As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
When I had written the devotion about the mercy of the Heavenly Father, a mail from a dear friend landed in my inbox. I read it with tears in my eyes. Yes, that is our dear Heavenly Father!
I find so beautiful that she has reconciled with her parents and now loves them from the bottom of her heart. This is only possible because Jesus helps us to forgive and makes it real. These are not pious feelings, this is reality: even with such a past, Jesus brings about forgiveness and love. Amazing how our Lord acts and how much power forgiveness has.
Do not let up! You too can get reconciliation with your parents through Jesus! HE wants it!!
I wanted to thank you with all my heart for the last devotion (the one about our Father).
Since I have been treated by a Christian psychologist, I have become aware of many things.
When I read your email, I knew God was speaking to my heart again, “I was there!” Something that I’ve only now come to realize in my treatment.
When I was about four years old, my parents built a new house. Shortly after we moved in, they used to go out drinking with their friends on weekends and leave me alone with my little sister. I remember being in our big, dark house one night looking for her. Sometimes I would go out into the street crying and call out to them. When they came home, my father used to beat me. He was drunk. Then one day they locked the door so I couldn’t get out.
The enemy likes to lie to children! “Be quiet!” “No one can hear you!” “You are a great burden!”
Then, many years later, and when the enemy voices were so distinct in me, at some point I loaded a 9mm handgun and got drunk. I turned off the lights in the house and tried to take my own life. I’d screwed up so much, my marriage… my friendships… my job. And that’s when I met Jesus.
I always knew He was there that dark night when I wanted to end it all. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that the Lord was with me then too. He was with me in the darkness when I had this terrible fear. He was with me when finally my father came home and beat me. The pain that came from the beatings was better than the fear of being alone. He hit me once so hard that my eardrum burst in my ear. Strangely enough, I still have problems with it when I sit in an airplane …
But the Lord was with me even then. He was there, my good, loving Father!!! He saw everything and used everything … EVERYTHING … for His good (and still does!) … I have no bad feelings towards my parents. That’s the way it was.
Thanks, Frank. Thank you for listening to the Lord!!!! That he is so close to you and that you share him with us!!!
Oh Jesus, bless my good friend! And let her be a blessing to many! Help us to forgive our parents and to love them dearly. Thank You!!!
You will be called by a new name,
A name given by the Lord himself.
You will be like a beautiful crown for the Lord.
Isaiah 62, 2f
If you argue, you certainly will find several names for the other, but for sure not a nice name. And if you are in love, you are whispering all sorts of beautiful names in the ear of your beloved. Names, this is like a programm for us, like a designation of the properties of the other. They show, hiw we assess our counterpart. I often call my little one “Big” although he is still the smallest. But he once will be a Big guy, clear!
Jesus called Simon to His disciples and gave him the name Cephas, Peter, which means rock. Firstly not much of that was foreseeable, but Jesus knew that Simon once will become a rock.
God knows every things and beings. For each star He has a name and every tiny creature He calls by its name. He knows the million names and nick names of us humans. This is something very intimate between God and the people. Sometimes, when I pray for somebody, I tell Him: You are a paramour of God. Or I call Him prince or Her princess. Or loyal, strong hero. Thereabouts are the names, God has for us. These names sound like hope and tenderness, yes, God lays all His love in this names.
Also for you He has a very special name, that no one else knows. But in His Holy Book it is written down. Your name shows how precious you are to Him.
Thank You, Father, You know me through and through and love me! You call my name full of tenderness. You know my longing for recognition, love and attention and You want to give it to me. Yes, with You I am the man You wanted me to be. Thank You that You are so full of love and appreciation for me! Thank You for all the good thoughts that You have for me! You really are my dear father!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
When reading above verses I am thinking of all those who really need the Heavenly Father`s mercy.
There are the many little children, who are lying in bed lonely and have fear in the darkness of the night. How soothing it would be if a loving great father comes to wrap them in a warm blanket, speaks a prayer with them and says: I take care of you, sleep well! He then leaves the door a little open so that some light still can fall into the room.
I also think of all the women who have lost their husbands and now have to do everything alone. How much burden lies on their shoulder with the household and possibly also the upbringing of the children. And there is no one to whom they can confide, on whom they can lean on a little bit. How urgently they need a father at their side with help and encouraging words.
Then there are the many young boys and girls with often heavy inferiority complexes, aggressive behavior who need leadership to find their way. How wonderful it would be if a father is there who understands their situation, gives them helping advices so that they can find their paths, their tasks and gain self-respect thereby.
Who do not need such a father? I am old and still miss him. We all need such a father whom we can contact. Some knows that and other ignore it.
But truly we all have such a father, a Heavenly Father who always is there for us, wants to help us in all our burdens and needs, wants to give us relief in all. Let Him be very close to you then He can comfort you, can change every situation for the better, covers you with peace. This happens as surely as the light of the morning chases away the horrors of the night.
Follow Jesus and God is merciful to you. The way to Him is free. Jesus has paid the price for it. He purifies us, makes us holy. God loves us so much. His valuable children we are, even when we are 80 years old. Glory!
Thank You, Father in Heaven, You are so close to me, so close! I feel Your strong hand on my shoulder. You are my loving Father who is not angry with me. How comforting!
How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord of heavenly forces!
My very being longs, even yearns,
for the Lord’s courtyards.
My heart and my body
will rejoice out loud to the living God!
Yes, the sparrow too has found a home there;
the swallow has found herself a nest
where she can lay her young beside your altars,
Lord of heavenly forces, my king, my God!
Those who live in your house are truly happy;
they praise you constantly.
Psalms 84, 1-4
It is certainly not so that I am old and tired of living. But I do not feel at home here. Where is my home? Through many removals I am connected with many cities and landscapes and here, where I live now, I feel good. And yet: Life is more than a migration; – It is not a real home. It goes through dark valleys, and sometimes you have to climb a large mountain, it goes over dangerous torrents – Jesus became the bridge for me – and it goes to quiet places where you can relax. Of course there are tasks to be done and of course there will be struggle. And yet I do not lose sight of my goal: The Lord himself is waiting for me! Certainly we should make it ourselves nice and cozy, as far as possible. But we should not allow ourselves to capture and entangle us in a short thinking. Our home here is not our goal!
God does not dwell in a temple made of stones. And, however large and beautiful, it could not grasp God. The sky is the place where He dwells. There it is gorgeous! And my journey’s end is where He reigns. That’s why I long for Him! Because there is really my home. At His heart, His presence, – there I’m home.
It’s nice that we already get a taste of Him and His nearness here on earth. He is close to us! And He can be found by those who seek Him sincerely. His presence refreshes my heart and fills it with new courage again and again. So many times He has intervened and shown His power and glory. So many times He has already shown how He loves me and how He waits for me. Yes, He is wonderful!
Thank You, Father, that You wait for me. Now I’m here on earth and go my way with You, but You Yourself are my goal and once I will be with You. Then I can rest from it all. It’s nice that You accompany me today and never let me out of sight. It’s wonderful that I’m safe and secure with You.
Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven …. then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6, 1.4
When I read this, I immediately felt caught out by our Father. Because I realized very quickly: I like people thinking I am good, I am excellent, I am super holy, I am unbeatable! Yes, that’s how it is with me: an fraud. Because in reality it’s not like that. I am no better than other people, not more holy, not more generous … no, I am completely normal. But somehow we don’t like that very much. We would rather be something very special.
I notice it very quickly with other people when they are bragging. And I quickly see what these people are like in reality. But I realise that I am exactly the same! Phew, that’s not good.
But then I realize that there is a cure: Jesus’ attention. If I am safe in Him, He gives me meaning and purpose in life, He gives me attention, love and recognition, then I don’t need to pretend to be more than I am. Then I can even bend and stoop down before others.
And so I become happy again, actually even relieved, because I no longer need to pretend. I am not better than I really am, I am no longer an actor, I do not need a mask, a pious facade. I am who I am.
And I turn my gaze to Jesus and ask: Yes, and you? What do you think of me?
The answer is in the way He looks at me. HE looks at me, full of love, and I notice that I am totally important to Him, as if there was nothing else for Him. I am precious to Him. I am His great love.
HE knows all my faults and weaknesses. But He also knows my abilities, accepts me. I am a counterpart to Him, not a servant, not a cheap laborer.
HE loves me, that is why I live. HE loves me, therefore I am something. Yes, in Him my striving for attention comes to an end, to rest. I can finally be who I am.
Thank You, Jesus!!
A blessing you shall be.
This is God’s calling not only for Abraham, but for all His children: A blessing we shall be!
This is possible because He frees us from all worries and fears. Because HE heals our hearts from all damages, also the memory. Because He redeems us from sin, sets us free. Because He also bears the consequences of sin…. And now tell me, what else prevents us from being a blessing? – Yes. Selfishness and nothing else.
How do you become a blessing? Just like Jesus: By giving yourself completely, becoming a servant for others. One is safe in Jesus, HE provides for us, we can give ourselves without fear. Our time, our money, our energy. We get everything from Him, so that we deal with it generously and not so that we bunk it in the cellar or as dead stock. If you store up the blessings and benefits He gives you, you prevent there from being supplies. He thinks you don’t need it because you have everything. If you give it away, you have empty hands which He can fill. And He does!
Egoists are such people, who are always just revolving around themselves. Today I feel so bad… someone has something against me… These people turn many things around, but especially they turn around themselves and their feelings. The feelings rule these people. Today like this, tomorrow different, but never in such a way that they would be useful for the Kingdom of God… So you have to sacrifice your feelings and not care about them anymore. It is Jesus’ business if we belong to Him, isn’t it? Because the context of the verse is like this: I bless you, and you shall be a blessing. This is like a contract between God and me. HE blesses me so that I may be a blessing.
The greatest blessing is a person who can forgive and has thus won a big, wide heart. With him people feel accepted and taken seriously. In his heart there is room for the needs of the people and for the people themselves. Such people are in short supply in the world. Come, be a blessing from God for your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and all who meet you!
Thank You Jesus, You bless me and I can pass this blessing on to others. How good it feels!! Thank You for the support you give me. You really love me!!
PS: It is nice to pray for others and to be such a blessing. One is quietly happy when the others are doing well and God answers our prayer.
Jesus asks Peter:
Simon, son of John, do you love me?
Peter, the disciple of Jesus, always went first. He was No. 1 with his often too quickly bold mouth. He was the brave, unafraid, heroic one who wanted to defend his Master with the sword, give his life for Him. But at the moment of probation he quickly disappeared. He went into the court secretly but was recognized 3 times as one of the disiples which he denied 3 times. In this moment the rooster crowed as his Master had predicted. When the Lord turned to him and looked at him Peter started to cry and ran away. That was too much for him.
Some days later when he was fishing with the other disciples at the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sat on the shore, fried fish and invited them to eat. Jesus looked at Peter which hit him deeply again. “Peter, do you love me?” Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus asked him that a second time. A little bit more abashed Peter may have now replied: “Yes, Lord, I love you” But when Jesus asked him that a third time the situationed changed. Now he knew that he loved Jesus and that his Master loved him. Jesus look at him was now certainly different and no longer Peter had to look away ashamed. The curse was broken, forgiveness and salvation came.
I was about 16 years old when I had an encounter with God. I suffered from melancholy at that time, was definetely not yet saved. It was rainy when I went for a walk in a forest. I looked up one time in the sky and suddenly saw a great white bright shining cloud. I immediately knew that was God. I was scared, ran away and hide myself at home. Later God touched me another time but again I avoided His love. I feared strong emotions, did not accept tears. Life was hard, so I thought.
When Jesus looks at us it goes deep through us. Can we ever hold His look? He sees everything with X-ray eyes. I felt like Peter in the court. Nothing than running away. But later forgiveness and the salvation not only gave me the strength to hold the look of Jesus but also to enjoy that. He is now dwelling in my heart. He loves me and I love Him.
Thank You, Jesus, You accepted me, saved me out of darkness, freed me of bad thoughts and emotions. You look at me in love and I love You!
I have compassion for these people. … I do not want to send them away hungry.
Matthew 15, 32
For three days the people listened to Jesus. They needed these words of life. Everything else became irrelevant because they found what their soul needed. Jesus took pity on these people and wanted to give them food to take home. So He multiplied the bread and the fish and all were sated.
Jesus treats us the same way: He doesn’t want to send us away hungry. Sometimes we ask ourselves question after question: Why did God allow this? How could this happen? Why was I so stupid? Why did I do this? These are agonizing questions that keep us awake at night. Again and again they come and make us sad, angry or hopeless.
But HE is here! HE understands the questions, sees to the deepest depth of our heart and knows all the connections. HE alone can give answers. HE has words of life and not of damnation.
With Him find the answer. Sometimes He does not explain to us exactly why and how this or that happened. But He makes us realize that everything was in His hands at all times. It was His decision, and we can find peace in it.
How much the poor heart is troubled by these endless questions: Why, how, why me of all people? But the answer can only be found in Him, in His presence. No logical explanation gives us comfort. Time does not heal memories. He alone can give us comfort and a future.
Why? Why? – These questions will come to rest when we become one with Him. Then there will be peace in our hearts, rest. – At last!
Come to Jesus’ heart and be comforted by all the sorrows of your life. HE is the best Comforter, who consoles us to the very depths of our heart and in whom we find peace.
He knows what we hunger for, and He has the medicine.
Thank You Jesus, You do not want to send us away hungry! Of course, sometimes Your answer does not suit us. But when I look at You, when I feel You in my heart, then I have enough answers. You are the Lord who loves me from the heart. Thank You!
The one who is high and lifted up,
who lives forever, whose name is holy, says:
I live on high, in holiness,
and also with the crushed and the lowly,
reviving the spirit of the lowly,
reviving the heart of those who have been crushed.
Isaiah 57, 15
This is God’s will: He wants to be with those who have no hope. He wants to comfort those who otherwise have no comfort. He wants to be close to those who are abandoned. He wants to give strength where discouragement is. His heart is full of love and compassion for the oppressed and shattered. He does not care whether the misery was caused by own fault or through the fault of others. For He is our Father, who firstly comforts and connects the wounds. A father who forgives any debt. By Him, in His heart, we really are at home. Therefore, we want to seek Him to be comforted by Him. We do not want to give up, but always come to Him with our concerns. Until He takes us in His arms and comforts us. For He has promised it, and He will keep His promise. He is with the oppressed and shattered to revive their spirits and give them a new heart.
Father, where is a God like You? You are the Holy One, but so full of mercy on us! You look at our misfortune and You want to be close to us and comfort us. You forgive all our guilt and sin. Yes, where is a God like You? Your father heart beats full of love for Your children. How could You ever forget us?
Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him.
Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. …
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.
Luke 15: 22+24
The above mentioned son who had demanded his share of estate and spent it all in wild living now returned hungry with no money to his father filled with guilt. His father, however, was highly delighted about his return and welcomed him heartfully, wanted to celebrate his coming back.
Yes, that is our heavenly Father! When we want to live independently without Him, want to go our own ways, then He is waiting for us. He never lets us out of His sight. And when we sink into the mud He hears our cry for help and pulls us out of all rubbish. We confess our sins and He forgives, dresses us with a new robe of justice that Jesus has won for us on the cross. As a sign of God`s childhood He put a seal ring on our finger. We now have access to the throne of grace again, have authority and the power to command the evil. He gives us new shoes as well. In agriculture good shoes are essential because of the often muddy soil. Our steps should be firm and certain that we do not get dirty again.
Yes, immediately after the repentence one will be cleaned first like a child of God in a bathtube. All the dirt and sin of the world will be washed away. And then a great heavenly feast will be celebrated with new robes and new shoes, The son who got lost is back again! The father is happy together with the angels. Jesus cheers, is proud. His work on the cross for him was worth it. Another lost man has been won for heaven. Rejoice because you belong to heaven! And if you do not have access to heaven yet, come quickly to Jesus, confess your sins, repent and let yourself be cleansed of all dirt. He is awaiting you!
Thank You, Father, youn waited a long time for me and now you embrace me, dress me with justice, call me now Your child. How wonderful to live with You, to be alive!