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Utter amazement

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. 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. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said. (Psalm 103:13)

I don't know if this prompts you to utter even a few words of gratitude and worship, but this passage always gets me to my knees. Why? God doesn't EVER treat me like I deserve and that fills me with utter amazement. That amazement spills over into praise and thanksgiving - because if I was treated the way I deserved it, I don't think I would like life very well! This passage is loaded with things we need to understand about our God:

1. He isn't in the business of just letting things happen - leaving things up to fate. He puts everything right and makes them come out in ways no one ever expects. This suggests a position of action in our lives - putting things right, making us stand strong again, opening up his plans to us - these are all actions he not only engages in within us, but all around us. 

2. He isn't shy about letting us see how he works - in fact, he relishes the opportunity of letting us see his movement, understanding little bits and pieces of his bigger plan, and then moving right there along with him. While our lives are short, they are abundantly 'endless' in his grace and mercy - probably by far the most amazing 'work' he does is within each of us that least deserve his attentiveness and care.

3. He isn't into using our sins against us or keeping us under his thumb - he gives us his grace and mercy and then lets us live again in the freedom of that forgiveness. His love isn't mamby-pamby - it is intentional, not situational. It isn't given in limited amounts - barely eeking out any sign of his care or compassion - it is lavished in endless proportions.

4. He doesn't just 'watch over' our lives - he is actively engaged and in tune with every need, desire, and hope. Follow his instructions and you will live 'within' this state of intentional care - step outside and he will reach out to bring you back again. Why? His love is limitless and unconditional. That is probably the hardest thing for us to grasp fully - the lack of conditions. We equate love with doing something and then receiving something in return. In God's economy, all are free, all are loved, all are given grace as they seek it. 

5. We leave little impact upon this world - wouldn't it be the best to leave the greatest impact we can leave? How? By living within his grace - giving of our lives as he has given of his. Grace isn't to be squandered - it is to be multiplied and guess who God intends to use as the multiplier of that grace? You and me! Just ponder this passage today and let God speak into your soul a bit. Just askin...

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