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Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Morning Devo - Compassion

"But You, O Lord are a God full of compassion, and gracious, patient, and generous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15

If you've read the Bible much, you know that God sometimes got impatient with the Israelites. He described His relationship with his people as a marriage. When they worshipped other gods, it was like they were cheating on Him. It broke His heart. The amazing thing, though, is every time they said they were sorry and came back to Him asking forgiveness, He took them back.

One of my favorite of Jesus' parables is the one about the prodigal son. I always relate to the boy who took his share of the inheritance, spent it all doing really horrible stuff, and then crawled back to his father asking forgiveness. Others relate to the faithful son who stayed home and worked the farm with his father.

While the one who stayed at home didn't seem to need as much compassion or the depth of forgiveness, he wasn't loved any less by his father. But the son who messed up big time? He needed oodles of compassion, forgiveness, and love.

He didn't ask for it. All he asked for was a job and food enough to live. What he got was forgiveness and reinstatement into the family. What he got was a celebration. What he got was overflowing compassion and love and welcome.

God does that. He so very much loves those who stay by His side, faithful and hard working. And He rejoices over every one who comes home to Him, no matter where they've been.

Prayer: Lord, thank You so much for loving me when I stay by Your side and when I return to You, damaged and dirty. You are Wonderful, Compassionate, Forgiving, Loving, and I love You back as much as my frail human body and mind can do.