10 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Kings 10:32–12:21
Acts 18:1-22
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 18:1

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Psalm 145:8-9 (NLT): “The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.”

Reflections from Scripture:

In Psalm 145:8-9, the writer chooses six words and phrases to describe his God. Let me unpack each of them to better understand what our wonderful God is like. 

(Do not feel that you must read through each of the following. You might choose to only read a couple. Just be sure to listen to what the Lord is saying to your heart and respond to Him in prayer, praise, and repentance if necessary.)

“The Lord is merciful”

The Hebrew word used here would describe your heartfelt response if you came across a car wreck, a small fire was beginning to grow, the people inside couldn’t get out, and you raced to help them.

What are the needs in your life right now? Stop and reflect on the fact that your God sees your needs and is moved to respond in the way He believes is best for your good and His glory.

“The LORD is … compassionate”

The Hebrew word used here is a deep love that is rooted in a bond of relationship. Because of this, the benefit of the doubt is often given, forgiveness is plentiful, and many other such positive things are present.

Stop and reflect on the fact that your God doesn’t simply love humanity in general – He loves you in particular. Because of this, His response to you in every moment of the day is saturated with compassion.

“The LORD is … slow to get angry”

Sometimes, we think that God is like so many people we know, maybe even like ourselves. We know all too well how little it takes to get some people really angry. 

Well, my friend, our God is not like that. Stop and reflect on the fact that God is so patient with each of us. He isn’t ready to fly off the handle. Instead, it takes Him a very long time to get angry, even when we really mess up and disobey Him.

“The Lord is … filled with unfailing love”

The Hebrew word used here refers to the covenantal love of God. It is the word that refers to the fact that God has entered into a covenant with His people. Because of this, the love He has for us can never, ever be taken away. That is why some translations say, “loyal love.”

Stop and reflect on the fact that God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows what you have done and what you have thought. He knows your motives and attitudes. There is no sin that you have done (or are doing) that He doesn’t know about. Those things that make you feel so ashamed – He knows about them. Yet, He will never, ever stop loving you. He may discipline you for disobedience but even that is done in love. Reflect on that.

“The LORD is good to everyone”

Sometimes, it seems that God is good to some people but isn’t good to others. That isn’t true. Sure, some people have much more difficulty and pain in their life than others. Yet, God is good to everyone. It just might be that we aren’t looking for the good that God is sending our way.

Stop and reflect on the good things that God has sent (and is sending) your way. Imagine that you would lose tomorrow what you didn’t thank God for today. Create a list and thank the Lord for His goodness to you. 

“The LORD … showers compassion on all his creation”

The Hebrew word used for compassion is a word that speaks of a family type of love. In the New Testament, it would have been translated as “brotherly love.” Even though many people do not submit to the Lord’s authority and are not trusting in Jesus to save them, we are all a part of His creation and so every single person on earth is an object of His compassion. The sin of mankind is not responding to this divine love by loving Him back through Jesus Christ.

Stop and reflect on the fact that salvation is really a relationship. God, through Jesus, wants to know and be known by us. He wants to enjoy us and for us to enjoy Him in this life and in the life to come. How are you doing in your relationship with the Lord?

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, through You, I can come to understand and enjoy our Heavenly Father in a way that satisfies my inner being like nothing else can. Encourage me and assist me on this path of satisfying my soul with You. And help me not to be afraid to expose my heart to You and confess sins to You because you know it all anyway and have a covenant love for me. I want to enjoy you. Help me to do that. I pray in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash