"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14: Tenderly


NOTE TO SELF: “Tenderly caring for you.” I absolutely love The Message version’s use of descriptive words. Here are some other versions of Isaiah 54:8:

“…With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.” (KJV)

“…With everlasting love I will have compassion on you.” (ESV)

“…With age-enduring love and kindness I will have compassion and mercy on you.” (AMP)

Compassion is one of my favorite words God uses in the Bible, but there is something about The Message’s version that takes me to a different level in understanding God’s place in my life. Compassion and mercy is one thing. I can have those on strangers that I see on the street or in the news. But…God is tenderly caring for me. Whoa! This makes it personal. This makes it real.

God doesn’t care for us without cause. He does it because His love for us is lasting, age-enduring and kind. Like a father to a newborn, with large, strong hands, He gently cradles us, affectionately kisses our forehead and softly caresses our cheek. In His eyes we see a gleam of pride and a smile that creeps up on Him, seemingly surprising Him as he tenderly cares for us.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for loving us with an everlasting love and tenderly caring for us through all of our days and struggles, through our triumphs and failures, and through our strengths and weaknesses. Thank Your for wrapping our lives in Your compassion and mercy. Amen.

JOURNAL: If you are a parent, write about the day your child was born and what you felt when you looked at his/her face for the first time. If you’re not a parent, write about a time you felt utterly cared for and loved by your parent or someone close to you.

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