TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, February 08, 2019:
Merciful; compassionate; kindly; courteous, desiring to do good to others.
For you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
I Peter 2:3 RSV Translation.
The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion; for the Lord is a God of justice.
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.
When God asked Moses to lead the Israelites to the Promised land, Moses wanted assurance that he would not have to do it alone. God replied, “My presence will go with you” Exodus 33:16. Moses wanted more assurance and asked God to show him His glory, Exodus 33:16.
God did not give Moses a vision of His majestic glory and might, but did give him a vision of the graciousness and compassionate God that He is. As God passed by, He proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, the compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” Exodus 34:6-7.
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 they 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. What was Jesus response? “He walked through the crowd and went away.”
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 in all situations whether it is with a family member or a complete stranger.
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.
Children like to get even. But if we expect our children to be gracious, we must be gracious as parents, just as Jesus was gracious. And how thankful we should be that our Heavenly Father is so gracious to us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Psalm 31:7.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities.
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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