“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8 NLT
What a precious promise we have in the Lord, that when we come to Him in prayer, confess our sin(s), not only will he hide us and protect us ( in previous verses 6-7) but he instructs and guides us the BEST path we need to take. And this is not one and done. As we are before Him, He continues to guide and counsel us in the process and watched over us.
Lord, thank you for guiding and teaching us to adjust our sails so that we are following the best and right path for our lives. Your Word continues to be a light to our path in every dark place. Thank you for always being right there with us in the process, counseling us and watching over us. You are indeed a Good Father! Thank you Lord!
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” Psalms 32:1-2 NLT
There is great joy in having our transgressions/disobedience forgiven – our sin is put out of sight or covered. They are not only covered but removed! Ps 103: 12 says “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” We are blessed indeed!
Ps 32:2 continues that the blessing and joy is not only because we have been forgiven, but the Lord also removes the guilt and shame associated with our sin/ transgression AND we can live our lives in complete honesty and transparency- free of deceit! Our records are wiped clean. That sounds a lot like freedom to me!
I am reminded of when you have been given an expensive parking or camera ticket and you are driving around fearful or dreading another one. But when that ticket has been paid or has been thrown out, you are not only elated that it is gone, you move about with greater freedom because it’s no longer hanging over your head.
Lord, I thank You for the joy You bring in forgiving my transgressions and covering and delivering me from sin! Thank You also for the joy and blessing of wiping our records free from the guilt of sin and allowing us to live without deceit, in complete honesty! We declare victory over every intrusive thought that tries to make us relive the guilt and shame associated with the transgression. We are forgiven, Hallelujah! Help us walk boldly and freely in victory in Jesus name.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” Proverbs 3:3 KJV
God’s word is constantly reminding us to Remember! He knows our tendency to forget things quickly. Prov 3:3 tells us NEVER let loyalty (truth) and kindness ( mercy/faithfulness) leave you. These attributes are so important to God because they are integral parts of His character.
There is no hypocrisy, deceit or falsehood in God, and we must earnestly cultivate loyalty, allegiance, truth, faithfulness in our lives. Truth is so fundamental- essential that Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 ““I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Another scripture says, it is impossible for God to lie. This steadfastness and strong ethical compass is what Soloman is exhorting in this passage, to “stay true” and remain faithful to God’s principles.
God is a merciful and kind, and prioritizes those attributes in our lives. As my Pastor so frequently taught recently, when Moses asked God to show His glory, God said “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will have mercy .”” Exodus 33:19 God’s mercy is His glory. As He is, so shall we be.
Solomon then exhorts to tie them ( truth/loyalty and kindness/mercy) around your neck” and write them deep in your heart as a reminder. This is not an alarm clock reminder, but kept in close proximity so that you never forget. It’s s hard to ignore something tied around your neck, or placed deep in your heart.
This exhortation to remember or “never forget“ by any means necessary echoes Moses’ exhortation to the people just after the 10 commandment were given to commit themselves to learning and obeying the commandments. He says in Deut. 6:6-7, commit them to your hearts, teach them to your children, talk about them at home and on the road, in the morning and bedtime. Tie them to your hands and put on your forehead as a reminder. This sounds extreme and it is!
These attributes of loyalty and kindness are the basis of strong relationships. We should earnestly pray to remember and practice these things that are so very close to the heart of God and His very nature: Prov 3:4 says THEN we will find favor with both God and people, and earn a good reputation. The benefit and fruit of favor and reputation are just the icing on the cake.
Help us to do whatever it takes to keep loyalty and kindness deep in our hearts and bind to our necks so that all that we do and say are guided by these divinely inspired characteristics. Have Your way in our lives, in Jesus name.
This morning I woke up with a strange weariness, realizing that I had been carrying the burden of the recent tragic senseless murders of two young black and brown men/ boys at the hands of those meant to protect them in my heart. All week I was distracted – I had to fight to stay focused on work, get through meetings, and even dealing with mundane household issues that come with the new pandemic norm of everyone working or taking classes at home.
As the mother of a 21 yrs old son ( pictured above) who has already tasted of police bias against him several times ( just being a young black carefree male), I continue to draw near to throne of grace to place this burden in God’s very capable hands. In times like these, His word is a great consolation and anchor for my soul.
In I Peter 5:7 God encourages us to cast ALL our cares upon Him, not just some of them. The NLT translation puts it this way,“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” His great concern and love for us are designed to carry every worry and every care that we have. In Philippians 4: 6 He actually commands us to “Don’t worry about anything & pray about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done. ”
Trusting God with my children has been a daily commitment for me as they have gotten older and especially now as they are transitioning to adulthood. Placing their protection and growth in God’s very capable hands is something that I am growing in faith, and I need His abundant grace to break free from the traps of worry that try to overtake me when triggering incidents like these recent events happen. My heart aches for these families.
May God have mercy on the families of Daunte Wright and Adam Torres who have to endure senseless and unimaginable pain. I pray that God’s promise to comfort them in times of mourning would embrace them and help them heal, restore and relieve the aching pain of loss. He is the God of ALL comfort. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find FIND GRACE in the time of need.
Ps 31:19 also promises that as we come to the Lord for protection, He lavishes us with His goodness which He has stored up for us in great measure. That goodness is not just for our benefit, but so we can pour it out to others. As we are restored, we can be ( should be) that conduit of Gods grace to a world(our families, friends and community) desperate for healing and wholeness.
Praying for other parents of black and brown sons and daughters who share this concern, that God’s abundant grace will empower them also to move forward beyond worry into trust in Gods goodness. Reach out to someone with a word of encouragement, overlook an offense, give grace when someone doesn’t immediately respond, write a note of thanks. Already you have made the world a better place and eased a burden.
Genesis 6:8 NKJV But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
This short verse really captivated me this morning. The scripture tells us that while the law came via Moses ( Old Testament), grace and truth came through Jesus Christ ( I John 1:17). So while many of us think of grace as a New Testament doctrine, we see that even before the law of Moses was established, God found grace in Noah! So the doctrine of Grace threaded, woven throughout the Bible. It is foundational.
This brief verse comes after a passage detailing the deep corruption and sin of man and God’s resulting displeasure and desire to wipe them out. Yet, in the midst of His displeasure, Noah stood out in God’s sight! Something in Noah made God pause and reconsider His plan. Noah found grace with God, because God saw Noah’s devotion, trust and faith in His word. He desired to honor God even in the midst of great evil, and was leading his family in righteousness. Noah risked ridicule and ostracism to follow what God had spoken in his heart.
This grace that God found in Noah is referenced extensively throughout the New Testament. It is the character of God. God is willing to spare His wrath, delay judgement, provide escape from destruction when He detects ONE heart willing to believe and trust in Him,even in the midst of vast corruption or persecution. In the Old Testament, we also see Abraham, petitioning God to spare Lot, delaying destruction of Sodom so Lot could escape. That was grace in action. God is a merciful and just God. He is looking for hearts turned toward Him to pour out His grace – In this case, God’s grace spared the utter destruction of the world to preserve and prepare his covenant with man. He truly is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Great is Your faithfulness to us, O’ God!
Hebrews 4:16 NKJV Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Today’s verse is a clarion call for us to come boldly, confidently to God’s throne of grace to get the help, mercy and find grace when you need it! The preceding verse talks of God’s great compassion for us, that He knows our weaknesses and beckons us to come to Him. The point is that we don’t have to be fearful or timid when we approach God ( like Dorothy and crew in the Wizard of Oz), but confident that He will be just and merciful. There is also no question that once we come, we will get the mercy and find the grace we need to help us in any circumstance.
The throne of Grace also reminds us of God’s sovereignty and majesty from which His grace flows. The ability to extend grace to others is a noble leadership quality that we should emulate. Lord, help us to grow in our knowledge and trust in you that we we can confidently come to you for everything and expect that Your loving kindness, mercy and grace are available to to help us always. #Grace #Mercy #Boldness #Confidence #21DaysofGrace
Psalm 145:8 (MSG) God is all mercy and grace– not quick to anger, is rich in love.
Grace is the very nature of God – He is ALL mercy and grace. As we walk in Grace, we truly allow God’s character to permeate/ override ours. We become more long suffering and slow to anger- overlooking offense. That is how God operates. He is gracious and compassionate – rich in unfailing love and mercy. Lord, help us to be more like you.
There is great power in not being shaken or moved to anger by circumstance and to continue to be gracious and merciful in difficult times. We need Gods grace to do it. #Grace #21DaysofGrace #compassion #mercy