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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

God’s Rod and Staff Are There To Comfort, Not Condemn

In review of Psalm 86:15 it says, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Bottom Line:
God is compassionate, kind, merciful and gracious. He is not easily angered but rather patient. He is abounding in a steadfast and faithful love for us.

What this means to me:
God is extremely compassionate, full of mercy and grace toward me. He is slow to anger and extremely patient with me. I need to remember that He is full of constant faithful and steadfast love for me.

God is a God of compassion. Psalm 86:15 says, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (NIV). The Bible also says, “God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3b NCV).

God is not a strict father who is full of judgment, rather God is the Father who is full of mercy. God is the Father who is full of comfort. This is the kind of relationship he offers me. My hope is in seeing God for who he really is. He’s has not come into my life to make me feel judged but to let me know he cares deeply.

God wants to be part of my everyday life. God wants to be close to me. God is interested in having a relationship with me. Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (NIV).

God’s rod and staff are there to comfort me. This is best pictured as a shepherd and his sheep. The shepherd uses a rod to discipline the sheep and a staff to direct the sheep. If a sheep is headed off of a cliff, the shepherd uses the rod and staff to make sure it doesn’t go off it. That’s a good thing! So likewise, when I’m heading off a cliff, God will bring discipline and direction into my life to keep me from falling off that cliff. It’s not condemning; it’s comforting, because he loves me enough to tell me when I’m headed the wrong direction.

That is the kind of God who loves me. That is the kind of God who comforts me. That is the kind of God who gives me hope. As a leader at work and in ministry, I need to model the same compassion and comfort to others.

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