December 26th, 2020 – Saturday Early Evening
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” ~Psalm 103:8
Stop. Read that verse again. And again. Now, remember that the LORD is God; there is no one who can even begin to compare with Him or to equal His wrath and terror. He alone rules and reigns over everything that exists as the Righteous Judge; no one can comprehend His perfection or live up to His standard. Everything He does is right and nothing He does is wrong. No one can look at Him in all of His glory and anyone who gets a glimpse of a portion of it is never the same. He is too awesome for words to completely describe and He never changes.
Read that verse again. In the context of who the LORD is (including my descriptions above), how amazing is His compassion! How awesome is His grace! How merciful is His patience! How overwhelming His lovingkindness! This is most certainly true in light of Christmas and the coming of Jesus. Instead of a hard, overbearing Master we find in Him a tender and gentle Lord; rather than a graceless and unforgiving Ruler, a gracious and forgiving Father. While we should expect His wrath and anger over our often adulterous and faithless attitudes, He is patient and slow to anger; instead of the righteous condemnation and punishment, those of us who are in Christ have found His mercy and lovingkindness.
Read that verse one more time. If you do not know this side of the Creator (He is only a far off and angry God or conversely, a God who is there to make you happy, healthy, and wealthy), it is obvious that you do not understand the real reason for Christmas. In addition, if this verse doesn’t hit us (as those who do know the real reason for Christmas) upside the head when we sin and it doesn’t inspire us to praise always, it is because we have become much too comfortable with and dangerously neglectful of the grace and goodness of the LORD God Almighty. No one deserves His mercy and no one is worthy of His grace apart from being in Christ.
When is the last time you took the time to praise the LORD for His character and immutable attributes? I can guarantee you that if we do indeed take the time to reflect upon Him and then intentionally praise and thank Him for who He is, we will be transformed into the men and women He has called and equipped us to be in Jesus. Christmas Day may be past for another year, but its eternal effect is continuing to change hearts the world around. Has the God who is just (yet compassionate), perfect (yet gracious), full of wrath (yet patient), and righteous (yet merciful) captured yours?