The Surprise of Forgiveness, Day 4

Today’s reading is drawn from Numbers 12:13-15.

Moses was an advocate for mercy for Miriam. He asked God to heal her, even though she had turned against him. Moses could have supported Miriam’s punishment and rightfully have insisted on “eye for eye” (Exodus 21:24). However, having been a murderer and fugitive himself (see Exodus 2:11–15), he had personally experienced the power of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Our natural tendency is to treat others the way they treat us. We are kind to the kind and often unloving to the unloving. However, Jesus’ words, thousands of years after this event, still provide the higher ground for us: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).

When we are not treated well, we need to ask God to give us the attitude of Moses, who had compassion on the hurts of one who had not treated him well. This type of attitude releases us from a life of keeping emotional score cards and insisting that everything be fair and leads to a life of love, grace, freedom and forgiveness.

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God’s Great Gifts, Day 15

Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Why did he do it? A shack would have sufficed, but he gave us a mansion. Did he have to give the birds a song and the mountains a peak? Was he required to put stripes on the zebra and the hump on the camel? . . . Why wrap creation in such splendor? Why go to such trouble to give such gifts?

Why do you? You do the same. I’ve seen you searching for a gift. I’ve seen you stalking malls and walking the aisles. I’m not talking about the obligatory gifts . . . I’m talking about that extra-special person and that extra-special gift . . . Why do you do it? . . . You do it so heart will stop. You do it so the jaw will drop. You do it to hear those words of disbelief, did this for me?”

That’s why you do it. And that is why God did it. Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing and listen as whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.”

from The Great House of God

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Today’s reading

 

He Cares for Us, Day 1

 

Today’s reading is drawn from Nahum 1:7, Matthew 11:28, Isaiah 46:4, and 1 Peter 5:7.

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

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