Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

How the Lord Greets Us

Psalm 85:1-13 Greetings are so important. The way we greet people always reveals how we feel about them. If we only greet with a handshake, those we greet are distant friends. If we greet with a kiss and a hug, we usually are greeting those we love and call near and dear to us.

How does God greet us? This psalm gives the answer. First God greets us with mercy and truth, and then He kisses us with righteousness and peace. With truth He springs out of the earth to greet us, and with righteousness He descends from heaven in the bodily form of Jesus to greet us with a holy kiss. The life of Jesus Christ is God's greeting to us. He greets us daily with His peace, His love, His righteousness, His truth, His comfort, His faithfulness and on and on. Jesus is God in the flesh, and how great it is to come to know the Father through Jesus. Sometimes when I picture Jesus He is kissing me first on the left cheek and then on the right cheek. Then He holds my face and looks into my eyes for a long long time. I feel such a surge of compassion within me that I want to jump, leap, shout and ascend to heaven where I can be with Him always.

Today I celebrate my birthday. I used to read a book to my boys about different animals and how they greet us. The chicken says, "Cock a doodle do," the bird sings a sweet song, but the bear gives us a great big bear hug. On every birthday of my loved ones I always say as I hug them, "This is a great big birthday bear hug from me."

Two thousand years ago God, our heavenly Father, gave us all a great big birthday bear hug when Jesus was born on this earth. He was Immanuel, God with us, and He is still giving us great big hugs and kisses. If you have never experienced His hugs and kisses in the spirit, today is your day. Be still for a moment and reach out to Him in praise and worship. Soon you will know His sweet embrace and kiss, and it will carry you through the rest of the day.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your kiss of truth, righteousness, mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. I love Him so much. What a joy it is to know His presence even though I cannot physically feel His hugs and kisses. What a day it will be when I will feel His physical arms around me and know the tender kisses on my cheeks. Thank You, Lord, for letting me experience this now on earth in the spirit.

READ: Jeremiah 26:1-17:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

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