Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

At Your Service!

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own struggles, goals, wants, and needs that we forget about others. So I want to encourage you today to spend some time taking your thoughts off of yourself, and instead placing them with someone else. How can you serve someone today? What could you do to bring them either to Jesus, or closer to Jesus? You are a person of great value, and you can help to change someone’s life. So, go on now, get started! :0)

My love to you all,

Sarah

* Side note: Please continue to pray for my brother, Matt. I know I haven’t updated you in quite awhile, but prayers are still greatly needed and appreciated. Thank you!

Today’s devotional:

The Determination to Serve
By: http://www.myutmost.org

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . .—Matthew 20:28

Jesus also said, “Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s— “. . . ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). We somehow have the idea that a person called to the ministry is called to be different and above other people. But according to Jesus Christ, he is called to be a “doormat” for others— called to be their spiritual leader, but never their superior. Paul said, “I know how to be abased . . .” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s idea of service was to pour his life out to the last drop for others. And whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him. But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.

Paul’s understanding of how Christ had dealt with him is the secret behind his determination to serve others. “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man . . .” (1 Timothy 1:13). In other words, no matter how badly others may have treated Paul, they could never have treated him with the same degree of spite and hatred with which he had treated Jesus Christ. Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake.

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Pursuing The Ways Of The Kingdom

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As you know, I quit swearing a few days back. So far it’s going well! I must admit, I imagined quitting swearing would be cut and dry like everything else I quit. I am an all or nothing type person. I’m not a dabbler. So, you can imagine my frustration over the handful of times I’ve I slipped and sworn. But, I have to be thankful for the improvement. Usually even if I don’t swear out loud, I still think the words in my head. But yesterday, I noticed I hadn’t been thinking the words either! So I’m making progress. It’s really huge progress, but with my all or nothing mentality, I have to fight off feelings of total failure when even just one word slips (another thing I’m working on!). Anyway, that’s the update there! And it fits in with today’s overall thought…ridding ourselves of things that don’t benefit the kingdom.

Have you ever witnessed someone trying to be compassionate and caring, but it’s clear there is underlying judgement or anger beneath the compassion? I know I’ve experienced it, and I know that – at times – I’ve also been that person.

These verses remind me that we need to get rid of the anger, bitterness, etc., and instead FULLY embrace forgiveness, kindness, and compassion. It’s a black and white issue. All or nothing.

The first person we need to be forgiving, kind, and compassionate to is ourselves. If we can’t feel these things for ourselves, we can’t possibly hope to be genuine in these things towards others.

Bottom line: If Christ felt you were good enough to die for, and save, you are. So stop implying He is wrong by hating yourself. Give yourself the gift of grace. Your a wonderful human being, start acting like it! And before you know it, you’ll see you are treating others better as well.

I couldn’t decide which version I liked best, so I’m giving you my top 3 faves. 🙂

Ephesians 4:31-32
The Voice (VOICE)
31 Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. 32 Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King.

Ephesians 4:31-32
New King James Version (NKJV)
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32
Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

Make it a fantastic day – be genuinely kind!

– Sarah

Forgiveness Brings Freedom

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You can be shackle-free! Start the path to forgiveness today. You will be glad you did!

I pray blessings and peace over you today as you embark on this new journey. Freedom in Him is here for the taking!

– Sarah

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Today’s devotional selection:

A Place of Forgiveness
By Suzie Eller

” … Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My name will be honored there,’ and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive.” 1 Kings 8:28-30 (MSG)

Claire sat on the floor with a wad of tissues in her hand. Her husband had left her three days earlier for someone else.

Sitting there crying, in her brokenness she sensed God whisper, “Pray for him.”

Fists clinched, she shook them at the ceiling. “It’s too soon, God. If You love me, You won’t ask this of me. You are focusing on the wrong person. He’s the one who should be kneeling and asking for forgiveness.”

In 1 Kings 8, we find the story of God’s temple being built, a temple where God’s presence would dwell. It took seven years, a labor force of over 130,000 and King Solomon’s leadership to complete the temple. It was built with cypress, olive wood and cedar, and inside the doors were overlaid in gold. When the temple was completed, Solomon stood in awe as God’s presence filled it (verse 10), and he began to pray.

He could have asked God for many things. That the temple be a place of power where his kingdom would shine. That his enemies, and those of his father, King David, would be slain. That the sinful man would walk through the doors and be condemned for his sins.

Instead he asked that God’s Name be honored in the temple, and the magnificent structure would be a place of forgiveness.

Scripture declares that we are His temple. Three days after discovering her husband’s secrets Claire hadn’t eaten. She hadn’t slept. Her temple was crumbling.

By asking her to forgive so soon, God wasn’t showing a lack of compassion over her pain or her husband’s abandonment, but a sign that He knew her well. By asking her to forgive, God was asking for a place to move into the demolished areas of her life.

Forgiving would allow Him to fill her with His presence, putting His Name there forever, no matter what her situation.

Daily, Claire walked intentionally in her relationship with God, reading the Bible, talking honestly with Him, listening to worship music. This became her sanctuary as she went through the most challenging parts of an unwanted divorce. The more she nurtured her heart and His presence inside of her, the less room there was for sadness, grief, anger, and loss.

And then the day came. She knelt on the carpet and she told God, “I forgive him,” and she meant it.

A deeper meaning to the word forgive is “to abide” or “to set free.” Claire experienced both of these as she made room within her heart, mind and soul for God’s presence and forgiveness to dwell.

It’s been nearly a year. She is still beginning each day with God and inviting Him to fill her up with Himself. Moments of joy now surprise her just as grief once did.

Dear Lord, I knew instinctively that one day You would ask me to forgive, but today I understand why. You want to move in to the demolished areas of my life and let Your presence shine. Help me to begin to forgive with Your help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bitterness: Poison to the Soul

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Bitterness requires us to constantly hold onto something we should be letting go of, but so does pride. You may think pride is only applicable to those who boast of themselves, but there is also internal pride. Internal pride is where all we think about all the time is how we feel, how someone hurt us, how we can’t move on, it’s all about us, all of the time. We have become our idol..our God. We must turn our focus back to Him, and away from us. As we do, the bitterness/pride will fade.

Here’s to growing in this area together! Choose to have a wonderful day, friends.

Ephesians 4:30-32
The Voice (VOICE)
It’s time to stop bringing grief to God’s Holy Spirit; you have been sealed with the Spirit, marked as His own for the day of rescue. Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King.

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s Devotional:

Letting Bitterness Go
By Chris at http://www.gospel.com/blog

Joseph’s life was filled with evil actions that he had no control over. His brother’s—jealous of their father’s favor—faked his death and sold him into slavery. Later, he would be falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of rape and thrown into prison. Joseph had much to be angry about, but he didn’t give into bitterness. Instead, he let God turn his horrible circumstances into something great.

We can learn a lot from how Joseph reacted to each new challenge in his life. At every step of the way he had to make a decision whether to give into the temptation to despair, or to move forward. This devotional from Day by Day points out that holding onto bitterness often ends up hurting us and making us miss out on the good that God has for us:

For many of us, we would sooner withdraw than to seek to find greater purpose in our place. We victimize ourselves and consider ourselves deserving of the bitterness we harbor, all the while ignoring how the bitterness is only hurting us and making matters worse. We turn our entire situation inward and grow more angry with each passing day, and then we convince ourselves that no one could possibly understand, and that no one is worthy of identifying with the pain we have felt. Granted, the pain was real and the hurt very personal. But, the bottom line is that we have a choice as to what that pain and hurt becomes. It can either be evil that remains evil—or it can be turned around by God to bring something that is good.

There is so much in this world meant for evil, and there is so much we will suffer as a result of that evil. But there is a God who is far greater, and there is a potential for good to be brought out from all things. We do not have to allow the evil to hurt us to the point of permanently stealing our joy. We do not have to allow the evil to imprison us in an eternal withdrawal and disillusionment. There is a victory that can come out of the worse circumstances, and a joy that can radiate from a wounded heart. All because God can take what some mean for evil, and use it to accomplish greater things.

Are you holding onto bitterness? What would it take for you to let go of it and trust God?

Unconditional Love – We Should Want To Give It As Much As We Want To Recieve It.

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Happy Tuesday! Today I pray we can all work on improving our love walk. We get back whatever we put out. So let’s choose to put out love like never before. Remember, we don’t have to approve of someone’s actions in order to love them. Love doesn’t depend on worthiness, love sees beyond all of that and straight into the heart. That’s the kind of love we have received, and it’s the kind of love we should give.

-Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

GOD’S PROVISIONS AND HIS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

David Wilkerson Devotions

The parable of the Prodigal Son is about two sons—one who comes to the end of his own resources, and one who would not claim his father’s resources. The parable is also about the father’s unconditional love and the provisions in his home.

The younger son went to his father and said, “Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me” (Luke 15:12). The portion he received—and then wasted—represents his own interests: his talents, his abilities, all the things he used to face life and all its problems. He said, “I have intelligence, good wits, a good background. I can go out and do it on my own!”

The younger son’s attitude describes many Christians today. Yet, when things get hard how soon we come to the end of our own resources! How quickly we spend all that we have within ourselves! We can figure our way out of some problems and find inner strength for some trials, but a time comes when famine strikes the soul!

You come to the end of yourself, not knowing which way to turn. Your friends can’t help you. You are left empty, hurting, with nothing left inside to draw upon. You are spent—all your fight is gone! All you have left are fear, depression, emptiness, hopelessness.

Are you still hanging around the devil’s pigpen, wallowing in emptiness, starving to death? That is what happened to the Prodigal Son. There was nothing left in him to draw upon! He had exhausted all his own resources and he realized where all his self-reliance had brought him. But what was it that finally brought him to himself? It was when he remembered all the abundant provisions in his father’s house! He said, “I’m starving here. But in my father’s house there is bread enough to spare!” He decided then to go back and appropriate his father’s bountiful provisions!

There is not one word in this parable that indicates the Prodigal came back because of love for his father. True, he was repentant; in fact, he fell on his knees, crying, “Father, I’m sorry! I’ve sinned against you and against God. I’m not worthy to come into your house,” but he never said, “Father, I came back because I love you!”

What is revealed here is that the love of God to us is without strings; it is not dependent upon our loving Him. The truth is, He loved us even when we were far away from Him in our hearts. That is unconditional love!

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