Category Archives: Compassion

Love mORE

TODAY’S VERSE
Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul was on to something. He knew what the church needed to do to thrive. They needed to love each other more and more. They needed to create an atmosphere of acceptance, love, and forgiveness. We need the same today. We need churches where we don’t wear masks; we don’t hide our true selves from each other. A place where we can admit our shortcomings because we know that our sins do not define us; instead, who we are in Christ does! In the book “The Cure,” the authors write that we put too much emphasis on “Sinning less!” They are quick to point out that this causes us to be phony, judgmental, and unloving. Instead, they eloquently write that we don’t have to “Sin less.” We need to “Love more!” They point out, “We can sin less and not love more. But if we love more, we will sin less!” The truth is we are forgiven. We don’t have to sin less. Instead Jesus wants us to love more! Read today’s verse again. If we follow what it says, we will love more! And if we love more, we will sin less!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to embrace the truth of your love for me. Help me to quit focusing on sinning less and more on loving more.
Amen

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Really Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.
Romans 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul starts in the twelfth chapter of Romans, pleading with us to serve God with all our hearts. He encourages us to present our lives as a “living” sacrifice. And then he writes, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” He lists different abilities that God gives and asks us to act out on these gifts with everything we have. Whether it is prophesying, serving others, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leadership, or being kind, we are to exercise these gifts with abandonment. And then he comes to the most precious gift of all. One that each of us can do. One that each of us is called to. We cannot say we know God and ignore what Paul says next. He writes, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” Love is the most supernatural gift of all. Supernatural because we cannot love the way God wants us to without His help. All our efforts are pretending. It takes God’s supernatural presence to give us the strength, tenacity, and willpower to love as He does. We are His instruments of love, and as we “present our bodies a living sacrifice,” He will help us really love. Today, let’s stop pretending and start loving those God brings into our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am such a poser. I pretend to love others and fall so short of the kind of love You want me to have. Please forgive me. Help me, Lord. Give me the strength I need to love others the way You do. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can let Your love, love through me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Forgiveness is not an option. Okay, it is. We are allowed to choose whether or not we will forgive someone. But, forgiveness is not an option if you want to live the kind of life that Christ did. If you want the peace of mind that comes from living the way God wants you to. If you truly want to live in the fullness of His Spirit, trusting Him with your life, then you will surrender to His love. You will trust His sovereignty. You will radiate from deep within your own heart all the forgiveness He has given you, and you will, in turn, forgive others. Peter knew how difficult it was. He sincerely asked, “Seven times?” But Jesus knew how important it was. He said, “Seventy times seven!” So, today, search your heart. Is there unforgiveness? If so, turn to Christ; ask for His power, and forgive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, unforgiveness is like cancer to my soul. It is eating me alive, and I seem powerless to forgive. Please help me. Forgive me for my unforgiveness and give me the strength and the compassion to follow You and Your forgiveness on the Cross. Help me forgive today, I pray. For Jesus sake.
AMEN

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Amazing Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Psalms 73:22-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How true is the first part of this passage? And yet, as true as the fact that we behave foolishly and ignorant before God, like senseless animals, so is the fact that nothing can separate us from His love. We are still His. Even in our vilest condition we belong to Him and He extends His hand toward us. This is love. This is God’s love. It is so vast, so great that we could never fully comprehend it. It would be easier to explain when the end of eternity is, than to fully understand the love God has for us. Yet Paul asks God to, “give us the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” So, even though we are reminded over and over again how foolish we have been, don’t stop there. Also remember that you will always belong to Him and nothing can separate you from His love! He will continue to love you and guide you with His counsel. Praise be to God for His marvelous grace!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, how foolish and ignorant I have been before You. I have sinned over and over again. And yet, Your love for me, your matchless grace, and utter forgiveness has been unbelievable. I thank You for accepting me and continuing to guide and direct my paths.
AMEN

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Encouragement

TODAY’S VERSE
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God made us for fellowship. It is wired into our brains. We need God and other people. Relationships also play a pivotal role in our Christianity. We must attune ourselves to God and to each other. If we don’t, then we isolate. And when we isolate, we start to ruminate on our inner thoughts with no checks or balance. What starts out as hurt can fester into a deep wound if there is no one to encourage us. Anger becomes revenge; sadness becomes despair; temptation becomes sins, all because we had no one to listen, to correct, to pray for us. Fellowship with our Lord and each other is crucial to our everyday life, and it begins with us. We must choose not to isolate. We must choose to be someone else’s encourager. Today, find someone who encourages you and then go and encourage others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess I have forsaken the encouragement of others. Help me not to isolate. Help me truly fellowship with other believers to be encouraged and then help me encourage others.
AMEN

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Best Church For The Community

TODAY’S VERSE
Then he turned to his critics and asked, ‘Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?’ But they wouldn’t answer him.
Mark 3:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Pharisees just didn’t get it. Jesus came to seek and to save those in need. He came to call the undeserving to repentance. He came to love those outside of the synagogue as much as those inside it. And in many ways, we don’t get it either. We, too, have our priorities in the wrong order. This became painfully apparent to me in reading the book “The Externally Focused Quest.” Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw wrote, “Most churches, blatantly or subtly, have an unspoken objective – ‘How can I be the best church IN our community.’ – and they staff, budget, and plan accordingly. – The externally focused church asks, ‘How can we be the best church FOR the community?’ and that one little preposition changes everything.” We can aspire to be the biggest church, best worship, largest children’s program, all good things, but if we are not reaching those outside the church, are we really doing His will? If we do not love the least in our community, are we really living for Him? The authors asked another crucial question. They asked, “If you had to close the doors of your church today, would your community care? Would they miss you?” Today, what would happen if we all decided to be the best church FOR our community?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to love as You love. Help me to set my priorities in the order You would have them. Help me work in my church to be the best we can for and with our community. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Today’s Mission

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all?
Mark 8: 17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In today’s passage, it seems that Jesus is rebuking His disciples for lacking faith in His provision. But as I thought more about Jesus’ reaction, I believe Jesus’ frustration goes much deeper than that. Sure, the disciples were worried about food, and Jesus was upset about their doubt, especially after He had just fed the masses that came to hear His teaching. But I don’t think it was worrying about food that frustrated Jesus. I think it was the lack of passion in the disciples that perplexed Him. Think about it, all around them; people were being healed, demons cast out, thousands were just fed miraculously. And yet, it seemed that the disciples were oblivious to the mission Jesus had. Their hearts were hard. They had eyes but did not see. They had ears but did not hear. If they did see and hear, I think they would have been begging Jesus to go to more towns! There were more people to reach. More people that needed the message of love. More that needed healing. Nothing would be able to stop them. But, like us, a new day was pressing in. Their needs, their plans, their concerns overshadowed Jesus’ agenda. What about you and me? What consumes us? What have we seen? What have we heard? What have we forgotten? Today, might we see with the eyes of Christ and move with His heart planted deep in our chest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, Jesus, I confess I have had a front-row seat and somehow turn around and forget all the miracles You have done. I let Your power and goodness escape my mind and make decisions as if You did not exist. Forgive me. Today revive my heart. Fill me with Your Spirit that I might live for You.
AMEN

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Doing God’s Will

TODAY’S VERSE
The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
John 14:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is a mystery. God has created us so we can partner with Him in His work. What a privilege; what a joy to be part of God’s very plan and movement in this world. That is what Jesus did. He acted out what the Heavenly Father orchestrated in Him and then told us how to do the same. He said, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” We will do even greater things than Jesus did as we ask for things that bring glory to the Father. Today, ask God to glorify Himself in your life, and may you continue the ministry of Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, I pray that I would bring You glory in all that I do. I pray that You would live Your will in and through me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Faith, Hope, and Love

TODAY’S VERSE
We think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do people think of when they think of our life’s achievements? There are many good things we can do with our time, but not all are the best. God puts a premium on some goals more than others. In today’s verse, Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica, stressing the importance of their “faithful work, loving deeds, and enduring hope.” God has called us to love the world as He does. This means being faithful in loving others no matter how hard it is. It means filling our time in helping those around us all we can. Finally, loving the world means loving people, even when it is not easy and when there are not enough resources. Even when people reject the very love, we offer them. Today, when people think of us, might they think about our faithful work, loving deeds, and enduring hope.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord Jesus, help me live for You. Help me be faithful in my serving You. Help me be loving in all I do. Finally, give me the ability to endure because of my hope in You.
AMEN

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Filled With Love

TODAY’S VERSE
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
I Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you filled with? There is such a danger in our society to turn our Christian experience into an intellectual experience. We fill our heads with facts, rules, and knowledge about God. But Paul warns that there is so much more than knowledge. He wrote that “some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.” Instead, we see that the goal of Paul’s teaching was more than giving us knowledge; it was to fill us with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. That is what good Bible teaching does. It purifies our hearts and emotions, clears our conscience of all our sins, and increases our faith. How exhilarating. How challenging. Today, might we know God’s word and have a grasp of its truth in a way that we become filled with love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me know Your word and sink it deep into my heart, making it pure, in my conscience making it clear, and in my faith making it genuine. Lord may the result be a life full of love.
AMEN

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