TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, July 10, 2020:
Merciful; compassionate; kindly; courteous.
For you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
I Peter 2:3 RSV Translation.
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Do you know many people today that are consistently gracious? To be gracious means to be compassionate, thoughtful, helpful and kind. To be gracious in the evil world that we live in is most difficult. When we as children, youth or adults go about our daily activities it is most difficult for us to always be gracious. People and situations can irritate and upset us to the point that we are not gracious.
God has given us a standard, as believers that we should be living by each day. Let us look at a few scriptures. In Exodus 34:6 God was speaking to Moses concerning the Children of Israel and preparing Moses in how the Children of Israel were to honor and serve Him (God) by obeying His commandments. God was making it clear to Moses that He expected the Children of Israel to worship and honor Him with obedience, love and graciousness. When Moses asked to see the Glory of God, the scripture says that the Lord passed before him and proclaimed "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth."
God made it clear to Moses that He expected the Children of Israel, just as He does for us today, to be gracious in all we do, because He is gracious. Moses response was to bow to the ground immediately and worship the Lord.
In Luke 4:16-30 we read about when Jesus’s return to Nazareth, the place where He grew up as a carpenter's son. They all knew Jesus as a boy but did not know Him as their Messiah. As Jesus often did, He went to the Synagogue to teach. He quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2 which was a prophecy about the coming Messiah. At first all spoke well of Him and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
But when Jesus said he was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 they could not accept it and turned hostile toward Jesus and tried to kill Him.
Despite being rejected, misunderstood or even persecuted Jesus set a standard for us as believers to be gracious in whatever situation we are in.
As parents we need to begin with ourselves and learn to be gracious to all we meet, whether it is family or complete strangers. Probably the most difficult task that we have is teaching our children to be gracious. This will be difficult because they will have to deal with peers who are not gracious and then to react and defend one's self with graciousness is most difficult.
One of our daughters came home from junior high school one day, totally upset. Someone had taken her new blazer jacket out of her gym locker during gym class. Although she was well aware that most of all of her peers in the school were more well-to-do than our family, we tried to comfort her with the thought that perhaps the girl needed it more than she did.
In addition, we told her to think of the guilt the girl would feel whenever she would wear the blazer. Regardless of our words of consolation, she wasn't feeling very gracious toward the unknown thief but she did understand that she was to be graciously forgiving even as Jesus has so graciously and mercifully forgiven us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Isaiah 25:4a.
For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress.
Help me to respond to the examples You have given me in Your Word to be gracious to everyone I meet today despite how they may treat me. May I, through my words and deeds, honor Your name and may others see Christ through me not only by my actions but by my reactions.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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