So Precious

Psalm 36: 5 – 12                God’s Word

O Lord, your mercy reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God,
your judgments like the deep ocean.
You save people and animals, O Lord.
Your mercy is so precious, O God,
that Adam’s descendants take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They are refreshed with the rich foods in your house,
and you make them drink from the river of your pleasure.
Indeed, the fountain of life is with you.
In your light we see light.
Continue to show your mercy to those who know you
and your righteousness to those whose motives are decent.
Do not let the feet of arrogant people step on me
or the hands of wicked people push me away.
Look at the troublemakers who have fallen.
They have been pushed down and are unable to stand up again.

I would rather you read this psalm again rather than words from me today. It is so beautiful. Which statement is your favorite? It is very hard to say, isn’t it? What about “Your mercy is so precious, O God” or “you make them drink from the river of your pleasure?” In these verses we see God’s heart towards us. He wants to bring us under his wings to protect and provide for us. He wants us to soak up His goodness and light. If you pause and quiet yourself down for a moment, can you feel His abundant love and compassion for you? Let Him whisper in your ear today.

The Character of God

Galatians 5: 22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

We saw yesterday from 1 John 4: 8 and 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8 that God’s essential nature is love. Today’s verse reveals the characteristics of God’s personality. As you look at them you can see that first is love but moreover that all the rest flow from love. The best way to get the full revelation of this verse is to put “God is” in front of each word i.e. God is love, God is joy….

These characteristics determine how God behaves and how He interacts with others just the same way as our personality traits predict how we will behave. So, God is always patient with us, always loving, kind and gentle. He exercises great self-control. Most of us can testify to the latter one.

Conversely, we can know what God is not by acknowledging His qualities. For example, we can deduce that God is not unkind or unfaithful. Can we not deduce a great deal more though? He is not cruel, vengeful, harsh, intolerant, hateful, spiteful or mean-spirited. He is all things which are good and none of those traits which are painful to us. He is ultimate goodness and kindness. He is neither over-bearing nor a punitive spirit. His intent, therefore, is not to punish us but rather to guide us with loving hands. And He is not scary. He is beautiful. He is warmth and sunshine.

We can know the Father of all personally, intimately and as we do we perceive greater and greater levels of His great kindness and affection. He is completely predictable in His goodness towards all creation. He loves us.

God Remembers

Psalm 98: 3                NIV

He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

God has not forgotten His first love; the house of Israel. He is faithful to Israel even today. Israel was the seed that was supposed to germinate and spread the love of God throughout the earth so that all would know of the coming of the Messiah. Perhaps Israel didn’t fulfill the entirety of its commission but the Lord’s faithfulness endures. It was not dependent on the faithfulness of men but rather on the love of God. And God’s love has expanded to the ends of the earth so that it fills every nation and every people even if those people do not acknowledge the love and faithfulness of God. 

This verse has a present tense and a prophetic tense about it. It declares that the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God already. That is because God has filled the earth with life, truth and love. Even the ground and plants have been saturated with God’s faith and love. This has been so since the beginning. If God’s faithfulness and love were absent then there would be no life and scientists find life in the most remote places, even places where it was once thought that no life could exist. Life is the product of the love of God. Where there is love, there is life and vice versa.

The prophetic sense of this passage looked forward to the first coming of Christ and even the second coming. Salvation is extended to all who will receive. There is no person on earth that is precluded from the love of God and the resultant salvation. Even where no preacher has gone and preached, there is the knowledge of God. He has put into the heart of every person the knowledge of Himself. He has catalogued the mountains and streams as a testament to His presence. The world around us testifies to His existence even where no person has carried the gospel. His faithfulness has ordained the coming of the Christ to bring salvation to the world and His love is reaching to the ends of the earth. And where no minister of the gospel has gone before God is laying a foundation right now so that no one will perish without having heard the Word of the Lord.  

God is not trying to keep people out of heaven. He is endeavoring to get them into heaven. He is faithful to the small and large and to the ends of the earth. Salvation has come. The saving grace of the Lord is and has filled the earth. We may openly partake of salvation from everything which seeks to hinder us. God’s salvation saves completely. He is faithful in the small things and the large things. Let salvation touch your household today and then by the grace invested in you by the Holy Spirit of God, extend that grace to all without reservation.

Great Love

Psalm 89: 1 – 2              NIV

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

In today’s devotional I am doing exactly what David wrote in these two verses, declaring with my
mouth the great love of God, shouting about his faithfulness and proclaiming that the love of God stands firm always and against every fiery missile of the evil one.

Love is the most powerful force in the universe. God is love. There is no challenge which is greater than our God; therefore there is no obstacle that love cannot overcome. I love in verse one that David sings of God’s great love. Is that a measure of quantity or quality? Perhaps it is both. God does not just love a little but His love is as big and as glorious as the entire universe. If you know that you are loved by a love that great how does that knowledge reflect in your life? What changes in your world when you come to know the fullness of love that God is and that He has towards you?

And god is faithful. That is no surprise. Love is faithful. You can count on the people that love you. You can count on God’s faithfulness every day. Faithfulness means that He is steady and reliable. He is not wishy-washy. Whatever He tells you, or has ever told you, He will do. He stands beside you and with you even on your bad days. Even when you do not deserve His lovingkindness He is right there with you confessing His great love for you.  

There is no one who loves you more than God. There is no one more faithful. David’s life sure proved that. God is constant. Even when David messed up really badly, God was there to pick him up. God loved him with an unfailing love even through the rough times and even when David did not deserve it. No wonder David testifies so loudly to God’s uncompromising love and faithfulness.

Do you have a need today? Is there something that has you down or perplexed? Look up. God has an answer for you and loving arms to soothe you. You are His delight and the joy of His heart. Wrap yourself in the assurance of His devotion and faithfulness towards you. Let His love penetrate those hardened layers and rest in His peace.