But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
This is part of a long prayer in Nehemiah that retells much of Israel’s history to that point. Verse 16 and into 17 tells of the arrogance and rebellion of God’s people, but He is a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate… He did not desert them. This is the story of the Bible! In Acts 2 Peter preaches, retelling much of the story. The people are convicted that they crucified the Messiah and ask what they should do. Peter and the others reply that they should repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. God is a forgiving God, even in the killing of His own Son. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love!
So here I am, one who has received and continually needs salvation. How am I to be? Certainly humble and not arrogant. I also am becoming more and more like this great God I serve. I am to take on these same qualities and be forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. As I am like Jesus in these ways, it will mean salvation for me and for those around me.
Holy Father – You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Thank you. Make me like You.
I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.
I must have integrity and the fear of God as cornerstones in my life. These two positively influence everything I do! Whether as a father, husband, neighbor or pastor, integrity and fearing the Lord will be useful to those around me and crucial if I am to be like Jesus. It’s clear that I will not be like Jesus if I do not have these as foundational qualities in my life.
Father – show me what fearing You will mean for my life today. What will I do differently today if I revere You just a little bit (or a lot!) more than I did yesterday? And if I bolster my integrity today… if I do not compromise an ounce of my integrity, what will that mean for me today? I am Your man. I am Your servant. I am Your leader today. Use me as You will. I love You with all of my heart! Through Christ Jesus I pray, amen!