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Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Lord, who can testify of Your unconditional love and compassion like the psalmist? Despite his many weaknesses, his repeated failures to live by Your standards, or his inconsistency to stay on the straight and narrow pathway of righteousness, You were still his heart’s desire.  At times, he yielded to temptations he later regretted. Nonetheless, Your unconditional love refused to give up on him, (Psalm 119:8). Your love and compassion always brought him back to You. Mindful of his deep, unconditional love for his children, the psalmist wrote:

“The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear [revere] Him. For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.” — Psalm 103:13,14

Lord, the enormity of my love and compassion for the children You gave me is inexpressible. My heart swells and I smile ear to ear when I think of them.

I pray You too are smiling as big when You think of me, and all Your children. You know how we stumble from time to time, but never once have You stopped loving us. Your love relentlessly chases after us to turn us around when we stray. We’re Your kids who worship You for being our great God and Savior.

So, to answer the question, “Who can testify of Your unconditional love and compassion like the psalmist?” I certainly can. And so do all who call You Lord and Savior. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Lord, not only is Your love unfailing and everlasting to those who honor You, but also all who have placed their trust in You have had their sins deleted from their account.

The more the psalmist meditated on how You are quick to forgive and extend mercy even when we don’t deserve it, the greater the impact of Your grace became.  Not only is Your unfailing love without limits, but all who have placed their trust in You have this faithful truth to stand on:  

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” — Psalm 103:12.

Sadly, many believers live as if their sins are still tied around their necks. I know. I used to be one. Off-track theology and religious traditions teach that to gain God’s grace I needed to rack up more good deeds than bad. In so doing, more of God’s “atta boys” would cancel out my “there you go agains.” How sad I didn’t see how Your grace erased my sin debt completely.  You still claim me as Your own even though You know I still slip up and sin, make boneheaded choices, or just wander off the path. Your grace is sufficient to cover me and rein me back in, (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Like all Christ-followers, each time we fail You, we repent and ask forgiveness. And You’re quick to forgive, but then You give a little extra. You open our spiritual eyes to see a little more of the extent of Your grace that keeps us and reminds us our sin debt has been removed from us as far as the east is from the west. 

Thank You Jesus.  I love getting Your atta boys. Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, July 25, 2022

Lord, the psalmist just couldn’t help himself, could he? In nearly everything he wrote, in every communication, it seemed the conversation always came around to talking about Your unfailing love and grace. When he came to his senses and returned to You following his wandering in sin, he experienced Your unfailing love as never before.  You honored his contrite plea:

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.” — Psalm 51:12,

He recalled Your mercy when his heart cried out to You.

“You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God,” — (Psalm 51:17).

As You faithfully promised, You restored Your peace to his troubled soul. The joy of his salvation kept him focused on You. After being on the receiving end of Your grace, He just couldn’t keep quiet about Your mercy extended to him. In the psalmist great blessings Psalm 103, he wrote:

“For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.” — Psalm 103:11

Lord, how these timeless truths apply to us today. Your unfailing love has no limits to those who honor and revere You. Your love will never abandon us, betray us or reject us when we are  repentant. Thankfully, Your love won’t hide from us if we do something stupid and wander like the sheep Isaiah wrote about. Your love seeks after us to bring us back into the fold.  You remain faithful in Your promises. You keep Your Word. Your unfailing love is the same as yesterday, and today, and will be tomorrow.

Lord, help me be as talkative about Your unfailing love as our psalmist friend was in his time. Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Friday, July 22, 2022

Lord, Your Spirit gave the psalmist new revelations about Your holy attributes of mercy, grace and forgiveness, and Your unfailing love. He recorded these truths in his great blessings psalm, (Psalm 103). As a believer, he reflected on his personal struggles to conquer his many flaws, striving to maintain the integrity of his relationship with You. Swap the psalmist’s name with mine and our stories are close to the same. As a Christ-follower, I’m in total agreement with his interpretation of Your forgiveness, of not holding our sins against us. Your patience with us as we rise and fall in our efforts to live for You clearly demonstrates how You are sooo slow to anger.

The psalmist must have been humbled when he wrote of Your mercy:

“He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.” — Psalm 103:9,10 (The Message)

Lord, how humbling to know that despite the evidence, You will never bring a court case against me for my trespasses against You. And how can I not forgive those who offend me when You took my guilt and put it on Jesus. And why did Jesus willingly give me His goodness in exchange for my sins? He didn’t do anything wrong, so what kind of deal is that?

Centuries later, the prophet Isaiah described that “kind of deal.” He wrote:

“We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on Him, on Him [Jesus].” — Isaiah 53:6 (The Message)

Lord, putting my sins, and everyone else’s sins, on Jesus was Your plan? That was Your “kind of deal?” Your great attributes of love and mercy, forgiveness and restoration, Your holy character, is beyond our human description. I can only humbly and gratefully say, Thank You God, thank You Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Lord, are most people like the psalmist? He wondered why You chose to bless him despite his many sinful ways. I wonder the same about me. Even though I’ve placed my faith in You, Jesus, You know how flawed I remain, struggling with sins that should have been out of my life long ago. Sinful me deserving of blessings? By the world’s standards—fat chance! But Your grace and holy character say otherwise. How can I not fall on my knees before You in reverence and agree with the psalmist when he wrote of Your eternal character:

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love — Psalm 103:7

Lord, it is Your nature to love. Unlike human love, Your love is steadfast. It never fails, it never disappoints. You are mindful how fragile we are. The psalmist wrote:

“For He knows how weak we are, He remembers we are only dust” — Psalm 103:14.

Your compassion sees how easily we can fall apart when life’s stuff hits. But You hold us. close to Your heart. If most Christ-followers are like me, we are thankful beyond description how Your patience with us is literally out of this world. Because of Your grace, Your mercy never condemns when we stumble and miss the standards You have set. Instead, You pick us up, dust us off, wipe the mud from our face, straighten our cap, and say, “C’mon, my child. Keep walking with Me. We’re gonna make it home.”

Lord, Your compassion, mercy, patience and love never change. They are like none other. We are most grateful, Jesus. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Lord, when the psalmist penned his great blessings psalm (Psalm 103) did he question why You richly blessed him when You knew his many flaws, his imperfections, and the guarantee he would fail You again in some way? Did he feel unworthy to come before You to ask for anything? Did he grappled to understand the depths of Your grace knowing his sinful ways? Why would You bless him so abundantly? Why do You bless me since I’m so much like the psalmist? Could it b

Exodus chapter three describes Moses’ reaction to Your accessibility when You appeared to him as the ‘Angel of God’ amid the burning bush. He had to cover his face in the presence of Your glory. I would do the same. When You revealed to Moses Your name, “I AM WHO I AM,” You were saying ‘come to Me. I AM accessible and I AM everything we need You to be and more.’

“He revealed His character to Moses,” the psalmist recounted. “And His deeds to the people of Israel,” (Psalm 103:7).

Just as You revealed Yourself to Moses, You remain accessible to all who seek You, whose cries for mercy You hear. And those who place their trust in You, Jesus, know You in a most intimate way, since Your Spirit comes to live within every believer and reveals more of Your holy character.

Thank You, Lord, that despite our many flaws and imperfections, You are still the accessible great I AM who calls us to come to You as we are. Your spiritual blessing and mercies never cease. They are new every day.  Love You, Lord. Amen

Chatting with Jesus

Monday July 18, 2022

Lord, in the famous praise Psalm 103, the psalmist transitions from listing his blessings to describing Your sovereignty as a loving and merciful God. It’s no wonder he begins his list defining Your attribute as a righteous judge.

“The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly,” (Psalm 103:6).

Lord, You are mindful of the oppressed. Their mistreatment does not escape Your notice as You hears their cries of distress. Your sovereign justice is perfect, and You defend those who cannot fend for themselves according to Your righteous character. However, the psalmist is mindful of the Scripture cautioning believers not to retaliate on our own, but allow You, Go, to take Your righteous vengeance on the wicked.

I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them, (Deuteronomy 32:35).

Lord, give us patience to wait for Your divine vengeance on those who oppress and take advantage of those who cannot fend for themselves. You gave us Your Word:

For the LORD will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone (Deuteronomy 32: 36)

Lord, as Christ-followers, we can rest in Your sovereignty as our righteous and just God.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Lord, as the psalmist listed his blessings, he saw his life much differently.  I agree with the psalmist’s words:

“Who satisfies my life with good things, so my youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalm 103:5)

Does our list of blessing have an end? Hardly.

To begin, our redemption from sin’s condemnation has brought us peace with You. Your Spirit gives us an internal peace that assures us, regardless of circumstances, You are working behind the scenes on our behalf.

Love, joy, peace are only a fraction of the good things You give.  We have family and loyal friends with whom we laugh, play and pray together. How about feeling our baby’s soft breath on our cheek. There’s joys that accompany the challenges of raising children. Sipping coffee, watching a sunrise chase away the darkness. Sitting reverently, watching a spectacularly colorful sunset only You can create.

Puppy kisses. Tabasco sauce that gives our food a zing! Smiling at a six-year-old’s innocent take on the world. Listening inently, holding the wrinkled hand of an elderly as they impart their wisdom. The hope and courage You give when the doctor says he doesn’t like the looks of the biopsy.

For Christ-followers, we have hope. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day,” (2 Corinthians 4:16). How well the psalmist knew this when he penned: “My youth is being renewed like the eagle’s!”

Lord, open our eyes to see Your bountiful blessings are everywhere. Amen.

Chatting With Jesus

Wednesday, July 13, 2022,

Lord, while the psalmist wrote his list of blessings, no doubt Your Spirit kept reminding him of one blessing after another, and of all You did for him. You are doing the same for me as my list closely matches the psalmist’s.

“He redeems me from death, and crowns me with love and tender mercies,” Psalm 103:4

Of course, the psalmist and I know there is no escaping our appointments with physical death. The psalmist beat me and is with You. But we both had a “BAM!” moment when we realized we were already dead on the inside. We needed God. Without God, our internal man — our spirit — is dead. In our BAM! moment, You heard our pleas for mercy and forgave all our sins, redeeming our souls from spiritual death.

Because of man’s disobedience against You in the Garden, we all come hard-wired with a sin nature that desires to rebel against You and reject Your precepts. But God, when we placed our faith in You, Your Spirit within us began the lifelong work of replacing our sin nature with Your nature. Gone are our old ways with its prejudices and worldly influences that left little satisfaction within. Lord, You crowned us with Your love and mercies that enables us to see others through Your eyes.

Realizing the magnitude of Your love and grace changes us forever. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Lord, when the psalmist listed his blessings, he emphasized not only does “He forgives all my sins,” redeem us to You forever but Your redemption also “heals all my diseases,” (Psalm 103:3). This statement may be confusing to many folks since we all know Christ-followers get sick, have cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or any myriad of diseases that lead to death. Some You heal miraculously. Some You heal through medicine and treatments. Some enter into eternity. So, what did the psalmist mean You heal all my diseases?

The results of that ugly incident between Eve and the snake in the Garden ushered the disease of sin into the world, which brought along other diseases, afflictions, suffering, and every kind of wickedness. And, of course, physical death was the biggie. All people will succumb to death, some from natural causes and some from illnesses.

The psalmist evidently means the default “spiritual diseases” that come standard with our sin nature, which Your grace redeems us from. Your Spirit, now alive within our new inside person, goes to work on these soul afflictions. Unforgiveness, greed, hatred, bigotry, jealousy, lust for power, control, narcissism are only a few of these soul-crippling diseases. However, not all spiritual maladies are healed at once. As the Apostle Paul wrote from experience, all Christ-followers are a work in progress. As we surrender our will to You, Lord, Your Spirit heals our spiritual disease and conforms us into Your image, (Philippians 1:6).

I’m eternally grateful, Lord, that You are continually healing all my diseases. Amen