Devotional Tangents


A friend and I have recently suffered similar losses. We have both found some comments from lovely and well-meaning people to be maddening. Many a wise thought we acknowledge, understand, believe and even trust, but we do not feel. Sometimes, even those dearest to us and most respected by us cannot sympathize with our state of mind and heart. Or it may be that even if they actually could, we still do not perceive that they can. We only feel akin to those who are in a similar state or can clearly recall being in a similar state. This sympathy is so precious. It also legitimizes the love and thoughts you receive from that person in a way that similar love and thoughts from others cannot compare. They just don’t understand — are not moved in their gut the same way.

That precious gift of sympathy reminds me of the precious gift of sympathy followers of Christ have. We know that our God is perfect and on high, and yet STILL, because he was made flesh like us, subjected to trials and temptations and still found to be perfect, He is a God who can sympathize with us in our weakness. In our moments of self-loathing, of doubt, or of hopelessness over all manner of situations, He understands how one gets to that place, though he emerges perfect through all such trials and temptations. He is not just lofty and immaterial, but also walked the earth and was subjected to its darkness and senseless sorrows, as well as enjoyed its loveliness and joys. The One who judges and has mercy and sacrifices and saves and shows grace is also one who sympathizes and comforts. How worthwhile to follow with loyalty such a leader! And how much more precious His commands to us, given this sympathy.

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since therefore the children [we] share in flesh and blood, he himself [Jesus] likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Devotional Tangents


This week’s sermon on authority (as something that Jesus has yesterday, today, and forever)  made me think about the words and concepts associated with authority.

authority dominion sovereign lord

power control command master redeemer

The above are graphs that show the frequency of those words appearing in the Bible. All these related concepts are used in the Bible to describe God’s status and they all relate to power and ownership. If you click on the word links above they’ll take you to the graphs where you can play around with which word you want graphed out.

Compare those graphs to saviour.

Not saying at all that ‘saviour’ is not an important aspect. But typically, I hear the name saviour talked about a lot more than master, or a sovereign lord with authority, dominion, power, control and command.

Maybe add save and salvation to the mix:

Still comparatively sparse.

The last word on the list though – redeemer – is a little different. Redeeming is to recover ownership of something. In my mind it seems to connect this authority dominion sovereign master idea with that of saviour.

Anyways, in sum, the only point I was trying to make is that I don’t dwell proportionally on the power and authority attributed to God so much as the saving aspect. Perhaps many of us don’t, hence why the quote “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) strikes such a chord.