Tag Archives: God is good

Gracious and Merciful

Who is God to you?

 

It seems like such a simple question, but your answer has deep implications.

 

Is God far off, unreachable and without compassionate?

Is God loving – but only with strict rules and harsh restrictions?

Is God judgmental, disappointed by and condemning of your choices?

Is God absent, never there for you and unaware of your circumstances?

Is God unfeeling, ignoring your pain and unseeing of your tears?

 

Or is God a true Father, One who cares and comforts … no matter what?

 

To me, God is the true father.

Always available.

Always compassionate.

Always forgiving.

Always waiting.

 

For me.

No matter what.

 

Because I choose to believe He is just as He is repeatedly described:

Gracious and Merciful

2 Chronicles 30:9 – … for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

 

Nehemiah 9:17 – … But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.

 

Nehemiah 9:31 – … For You are God, gracious and merciful.

 

Psalm 103:8 – The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

 

Psalm 111:4 – … The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

 

Psalm 112:4 –  … He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

 

Psalm 116:5 – Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

 

Psalm 145:8 – The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

 

Joel 2:13 – For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

 

Jonah 4:2 – … You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

 

I believe in a God of unlimited compassion and mercy.

I believe in a God of unwavering goodness and patience.

I believe in a God of unashamed grace and love.

 

Just as all these verses describe.

 

How about you?  What do you believe?

 

Marie Fremin, 7/30/17

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Psalm 23 – Our Daily Guide

Psalm 23.  A Psalm of David that teaches us how to live a successful day-to-day life.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

GOD IS MY FATHER AND JESUS IS MY SAVIOR.  HE LOVES ME UNCONDITIONALLY AND WANTS TO POUR BLESSINGS UPON ME.  I SHALL NOT WANT TO LIVE OUTSIDE OF HIS WILL, WHICH INCLUDES LOVING ALL PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES.

 
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

HE HELPS ME TO KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT WHEN MY TEMPER FLARES.  HE LEADS ME TO WALK IN LOVE AND NOT REACT IMPULSIVELY.  HE STILLS MY STIRRED UP EMOTIONS, CAUSING ME TO PAUSE AND CONSIDER MY REACTION BEFORE GIVING IN TO THE TEMPTATION TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

 
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

HE REMINDS OF GRACE AND HOW IT SHOULD BE MY GO-TO RESPONSE.  HE FILLS ME WITH COMPASSION, SO I DON’T OVERREACT OR IRRATIONALLY RESPOND.  HE RESTORES MY BROKEN PIECES AND REDEEMS MY HURT EMOTIONS.  BECAUSE HE WANTS ME TO BE A POSITIVE AMBASSADOR FOR HIS NAME AND A REFLECTION OF HIS GLORY.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

YES, I WILL GET MAD.  YES, I WILL HAVE MOMENTS OF NEGATIVITY.  YES, PEOPLE WILL HURT ME.  YES, I WILL FACE TRIALS.  BUT I WILL RISE ABOVE THEM.  I WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO DICTATE MY THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS.  BECAUSE GOD IS WITH ME, AND GOD HAS A GOOD PLAN FOR ME.  BECAUSE GOD IS COMPASSIONATE WITH ME.  BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME ENOUGH TO CHANGE MY DIRECTION, CORRECT MY THINKING, AND INTERRUPT MY PLANS.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE PROVISIONS FOR THIS MOMENT.  YOU HAVE GONE AHEAD OF ME AND COVERED EVERYTHING WITH YOUR LOVE, GRACE, AND FORGIVENESS.  YOU HAVE GIVEN ME THE ABILITY TO FOCUS ON YOU AND TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR LOVE, NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION.  I AM ANOINTED WITH YOUR SPIRIT AND BLESSED WITH YOUR POWER TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE.

 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I AM BEING CHASED BY YOUR LOVE, WHICH NEVER FAILS ME.  IT IS THERE FOR ME IN EVERY MOMENT, GOOD AND BAD, OF MY LIFE.  I WILL REMAIN IN YOUR PRESENCE AND SEEK YOUR FACE FOREVER.  FOR ONLY IN DOING SO WILL I BE TRANSFORMED INTO THE PERSON YOU HAVE MADE ME TO BE AND SEE YOUR GOODNESS AND REVEL IN YOUR MERCY, WHICH IS NEW EACH MORNING FOR ME.  THANK YOU FOR REDEEMING ME FOR YOUR PURPOSES.

 

Marie Fremin.  6/16 and 6/18/16

Psalm 23

Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV)

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

 

The heart’s cry of a once young shepherd boy to His heavenly Father who has kept him and loved him through all the moments of his life.  We all know this oft-quoted passage well.  This is how David saw his God.  Who is God to you?

 

Verse 1 – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  I shall not want what I cannot afford.  I shall not want what I do not really need.  I shall not want what someone else has.  I shall not want something that has no practical value.  I shall not want to be the center of attention.  I shall not want to always be right.  I shall not want the constant approval of my fellow man.  Why?  Because “I have all that I need” from the most loving Shepherd, who tells me in John 10:14 that “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”  I am loved by God and therefore I am known by God and seen by God.  He will “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), and He will fill up all the empty spaces in my heart with Himself.

 

Verse 2 – “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”  He sees the burden I (choose to) carry, and He coaxes me to put them in down in favor of something better.  He lovingly whispers to me “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).  He beckons me to come sit at His feet and just be with Him (Luke 10:39).

 

Verse 3 – “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”  He redirects me when I go my own way.  “He renews my strength” when I am too tired to continue moving forward.  He fills me with Himself, exchanging my human shortcomings for His goodness.  Isaiah 43:18-19 reminds us that He is a God of the new, wanting to redeem us for His glory – “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”  He also promises that He will help me remove the rags of shame I choose to put on and will give me His glorious beauty instead (Isaiah 61:3 – To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, That they may be called trees of righteousness …).

 

Verse 4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  Yes, I will walk through the trials and tribulations of daily life.  Yes, I will suffer the consequences of my bad choices.  Yes, I will mess up … a lot.  But I will not fear punishment, death, or being forsaken.  For You will still love me with an astonishing everlasting love through it all (Ephesians 3:17-19).  You will hear my prayers, and You will answer each one – in Your timing and according to Your perfect plan (Proverbs 16:9).  Your Spirit lives within me to help me make better choices and live uprightly (John 16:13).  And You will never leave me alone or let me walk through the trials alone (Deuteronomy 31:6).

 

Verse 5 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”  You always take care of me.  You protect me, especially from myself and my own bad decisions.  You cover me continually with grace and chase me down with mercy.  You help me to live peaceably with people around me, especially those who are difficult to love (Romans 12:10,14,18).  You give me strength to keep going, to keep trying, and to keep praying (Isaiah 40:29).  You give me the courage to love, to reconcile, and to apologize.  You give me the humility to be compassionate, to be grace-full, and to forgive.

 

Verse 6 – “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”  I am loved!  I am surrounded by, filled up with, sheltered by, and covered with Your unfailing love (Ephesians 3:17-19).  You have made it possible for me to be adopted by You – to be called Your daughter and to be accepted as Your loved child.  “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).  You will redeem my life’s story for Your glory (Romans 8:28) – all my good moments and bad, all my happy moments and sad, all my angry moments and peaceful.  And I can be assured that NO THING “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”! (Romans 8:39)

 

So now I hope you will take a moment or two to consider God’s fingerprints on your life.  And as you do, consider my original question – Who is God to you?

 

Marie Fremin, 5/20/16

Good Morning, God

I love those mornings when I am driving into work and the sun is peeking through the clouds.

Good Morning God

It makes me smile to know that God is looking down on me, watching over me, and loving me.  No matter my bad attitude.  No matter the traffic.  No matter the unexpected delays.  No matter the thoughts running through my head.

 

He is God.  He is good.

 

Psalm 118:1, 136:1 – “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

 

So as I sit in traffic and catch the glory of God’s presence shining through the clouds, I am reminded me to say “thank You” to the One who creates everything.  Who orders the universe.  Who refines our hearts.   Who loves us unconditionally.

 

Psalm 73:28 – “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.”

 

So, good morning God.  Thank You, loving Father, for another day.  I woke up, therefore You have deemed this a day of purpose.  Thank You for already filling this day with Your grace and Your glory.  Thank You for going before me into today.  Thank You for the opportunities You have already put in place – help me to see these divine appointments, help me to speak with the tongue of Love, and help me to make a difference wherever I can.  Thank You for refining me so that I can live above my emotions and beyond the moment to walk in patience, in grace, in kindness, and in peace.  Help me to be an agent of grace and a purveyor of peace, no matter what is going on in me and around me.  Thank You for allowing me to part of Your eternal plans and to glimpse these divine plans in motion.

 

Thank You especially for grace, which I will need every moment of today.  Because I am human and can be led astray by my emotions.  Because it is impossible to love people without grace.  Because I will miss the mark and hurt people.  Because I will choose to go my way instead of following You.  Because I will allow myself to be selfish and self-centered instead of considering others.

 

Thank You for the truth that resonates in 2 Timothy 2:13 (“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself”) – that no matter how I miss the mark, You still love me and want to bless me.  You still want to work in me and through me.  You still have great hope for me.  You still shower me with grace.

 

I won’t get everything right today, but that’s OK.  Thank You for grace to soothe those mistakes and turn me the right direction.  Thank You for grace that “will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8), when I choose to do things and think things my way.

 

I pray today You open my eyes, so I see the beauty of Your creation.  Open my heart, so I am more loving toward and slower to react rashly.  Open my mind, so I think good thought about people and consider the best about them.  Open my hand, so I freely give when I see a need.  Open my tongue, so I am quick to compliment and encourage.  And most importantly, open my obedience – so I can be faithful in all You have called me to do today.

 

I pray today that I am a light shining into the dark corners of confusion of the world.  I pray today that I am the salt that flavors the uncertainty of society toward You.  I pray today that I am brave enough to take that next tentative step into the deep waters, where You wait for me with encouragement and equipping to continue forward.  I pray today that I am confident enough to choose right over wrong, patience over anger, and forgiveness over retribution.

 

Thank You, loving Creator, that all these things – and SO much more – are possible with You.  Today.  Because You are the God of the impossible “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think …” (Ephesians 3:20).

 

Thank You for the all the possibilities of today.

Thank You for the hope of tomorrow.

Thank You for the lessons of yesterday.

 

There is nothing I can say to truly express how amazing You are (in never giving up on me) and how overwhelmed I am by Your love (which never fails).  Thank You just isn’t full enough, deep enough, wide enough, or high enough to encompass Your greatness and my gratitude.

 

But I will try.  I’ll start the day with “Good morning, God”.  And we’ll both know that I mean all these things and so much more.

 

Marie Fremin, 4/26/16