“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”  (Psalm 86:15, NIV)

God is powerful, but He isn’t expecting us to be strong.  Instead, God wants us to rely on His strength.

God is everywhere, but He never expects us to be in more than one place at one time.  Instead, God wants us to be sensitive to His calling, so that we will always be at the right place at the right time to do His work, according to His plan.

God is all-knowing, but He never requires us to have all of the answers.  Instead, God wants us to temper our measure of knowledge (however large or small) with wisdom.

In today’s psalm, David tells us that God is compassionate.  Who among us will choose to be like God in that regard?

David tells us that God is gracious.  Who among us would dare to be gracious?

God is slow to anger — and so should we.

God is abounding in love and faithfulness.  From the overflow of our heavenly Father’s love and faithfulness to us, we are expected to be channels of love and faithfulness to others.

This is what it means to be like our heavenly Father.  – Luther
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“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.”  (Psalm 84:11-12, NIV)

Imagine life before the advent of electricity: The activities of everyday living revolved around the hours of daylight.  Nighttime activities were severely limited because lamp oil and candles were cumbersome, and expensive alternatives.

Perhaps we grasp the value of a shield a bit easier, if only because our cars have “windshields” that not only shield us from being buffeted by the wind as we zip along the streets and highways; but from bugs, rocks, and rainwater.  A windshield is a “go/no-go item” for most motorists: If it is in place, you go; if not, you choose to ride with a friend.

The psalmist reminds us that the Lord God is both a sun and shield.  Abide in God at all costs, and you will never dwell in darkness.  Trust in Him at all times, and He will be your shield from perils both seen and unseen.  – Luther

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