Monday, October 18, 2021

Crowns And Compassion

 He “crowns you with love and compassion,” wrote David. What an amazing statement. Is it possible for us to understand what this means? Is God Himself crowning us with His love and compassion? What might our author have had in mind when he wrote this? Could it mean that we are kings in God’s eyes?

Not really. It means that when we became His children, He crowned us with His loyal, never-ending, steadfast love. We are His now, and we will be His forever throughout eternity, and nothing will ever separate us from Him or His love.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote that “If we die with Him, we will also live with Him, and if we endure hardship, we will also reign with Him.”

Although we may suffer great hardships in this life, God assures us that someday we will live eternally with Him. So, it’s worth it even though we may - at times - doubt it. And when we live in Christ’s Kingdom, we will share His eternal reign with Him.

There may be times when our suffering may cause us to doubt God’s love. When these doubts arise, we must never forget that we have been crowned with His love and compassion. “Our present sufferings,” said Paul, “are not worth comparing with the incredible glory that will be revealed in us.” The assurance of His love gives us hope.

Once crowned with His love and compassion, we need to remember that we will, as Paul also said, “see the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness.” When we are crowned by God Himself, what more can we ask? 

Prayer: Father, Your love is beyond our understanding. But we accept it with grateful hearts and a desire to serve and honor You each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: And crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:4b

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Rescued From "The Pit"

Time has a way of bringing about a “lapse in memory.” Many of the important events in our lives - especially when God has intervened in a very dramatic way - have been forgotten over the years. Yes, there are moments when they come to mind, but for the most part, unless we record them somewhere, they are forgotten. Certainly, this is a shortcoming for many of us, and it would be good if we had a “remember this gift” list.

No doubt that is why God had David add the “benefit of remembering this gift” to his list of “Do not forget.”

“Do not forget that he redeems - or more literally - rescues you - from the pit.” In the previous verse, we are reminded of His healing. Now we are reminded to “store this ‘benefit’ - being rescued from death - inside of us.”

“The pit” quite literally means “death.” Those who have ever “walked through the valley of the shadow of death” understand the significance of the “walking back into the light” of life. So, we dare not forget the great benefit and blessing of the restoration of health and healing, hope and happiness.

But we must also remember and constantly recall the “benefit” of having been rescued from “eternal death!” Jesus promised us that, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me, will never die.” This great benefit, eternity with Him, is the greatest of all benefits!

May we remember and rejoice, recall and realize each day that we experience the benefit of His blessings and eternal life, and the hope it gives us.

Prayer:  Help us, Father, to somehow - in some way - understand the value of Your benefits that we enjoy every day - beginning with Your salvation, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Who redeems your life from the pit. Psalm 103:4a

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Forgiveness

We rarely stop and count the many benefits that we have because of God’s grace. Perhaps David clearly and carefully listed five of them beginning with what we can say is the entrance to the many benefits He has in store for us: His forgiveness.

The word forgiveness here means to “deviate” or to “stray” from the expectations, laws or commandments He established from the beginning of time. When we do so, we become guilty of sin and need His forgiveness for us to restore our relationship with Him and have a closeness with Him and enjoy His blessings.

Forgiveness is the beginning; the foundation of our relationship with God. And it is something some of us may need more often than others. The call of God’s Word is first and foremost the call for us to ask for forgiveness and repent of our sins. When we repent and confess our sins, the Gospel promises us that He will cleanse us and forgive us. John wrote that “If we freely admit and confess our sins, He is faithful and just - true to His nature, His faithfulness, and His promises - and will forgive us of our sins and continuously cleanse us of all of our unrighteousness - everything that separates us from Him.”

If, in our daily lives, we are not experiencing the benefits of His blessings, it is because there is some sin in our life that has come between the Lord and us. And if we want His blessings to return to our lives, we must go to Him in prayer and ask for His forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a once-in-a-lifetime event. It is something we must do whenever we feel isolated from Him because we have abandoned His teachings.

Prayer:  Father, may Your Spirit make us aware of our sins when we sense a need to restore our relationship with You. Help us to stay close - always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:3

Friday, October 15, 2021

Healing

 A few years ago, I was sitting in the office of a dear friend and orthopedic surgeon. Because of his God-given skills, he was able to correct the misdiagnosis and prior operation of another physician which enabled me to walk once again.

As we sat and talked, he asked me how things had been going with my health. After explaining my ordeal with cancer and several other illnesses, he looked at me and said very seriously, “You have no reason to be alive!”

But he was wrong.

There was every reason for me to be alive. It was God who brought the healing to my body even though several physicians worked with Him along the way. It’s what God does. David was certainly aware of God’s role in the healing process when he wrote, “and (He) heals all your diseases.” If God is the one who heals all our diseases, why does He do this? Who is the beneficiary of His healing? Us or Him?

There is no doubt in my mind that God heals us so that we might bring honor and glory to Him by giving Him the credit and recognition and serving Him faithfully. If He restores our health, we must realize that it is a gift of His grace, and we show our gratitude to Him by telling others what He did for us and working with Him in this, His world.

We demonstrate our gratitude to Him, after we thank Him, by what we do for Him. Gratitude is not sincere until we become involved in building His Kingdom. Working with Him and through Him is not an option if what He has done for us means nothing to us.

Prayer:  Lord, we are not our own, but Yours. When You heal us, let us show how thankful we are by serving You with the healing You brought us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:3

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Good Reasons To Rejoice!

Centuries ago, there was a legend that mystics would share with their followers. “The Lord, at one time,” went the legend, “colored all the flowers green. But one day He dipped His finger in the pot at the bottom of the rainbow and when He took it out it was covered with many different colors. When He saw how beautiful the colors were, He decided to paint each of the flowers a different color and give each of them their name.”

“One morning,” the legend continues, “a beautiful flower with small blue, pink and white flowers was asked, ‘What’s your name?’” The flower hung its head, sighed and said, “Oh my, I forgot.”

Embarrassed, the flower confessed to the Lord, “I’m so sorry, but I have forgotten my name.” And the Lord said, “That’s all right. Everyone forgets some things. But I have not forgotten you.” Then He added, “Whatever else you do, ‘For-Get-Me-Not,’ for I am the God who created you!”

From that day until today, this lovely little flower has been called “For-Get-Me Not.” Whenever we see it, we need to remember the words of David, “Praise the Lord, all my soul, and forget not all - or perhaps better stated - forget not any of His benefits.”

We seldom think of the extensive range of God’s gifts! Every beat of our heart, every breath we inhale, every sight we see or noise we hear, every step we take, every taste we enjoy, every friend we have, every blessing we receive, every promise of His that we claim - and mostly our salvation - are only the beginning of His benefits to us.

Prayer:  Lord! How gracious You are to give us so many gifts - beginning with our salvation. Most importantly, though, give us thankful hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Praise the Lord, O my soul and do not forget all His benefits. Psalm 103:2