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March 22, 2017

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Goodness and Mercy

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6

What a tremendous benediction to this great Psalm. David expresses complete confidence in the faithful hand of God to bring "all things" under the jurisdiction of His love and grace. The Psalmist rests his trust, knowing that the goodness and mercy of God shall follow him like his shadow, all the days of his life. But such a blessing does not end with this life. He says, "I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!" Such resignation of heart and soul brings great delight and peace for the present and blessed hope for eternity. This is the privileged care and concern of the Good Shepherd, under which we take our spiritual journey. Can there be two greater companions to accompany us, to embrace us, and to follow us, than His mercy and grace?

Looking at this in retrospect, we are made to realize, as we abide in the Shepherd's care, that no difficulty can arise, no dilemma can emerge, and no seeming disaster can descend on our lives, without it working together for our good and His glory. The confidence of our composure rests in an implicit, unshakable reliance on His ability to do the right thing in any given situation. We can say with Jeremiah, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore will I hope in Him" (Lamentations 3:22-24). God's mercy withholds all that we deserve because of our sin. God's grace is the full giving of all He is that we do not deserve, but it is ours because of His great love. To live in the glory of these blessed truths, which are our "constant companions", is to be set free from the bondage of doubt and fear, weakness and weariness, uncertainty and frustration. We rest in His covenant to us that is secured by the life of Christ. He is our "Divine Provision," and we draw upon the unfailing resources of His abundant supply.

Is this privileged companionship with the Shepherd to be held within the boundaries of my own enjoyment? Is the outflow of His goodness and mercy for me to stop and stagnate in my life? Should not this great blessing be shared with others? Yes, it should. Someone has wisely said, "The only thing we keep in life is what we give away." To harbor the goodness and mercy He showers upon our lives is to withhold all God wants to do through us in sharing His love, so He can live His life freely in us.

What will be the legacy of our life? What qualities of life will we leave behind? Will it be a life of beauty and abundant giving to others? Will it be a blessing and benediction that will magnify His name, a peace and contentment, forgiveness and grace, joy and love? Oh that we might leave a legacy to uplift the downtrodden lives of others, being an encouragement in their despair and loneliness, and an inspiration for them to reach out beyond themselves to do the impossible in His strength and blessing. As we are graced with His goodness and mercy, may we share them with all the lives we touch!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-03-22


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