The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, July 5, 2022 comes to us from Jonson Siahaan of Indonesia.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:1-12 NIV
“God Celebrates Us”
I once had the opportunity to watch my teenage son playing bass in a band. During the performance, my attention never left the bass player! I was completely in awe of him. After they finished one song, my wife and I applauded enthusiastically with a handful of other people. Of the many people in attendance, only a handful applauded. Perhaps those applauding were the parents of the six teenagers on stage. The boys’ playing was not that good, but that didn’t diminish my interest in my son’s playing. Whether he plays the instrument properly or not, I am still eager to hear and watch him play because I love him.
That’s how God feels about us. Whether or not we become famous, successful, or achieve great things, God is still interested in our lives because God loves us. God loves us not because we are good at things or even because we are good. God loves us simply because we are children of God.
Those of us who are parents can relate to Jonson Siahaan’s pride in his son’s performance, no matter the quality. I really appreciate this approach to understanding God’s love for us, as humanity struggles to comprehend God’s gracious loving kindness. So when we need to turn to God in those moments when we are feeling alone or scared, we can rest in the arms of that parental loving God who loves “no matter what”.
Thank you, Father, for celebrating us as your children, not because we are worthy but because you love us. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily read. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.
To Love Others the Way God Loves Me.
Thought for the Day:
God loves me no matter what.
Like a parent feels compassion for their children – that’s how the LORD feels compassion for those who honor him. Psalm 103:13