But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:20)
The Tender Mercies of God
"Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord;
Revive me according to Your judgments."
Much anxiety and uncertainty abound within our fragmented and unhappy world. Many voices are heard by all sorts of people, especially politicians and leaders of governments and countries, who seek to advice, guide, and command us all, how to live, what to do and how to do it. All in the hope to move forward from our current crisis to a future as uncertain as it is today.
Where do you turn? To whom do you go? On what rock of hope and certainty do you place your life and future?
Let me draw your attention to Psalm 119. It’s the longest psalm in the Book of psalms, but it is certainly worth reading, mediate upon in and certainly pray over it. I make no apologies for what I am about to say, since much we can learn from this Psalm and apply to our lives, wherever circumstances you are in.
Psalm 119 teaches us that trials, afflictions, and problems teach us about God and His attributes.
Times of difficulty are God’s gift to us. Without these troubles, we would be lacking in our faith and grasp of God’s power and love in our life. Here, we see where the psalmist speaks of the tender mercies of God. In a society where a bravado spirit, retaliation, and rage are so prevalent, we must look past this and see the tender mercies of God for our life.
Consider the context of the man who wrote this wonderful psalm.
We see a man who is suffering.
“Consider my affliction." "Many are my persecutors and mine enemies." "I beheld the transgressors and was grieved.” (Psalm 119:153-160). This God fearing but frail pilgrim was groaning within his spirit because his spiritual enemies had outnumbered him. He was suffering because their scornful words had taken a toll on him. He was grieved at how lawless his society and world had become. Does the decline of our world disturb you? Does the hatred against God, His Word, and the church cause you concern? It should! We should have a heart like Paul when he went down to Athens and saw the city wholly given to idolatry, godlessness, and an utter abandonment of all that is noble, true, pure, kind, holy and godly.
We see a man who is sustained.
“Great are your tender mercies, O LORD." This man was sustained in his spirit, his thoughts, and his outlook by resting on the tender mercies of God. God’s mercies are His pity, love, and grace that work in us. In the midst of his trouble, God’s tender mercies lavished him in love. I am reminded of Romans 8:34-38 and how nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. God’s tender mercies comfort us with love. God’s tender mercies were large.
He said, “Great are your tender mercies.” God just kept pouring buckets of His tender mercies into the life of this believer. God’s tender mercies were enlivening. These mercies lifted his spirit. These tender mercies gave him peace and courage. These tender mercies enabled him to have a correct perspective on God’s plan for his life. We would do well to do likewise and allow God’s truth as found in His Word, to saturate our mind, our hearts and our souls to its power, assurance and influence in all aspects of our lives.
We see a man who is steadfast.
“I do not forget your law." "...Yet do I not decline from your testimonies." "Consider how I love your precepts.”This man remained anchored and steadfast in the Lord. Like Paul, he determined that none of these things would move him. Don’t stray from God’s Word when things get tough. Let your problems draw you closer to the Lord than ever before. Anticipate a special word from God at all times.
We see a man who is stirred.
Three times, he asked the Lord to quicken him. He could feel the paralysis of fear creeping into his soul. He could feel the paranoia of fear causing him to have doubts. He knew that he needed God to keep him stirred and revived. When we get too comfortable, too arrogant, too chicken-hearted, or too clouded in our thoughts, it is time to pray for God to stir us. He knew that the problems were distracting him from being where God wanted him to be. Ask the Lord to quicken, revive, and stir you. Be stirred for God’s testimony, for His work, and for souls to be saved. Be stirred that you do not lose your fervour for the Lord.
In the midst of a difficult situation, God’s tender mercies kept this believer safe, spiritual, stirred, and sane. Likewise, God who is the Sovereign God of all life, is able, powerful, and gracious to keep us, not just in this life of strife, unbelief and anxiety but also gives us the eternal promise of hope of life everlasting, where no sin, no death, nor tears, no more pain or even viruses will have any power or influence. God will reign and His people, those who believe and trust in Him through Christ, will enjoy His presence forever.
Dear Christian, discover His mercies in your life. In humble prayer and humility, remember that they are loving, large, lifting, and lasting. "Great are your tender mercies, O LORD"!
With prayers and every blessing in Him,
As we go through our day, help us to remember that your steadfast love never ends, and that your mercies are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness! Thank you for your steadfast love, which you so perfectly displayed at the cross. And thank you for offering us tender mercy instead of judgement. Because of you, we can wake up each morning free of guilt or shame and walk in newness of life.
We lean on your love and mercy today to see us through whatever comes our way. In the midst of our many trials, tears and anxieties, help us to look upon you and to live our lives in godly fear and faithfulness to you and obedience to your Holy Word. To you be the glory forever and ever!
In Christ’s name we pray.
ADVENT PRAYER DIARY
A voice cries in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.(Isaiah 40:3)
Ask God to prepare our hearts for Jesus coming this Christmas and give thanks for all He has done for us.
Be near me Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay close by me forever, and love me I pray
Bless all the dear children in your tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with you there. (CH4 312)
Pray for the children in our Sunday School, Messy Church, Boys Brigade and own families - that they see beyond the trappings of the festivities to the real meaning of Christmas.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him’. (Matt 1:13-15)
Pray for displaced people in refugee camps, emergency centres and in camps in Calais and at other border controls. Pray for all the aid agencies, for governments as they try to deal with this and for warring factions that peaceful solutions may be found.
Then entered in those wise men three, full reverently upon their knee and offered there in his presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense. (CH4 323)
Pray for the service tomorrow and for the gifts for less fortunate youngsters in the area.
In those days a decree went out from. Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. (Luke 2:1&3)
Pray for the wisdom of our governments both in Holyrood and Westminster.
Welcome to Blairgowrie Parish Church's website.
We’re a Christian community in the beautiful Perthshire town of Blairgowrie.
We are a church family of ordinary people who have experienced God’s love in Jesus. We seek to live and teach the Christian faith so that people can understand it and respond to the message it offers.
Whatever your reason for coming here – whether you are in need of help; searching for a church; looking forward to your wedding or baptism; exploring faith or simply planning to visit the area – come and visit us, we'd love to welcome you.
Rev Benjamin J A Abeledo
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
Our vision is of a Bible-based church that is vibrant with prayerful people who worship and serve Jesus Christ and attract others to follow Him.
Luke 2: 57-80
An Advent Surprise
Sunday,5th December 2021
Rev. Benjamin Abeledo