Slow To Anger, Rich In Love

30th April

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.”

Psalm 103:8-10

So often in my own life, I have fallen into sin and felt like I was in a whole of condemnation that I couldn’t get of. The sin was not only influencing my intimacy with Jesus, but also acted as a chain bound around my hands and feet stopping me from being who I was created to be and making me feel like a worthless spec in the eyes of God. Maybe you can relate to this when you have sinned or in habitual sin. It is like an overwhelming sense of un-worthiness. However this is complete lies! According to David’s words in these verses, God’s attitude and actions towards us are completely the opposite to what we deserve.

God’s character is full of love. He is compassionate and merciful. He knows we will make mistakes yet He still loves us. He is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love (commitment love) towards us. When we slip up or make mistakes, He doesn’t come with a pointed finger condemning us of our sins and making us feel worthless. He doesn’t stay angry with us even though we might keep falling down. He even doesn’t deal with us as we deserve to be dealt with. He is love. He won’t stop loving us because of our behaviour. He loves us all the time irrespective of our behaviour.

However, when the Holy Spirit does convict us, (a Godly prompt that what we are doing or how we are living isn’t God’s best for us or in accordance with His ways), our role is to accept His prompting, ask forgiveness and get back up. God doesn’t want us to accept the lies that we are doomed to eternal damnation if we fall down. He doesn’t want us to stay down but get back up. He wants us to live in the truth that after you have asked for forgiveness He has forgotten about your sin and wants to shower you with more of His love. Reject the lies and accept the truth.

God Loves Justice

29th April

The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.”

Psalm 103:6

Throughout the world we see so much injustice that it must anger God so much. The very people He created are fighting, persecuting and even killing each other. Yet God fights for justice and righteousness. Jesus Himself said that He did not come for the well but for the sick, the outcasts and the marginalised in society.

So what is our role in bringing justice to the oppressed and hope to those treated unfairly? We must stand up and fight for those people, standing with them to oppose what is wrong and do what we can to bring God’s justice and righteousness in their situations. We must intercede for them in prayer and supplication, for the power of prayer is our greatest weapon. The great news is that God is actively answering those prayers because His desire is to see the prisoners and captives set free, the naked clothed and the hungry fed. His desire as David writes is to see “righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly”.

In Matthew 25:35-45, Jesus strongly presents a case for helping and serving those in need as if they are actually serving God Himself through their actions. Jesus’ tone in these verses has such a strong conviction as if He is trying to emphasize His point to His audience, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me!” (verse 45).

God desires perfect harmony, peace and justice throughout humanity. His heart is to see His righteousness restored in mankind. As His children and His hands and feet on this earth, we have a great responsibility to participate with God in making that happen. We are not saved to become great disciples locked in our rooms but to make disciples out of the nations, showing Jesus’ love to all in the world, bringing His righteousness and glory to a dark and needy land. Will you accept the challenge?

Love Is The Root… Obedience Is The Fruit*

28th April

He forgives all my sins and heal all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.”

Psalm 103:3-4

What is our response to a God that does so many good things for us?

David continues this wonderful psalm and tell his readers of the attributes of a good God. He forgives our sins. He heals ALL our diseases. He redeems us from a life condemned to death and instead gives us life in fullness, crowning us with His own love and tender mercies. These words written here are not just empty words but eternal promises. They are truth when we are told lies. They build our faith when we are empty. They bring us back to the throne of the Father when we feel condemned by our sinful actions. They build us up when we feel alone and unloved. They bring life to our sickness and hopeless situation.

Our response to these wonderful statements of God’s goodness, is to accept and believe that God is for us and not against us. We cant just hear or even read these words and not put them into practice. We have to believe with our whole hearts that God is who He says He is and that His promises are as true when David wrote them as they are today in our very present situations. If we are to truly accept God’s promises over our lives then we have to obey His words as well by implementing them in our daily lives, situations and circumstances.

Being loved by a good God is such a radical way has to be the root of all we do and are. Obeying Him is the fruit of a life that accepts and put into practice His love, His truth and His promises. Speak His truth over your life and see the goodness of God in action.

* Matthew Henry, David Jeremiah: Daily Devotions

Let All That I Am Praise The Lord

27th April

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart I will praise His Holy Name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things things He does for me.”

Psalm 103:1-2

So often we get caught up in our own lives, forgetting about anyone else but ourselves. Today’s verse is a strong reminder to us to remember us first love, to praise Him with everything and to remember all that God has done for us.

Have you ever had those moments, when you meet a friend you haven’t met for a long time and you start to reminisce about the ‘good old days’, thinking about the good times you had together, the memories you created and the trials and tribulations you faced together. It is such a great feeling. It is in moments like that, that you remember how much you liked this ‘friend’ and how much you enjoyed their company. Although it is not entirely the same, it still, in principle has a likeness to and with our relationship with God.

Remembering the good times and good things God has done for us, helps us in our attitude to worshiping Him with our whole heart. When we come before God with thanksgiving for all that He has done, our attitude towards God becomes much less about US and so much more about Him. God desires that we worship Him with our whole heart. Not just part of it and not just when we remember He is there like that distant old friend. He wants to be part of our every moment, creating new memories and giving us more things to be thankful for on a daily basis.

Don’t forget God’s goodness today. Instead remember all that He has already done and give thanks for all that He will continue to do. Praise Him from the depths of your soul.

The Generational Faithfulness Of God

25th – 26th April

Weekend Edition

For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Psalm 100:5

Throughout the Bible, there are so many verses about God’s faithfulness and goodness. Why is it that so? Is it because we need reminding on a regular basis of the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord? Or is it because God doesn’t want us to forget that His faithfulness ‘continues to each generation’? Or is it simply because the authors that wrote about God’s faithfulness experienced it on a regular basis and wanted to share their experience with us, the readers?

Well you could answer yes to all the above questions. The underlying truth is, that God is faithful and His love continues forever! This verse is almost like a summary of the whole Bible. It is not about our doings or works, it is about who God is. A life spent getting to know God’s character and learning more about the attributes of God, as stated in this verse, is a life well spent. The simple truth of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love, is a wonderful message for us today, but also for the generations to come.

Let us join the writer of this wonderful psalm and pass on the news to our children, friends and foes. God is faithful. God is love. God is good. His character does not change when ours does. His mood does not change when ours does. His love for us is not dependent on our love for Him. He is faithful even when we are not.

Surely that is reason enough to enter His courts with joy and thanksgiving!! Shake off your worries and woes and rejoice in the goodness of God!

We Are His First Fruits…The Best Of The Best

24th April

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all He created.”

James 1:17-18

Yesterday we learned about how and why God gives us His good and perfect gifts and blessings. It is because of His GOOD character and not ours! It is because He is a loving and kind God.

Here in verse 18, it’s almost like the icing on the cake, with the prime words being “He chose”. Every gift from God is free, unconditional and an extension and example of His good character. None more so than the gift of salvation. He chose to save us and set us free from the bondage of sin, shame and guilt. That was and is the best GOOD gift of all time. He chose to save us while we were still sinners.

Yet there is more. The end of verse 18 says that we are like His “first fruits” of all He created. In other words “out of all creation”…”we became His prized possession” (NLT version of this verse). When farmers paid tithes, they were encouraged to give the first-fruits of their harvests. This was always the best of the crops, cattle and wheat. This showed that God would always be priority and get the best before anyone else. James tells us here that we are God’s best from all created things, on earth and above.

It is this reason that God sent Jesus to reconcile us back to Him. It is because He loved us so much, that He also sent His best, His Only Begotten SON…JESUS. He chose to restore our relationship with Him. That is the best and greatest gift of all time.

Remember as you go about your day today, that there is a God, choosing to bless you, choosing to pour out His love over you and choosing to give you His best. Will you give Him yours?

Every Good Gift Is From Above

23rd April

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all He created.””

James 1:17-18

I often wonder how or why I deserve God’s gift to me. I am so blessed and thankful. I have so much in terms of God’s blessings. A family that loves me, food on my table, clothes on my back, good health and most importantly, salvation. Yet I often think, what have I done to deserve all this. The interesting answer is nothing.

James tells us in his eloquent words that actually God’s goodness towards us is not a result of anything we have done but a fruit of God’s good character. His love for mankind is not dependant on their deeds. It is simply who God is.God gives to us on the basis of His character and not on the basis of our character. God never gives us anything on the basis of who and what we are. God does not bless us because we tithe, witness or pray. We never earn or deserve anything from God.”*

God gives to us because He is good. It is His nature to be kind, loving and generous. In fact, James tells us that the God who created all of the heavens above (the Father of lights), doesn’t change His character ever! That is good news. God doesn’t stop being a generous and loving and giving God, if we have an “off” day or say something we shouldn’t have. He is who is He is because that is who He is, ‘a generous and loving and giving God’!

So today, if you feel like you are not worthy to accept God’s goodness, think again! We may not deserve His goodness, but that won’t stop Him lavishing it over us! Open your hands and heart and accept and receive what He wants to pour out over you!

*http://versebyversecommentary.com/james/james-117/