January 17 - The God Who Answers...Again and Again

By David Martz

Devotional Scripture: Genesis 35:1-4

Central Thought: God is a living God who answers the cry of the needy.

    Unlike the gods fashioned by the hands of man, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a living God who answers those who call upon Him. The Bible records the prayers of saints and sinners who have called upon God in their distress. Because God is merciful, He extends His hands to help…over and over again. Mercy is the compassion of God extended to those who are undeserving. Have you ever heard of someone throwing himself or herself at the 'mercy” of the court? Even though he or she is guilty, a compassionate judge sometimes grants mercy.

    Have you ever been caught with your hands in the cookie jar? You were guilty, and the evidence was all over your hands and mouth! Many, if not most, sins against God and others are the result of willful acts. This is why we walk in humility before God. He teaches us about His mercy and how we should demonstrate mercy to others, especially those who are undeserving. After all, did we deserve to be redeemed by Jesus Christ?

    Jacob was a great patriarch, but some of his needs were the result of his own actions. We really don't deserve to be forgiven again, because we are often repeat offenders, but God who is rich in mercy is also longsuffering. The next time you have a need brought about by your own fault, remember that God doesn't measure or count offences. He simply forgives us when we pray and provides provision necessary to meet our need. Perhaps this is one reason we are likened unto sheep.

    If God extends His mercy to help us in time of need, we should also be willing to extend our hands to others, even to those who are undeserving in our judgment. God is a living God who looks over us, speaks to our hearts, and answers our needs.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to accept your mercy in my time of need, and help me to reach out to others when they are in need.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 35:1-36:43; Matthew 12:1-21; Psalm 12:1-21; Proverbs 3:21-26