Tag Archives: brevity of life

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  (Psalm 103:13-14, NIV)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “compassion” as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”

To begin to see ourselves as God see us is the first step toward a new frontier of compassion toward others.  To regard ourselves as something other than “dust” — that is, as transitory and humble — is to ignore the lessons of history, the evidence of biology, and the propositions of theology.

We may be able to fool ourselves as to our true make-up because everything seems to be going our way (something the scriptures refer to as “the pride of life”).  However, if we see ourselves as God sees us, we come not only to realize what we are not, but to the realization of Who God is.  It is in such a place that we apprehend the “fear” (also translated as the “reverence”) of the Lord.

The psalmist says that it is upon such people that the Lord’s compassion rests.  God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, as His “sympathetic consciousness” of our distress.  The cross of Jesus is His sole and solitary plan to alleviate that distress.  The resurrection of Jesus is God’s guarantee.  – Luther

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“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  (Psalm 103:13-14, NIV)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “compassion” as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”

To begin to see ourselves as God see us is the first step toward a new frontier of compassion toward others.  To regard ourselves as something other than “dust” — that is, as transitory and humble — is to ignore the lessons of history, the evidence of biology, and the propositions of theology.

We may be able to fool ourselves as to our true make-up because everything seems to be going our way (something the scriptures refer to as “the pride of life”).  However, if we see ourselves as God sees us, we come not only to realize what we are not, but to the realization of Who God is.  It is in such a place that we apprehend the “fear” (also translated as the “reverence”) of the Lord.

The psalmist says that it is upon such people that the Lord’s compassion rests.  God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, as His “sympathetic consciousness” of our distress.  The cross of Jesus is His sole and solitary plan to alleviate that distress.  The resurrection of Jesus is God’s guarantee.  – Luther

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“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'” (James 4:13-15, NIV)

The late French President Charles De Gaulle is famously quoted as saying: “The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.”

To guard against “overplaying” our hand in this life requires humility, which may be defined as saying, “God, you are God — and I am not.”

The continuous acknowledgement of God’s supremacy as we move from assignment to assignment, and task to task, takes nothing from us. On the contrary, it gives each moment a will and a purpose that reflects the presence of the Almighty.  – Luther

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