PSALM 103:8-14 – The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
THEME OF THE DAY. MOTIVATED BY LOVE. What motivates Christians to seek God? What stirs the hearts in God’s children to discipline their lives around obedience to His Word? What is behind the minds of followers of Jesus who renew their thinking by His Word, not the world? And what drives believers to consistently say “no” to sin and “yes” to holiness? All of these “what questions” are answered with one word – love. But before we go on, we need to be settled on this love that motivates, disciplines, renews, and consumes Christians. It is not our love for God that does these deep and necessary works in the Christian. Honestly, what Christian is going to say, “Yes, I love God so much. My love for Him is what makes me get up in the morning and strive to live for His glory”? We want to say that, but we really can’t say our love for Him is the energizer and motivator in living out the Christian life. Sadly, some days we are lukewarm toward Him. Some days we neglect Him in Word and prayer. Some days we choose to satisfy our flesh and grieve the Spirit. Some days we just don’t feel and act very “Christianly.” Those “some days” make us sad because we want to love Him with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength. Take courage that “someday” will occur, just not in this life.
So what love is it that will energize and motivate consistent Christian living that pleases the Lord? It is His love for us. The Apostle John reminds us – We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). And where do we see this love of God displayed? The obvious answer is on the cross of the Lord Jesus – God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). But there is another place we need to take our minds and hearts to see God’s love demonstrated to us. If we go to this place often and linger long, it will bring the strongest motivation possible to love Him more, serve Him more, seek Him more, and make our Christian lives one of joy and influence. This place is found in today’s scripture. It is how God deals with us daily. Please take time to read and pray through today’s scripture. As we do, ask the Lord to show us His heart; how He deals with us, not sometimes, but all the time. And, how does He? The answer is in verse ten – He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Sit back and think about our lives, particularly our relationship with the Lord. Anyone have any regrets? Consider the many sins committed against Him. Ponder how often we failed Him. Meditate on the way too many times we ignored His counsel and listened to ourselves to our own hurt. And what about time? Ever waste precious time on the things of the world that didn’t matter, robbing us from investing in spiritual things that really matter? Every Christian recalls many, many times of failing the Lord, but what do we get from Him in return? Grace. Love. Mercy. Second, third, fourth, fifth, etc., chances. Why? He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. And those displays of God’s love will always motivate us to live wholly for Him and His glory, not sometimes, but all the time.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your incredible love that extends to the highest heavens.”
QUOTE: “Think often on the love of God not only in the cross of His Son but His daily dealings with us.”