Tag Archives: compassion

What Shape Are Your In?

7 Dec

God’s WordPsalms 119:41-48shape-of-love

God’s Attribute: Love that shapes our lives

God’s Message to me:

Have you stopped to consider how your love shapes other lives?  The amount of love, forgiveness, compassion and kindness you give others shapes their very being.  In the same way, the extent to which you respond to My love and forgiveness, compassion and kindness, shapes your very being.  You cannot give what you do not possess.  Accept from Me and then pass on to others.  My love and attributes can flow through your life, into the lives of others.  Oh, how hungry the world is for My love, forgiveness, compassion and kindness.  But unless they see it reflected in you—they may miss it altogether.

Guard what I have entrusted to you.  Use the words of counsel you read from My Word to shape your life and shape how you relate to others.  My truth and wisdom do not flow into your life by osmosis—you must search them out and then live them out in the school of hard knocks.  Do you deserve My love and forgiveness?  What could you ever do to deserve the sacrifice that was given on your behalf—the death of Christ?  Then why do you think others should be deserving of your love and forgiveness.

To fully benefit from My gift of love and forgiveness, you must allow it to shape your thoughts and be extended to all others—regardless of whether they deserve it or not.  Regardless of whether they accept you or not—you be My hands, feet and mouth that conveys My love for your world.

God’s Question for me

How has My love shaped the way you relate to others in your life?

God’s Promise to me

My love shapes your life so you can shape other lives on My behalf.

My Prayer to Emulate God’s Attributes:  I Pledge:

My mind: To focus on forgiveness instead of retribution.

My voice:  To be an encourager of others by ready forgiveness.

My heart:  To express my appreciation of your love by loving others.

My body:  To serve others in appreciation for Your forgiveness of me.

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How to Help a Fool

5 Oct

Sterling Principle # 9

Proverbs 23:9fool

Don’t bother talking sense to fools;  they’ll only poke fun at your words.

How to identify a fool?  The dictionary definition of a fool is a person who lacks good sense or judgment: a stupid or silly person.  We all act foolishly at times.  But there are some people who plain lack common sense and good judgment—all the time.  You can spend all your time trying to bring a foolish person up to speed in the common sense arena but they just don’t get it.

There are certainly different levels of foolishness.  Some simply have never been trained in the common courtesies of life so they act foolishly.  Others have a mental deficiency because of the foolishness of their parents in using drugs or alcohol when they were conceived. Some are foolish because of some unknown birth defect. Others behave foolishly because of the type of people they choose as friends.  And then there are those that have chosen this lifestyle because they have embraced that which is abominable to God.

While this verse tells us not to waste our time trying to talk sense to a fool, it does not say we should ignore them.  To ignore them is a disservice to society.  They need our compassion and guidance in order to not become a burden to their families or communities.  Every person, no matter their mental state, needs love and compassion.  We need to be sure these folks are trained to bring out the best in them for in reaching out to them we will also bring out the best in ourselves.

God’s Question: Are you ignoring or benefiting foolish folks?

God’s Promise: Hate a fool—hate Me!

My Prayer to God:

I praise You for the common sense wisdom of Proverbs.

I am sorry I have too often acted foolishly.

Thank You for reminding me to help foolish people.

Help me always try to bring out the best in all others.

Gift-giving to God

5 Jun

Leviticus 8

Lessons for Living Today:

We are a gift-giving people. gift to GodIs God on our friends list? The giver of life itself deserves something from us in return.  Think how grateful a person is to someone who saves their life—say from drowning.  They can’t do or say enough good about their lifesaver.  Wouldn’t you think that the One who gave life in the first place deserves even more from us!  But what could we possibly give the God that created the universe and all that is in it? In the Old Testament God instructed the people to bring him sacrifices to be burned on the altar.   That was a pleasing fragrance to God.

Not only did God give us life but Jesus sacrificed His life for us.  Is there anything we can sacrifice that would come close to showing our appreciation?  Yes, there is!  I Samuel says “To obey is better than sacrifice.”  A sacrifice is given when there is no other way to make up for our wrong-doing.  But to obey negates the need for a sacrifice.  Obey?  That sounds like slave talk!  As I come to know God and His Word I see the great love He has for humanity and I want to please Him by following His directions.  I want to obey!

What happens when we live God’s way?  He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Galatians 5:22-24

God’s Question: Will you direct your energies wisely?

God’s Promise: My love never quits!

My Prayer to God:

I praise You for the privilege of obeying You.

I am sorry I don’t always obey as You desire.

Thank You for forgiving my blunders.

Help me to eagerly forgive the blunders of others.

Golden Rule Living

7 Mar

Genesis 40:6, 7,  (Joseph’s job in prison was to oversee prisoners)  When Joseph arrived in the morning, he noticed that (the kings cook and cupbearer who had been put in prison) were feeling low.  So he asked them, “What’s wrong?  Why the long faces?”

Lessons for Living Today:

Whatever our lot in life let’s be like Joseph, notice those around us. Golden RuleLet’s don’t just do what’s expected of us and ignore the deep needs of others.  Joseph was to care for the needs of the prisoners and saw they were depressed so offered to help.  As Joseph was, we too are free to just do our job and not get involved.  But Joseph knew from his own experience as a prisoner that one can get very depressed.  He stepped up to the plate and did what he could to ease the pain of those he worked with.

Though Joseph lived long before Jesus he embodied the golden rule in his life.   Jesus said “treat others as you wish to be treated.”  That isn’t rocket science, just everyday compassion.  As we reach out to bless others through compassion—we bless ourselves.  We find that whatever brings a blessing into our life we want to duplicate.  Sharing compassion motivates me to keep on sharing.  Followers of Christ are deeply aware of His sacrifice on our behalf.  That awareness motivates us to pass it on.

Golden Rule living is life at the highest level.  Opening the hand and heart to others opens the hand and heart of God to us too.  As we draw near to meet the needs of others we are drawing near to God, for He takes our treatment of all others personally.  First I must examine my own talents and interests.  Am I using them selfishly or investing them in humanity.  Then I ask myself, what is my motivation for helping others?  I want my answer to always be that I long be a faithful ambassador of My Lord.

God’s Question: Who is being blessed by your words and deeds?

God’s Promise: I take your treatment of others personally.

My Prayer to God:

I praise You for Jesus’ wonderful example of living.

I am sorry if too often live only to please myself.

Thank You for this reminder to be about Your business.

Help me reach out to the needs of those around me.

The Responsibility Factor

30 Dec

Focus on God’s Word:  Genesis 1:26

God Spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal  that moves on the face of Earth.”

God Speaks through His Word:

What does it look like—to reflect God’s nature?  ResponsibilityGod clearly says here in this first chapter of the Bible that His nature is to be responsible.  And in reflecting that nature we too are responsible. God has created every living thing with an amazing self-preservation system–the fish, the birds, the animals and yes, mankind.  Yet we are the only ones given the responsibility to care for others.  Are we doing that?

Have you listened to or read the news lately?  It appears few are showing responsibility in caring for anything other than self.  Such a simple request God had for mankind considering the amazing world He entrusted to our care.  When any of us gives a gift we experience this same passing on of responsibility.  We are honored if the one gifted cares for the gift responsibly.  To ignore its value and toss it aside hurts the one giving the gift.  God must feel the same way.

Look around us at the areas for which we are responsible.  Are we serving as God’s steward to care for our world?  Are we eager to share or hoard for our own pleasure?  Do we waste God’s precious resources or conserve?  Are we reaching out to other living creatures with compassion and concern?  God’s nature that He shared with us is both an honor and a responsibility.  In accepting that responsibility we honor God as we care for others and the world around us.

God’s Question: Who is your life honoring today?

God’s Promise: Seed-time and harvest will continue as long as the earth exists.

My Prayer to God:

I praise You for entrusting me with Your nature.

I am sorry I too often dishonor Your name.

Thank You for Your Word that gets me back on Your track.

Help me serve as Your example and steward of Your gifts.

When Heaven is Silent

7 Nov

God’s WordRevelation 8: 1-13  (The Message)

God’s Message to me: (My interpretation of what God is saying in these verses)

Silence speaks more than you can imagine. silence You may think that My silence to your prayers means I am ignoring you or don’t care about you.  That is not so.  Your vantage point of life puts you at the center with all else revolving around you. Consider your life from My vantage point—I see the big picture and the repercussions and end result of your requests.  Your goal is to make your life like a smooth sailing vacation with never an ill wind blowing.  That is not My goal for you.  I know what it takes to make you strong and resilient to the winds of change.  I just ask you to trust Me—it will be worth it all.

You wonder why I don’t put an end to evil, sickness and death.  That will happen—but not on this earth.  Heaven is what you long for.  I have given mankind freedom of choice and unfortunately you are often hurt in others pursuit of their freedoms.  I have created the laws of gravity that keep you from floating off into space.  But those laws also cause disaster when two vehicles try to occupy the same space at one time.  Life on the earth is not meant to be heaven on earth.

I speak volumes through My silence.  My grace is sufficient for you.  Whatever may come into your life I am available to walk with you through it, sustain you and give you a peace that passes understanding.  I am present in the silence.  You may ask for healing and I heal your spirit and mind with peace that is sufficient to carry you through the deepest of pain and suffering.  The key is to trust and just rest in Me.  Whatever may come into your life I can weave into beauty in your character and use it to bless scores of others.  So I ask you to simply trust Me—even when you think I am silent and unavailable.  I am there present and available with My compassion and presence.

God’s Question: Will you trust in Me when your world crumbles?

God’s Promise: My presence is sufficient for all your need.

My Prayer to God:

I Praise You for the assurance of Your presence.

I am Sorry I worry too much about what I can’t change.

Thank You for reminding me you are always present.

Please Help Me be available to support and help others.

A Clash of World-Views

10 Sep

God’s WordI Corinthians 9:1-27  (The Message)

God’s Message to me: (My interpretation of what God is saying in these verses)

What established your point of view in life?  TOPSHOTS-IRAQ-UNREST-ARMY-EXECUTIONHuge is the example of those who loved and cared for you in early childhood and through the teen years. From them you either learned what to do or what to avoid.  As the years pass you began learning from others, outside your home turf, from schools, teachers, books and now the internet.  The world-view you have developed includes your opinions about yourself, others, and how you relate to Me.  I have created you with complete freedom to choose your own point of view based upon your world-view.

The issue here is what happens when your world-view clashes with another’s world-view?  Must you live and let live—let diversity reign as king—or fight for your position?  Prisons are full of those whose world-view clashed with others.  Wars are constantly taking place because of a clash of world-views.  How can mankind survive in these clashes?  It sounds so “right” to just let diversity reign and get along with everyone.  But what others do affect your own life and when diversities clash it creates adversities. Unfortunately, you will never be able to get away from these clashes.

The solution comes in how you respond to the clashes.  I created the world and all it contains to support life.  Mankind is made in my image—meaning you have a spiritual dimension.  To help you blend the two—you’re physical and your spiritual—I provided the Bible.  It shows the history of mankind and how they dealt with the clash of world-views.  It is not all a pretty story.  That is why Jesus came to earth to demonstrate how to live a life of love, compassion and forgiveness—in the face of terrible odds.  Jesus is the missing link in the clashes of world-views.  His peace surpasses understanding.

God’s Question: Where does Jesus rate in your world-view?

God’s Promise: A turn to Jesus is a turn to Me.

My Prayer to God:

I Praise You for Your peace in the midst of the storms of life.

I am Sorry I haven’t shared Your peace more aggressively.

Thank You for Your Word that guides us to peace.

Please Help Me be Your ambassador of peace to my world.

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