December 16, 2017

God Of Compassion

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There is an everlasting kindness  
You lavished on us 
When the Radiance of heaven Came to rescue the lost
You called the sheep without a shepherd 
To leave their distress
 For your streams of forgiveness 
And the shade of Your rest
And with compassion for the hurting 
You reached out Your hand 
As the lame ran to meet You 
And the dead breathed again
You saw behind the eyes of sorrow 
And shared in our tears
Heard the sigh of the weary
Let the children draw near    
What boundless love
What fathomless grace 
You have shown us, O God of compassion 
Each day we live 
An offering of praise 
As we show to the world Your compassion   
We stood beneath the cross of Calvary 
And gazed on Your face 
At the thorns of oppression 
And the wounds of disgrace
 For surely You have borne our suffering 
And carried our grief 
As You pardoned the scoffer 
And showed grace to the thief    
How beautiful the feet that carry 
This gospel of peace 
To the fields of injustice 
And the valleys of need
To be a voice of hope and healing 
To answer the cries 
Of the hungry and helpless 
With the mercy of Christ

Keith and Kristyn Getty/Getty Music
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The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 103:8

There is one word in this passage that really sticks out to me—compassion (or merciful, as rendered in other translations).  Twice in Psalm 103, we read that the Lord ‘is compassionate / merciful’ (verse 8) and in verse 13, it says that He “has compassion” (or mercy or pity).  I often find it so very helpful, when studying the Scriptures, to read a particular verse or passage in a number of different Bible versions.  It always brings about a more complete understanding… at least to me.  (Do you find that true, too?)  I would like to let you experience this in reference to this verse.  My go-to version for studying is always the Amplified Bible version; so I’ll start there…

  • AMP
    The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
  • NIV
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
  • NLT
    The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, filled with unfailing love.
  • ESV
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
  • NASB
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness.
  • KJV
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
  • HCSB
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and rich in faithful love.
  • ISV
    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, patient, abundantly rich in gracious love.
  • ASV
    Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.
  • DBT
    Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness.
  • Webster’s
    The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.
  • YLT
    Merciful and gracious is Jehovah, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.

Each of these versions (and, of course, there are more!) communicate basically the same thing…but some add just a further bit of information or inflection.  After reading through these, I was left praising God Who is ‘compassionate and merciful and gracious’ and abundantly rich in steadfast, unfailing, in loving-kindness’!  How great is our God!!!

The Strong’s concordance uses the following words to biblically define ‘compassion/merciful’ as used in verse 8: “to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion”.  And listen to this tidbit of insight:  this particular word ‘compassionate’ (rachuwm, pronounced ‘rakh-oom’) is used only 13 times throughout the OT.  It is also one of the names by which Almighty God describes Himself; such as here in Deuteronomy 4:31:

For the Lord your God is a {rachuwmmerciful and compassionate God;
He will not fail you, nor destroy you,
nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

And here is the very first occurrence of this word {rachuwm) in the Bible.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming,
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and merciful God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”
Exodus 34:6

Almighty God declared Himself ‘…the compassionate and merciful God…’ during His encounter with Moses on Mount Sinai.  No doubt God had already proven Himself VERY compassionate, merciful, and gracious towards the children of Israel!  Remember this is the account where He allows Moses to redo the two tablets on which had been the commandments which God had written and given to Moses.  (Here’s a link to go read this passage.)  While Moses and Joshua were up on the mountain receiving God’s commands, the people had chosen to turn back to their idolatrous ways and had made a golden calf and were worshipping this idol.   Upon his return, Moses became so disgusted and angry with them that he threw the tablets on the ground and broke them to smithereens!  (NOT good!)  Moses pleaded with the Lord and interceded on behalf of the Israelites.  And ‘the compassionate and merciful God’ relented and gave them yet another chance to repent and obey.  This shows the magnitude of the Lord’s mercy, compassion, and grace!

So what does this mean to us…some 3,000+ years later?  It means everything…because God  does not, cannot, will not  change.  He is the same “…compassionate and merciful God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” as He was then.

For I, the LORD, do not change;
therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed…
Malachi 3:6

I pray that each of us would hold fast and cling to this truth, and give much praise to our great God Who is the God of compassion!

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Here is a link  if you would like to study this verse and the usage of ‘compassionate/merciful’ in describing the Lord God Who IS oh-so-very merciful and compassionate.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyFour: Loved

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In this is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10

The KJV substitutes “Herein is love” for the phrase “In this is love” at the beginning of this verse.  Isn’t that a tremendous interpretation?—‘Herein, or, in here’ is love…truly nowhere else!  In God is love…He is love!

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace….
Ephesians 1:5 and 6

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures.  It is true whether we believe it or not.  Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it.  It originates in the very nature of God, who IS Love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” ~ Jerry Bridges

The love of God for you (me, too!) is a fact…an absolute…a given—the Truth.  I can doubt it, if I choose.  I can worry about losing it, if I want.  I can wonder how God could possibly love me, if I want.

OR, I can believe it.

This God, the Great I AM, my ABBA Father, communicates all throughout the Scriptures of His love—

  • steadfast (Psalm 103:11)
  • unfailing (Psalm 147:11)
  • inseparable (Romans 8:38 and 39)
  • faithful (Exodus 34:6)
  • everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • unconditional (Luke 15)
  • compassionate (Psalm 86:15)
  • merciful (Titus 3:4 and 5)
  • enduring (Psalm 106:1)
  • and more; so much more!

Confess these Truths to yourself, my friend…encourage and strengthen yourself in the Truth of God’s love for you!  Would you, please, do this…Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of the Truth, “God loves me!  He chose me, actually picked me out for Himself to have a relationship with Him.”  (Did you say it out loud?) Read through that list of truths that tell of the love of God…and speak them over yourself.  You are loved by God!

Perhaps you can sing along with the Psalmist David,

…in the morning I will sing of Your love;
for You are my Fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
O my strength, I sing praise to You;
You, O God, are my Fortress, my loving God.
Psalms 59:16 and 17

Perhaps you can sing this beautiful song, too; will you…would you try?   ‘Cause He loves us..oh, how He loves us!!!

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And NOW here is some encouragement from Kim
along with her beautiful inner identity album page for this week!

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God’s redeeming love is such a powerful life-changing love…unlike ANYTHING I have ever experienced in my life!  He loved me out of my darkness and redeemed my life.  As Isaiah 54:8 states, “With everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.”  Thank You, Father, for loving me that much….