A Tender, Merciful Father
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psalm 103:13.
Our God should be regarded as a tender, merciful father. The service of God should not be looked upon as a heart-saddening, distressing exercise. It should be a pleasure to worship the Lord and to take part in His work. As the people of God meditate upon the plan of salvation their hearts will be melted in love and gratitude. . . .
God would not have His children, for whom so great a salvation has been provided, act as though He were a hard, exacting taskmaster. He is their best friend, and when they worship Him, He expects to be with them to bless and comfort them and fill their hearts with joy and love. The Lord desires His children to take comfort in His service, and to find more pleasure than hardship in His work. The Lord desires that those who come to worship Him shall carry away with them precious thoughts of His care and love that they may be cheered in all the employments of daily life, that they may have grace to deal honestly and faithfully in all things. . . .
We dishonor God when we think of Him only as a judge ready to pass sentence upon us, and forget that He is a loving Father. The whole spiritual life is molded by our conceptions of God, and if we cherish erroneous views of His character, our souls will sustain injury. We should see in God one who yearns toward the children of men, longing to do them good. . . . All through the Scriptures, God is represented as one who calls, woos by His tender love, the hearts of His erring children. No earthly parent could be as patient with the faults and mistakes of their children as is God with those He seeks to save. No one could plead more tenderly with the transgressor. No human lips ever poured out more tender entreaty to the wanderer than does He. O shall we not love God, and show our love by humble obedience? Let us have a care for our thoughts, our experiences, our attitude toward God, for all His promises are but the breathings of unutterable love.
That I May Know Him p. 263
Notice: I will be on vacation for the next week so there will be no devotional until the 9th.
—– Please pray for my brother Sam. He tripped and fell in the cane patch behind his house and a stub of cane stuck in his shin bone area. He cleaned it and dressed it with Neosporin & a bandage. The wound turned red a couple of days later. He got 3 shots at the ER and they dressed the wound. They put him on 2 different types of antibiotics. Yesterday the wound was red and swollen. He laid down to take a nap and he swelled up over his rib cage and is in a lot of pain. . . . The ER doctor said Sam pulled a muscle loose from a rib. It will heal in time. Please pray for that and for his leg. Thank you, Fran
—– I am scheduled for major back surgery Sept 4th. I check in at 5:30am surgery is around 8am and it will be approx. 4 hours long and 2 in recovery. The Dr. says 2 to 3 days stay and if there are walking issues after I have to go into a skilled nursing facility for a bit to recover. So I need all the prayers and good thoughts that all goes well and I’ll be home by Sat. They will be placing 2 rods and 4 screws into my low back. I hope this helps with all the leg issues I’ve been having in the past 2 weeks….and of course the pain and lack of function. Gayle
—–Please pray that we will have a safe and happy trip from the 1st through the 8th. Rose
When we lived in North Carolina, we had a pastor who always prayed that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the men of old to write the Bible would open our understanding to its truths. I always thought how truly important that prayer was. How vital it is to our understanding of Scripture that we pray for guidance from the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures in the first place. Peter tells us, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21
“The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 How important for our present and future happiness that we are able to discern between God’s truth and Satan’s counterfeit. If we fail to ask for Divine help in understanding spiritual things, we will find ourselves “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Eph 4:14
We must compare with the Bible all we hear, all we read from whatever source. As Paul declared, “what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:11-14
Moreover, Jesus warns us, “If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt 24:23-27
In my lifetime I have heard of several men claiming to be Christ. They had some followers, but most people were able to see that these men were deceivers. So the false Christs referred to in this verse must be something more powerful, more overwhelming, more deceptive. Paul speaks of this when he says, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” 2 Cor 11:14,15
I heard a sermon once dealing with the deceptions being promoted in the religious world. Even as John tells us, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 In this sermon, the speaker was quoting from the writings of some who are teaching that they and all their followers are gods, that they through their own power are the devil’s master, and many similar doctrines. How dangerous are these false teachings. Only through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ can we gain the victory.
How may we be able to keep from being deceived? There is only one way. There is only one platform of truth on which we can firmly plant our feet. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa 8:20 God’s Word reveals Jesus. God’s Word reveals the truth we must know in order to choose the right path. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39
God’s Word teaches us how to order our lives to be in harmony with His great Commandments. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Ps 119:9-11
God’s Word reveals the future. Especially in the books of Daniel and Revelation, there are prophecies that reach to the end of time. As Daniel stood before that heathen king, he led his mind to the one True God; God Who could show the future, because He knows the future. Daniel said, “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” Dan 2:28 We are in those latter days now. Prophecy is fast being fulfilled. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt 24:44
“The end of all things is at hand: [may we, therefore, be] sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7 May we study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 May we give diligence to make our calling and election sure, so when Jesus comes we will not be found wanting is my prayer. (2 Peter 1:10; Jer 8:20)