Words from the Heart for Friday October 8th, 2021
Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Isaiah 33:2 (NIV)
John Ridsdel, a 68-year-old man with Saskatchewan ties who was killed by hostage-takers in the Philippines, was remembered as a brilliant, compassionate man with a talent for friendship. His lifelong friend Gerald Thurston said of him, “He was just a really warm, gracious person with a really nice smile. I remember that very well.” Ridsdel was one of four tourists — including Canadian Robert Hall, a Norwegian man and a Filipino woman — who were kidnapped in 2016 from a marina resort on southern Samal Island by Abu Sayyaf militants.
There are certain words in the English language that sound like they mean. Lavish is one of those words – I just think it sounds lavish. Another word is gracious – we like people who act graciously toward us. It is a word that perfectly describes the God we have come to know through faith in Jesus Christ. To be gracious means to offer grace, and that is what God has done through Jesus’ death on the cross of Calvary. We are saved by grace, we are held by grace, all that we need to live the Christian life is provided by grace. So it shouldn’t surprise us that Isaiah 33:2 says, “Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” The prophet is praying a prayer we all need to pray. God offers His grace to all who ask Him. We need that grace each and every day – to cleanse us from the sin that so easily besets us, to empower us to walk in victory, to supply the gifts that we need to serve others in Jesus’ name. Ask the Lord today to be gracious to you.
These have been words from the heart.