19 November 2012

Thanksgiving Challenge, Days 18 & 19

 Day #18: I'm thankful God is merciful.

"The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (Psalm 145:8). "The Lord’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed" (Lamentations 3:22).

Mercy is God's compassion on us who were miserable. The modern definition of mercy carries the implication of holding back a deserved punishment (which God did do for us), but the Biblical term, according to Unger's Bible Dictionary means "a form of love determined by the state or condition of its objects. Their state is one of suffering and need, while they may be unworthy or ill-deserving. Mercy is, at once the disposition of love respecting such, and the kindly ministry of love for their relief."

In other words, God saw our suffering and need and came to our rescue with love and grace even though we did not deserve it!

Day #19: I'm thankful God is my Shepherd.

It's telling that God compares humans to sheep. Sheep don't have fangs or claws to defend themselves. They don't have homing abilities to lead them back home. And they can't discern which plants are poisonous. They need a shepherd to lead and guide and protect them. And so do we!

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

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