Daily Reflections

O, the Deep, Deep Love

December 25, 2022 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

To give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God. —Luke 1:77–78 ESV

The “tender” part of God’s mercy in Luke 1:78 is the Greek word splanchnon. It’s a deeply felt mercy, one that comes from way down inside. It’s what the older Bible translations call the “bowels of compassion” (1 John 3:17 kjv). It’s internal. It hurts.

But splanchnon doesn’t just ache, it acts. It doesn’t stop at merely feeling bad. It moves.

It’s how God feels and acts toward us, who were hopelessly trapped in sin. It’s what Jesus lived out on earth, delivering healing and wholeness to those He touched. And as people who’ve been loved by God, who’ve become wholly unworthy recipients of His mercy, we’re called now to demonstrate these same tender mercies to others.

The Lord knew our sins could never be forgiven if they must always be measured against His justice. So He extended His mercy—deep, gut-level, splanchnon mercy—so we could experience salvation and be set free from the punishment our guilt had cost us.

Make it Personal

Where or with whom might God be especially convicting you this Christmas to demonstrate a deeper heart of compassion?