Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Father's Compassion

Psalm 103:8-14: The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. He knows our frame; He remembers we are but dust.
I struggle with insecurities.
The enemy loves to bombard me with a sense of failure and hopelessness.
I have learned to live in this verse….
often as I am preparing to teach I just sing the words of this psalm to myself.
His mercy is not only tender, it’s never ending….
are you thankful for that today?

I love the picture of the Father in the story of the prodigal son, because so often I am the prodigal myself. As son travels the long road back home, no doubt his head hung low in shame, fighting against fear of rejection every step of the way, berating himself for such foolish wasteful behavior, there is the Father…waiting, watching, wanting with all that is within Him to see His son coming down that road.

Luke 15:20: But when he was still a great way off, his Father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

Beloved, that is how our Father looks upon each one of us.
His tender mercy is without end….
Higher than the heavens are above the earth,
farther than the east is from the west,
deeper than the ocean at its widest point…
so much so that He would choose not to remember our offenses.
Willingly and lovingly He sacrificed His most cherished Son
to redeem one as unworthy and ungrateful as I….

God’s people are doubly his children, they are his offspring by creation, and they are his sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call him, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Father! Oh, what precious word is that. Here is authority: “If I be a Father, where is mine honor?” If ye be sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority which does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded which is most cheerfully rendered—which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience which God’s children yield to him must be loving obedience. Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster’s toil, but run in the way of his commands because it is your Father’s way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father’s will, and his will should be the will of his child. Father!—Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love, that the King’s crown is forgotten in the King’s face, and his scepter becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver scepter of mercy—the scepter indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of him who wields it. Father!—Here is honor and love. How great is a Father’s love to his children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father’s heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, he must bless them; they are his children, he must show himself strong in their defense. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word—Father! There is all I can ask; all my necessities can demand; all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, “Father.”~ C. H. Spurgeon

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