Category Archives: Compassion

Representing Heaven

TODAY’S VERSE
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We often quote Jesus in what is referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer” when He said, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Have you ever wondered what He meant? Paul sheds some light on the way our behavior should represent Heaven. He writes that the Kingdom of God is unlike earth, where we pay so much attention to physical and materialistic values, but rather it is about living a life of goodness, peace, and joy. A heavenly life on earth is led by the Holy Spirit and embodies the fruit that the Spirit produces. These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you live out these Heavenly values.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that you will help me live out the heavenly calling You have on my life. Help me live the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
AMEN

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Word And Love

TODAY’S VERSE
While knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.
1 Corinthians 8:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We put such an emphasis on Bible knowledge. It is important to have correct doctrine. It is imperative that we have correct interpretations. It is a must that we learn as much as we can about the Bible. But Bible knowledge without love is nothing more than Phariseeism. The word becomes a tool instead of a life force. Without love, the word becomes facts instead of application. Today, know the word. Learn it, study it, memorize it, but more importantly, do it with love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me to know Your word. Help me to live it with love.
AMEN

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Real Love

TODAY’S VERSE
If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
I Corinthians 13:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God calls us to a higher kind of love. Not some sentimental romantic type of love, but a practical “walk your talk” kind of love. Paul defined it in his letter to the Corinthians when he wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” The Apostle John goes further and explains how living out our love in practical ways toward each other is the real proof that we know God. He wrote, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Today, commit yourself to know God by doing His will, love those around you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me follow You by loving the way You would have me love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Shepherd

TODAY’S VERSE
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can’t make it alone. We were not meant to. God created us out of love and longs to care for us and lead us in the way we should go. That is why Jesus used the illustration of Himself being a good shepherd. The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd and follow it. Jesus later shares with His disciples that He had to go back to His Father in Heaven but how the Holy Spirit will continue to care for us. He said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who will lead you into all truth.” Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to shepherd us. Today, let the Holy Spirit guide you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, shepherd me today. Lead me in the way I should go. I trust You and will follow.
AMEN

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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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