Friday, July 06, 2007

Day 30 - Gracious And Compassion Come In Threes

I have my own definitions of the words gracious and compassion formed through the years. But interestingly enough, my definitions are quite far from what was intended at the time the King James Bible was translated. Noah Webster defines gracious as:

1. Favorable; kind; friendly; as,the envoy met with a gracious reception. 2. Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings. Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful. Neh 9:17. 3. Favorable; expressing kindness and favor. All bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded from his mouth. Luke 4. 4. Proceeding from divine grace; as a person in a gracious state. 5. Acceptable; favored. 6. Renewed or implanted by grace; as gracious affections. 7. Virtuous; good. 8. Excellent; graceful; becoming.

Compassion is another one of those words that I have a definition in my brain but when I read Noah's definition, it made me realize how skewed my thinking is. It's not that I don't understand that my God is gracious and full of compassion. I do understand and I do believe - however, the extent of my understanding is minimal compared to what was intended by Mr. Webster. Compassion's definition according to Noah is:

1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

He being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity. Psa 78.

His father had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15
.

Tell me this does not bless your socks off! When you read the definitions, do you not see just how much we human beings lack in this area? We are gracious and compassionate toward those we know personally and love. However, what about the complete stranger? God is gracious and compassionate to all, my friend! This ought to not only convict us, but it should excite us because it shows us just how the Lord feels about you and I! It opens our eyes to the extent of His love. Oh thank You, Lord!

Where am I going with this today? Glad you asked! I thought it appropriate to end this month's series with the compassion and graciousness of God!

As I searched my Bible software for this phrase gracious and full of compassion, I was excited to see that it only appears three times. The number three symbolizes the Godhead and how appropriate it is that these three verses refer to God and not some man!

(1) He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. (Psa 111:4) I find it interesting that the first use of this phrase talks about God's creation. The number one symbolizes the beginning. As we behold these wonderful works of God, we remember that He created them in six days and we glorify Him for His excellent work. [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psa 8:1)

(2) Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4) The born-again Christian has the blessed light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give to a lost and dying world. How appropriate that the second use of this phrase refers to this. The number two symbolizes witness and separation. The born-again Christian has received the Light of the Gospel. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14) How can a Christian be a light to the lost if we live like the devil and hide our light under a bushel? We can't! The Christian is to be a light to a people who are stumbling in the dark because of their sin. We are to lead them to Christ so they, too, can sing "I once was blind, but now I see"! Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

(3) The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psa 145:8) Thank You, Lord for showing us in the third use of this phrase two more characteristics of Your nature! Again, the number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that this third use would further detail the characteristics of this Godhead! Not only is our God gracious and full of compassion, but He is patient and merciful! Not only did God pay for my sin debt but He is patient and merciful toward me even now when I daily fail Him. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

The blessed Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not finished with us. The Father demands justice be served for the sins of man so He provided a way of salvation through His Son. Jesus Christ took on the form of man, lived a sinless life so He could be the sinless sacrifice which paid the price for our sin. The Holy Spirit was given to the believer and He resides within us so He can reveal to us God's nature and mold us into the image of the Blessed Saviour! Oh thank You, Lord, for today's blessing! How gracious You are and full of compassion! You revealed this side of You to us in three blessed verses to show us your completeness. Help us to be more like You and to live out these characteristics as we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ and with a lost and dying world!

Dear God...
Oh the Blessed Three in One
So full of compassion and grace
Work in my heart and move me
Til I reach my heavenly place!


Devotional by Kate Plourde

60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible

1 comment:

Julie's Jewels said...

This is an awesome post Sis. Kate!! I once heard compassion explained like this....compassion is love in action. But not to just one group of people but to everyone...like you mentioned. This is a great post. I hope many read it!!

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