America has often been called the “Melting Pot of the World,” because it is filled with people from every nation around the globe. In America, people here might ask, “What is your national origin? Where did your family come from?” I would answer that my mother’s family was from Wales and England, and my father’s family was from Germany.

How about you? What is your national origin? Where did your family originate? What is your original hometown?

God didn’t come from anywhere or anyone, rather God is who made everything.

God has no origin, rather God is who made everything.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

“起初, 神创造天地。” (创世记 1:1)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made. “ (John 1:1-3)

“太初有道,道与 神同在,道就是 神。 这道太初与 神同在。 
万物是藉着他造的;凡被造的,没有一样不是藉着他造的。” (约翰福音 1:1-3)

When we think about God’s self-existence, we can appreciate even more that God created everything in creation, and we can especially appreciate that God created man in the image of God.

As selfish humans, we do not like someone else to rule over us. Like Eve in the garden of Eden, we want to make our own choices. We may want God to rule over the universe, over the nations, over other people, but we rebel against God ruling over our own lives. This is the essence of sin. Like foolish sheep, we want to go our own way.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

“我们都如羊走迷;各人偏行己路;
耶和华使我们众人的罪孽都归在他身上。” (
以赛亚书 53:6)

We were created to worship and glorify God. God is our creator, our Father, and our King … but we choose (intentionally or unintentionally) to put ourselves on the throne. We want God to rule “with us,” but we don’t want God to rule “over us.”

Jesus Christ, the Almighty Son of God, lived a sinless life, obeying His Father perfectly, and He wants us to obey Him perfectly. In fact, we will be the most fulfilled in life when we follow Him, rather than our own selfish desires.

As a follower of Jesus Christ and a child of God, we must take ourselves off the throne and give Jesus His rightful place on the throne of our lives. Paul wrote about this in Galatians 2:20.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“我已经与基督同钉十字架,现在活着的不再是我,乃是基督在我里面活着;
并且我如今在肉身活着,是因信 神的儿子而活;他是爱我,为我舍己.” (加拉太书 2:20)

Putting God on the throne is easier when we remember that we need God for everything, but God does not need us. The Father and the Son have life in themselves (John 5:26). God has created man for His own good pleasure, not because He needs us. God is the only one who doesn’t need anything outside of Himself to survive.

Chapter 6 is about the “Self-Sufficiency of God.” The word “sufficient” means enough. God is sufficient in Himself. He is self-sufficient. He is enough in Himself. Paul often uses the words “sufficient” and “sufficiency” in 2 Corinthians.

“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves
to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)

“我们因基督,所以在 神面前才有这样的信心。 并不是我们凭自己能承担什么事;
我们所能承担的,乃是出于 神。” (哥林多后书 3:4-5)

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9a)

“他对我说:「我的恩典够你用的,因为我的能力是在人的软弱上显得完全。” (哥林多后书 12:9)

We are not self-sufficient, but God’s grace is sufficient. His grace is enough. In fact, our need for God draws us closer to Him. All created things need something outside of themselves to survive. All living things need air, water, and food. And all living things need God’s sustaining grace.

Humans are naturally full of pride. We think we can provide for our own needs. We take pride in our self-sufficiency. We don’t want to need other people or God. I remember my little children saying, “I do it myself” when they were trying to feed themselves with a spoon or get a t-shirt over their head.

Additionally, we want to think that God needs us. We take pride in our human accomplishments, wrongly thinking God needs our help to achieve His plans.

No, sisters. No. God does not need us to accomplish His purposes. Rather, it is an honor and joy to serve God. It is an honor and joy to take up our cross and follow Him. It is an honor and joy to take up the yoke of Christ for the glory of God and the good of mankind. Not because we need to repay Him for a gift, but because we are grateful to be used by Him.

Where do you struggle with feeling like you are self-sufficient and don’t need any help? Where do you need God’s help today? How can you praise God today for His self-sufficiency and His provision for your every need?

Song: Your Grace is Sufficient for Me – Shane and Shane

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
And all that I cling to, I lay at Your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
And all that I cling to, I lay at Your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
All that I cling to, I lay at Your feet
Your grace is sufficient, Your grace is sufficient, Your grace is sufficient for me

To see the Lord in the promised land
Wherein all sin’s pearly gates look bland
And what was once a pearl, now sand
That blows away, that blows away
In light of Him

The Great Revealer

Have you ever seen my favorite TV couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, in their most excellent show, “Fixer Upper?”

This amazingly talented couple help their clients select a home in need of help. Then, the Gaines complete an incredible rehab on these “needy” houses. The show culminates on the last day with a big “reveal” to their clients of their new, improved house.

The highlight of the show is the moment this giant, billboard-sized poster of the “before” image of the house is opened up to reveal the “new and improved” exterior of the home as the client stands in awe and tears of amazement.

As I was working on my previous blog post “Hidden in Plain Sight,” I was prompted to do a little word study into this word, “REVEAL.”

I confess, I am a bit of a “word junkie.” I love to study where words came from, their roots. So when I see a word with a prefix like “re-,” I sometimes get this sneaky desire to see where that word came from, especially when the word isn’t obvious. What is a “veal” anyway? Surely not a baby calf!

It turns out that “-veal” actually comes from VEIL. Like a bride removing her veil, revealing her face to her excited groom, to reveal comes from the French and Latin for unveil, to remove the VEIL.

How cool is that?

Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes, for removing the veil that prevented me from seeing you. Lord, help me to be waiting and watching for the day Jesus is REVEALED, the day when I will see Him face to face.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

Hidden in Plain Sight

Re-posted from 5 years ago-

You know those “Hidden Pictures” puzzles that Highlight magazine is famous for? Those pictures where common objects are “hidden” in plain sight, but you can’t see them and you have to search the picture for them.

Well, I’ve noticed that life can be a lot like that. I’ve noticed that my life is filled with these seemingly obvious sins that I am absolutely oblivious to. Sins that I am totally unaware of, but to someone standing next to me, they appear glaringly obvious.

The other day (5 years ago now!) I was recording a couple little videos of my oldest daughter singing in church. (Yes, I know. Videotaping during church. I know. Sorry. That’s not the point here. I don’t need anyone to point that one out now. Hang with me here.) Anyway when I played the videos back, in 3 of the 4 recordings can you guess what really stands out? Me. My voice. And it’s not pretty, friends. Not pretty.

And there it was. There are dozens of things that I am doing every single day that I am unable to see. Why? Because they have not yet been revealed to me. That ugly tone of voice. That bitterness. That pride.

Friends, do you know how much I have GROWN in the last 26 years I have been a follower of Jesus Christ? How MUCH I have changed? How MANY blind spots have been revealed to me in the past two decades?

And yet, I suddenly realized how many blind spots are still there. And, once again, God humbled me. And once again, I heard my Savior’s loving voice, gently urging me, “Kim, you have so far yet to go.”

And I was encouraged to give more grace, to have more patience and to be that much quicker to forgive a wrong, because the Lord daily has grace for me and patience with me. He has forgiven me soo much.

Thank you, Father, for not revealing the depth of my wickedness all at once, but rather moment by moment opening my eyes to the next thing, day by day conforming me more and more to the image of Your Son.

How is God opening your eyes to those unseen sins today? Pray for Him to show them to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

This post is still true today. God is still faithfully, gently opening my eyes!

A simple, but powerful, way to read through the Bible – John 6

I share with you one simple way that I’ve found to really personalize and apply the scripture that I’m reading that day.

Read through the Bible, one book at a time, one chapter (or a portion of a chapter) each day. Each day, choose one specific verse that really speaks to you that day and use that verse to write out a prayer.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate your fill of loaves.”

John 6:26

Father, I want to follow You because it is true, because I believe, because You are REAL. You are the true and living God, not a figment of my imagination, not my fairy godmother, not a genie in a bottle. I don’t want to pray to you like I’m wishing on a star or on my birthday candles. You are not the God of “cross my fingers” and hope You will give me whatever I ask for.

I see you and I follow you because you are REAL and Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You have opened my eyes and I can never go back. I pray that you will use my life, my words and my testimony to spread the good new of the gospel and bring many to know the truth of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

A simple, but powerful, way to read through the Bible – John 1

Let me share with you one simple way that I’ve found to really personalize and apply the scripture that I’m reading that day.

Read through the Bible, one book at a time, one chapter (or a portion of a chapter) each day. Each day, choose one specific verse that really speaks to you that day and use that verse to write out a prayer.

Today I read through John 1 and chose John 1:34 for my verse of the day.

“And I have seen and borne witness
that this is the Son of God.”

John 1:34

I wrote this prayer based on that chapter and verse.

Father, thank You for making Yourself visible so that we can be Your witnesses. Thank you for the witnesses who came before me, for John the Baptist who told his disciple Andrew who told his brother Peter, and for Philip who told his friend Nathanael. Thank you for those who have told me their stories, testifying to the realness of God! I pray that You would make me Your faithful witness. Give me the wisdom and the words to testify to the TRUTH of what I have seen and heard. I pray that my children and my husband and those that I’m discipling would be Your faithful witnesses, too, not giving way to fear, not being ashamed of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world. Amen.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how this worked for you. How do you study the Bible every day?

Worth, Value and Worthlessness

This is my lesson from last week with the international women’s discipleship group. I pray it would bless many!

WORTH can describe either a monetary value (cost) or a personal, moral value. This coat is worth more money than that coat. Spending time with my mom is worth more than watching TV. Let’s try this dialogue to learn more about the word “worth.”

  • Abby: Hey, Mom. Look at these shoes! Aren’t they cool?
  • Mom: Yes, they are. Those shoes are beautiful. How much do they cost?
  • Abby: $120.
  • Mom: Wow, Abby. They are so expensive! Are they worth that much to you?
  • Abby: Not really, Mom. I found this pair over here. They’re only $40 and I think they’ll be great.
  • Mom: Good work, Abby. I think these shoes are worth $40. Let’s get them.

When we’re buying something, we look at how much the thing is worth. How much will I pay for a car or a house or a pair of shoes? How much will I pay someone to clean my house or take care of my children? It depends how much it’s worth.

VALUE has a similar meaning to WORTH. VALUABLE has a similar meaning to WORTHY.

Let’s try this dialogue to learn about the words, “value” and “valuable.”

  • Betty: Honey, I love you so much. I really value the time that we spend together. Thank you for taking me out for dinner tonight. I had a great time.
  • Husband: Betty, I love you, too. You are my most valuable treasure. You are worth so much to me!

We can also use the word “WORTHLESS” to describe something that is not important, something that is not valuable. Worth + less = not worthy.

In looking at the Bible for “worthless,” I really liked this Bible verse. Let’s learn it together.

“Turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life through your word.” Psalm 119:37.
求你使我转眼不看虚空的事;又使我在你的道中存活。

First, listen to me say it, then we will say it together. Finally, I’d like three ladies to try it on their own.

“Turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life through your word.” (Psalm 119:37 NLT)

Just like we have limited amounts of money, we also have limited amounts of time. Our lives here on earth won’t last forever. There are only 24 hours in a day. There are only 365 days in a year. We don’t want to waste our time or our money on worthless things.

One way you can see what is valuable to you is by looking at where you spend your time and your money. Pay attention to your calendar and your bank account.

If you suddenly had three hours of free time what would you do?

  • Go shopping or go to a fancy restaurant?
  • Clean the house or play with your children?
  • Read through WeChat or read through the Bible?

I’d like three new women to share their answers.

If you were surprised to receive an extra 1,000 yuan, what would you do with it?

  • Would you pay your electric bill or buy your groceries?
  • Would you buy a new purse or a new book?
  • Would you give it to your parents or to someone in need?

I’d like three women to share their answers.

Let’s look at another Bible verse about what is valuable versus what is worthless.

Job 28:17-18 says, “Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal.
It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold.
Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies.”
黄金和玻璃不能与它比较,纯金的器皿不能与它交换。
珊瑚和水晶都不值一提,取得智慧胜过取得红宝石。

We can also show what we value by what we think about and talk about. What do you fall asleep thinking about and wake up thinking about? What are you excited to talk about to your parents, friends, kids or husband? What do you post on social media?

  • Your cats or your kids?
  • Your favorite movies and music?
  • A new restaurant or a new coat?
  • A Bible verse or prayer request?

I’d like three new women to share their answers.

As a women’s group, we want to value what God values. We want to love what God loves.

We’re going to talk about this more next week, but tonight let’s just look at this one Bible verse:

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry,
or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”
(1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT)
不要单注重外表的装饰, 就如鬈头发, 戴金饰, 穿华丽衣服;
却要在里面存着温柔安静的心灵, 作不能毁坏的装饰, 这在 神面前是极宝贵的

What is valuable to God? What should a woman value? What should a woman not value?

Further reading: Proverbs 31:10-31, Matthew 6:19-34

Mercy and Grace

Here is last week’s lesson from my online international women’s ministry. I hope it blesses you, too!

Hello, sisters! Today we are going to look at the ideas of MERCY and GRACE.

Before we talk about mercy and grace, we need to talk about three more words: Earn, deserve, and wage.

  • Earn – er+n – rhymes with learn
  • De-serve – dee-zerv
  • Wage – long a – way+j. Way – wage.

First, I’ll explain these three words to you using a story from my life.

I remember when I got my first job. I was only 14 years old. I worked as a cashier in a fast-food restaurant. I EARNED $3.35 for every hour that I worked. $3.35 was my hourly WAGE.

I really looked forward to getting my paycheck every week. I worked hard for every dollar that I earned. I EARNED money every week for my hard work. I DESERVED my paycheck because I worked hard at the fast-food restaurant.

Now I work as an English teacher online. I work hard before class to prepare for the lessons. During class, I pay attention carefully to my students’ pronunciation and grammar, so I can help them learn English well. After class, I write a report for the parents, so my students can review and prepare for their next lesson. 

In exchange for my hard work, I earn an hourly WAGE. I DESERVE every dollar that I EARN for my hard work. 

What would happen if I didn’t show up to teach my classes? What if I forgot to come to class? What if I slept through my classes?

Would I still get paid? Would I still earn by hourly wage if I didn’t work? Would I deserve to get paid if I didn’t work? Would I keep my job?

No, I wouldn’t. I would LOSE my job. I would be FIRED. 

So, what if VIPKID said, “Oh, Kim. We understand. You had a hard week. You weren’t feeling well, and you were so busy. We like you so much that we will not fire you. You can keep working for us.”  This, my friends, is MERCY

Mercy means NOT getting what you DESERVE

Mercy means NOT getting what you have EARNED

Let’s try learning those sentences. First, I’ll say them slowly while you listen and watch. Then, we will repeat those sentences together. Finally, I’d like three people to try saying it by themselves.

Mercy means NOT getting punished when you’ve done something bad. Mercy is not getting fired when you don’t show up to work. 

What if I was a really bad worker? What if I played on my phone during class instead of teaching? What if I taught my students the wrong pronunciation and grammar?

Now, I should be FINED. I should be PUNISHED. I should get in TROUBLE. 

What if VIPKID said, “Oh, Kim. We understand. You haven’t had enough training. You didn’t really know what you were doing. You aren’t in trouble. We like you so much. We will not punish you.” This, too, is MERCY. 

Mercy means NOT getting what you DESERVE. 

Mercy means NOT getting what you have EARNED. 

Let’s repeat those sentences together again. Now, I’d like three new people to try saying it by themselves.

Remember, Mercy means NOT getting punished when you’ve done something bad.

Now what if VIPKID said, “Oh, Kim. We love you so much that we hired a teacher to teach in your place. Teacher Beth has agreed to teach your classes for you. She will give YOU her pay. She will give you her hourly wage. She will give you what she earns. You will still get paid every week your hourly wage, because she will do your work for you, and give you what she deserves.”

This, my sisters, is GRACE. This is GRACE. Grace is GETTING what is NOT deserved … what is undeserved. Grace is GETTING what is NOT earned … what is unearned.

GRACE means GETTING what you do NOT DESERVE. 

GRACE means GETTING what you have NOT EARNED. 

Let’s try learning those sentences. First, I’ll say them slowly while you listen and watch. Then, we will repeat those sentences together. Finally, I’d like three people to try saying it by themselves.

GRACE means GETTING what you do NOT DESERVE. 

GRACE means GETTING what you have NOT EARNED. 

Grace is GETTING an A when you deserve an F. 

Grace is GETTING a hug when you deserve a slap.

Grace is GETTING heaven when you deserve hell.

Grace is getting kindness, goodness, favor, and love when you DESERVE punishment, anger, and wrath. 

Romans 4:4-5 tells us, “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” 

God gives you righteousness, not because of your good deeds, but because of your faith in Jesus Christ who died in your place. God gives you Jesus’s righteousness. 

God takes Jesus’s perfect holiness and gives it to you, a sinner. Not because of anything that you DO, but because of your FAITH in Jesus.

In God’s great grace, He gives us His love. In God’s great grace, He gives us eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord. 

Romans 6:23 explains that, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

God’s grace gives us His Holy Spirit and His Living Word. God’s grace gives us joy and peace and comfort. God’s grace gives us purpose and hope. 

The Bible is so FULL of stories of God’s mercy and grace.

One of these stories is about a poor servant who refused to have mercy on another servant, even though the king had shown him great, great mercy. You can read the whole story in Matthew 18:21-35, but I’m going to read you just one verse, Matthew 18:33. “Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?'” 

Let’s try learning that verse together. First, I’ll say it slowly while you listen and watch. Then, we will repeat the verse together. Finally, I’d like three people to try saying it by themselves.

“Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?'” 

Last week we talked about encouraging words – God encourages us with His Word and now we can encourage others … So, God gives mercy and grace to us and we can have mercy and grace to others.

This week you can read about the story of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35), the story of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32) and the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

This week you can read Psalm 51, Ephesians 2:1-8 and Romans 5:1-11.

Try reading these stories in English and in Chinese. Try reading them aloud. Tell someone else about what you learned this week! You could even try making a video of yourself reading and share it with someone else.

Before we end, I want you share my favorite passage in the Bible with you. This is my favorite passage in the Bible because it describes my life. Paul wrote this about himself, but I feel like he was talking about me.

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. 

But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 

But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 

— 1 Timothy 1:12-17 ESV

Let’s pray together and then we can talk about a few questions.

What are some ways that God has had mercy on you?

How has God given you His grace?

How can you give mercy and grace to someone else this week?