Lovingkindness

Exodus 34: 6 – 7

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.”

I wrote yesterday of my changing attitudes and if I failed to communicate this, I want to make clear that the only reason there is even a drop of compassion in my body is because our Father is full of loving compassion. He has given me the ability to feel His love and compassion for His children.

Do you love this passage? I hope it is rich and meaningful to you. Pick a word, any word and just let it speak to you and show you Father’s nature. I am a little stuck on the word “lovingkindness.” Other translations just say “love” and that is all that is necessary but it is almost like the translators of the NASB and earlier versions just couldn’t wrap enough sentiment around the word love so they had to reach into the richer meaning of the original language. It is not enough to be loving because it has to express the manifestation of love. God’s love does something. It is not a feeling; it is an action. It shows itself in His kindness, His graciousness, and His patience. He is abounding with love and compassion such that it is overflowing from Him. It is Him. He is love and compassion. He is not a wrathful God but instead a Father of infinite patience who is slow to anger. He is kind and forgiving at all times and each day He has a new supply of tender mercy for each of us.

We may overlook the word gracious but perhaps it is the word which will most bless your heart today. God’s grace means that He is thoughtful, affectionate, kind, caring and courteous. He purposes not to hurt or even embarrass you. He is gentle. A gracious person attempts not to hurt your feelings. They are tender and that is God.

He is the loving embrace you need today. He is accepting and understanding. You don’t have to pretend with Him because He accepts you just as you are. He loves you and wants to wrap His arms around you today and keep you safe. He cares infinitely about what you are thinking and feeling. His love for you knows no bounds which is what abounding communicates. Every morning His love for you is renewed so that there is a never-ending supply. He is a deep well of understanding.

Your God is love and loves you. He is pouring out His heart to you today so that you can rest in His compassionate embrace. You don’t need to bring anything to the meeting. Just let Him soothe you. He is non-judgmental so you can take whatever you think and whatever you feel and cast it at His feet. Every day, He only wants to protect and love you. Whatever you need today is in Him. Praise the Lord for His love is all encompassing and poured out onto the children of earth.

The Gracious Hand of the Lord

Nehemiah 2: 8

And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all our  requests granted by the people we need favor with? My first thought upon reading this was, “Why was the hand of God on Nehemiah?” Then I remembered a passage from Ezra. In chapter 7, verses 9 & 10 we find that “the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord.” I believe we have found the secret.

One question we may pose is, is the gracious hand of the Lord a reward for the studious observance of God’s Word or is it that grace just follows those who abide in the Word of God. I believe the latter is the correct answer but in reality, what difference does it make? If we know that favor and success follow those who are studious to discover and diligent to do all that the Lord has taught then that is, I believe, enough.

Gracious in the Hebrew means to: bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow, to show favor and mercy. In other words, the graciousness of God causes Him to come down to our level in order to give us mercy and favor. The favor from God causes all people to see us in a pleasing light such that our petitions are granted. It seems like a very good deal that we have received. If we will devote ourselves to the study and observance of God’s teachings, then we shall have favor and good success with all people.