Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

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

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Encouragement: Better Than Discouragement!

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Have a great day today, and take the time to make someone feel special. We all have a spare moment to do a little something for someone, or say a kind word to someone. A little encouragement goes a long way. Go on now, get to it!

Also, please continue praying for my brother, Matt, today (Thursday) as he goes into a new doctor. We are praying, and believing for, answers! And solutions! And progress! And peace! And total healing! The enemy is fighting hard, but we know that his fighting is a reaction to The Lord doing something good. He wouldn’t fight if he had nothing to fight against. So we praise The Lord even through the trials. Everyday with Him is a beautiful one, challenges or not.

You are blessed,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Encourage Someone Today!
By Andy at http://www.gospel.com

There’s nothing quite so uplifting as receiving an unexpected compliment or a kind word in the midst of a hectic day. And on the flip side, we’ve all had a day ruined by a careless or cruel remark. Words have tremendous power to encourage or to hurt. That’s the message of this devotional from Daily Encounter, which challenges us to offer encouragement to someone today:

Every one of us “young and old alike” needs encouragement. To encourage someone is to put courage into them. To discourage is to take courage out of them. It costs nothing to put courage into another… to speak a kind word… to let them know you appreciate them… to tell them you believe in them… that you admire them… to thank them and so on.

So, today, make a point of putting courage into your spouse… your children… your boss… your employees… and the clerk at the local store. Go out of your way to do it. And in blessing others you will be blessed yourself.

Offering encouragement is one of the simplest but most effective ways you can reflect Christ’s love to others. Take a look around you, whether you’re sitting in an office cubicle, your living room, or an airport terminal. Who do you see who could use an encouraging word? Why not take a moment to say something kind?

I Have to Love Them, Too? Ew.

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1 Timothy 2:4, 8 MSG

He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

—–

With all of the horrible things going on in this world, I hear a lot of, “They’re gonna burn in hell.” Or, “There’s a special place in hell for monsters like that.”

I used to say the same things frequently..but then I had a revelation. We all deserve hell as our final destination, and there is a “special” place there for all of us.

Just because our sins may seem prettier, or are more socially acceptable, they’re still equally hideous in His sight. But! We believers have hope. Because we are saved by grace. And the non-believers have hope, too, because they can also receive Christ and experience grace.

If we spend all of our time condemning “the sinners”, who’s gonna lead them to Jesus?

If we refuse to have anything to do with “them”, how will they ever see that there is hope, love, and forgiveness for them, too?

Christians need to stop acting as if this is some elite group that only some sinners can be accepted into.

Would the world be different if we reached out to these “monsters” and “horrible sinners” – the rejects of the world – the most hated – and told them that they too can be forgiven? That it’s not too late? That even their sins/crimes can be forgiven? That Jesus came died for them, too? What if we got really crazy and said, “I forgive you.” ?

If there is one thing I know, love and forgiveness change everything. They change everything, because love and forgiveness were being offered at the cross..and they’re still being offered today. They transform sinners into believers. They bring hope to the hopeless.

If we are to be like Christ, then we must also offer love and forgiveness to those who have committed the most heinous of sins/crimes. The only way to do that is by realizing how we have also received the same degree of love and forgiveness.

We cannot continue to place pride on our personal brand of sin, seeing our sin as superior. Our sin is filthy, just like everyone else’s.

Let’s work on trying to heal the world, instead of trying to constantly condemn and put the last nail in the coffin. Jesus wants EVERYONE to be in Heaven with Him. None of us deserve to go, but He was willing to die for us anyway. All of us. So that we could be with Him forever.

People need to know they are wanted, loved, and forgiven. Try to see beyond the sin, and into the heart of the person. There are reasons people have become who they are. There are deep hurts, and scars.

What’s one thing people often say to reporters after someone they know does a horrible thing? They say, “I didn’t see it coming. This isn’t the ….. I knew. He/she always seemed happy. He/she was quiet, and kept to himself/herself.”

This proves, most people never take the time to look beyond the surface of a person. People who feel alone and hurt get desperate. They want to be heard.

Will you be a person today who chooses to look past the outward appearance, and the sins, into the heart of a person? Even if you’ve never met them. You can offer love. A simple smile. A kind hello. A sincere, “How are you?” When you read a news article about yet another horrible thing that’s happened, will you stop and offer up a prayer for that person?

Will you show the unbiased love of God today? No one deserves it, but everyone needs it.

Jesus came to save the sinners. We are all sinners. As it says in The Word, He wants NO ONE to perish, but He wants EVERYONE to enjoy everlasting life.

Love like Jesus loves. 🙂

Blessings to you as we continue on this journey together,

Sarah

Praising Instead of Complaining

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Loving this devo selection! I try to be a “Pollyanna” with life, but sometimes I get off track! Praise is a great way to get back on track. 🙂 have a great day everyone!

– Sarah

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Turning Complaining Into Praise
By Wendy Pope

“It is good to praise the Lord … For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.” Psalm 92:1a-4 (NIV 1984)

A few months ago I noticed the climate in my home had changed. It seemed nothing was good enough, attitudes were negative and a lot was being taken for granted. Appreciation had turned to complaint and contentment to displeasure. My family was snippy and short in our treatment of one another.

One day I had had enough and declared, “This has got to stop!”

The Lord whispered the word praise to my heart and showed me we had become praise-less. On the way home from my kids’ school I issued the following decree: “From today forward we are going to be a grateful family, thanking God for everything He does. Whether the blessing is big or small, direct or indirect, we are going to praise Him.”

I purchased a small notebook and placed it and a pen on our TV stand. Later that day, I peeked inside and was delighted to read my daughter had recorded the first praise. “I made brownies today. Dance Central and Kinect gives me a way to exercise inside.” The days followed with more praises recorded from our whole family.

• Mrs. Macedo, my English teacher
• Selling 31 boxes of Girl Scout cookies
• Daddy’s job
• Family devotions this morning
• 85 boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold
• Erin is spending the night
• My ticket was thrown out of court (This was my personal favorite)

The more we gave thanks, the more our attitudes changed.

In today’s key verse, the psalmist teaches us that praising God is good. There is something mysteriously powerful about giving glory to the Lord. The joy created by my family’s praise transformed the once unpleasant climate to one that is now warm and accepting, appreciative and complimentary.

Is our home always full of compliments and kindness? No, we are human and can easily fall back into complaining. But our family’s praise book has made us more aware of God’s goodness and we give praise more readily. We’ve experienced how good it really is to praise God.

Every day gives us opportunities to worship God, whether they seem minute or mighty. Through praise, our burdens don’t seem so heavy and our life becomes a sweet fragrance to those around us.

Try it. Try praising God for the parking space close to the door or the one far away because you have the opportunity to enjoy being outdoors. Praise Him for the kindness of the bank teller. Praise Him for the opportunity to wake up and hear creation’s symphony of praise, even if it is 5:00 am on a Saturday and the dog woke you up.

Give praise today. It’s good for you and will transform you and others.

Dear Lord, I want to sing a song of praise everyday in response to Your goodness. Prick my heart to praise You in the minute and the mighty. You are worthy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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