Hello everyone and God bless you all! I took that photo with my phone last night when I was at our neighborhood mailbox at the top of our street. I loved the hazy glow as the sunset emerged from the cloud cover. So cool what God does in the sky every night! We always read to our kids before putting them to bed, and last night I read the Bible to my son. He is 8 years old and he and our 11 year old daughter love to read. I turned to the Book of Psalms and read Psalm 86 to him. I pray Psalm 86:11 for my family every day and I ask the Lord to give us all an undivided heart like that. Psalm 86 is a prayer of David who was King of Israel. He speaks of God’s character in his prayer and it is important to emphasize that God’s character never changes. These attributes of God that David talks about are who God is and how He loves us. God will not be anything less and He will always be this way throughout all generations.
I can relate to this Psalm deeply as I’m sure many of you can. Let the words describing God’s character and love wash over you. We can trust Him even when we don’t understand. We can trust Him because of who He is.
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life–men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
Psalm 86:11 is the verse that says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” I have prayed that for years over my children and my wife and I. I ask the Lord to give us an undivided heart that we may fear His Name and love Him first. That is what I want most for my children. I want them to follow Jesus with an undivided heart. To fear the Lord does not mean to be afraid of Him. His love drives out that kind of fear. It means to have a great respect, reverence, and awe of Him. We can have that in greater measure when we understand God’s character.
What do we learn from Psalm 86 about God’s character?
God guards our lives and brings us joy.
God is forgiving and good and abounding in love to all who call on Him.
He alone is God and there is no other.
God has mercy on us and will answer us.
God helps us in our times of trouble.
God is great and He does marvelous deeds that have no comparison.
God’s love toward us is great and He delivers us from the grave.
God is compassionate and gracious.
God is slow to anger.
God is abounding in love and faithfulness.
God protects us from our enemies.
God gives us His strength, and He helps us and comforts us.
That my friends is a God you can trust! Thank You Lord that you are forgiving and good! Thank You for your abounding love, compassion, and grace! Thank You for being patient with us and being slow to anger! Thank You for loving us so deeply even when we don’t deserve it Lord! Thank You for saving us! You alone are worthy of praise!
We can rest in His love today and every day. God will not be changing. That is who He is. God is love and He will always be love! Remember, fearing the Lord means to revere the Lord. There is no fear in His love!
“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:13-18
Grace and peace to you all in the perfect love of Jesus Christ!