Tag Archives: gracious

My God is…lifting up His countenance upon you – Numbers 6:22-27

Numbers 6:22-27 – The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall Happy in the mountainsbless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

Definition of COUNTENANCE

obsolete : bearingdemeanor
2 a : calm expression
   : mental composure
   : lookexpression
   : aspectsemblance
   : pretense
4: facevisageespecially : the face as an indication of mood, emotion, or character
5: bearing or expression that offers approval or sanction :moral support
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites
I’m sure many of you have heard this verse as a benediction at the end of a sermon or a service. And you may think that’s nice that the pastor wants those things for us. Truthfully it is not the pastor, but God who wants all of these things for us. He wants to bless us. The section saying, “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying” may be the most important part of the verse to me. Why? Because it’s not just something Moses or Aaron came up with on their own. It’s not just traditional mumbo-jumbo. This blessing is from God. He told Moses what to have Aaron (and his sons) to say. This blessing is from God, and as adopted children of God, we too get to be part of this blessing.
The Lord bless you and keep you
God wants you to be blessed, and He does not want you to be separated from Him. You are important to Him. You are so important He sent His Son to die for your sins, to rise again, conquering death so that you may live. He is keeping you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you
Picture it. Picture the Lord making His face to shine upon you. Are you blocking the rays or soaking them up. Are you letting the Lord’s blessings sink into your skin, into your very being, or are you putting up your arms to keep them off of you. Do you hide under a tree to keep it away from you, afraid of what it might expose. God wants to shine on you. Giving you the grace that only comes from Him.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace
This is the key part of the reading we’re looking at for today. God is blessing us, telling us that He will lift up His countenance upon you. What do you think that means? From the definition of countenance above, which refers to countenance as “: calm expression, : mental composure: lookexpression,” I think it means that God wants us to see that He’s not freaking out. He’s not over-reacting. When the waves in the boat started to make things too choppy for the disciples, they ran to Jesus, woke Him up and wanted Him to calm the seas, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Jesus calmly got up and calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27). How would you have reacted? When your child runs into your room telling you they just got sick all over their room, do you react calmly or freak out? When we run to God and tell Him how much life is hard for us, He doesn’t freak out, because He’s got it all under control. He’s got a calm expression or countenance. He’s not going to contribute to your crazy, in fact, He (and only He) can give you peace when stuff is hitting the fan.
So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
As adopted children into the family of God that started with the Israelites, we have God’s name put upon us. As Christians, we have God’s countenance upon us, and can live with peace. That allows us to reflect that same countenance to others. Not from ourselves, but because of what the Lord has done for us.
The other day, I got a text from my sister. It was a terrible picture of my nephews knee. He had a chainsaw injury. I didn’t speak directly with my sister, but even through her texts, she conveyed that it wasn’t as serious as it looked or sounded. So after my initial shock, I was calm (but still a bit shook up). I knew that if my sister wasn’t freaking out, neither should I. Later in the evening I thought about the fact that my parents didn’t know about it (because they don’t text and my sister was still in the emergency room with her son) and would want to pray about it. So I called to tell them their grandson had a chainsaw injury. Big mistake. I called and asked if they had talked to my sister, but because I was not on the scene and must not have delivered the news in the same calm manner, my parents kind of flipped out. I tried to explain to them that he was fine, and even about my sister’s demeanor in her texts, but they would not be satisfied until they talked to my sister. When they did, they too believed that their grandson would be ok. Often we’re the same way, unless we’re looking at Jesus, keeping our focus on Him, we freak out at things that happen to us or are told to us by others. We react in fear. But when we look to our Father in Heaven, when we read His scripture, pray and confer with other Christians, we are assured of God’s calm resolve. That He’s got it under control, and He’s not freaking out, so there’s no reason for us to freak out. We can rest assured that the Lord will bless us with His peace.
Are you freaking out?

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My God is…Trustworthy Psalm 111:6-8

Psalm 111:6-8 He has shown his people the power of his works,

Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.

A name you can trust 

When we lived in England, there was a commercial that always ended “A name you can trust” (yes it’s true I can’t remember what the commercial was for, but I remember the catch phrase). People are always trying to get us to trust them. They want to be believed. They want people to understand and identify with them.

Who do you trust? 

I trust people who have proven themselves to be trustworthy. My parents – I trust them wholeheartedly. They have always been reliable. I can come to them with any problem, and they will be there for me. They’ve proven their trustworthiness through their consistent love and care for me. Did I always think what they wanted me to do was the right thing for me at the time? No. Sometimes they seemed unreasonable, strict and maybe even controlling, but I was always shown to be wrong. Their actions worked for my best interest. Now they’re not perfect, but they are trustworthy.

Why do you trust? 

Do you trust people blindly? Are you unforgiving? Do you think just because someone doesn’t agree with you that they’re not trustworthy? Truth is, people are not always trustworthy. They fail us. They are sinful. But the Truth is God is trustworthy. He does follow through on His precepts. This world is full of evil, but for those who believe we look beyond the here and now towards our future in heaven with Him. We trust that while we live on this imperfect world, God is still active and moving us towards Him and away from the evil of this world.

Finding Comfort in His word

Psalm 111 is a great Psalm talking about God & His trustworthiness. I hope you find it a blessing this morning.

Psalm 111[a]

Praise the Lord.[b]

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.


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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in My God is Trustworthy, Psalm


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My God is Gracious and Merciful Psalm 86:15

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

What’s the difference? 

God is gracious and merciful. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I use these terms interchangeably. I don’t know if I even usually think about the difference between them. I was thinking, if there wasn’t a difference, why would the Psalmist use both words? To be poetic? Possibly, but I think the words were chosen more deliberately.

Merciful – Full of Mercy

So what does mercy mean?


1. compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power;compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.

2. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.

3. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.
4. an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.
5. something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.
God is Merciful 
Again, I love the study of words. It is amazing how full the word mercy is when you look at all its meanings. Having a merciful God means that he has compassion on me. He is compassionate without me deserving it. I may deserve death, but God is merciful to me and changes my sentence from death to life with Him in heaven. He performed His biggest act of mercy or compassion on me when He saved me from my sins by sending His son Jesus to die for me. I deserved to go to hell, because of my sins that turned me away from Him, but instead he was merciful and provided me a way out so that I might not end up in hell, but in heaven with Him.
God is Gracious
So we know that gracious and merciful often go together, so what can be added by including gracious to the list of who God is? Well let’s see if the definition of gracious helps us figure that out at all.

1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
2. Characterized by tact and propriety: responded to the insult with gracious humor.
3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
4. Condescendingly courteous; indulgent.
5. Characterized by charm or beauty; graceful.
6. Characterized by elegance and good taste: gracious living.
7. Archaic Enjoying favor or grace; acceptable or pleasing.
We see by the third definition that, yes, grace is closely related to mercy. Grace is to have that merciful nature, or should I say you can’t be gracious without having a merciful nature. I like the first definition of God being described as having kindness and a warm courtesy. Today I’m going to see my Great Aunt and Uncle. They have that gift. That kindness and warm courtesy. Maybe you know someone who has that too. How does it feel to enter their home. Are you uncomfortable? NO! They make you feel good and welcomed. God wants that for us as well. He’s not trying to make us feel bad, but instead he wants us to shed our old ways so we can have nothing standing in our own way from enjoying Him to the fullest.
It’s funny, while the other definitions may not seem like they are directly related to who God is, they too make a fuller, richer picture of what it means to be gracious, and all of those things are true about our Lord.
Merciful and Gracious
God is not only going to give us another chance at life, but He’s going to be gracious in the way He does it. Because of His mercy we are able to enjoy His favor and grace as He makes us acceptable and pleasing to Him. May we grow in grace and mercy for those around us as a reflection of the grace and mercy we have received.

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