Tag Archives: Compassion

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 synagogues as much as those inside it. And in many ways, neither do we get it. We too put our priorities in the wrong order. This became painfully apparent to me in reading a new 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 whom Jesus loves, are we really doing His will? If we are not loving 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 like You love. Help me to set my own priorities in the order You would have them. Help me work in my church to be the best we can for our community. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Help The Needy

TODAY’S VERSE
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him.”
Isaiah 58:6-7

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The children of Israel had forgotten that God had them here on this earth to be His representatives, to show people the way to God. They were to love people and share the importance of knowing Jehovah. Instead, they thought that they had somehow “deserved” the status that they had as the “Children of God.” They began to act as if they were “gods” unto themselves. When God favors us with certain status or vocations, we can easily fall into a trap of thinking that we achieved the status and vocation by our own merits. This leads to pride and arrogance. This is what God pointed out to the Israelites. They were fasting and God was not listening to their pomp and circumstance. Instead, God wanted equality, justice and love among all people. The prophet Isaiah asked, “What is it that God has required of each of us?” He answered with a sobering indictment, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him.” God wants us to serve others. He has called us to be His representatives of love. Most of us live such a privileged life. Let’s do all we can to give back to those in need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You take the plight of the poor seriously. You hate injustice and love mercy. Help me to love others the way You do. Help me live my true calling, as a productive steward working for the well-being of others in need. Show me today, Lord, how I can make a difference. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Change Your Clothes

TODAY’S VERSE
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12-14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I like to lay out my clothes the night before I have to get up and go to work. It is one less thing I have to think about when I get up. It allows me to be more objective and intentional instead of rushing to decide what to wear. Paul shares that intentionally it is also important in wearing the wardrobe that God has for us. Paul uses the analogy of clothing because our behavior is something that people see about us. Just like a bad suit, we look bad in negative behavior. Instead, Paul admonishes us to clothe ourselves in love. He then says to accessorize love with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness. What an ensemble. Can you imagine if we were intentional in putting on this behavior everyday? What a difference it would make in our life and the lives of those around us. Today, decide what you want to wear. It is your choice. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has custom made an outfit just for you. The clothes fit perfectly and bring out your true self. Go ahead, find a quiet changing room and go change. Clothe yourself today with love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know I need to wear something different in my heart. I haven’t been wearing the clothes You gave to me when I became a Christian. Help me today to change the clothes of my heart and put on love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Walk The Talk

TODAY’S VERSE
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
I John 3:17-18

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is harder to “walk our talk” than to “talk our walk.” We can say all we want about how loving we are, but the real proof is in our actions. If God’s love is a motivating force in our life, then helping others is going to be a natural by-product. Christians have lost much of their witness because we have not helped the poor and needy to the best of our ability. Sure our budgets are tight, but then look at what we spend our money on. Expensive cars, homes, furnishings, hobbies, entertainment and food all take their toll on our annual budget. Downsizing will allow us to have discretionary income that we can help others with. We are God’s ambassadors. If we are going to represent Him in this world, then we need to be able to be compassionate toward those that He brings across our path. John says it best, “let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” Ask God to bring someone across your path today that you can help.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you have blessed me with so much. Help me to be wise with the resources you have given me so I can be compassionate to those that you bring across my path. Even today Lord, show me someone that I can be compassionate toward. Might there be no doubt that your love dwells in me.
AMEN

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Loving My Neighbor

TODAY’S VERSE
‘“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?’ Jesus asked. The man replied, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Yes, now go and do the same.’”
Luke 10:36-37 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What is our excuse? Jesus said we are to love our neighbor as our self. What could we possibly be thinking that would cause us to pass up people in need? Perhaps we think “They deserve it.” “They did it to themselves”. “They will never change”. Or how about, “Someone else will take care of it.” The Pharisees thought they could be excused by asking, “Who is my neighbor? But Jesus told them a story where a Samaritan, who could have thought all these things about a Jew, stopped and helped a Jew that was hurting on the side of the road. He said, ‘“Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’” Jesus had a point to make and wanted us to hear it. He looked at the crowd and asked, “Who do you think was acting as if the hurting man was his neighbor? And here is the critical answer, “The one who showed him mercy!” Now we can go ahead and ignore the story. Or we can moralize and say it is a great story. But Jesus didn’t ask us what we thought about the story. Instead He looked at the crowd and said, “Go and do the same.” Today, might we help our neighbor. They are the ones who are hurting that we come across in our path today. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, guide me on my mission today. Help me love with Your love. Help me assist those in need that I come across on my journey today.
AMEN

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God’s Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Psalms 103:8-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
King David had an acute understanding of the love of God. It is as if he could see the very heart of Jehovah Himself. David, who knew sin so well, knew the forgiver of sin better. He who struggled with sinful passions in such profound ways, was also set free by the miraculous compassion and mercy of God. Listen to what he writes. “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. – He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. – His unfailing love for us is as high as the heavens. – He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Finally he writes, “The Lord is like a tender and compassionate father.” Who could write such beautiful words? Who could so eloquently write about God’s forgiveness other than someone who knew first hand, the love of the Father. David knew God. God offers the same experience to us. Today, meditate on God’s mercy, compassion and love. Let the words of the Psalm radiate brightly in your heart and make them your own. And may the realization of your own forgiveness be imprinted deeply on your mind just as it was on David’s.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, how I thank You for Your compassion. How I praise You for my forgiveness. How I glorify You for Your unfailing love to me. Thank You for not giving me what I deserve but being merciful and removing all my sins from me. In Your precious name I pray.
AMEN

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Love your Enemies

TODAY’S VERSE
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”
Luke 6:35 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I forget how radical the teachings of Jesus really are. When I am tempted to be benevolent to someone that doesn’t seem deserving, when I am considering forgiving someone who has offended me, when I am accepting someone into my inner community whose background is troubled, I begin to get second doubts. Others start to question what I am doing and my anxiety begins to rise. And then I come to Jesus. I read a passage like today’s and I begin to understand that I don’t even begin to understand. I see the depth of God’s love and I am so far removed. I am so short of what He demanded. Love my enemies? More than that, do good to them? What radical living is this? Being kind to those who are unthankful and wicked? This is what He has done for me, but He is God. How can I love the way He does? It starts by believing what He said to do. To commit myself to be like He was, and with the help of His Holy Spirit, He will begin to love others through me. His ways will become my ways. Today, decide to love the unlovely. Be kind to those who are unkind. Be patient with those that invade your space. Christ is our example, we are called by His name and empowered by His Spirit.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your high standards when it comes to love. Where would I be without it? Surely You have loved me with abandonment. Help me to go and radically love others.
AMEN

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Supernatural Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is so much more than a religion. It is a Holy calling. But contrary to so many images of religious zealots, we are not called to violence; we are called to a radical life of love. Jesus made this clear in His example and Paul in his teachings. We are His holy people and He has asked us to permeate our life with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And not just with each other. We are to love the world in the same way He does. We are to love the unlovely. We are to love the needy. We are to love those that despise us, those that use us, those that come against us. We are to love those that disagree with us, those that are different than us, those that hurt us. This is a calling and He who called us is able to empower us. It is His Holy Spirit that lives in us to do His good pleasure. So today, call upon God to help you live a life of love. “Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have called me to be Your ambassador of love. I confess I cannot do this in my own power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to see with Your eyes and to love with Your heart. Because of Jesus.
AMEN

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Do You Not Know?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:28-29 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
At first glance you can read today’s passage and think that the author is asking a rhetorical question. Who hasn’t heard that the Lord God of the Universe is the everlasting God, creator of the ends of the earth? If you were going to believe in a God, wouldn’t you want one all-powerful? Yes, no doubt He would be the everlasting creator, who never tires and has understanding that is beyond our comprehension. But to be complete in your comprehension of God you would need to know that our God is also compassionate to those in need, giving strength to the weary and helping those that are weak. It is this almighty compassionate God that Isaiah is asking about. He says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Otherwise, have you let the reality of this God change your life? It is by hoping in the LORD that you will renew your strength. Trusting in God will cause you to soar on wings like eagles. In fact, Isaiah writes that you will run and not grow weary; you will walk and not be faint. Does this sound like the God you believe in? Today put your faith and trust in our everlasting God, the creator of the earth.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, how I praise You for Your majesty. You are everlasting, the creator of the earth. Thank You for caring for me. Praise You for the way You strengthen me. Today be merciful to me. In your compassionate power, help me run and not grow weary, help me walk and not faint.
AMEN

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Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE
“I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’”
Matthew 25:41-44 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am amazed at the compassion that Jesus had for the needy. He was consistent in the way He lived. Matthew wrote of Jesus, “Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless.” So why are we surprised when we read that Jesus wants us to do the same? And He never said it any stronger than He did in today’ passage. Jesus told us, if we want to love Him then we need to love the people around us. Not just the lovable, but the seemingly least deserving. Jesus request was practical and to the point. He asked that we help others with food, water, shelter, clothing, physical care and visitation. These are things that you and I can do. So today decide to get involved. Volunteer as one of Christ’s compassionate followers and do the things that He did. The things He has commanded us to do. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your mighty compassion. Help me to be the same way. Guide me and lead me in the kind of compassionate work You want me to do. Today, help me love others in the same way You love me.
AMEN

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