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abounding

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:8-14, NRSV)

The Lord is abounding in steadfast love.

What does that mean?

Love according to Merriam-Webster Online is (at least the definition that fits):

a:  unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as (1):  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2):  brotherly concern for others b:  a person’s adoration of God

And Steadfast according to Merriam-Webster Online is:

1a:  firmly fixed in place:  immovable b:  not subject to change the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow

2:  firm in belief, determination, or adherence:  loyal her followers have remained teadfast

So steadfast love is unchanging devotion or immovable concern. And abounding is existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity. So there is no end to the unchanging devotion of God, who is good to all and whose compassion covers all that has been made!

So know we do not have to be perfect, we just need to trust the promises God made and know that He will always catch us when we fall, to set us back up and dust us off and send us back out to share His love!

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Return

170303Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come. Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” (Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, NRSV)

Even now the Lord is waiting for us to return to Him, to confess our sins and walk in His light. God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He does not do anger like us but waits for us to get our act together and when we come and then walk away, He continues to wait.

God is coming with a vengeance, but the Day of the Lord is not here yet. Return to God and walk in His ways, He is waiting for you.

 

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come home

160212Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come. Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” Then the LORD became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. (Joel 2:1-2, 12-18, NRSV)

Return to the Lord your God.

If you are wandering away from home, there is always a place for you.

For God is gracious and merciful…

God is forgiving and full of mercy. He accepts us as we are where we are. He wants us to be under His care and to take shelter under His wing.

Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…

His love will never change and will continue to grow for you. Rest in the unending love of God and come home.

 

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endures forever

1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 O give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
4 who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 who spread out the earth on the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
10 who struck Egypt through their firstborn,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
17 who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed famous kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to his servant Israel,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
26 O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 136, NRSV)

The prescribed reading for today was Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26. But I started reading the psalm and I really think the psalmist was trying to make a point.

Notice I also did not reformat the text this time for the reading to put it in a nice neat paragraph to fit nicely with the picture. Because the way it is laid out now you can see the point of the psalm.

Every other line, for his steadfast love endures forever!

You see no matter what may come our way. No matter what life will throw at us, his steadfast love endures forever.

We have no reason to fear or worry, because his steadfast love endures forever.

 

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Rend your hearts

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come. The LORD utters his voice at the head of his army; how vast is his host! Numberless are those who obey his command. Truly the day of the LORD is great; terrible indeed—who can endure it? Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. (Joel 2:1-2, 11-13, NRSV)

The day of the Lord is near!

And this is not a day we should be looking forward to. It will be dark and foreboding, it will be a time for weeping and mourning.

So we must prepare! We must turn from our internal seeking times, and look beyond our selves. We must turn to the Lord and do what He has asked us to do.

We must rend our hearts, and hand them over to God, so that He might infuse them with His steadfast love that will heal all wounds, and allow Him to bind them back together in His love.

So Rend your heart and return it to the Lord!

 

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abounding in steadfast love

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord,for to you do I cry all day long. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. (Psalm 86:1-5, NRSV)

Listen to me God and come and save me. For I need you. Please do not leave me when I have tried to follow you and trust in you.

Be gracious to me, for you are my God. I know you will listen to the ones who cry to you and will forgive them their sins and forgive them, for you are good and your mercy endures for ever and ever.

Yu alone are worthy of our praise, for you truly are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love.

 

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Image

Advent Picture a Day ~ Day 11 ~ Steadfast

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Posted by on 2013/12/11 in Advent

 

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