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"Today's Word" with Skip Moen

Devotional for January 24

"[The Lord] Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion". Psalm 103:4

Lovingkindness - This Hebrew word (hesed) has had quite a controversy about its full meaning. It seems to be related to the bond between God and His people. Yet it does not mean that God shows kindness toward His people simply because they have a covenant with Him. Rather, it indicates that behind God's promises to any of His children lies God's love for His own creation. God loved us before He made promises to us. In fact, His help toward us was not dependent on our keeping the terms of the relationship outlined in the Law. That is something none of us have done. Instead, God desired to rain His love and compassion on us when we needed it most, after we had broken our relationship with Him. This verse contains a wonderful promise for each of us. It promises that God is the One Who will rescue us from the pit of our addiction and that not only will He rescue us but He will heap His mercy, love and compassion upon us precisely because we need Him. None of us in recovery could be more aware of our desperate plight to escape the hell of our lives. God knows. He will bring us back to ourselves and to Him in a way that we too may show love and compassion.

The great Psalm of lovingkindness is Psalm 136. David considers the intervention of God in the history of His people as a remarkable sign of lovingkindness. He describes God's character and actions with the same term. When you want to see the full scope of God's hesed for you, take a moment to read this Psalm. It is a look back at the way God demonstrated His care for Israel, and it is a look forward to the way God will continue to care for us. Jesus once asked this question: When a child asks his father for bread, will the father give him a stone? If you human parents know how to respond to the needs of your children, how much more do you think God wants to respond to the needs of his children?

Look for hesed today. My guess is that you will find it.

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"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2008 is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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