We Can Learn Compassion

Helping someone has its limit. Our patience has a boundary. When we reach it, we know it. Compassion also has its end. That’s where we say to ourselves enough is enough. I’m not going there again.

Those are human thoughts, not divine thoughts. Our wonderful God, the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have compassions that fail not (Lamentations 3:22 NKJV). In these three words, “Compassions fail not” speak with authority and have an emphatic meaning.

The Lord’s mercies are new every morning before we get up. They are ready for us. Waiting for us. That’s faithfulness. Only God could be like that all the time.

Our Lord never sleeps or rests, nor does he go on vacation. He’s always full of compassion for His children. His kindness knows no limits. But we humans have our boundaries. When someone crosses us, we tend to think or say, “You made your bed. Now lie in it. You deserve the repercussions for your decision, so don’t expect me to bail you out. Instead, live and learn from it.”

The Lord remembers we are flesh (Psalm 78:38,39). And in our flesh, we mess up. But God is still compassionate toward us. He’s willing to forgive if we are not too stubborn to ask. Why is it so hard to admit we are wrong? Is it because we often sin in our lack of compassion toward others?

Compassion is something that we can expand. With patience and thoughtfulness, we can learn compassion. This attribute will prevent a lot of hurts. Show the world that God can work through us to make our world a better place.

If You Quit

Quitters show up every day, at least for a little while. So, what do you think when you see them going out the door or leaving the playing field? 

Failure is part of life for all kinds of people. It happens to everyone at some point, especially when trying to measure up to someone else’s standards or goals. What makes their goals your goals? 

Christ was willing to change to reach his goals. Change in appearance and location. They were both dramatic. God became man, and earth became his new home. It was certainly not like heaven.

So, why did the Lord make such drastic changes? One word describes his reason—love. Love for you as an individual and for all humanity. 

The Lord subjected himself to temptation like the ones we experience. “Jesus understands every weakness of ours because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15 CEV)!

You may say he was God, but what about me? James reminds believers, “God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him” (1:12 CEV).

Giving up is quitting; as the old saying goes, quitters never win. Quitters accomplish little in life because the going got tough. However, determination is the key ingredient to completion. The result may not please everybody, but it was your best. The experience makes you a better person in the end.

Tribulation brings patience (Romans 5:3); patience gives you benefits for yourself and others. However, if you quit, you will miss a valuable learning experience that will help you and others.

Caleb’s Strong Faith

The spies are returning, and they’re carrying fresh fruit. The grape clusters are so heavy that two men must carry them. The first report brought joy to Moses and Aaron, “It’s a land flowing with milk and honey.” You should agree. Look at the size of the fruit.

Nevertheless, the joy is short-lived. The people in Canaan are giants. They live in walled cities—the hearts of the Israelites melt in despair. Fear overwhelms them.

Forty-year-old Caleb (Joshua 14:7), one of the returning spies, stands to speak. He encourages his beloved nation to go and possess the land that God has for them. Ten spies disagreed, saying, “the inhabitants are bigger and stronger than we.” Fear sweeps through the crowd. Israel chooses to remain in the wilderness rather than obey God.

Picture in your mind the nation disagreeing with God’s leaders to the point where they wanted to kill them. Moses and Aaron bow their faces before God and millions of Israelites. They began to pray. Joshua and Caleb ripped their clothes, saying, “the land is good.” (Numbers 14:7-9).

Israel wanted to stone the four men (Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb). But Moses prayed like no other human. He intervened for the nation, and God consented to his prayer. God stated, “All Israel from twenty years of age and older would die in the desert because of their disobedience; only Joshua and Caleb enter the promised land.”

Forty years later (Numbers 14:33), Joshua, Caleb and a new generation of Israel walk through the Jordan river. Five years later, Caleb approached Joshua (Joshua 14:10) and said, “Give me this mountain” (Numbers 14:12). This is the same land that Caleb, the oldest in all of Israel, spied out two decades before. The land he claimed in his heart to love. He wasn’t afraid of the big inhabitants; he depended on God. The same God who extended his life while others died was the same Almighty God who divided the Red Sea and the Jordan river. The one who promised Abraham the land of Israel to him and his descendants.

Eighty-five-year-olds are supposed to retire, but not this one. God still uses the elderly. They learned a few things in life and appreciated where and how God protected them.

Caleb knew the Canaanites were mighty; he saw the fortified walls were high. But this man remembered seeing God crumbling the walls of Jericho and providing manna and quail in the mornings and evenings for decades. So, finally, he concluded God could defeat every enemy in the promised land. 

By faith, Caleb believes God uses old people to do what youth cannot do. His physical strength may have diminished, but his spiritual muscles were reaching their prime.

Bumps and Bruises

Contrasting different points of view, similar or opposite, can be enlightening. For example, in Matthew nine’s illustration (verses 14-17), Jesus answers a question by John’s disciples. They wanted to know why they and the Pharisees were fasting while the Lord’s disciples were not.

When comparing yourself to others, there can be a problem. Our comparisons do not consider equal talents or resources nor the obedience of one’s heart to the Lord. Instead, our comparison actions usually have their roots in selfishness. 

Jesus answered John’s disciples by relating three examples:

  • The bridegroom’s friends
  • Attaching a new cloth to an old garment
  • Not pouring new wine into old containers

The point being Old Testament teachings are legalistic. In comparison, New Testament examples emphasize grace. The law of the Old Testament and the grace of the New Testament are often incompatible. The Old wants to penalize humanity for wayward steps. The New allows a lifetime for growth and maturity. Yes, progress may be slow for today’s Christians because of our imperfections, but time facilitates spiritual growth, allowing believers to produce more fruit rather than immediate condemnation without future growth. The result, however, is heaven.

Grace facilitates the fulfillment of ongoing maturing life. As you mature physically, you change. You go from youth to physical maturity to deteriorating physical strength and health—the time-lapse permits distinct stages of development. From facts to application and onward to appreciation, how to put them together is another thought.

In prayer, believers grow from the give me prayers to the help me prayers, and then to the let me share prayers. It is everyone’s journey in building your relationship with the Lord Jesus, learning how to relate to life and difficulties while drawing closer to the Lord of Lords.

Spiritual maturity has its bumps and bruises. The route can be challenging, but the destination is worth it. So, preserve your eternal rewards waiting for you beyond your tomorrows.

God’s Wonderful Works

Autumn is the time for gathering, while springtime is for planting. The summer months are for growing. The harvest time comes only after a season of growth.

Spiritual harvests follow a similar pattern of preparation by the planter. The farmer plans for a future harvest. For that to happen, preparation is a necessary priority—knowledge of planting essentials. Prayer and knowledge of how to apply the seed.

First, he acquires and plants good seeds (the right scriptures) wherever God opens the door. Then he cultivates the future crop by keeping the weeds of life at bay. God directs timely applications and attention getting circumstances to take place, The timely refreshing water of scripture and prayer nourishes the anticipated recipient. Then, the harvest comes after a time of waiting by the seed sower and the punctual  provisions of God’s Spirit.

Like every other crop, there’s a small window for reaping. Too early, and the person is scared off or offended. Too late, their spiritual awareness hardens with the help of the devil. Knowing when to put in the harvesting tool is beyond most believers’ comprehension—but being dependable and accessible for God’s leadership will bring in the abundant results. Our dilemma is recognizing the spiritual harvest times and being cooperative with the Lord. When we do, our goal is achievable. The Spirit’s voice and our surrender to his leadership brings eternal results.

Honoring God’s leadership allows all believers, to participate in the harvest of eternity-bound souls. It’s our delightful privilege to be part of God’s breathtaking work of reaching our world for Jesus.

An Old Look at Love

Certain Bible verses appear more than once for emphasis. Why is that? Probably because we didn’t get it the first time. So, we needed a reminder to understand the core of his teaching. 

In the law book of the Old Testament, Leviticus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves (19:18). Jesus quoted this scripture again in the New Testament (Mark 12:31). The Lord added this reference as one of the two great commandments. The first is to love the Lord with all our hearts (Mark 12:30).

Why is this commandment worth repeating? Interestingly, this commandment is not one of the original ten in Exodus twenty. However, if we love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves, the original ten are not necessary except for legalistic thinkers.

Loving the Lord includes loving our heavenly Father as well as loving our Savior, who lived an exemplary life for believers to emulate. Now the abiding Holy Spirit fills our hearts with genuine love. His abundant love will overflow from us to help others (Romans 5:5). The evidence of our love will reveal us loving one another (I Thessalonians 4:9).

Loving our neighbors, coworkers, relatives, and friends fulfills the law. “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10 NKJV). 

If we practice loving others, our world will be different, and churches and families will coexist in peace. 

Consider this: if the law of Leviticus commanded us to love one another, and the Lord of grace stated, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Shouldn’t we do likewise? What would the world be if we only practiced that?

Reflecting On Our Potential

“Unshakable character” could be the epitaph on his grave. The man, Daniel, was robbed from his home in Israel as a teen and relocated to Babylon 400 miles east of Jerusalem twenty-five hundred years ago. He was part of the relocation program to train for government service.

Change happens every day to everyone. Maybe not as dramatic as this young Israelite. Leaving his homeland and trusting God in his new world was not easy for this young Jew. However, his character, grit, and commitment to the Lord prepared him for the obstacles and opportunities. 

God used this man to serve him in the reign of three different leaders of Babylon. At this time, other officials became jealous of Daniel’s wisdom and intellect during his service. The only fault the accusers could find was his unwavering dedication to God. Prayer was his daily vehicle to worship. Three times a day, he had an appointment with God. Daniel kept those meetings regardless of political disagreements. 

Daniel 9:23 describes the Lord’s appreciation for His unwavering servant. We will sight eight different versions to narrate the thoughts of God regarding Daniel. First being, “God thinks highly of you” CEV, “For you are greatly loved” ESV, “For you are treasured by God” CSB, “Because God loves you very much” NCV, “For you are highly esteemed” NIV, “For thou art greatly beloved” KJV, “For you are greatly beloved” NKJV, “For you are very precious to God” NLT. These scriptures reveal our God is deeply interested in our Christian charter and dedication to him.

Daniel chose God over every person or position in his life. His example of commitment to God in harmful situations encourages Christians regardless of their vocation and location. God is with each believer in their lion’s den, home, or work environment. Yet somehow, God can be glorified by our stand for Him regardless of the situation.

Have A Seat

What makes a difference in your day? For some, the daily grind weighs them down. Daily responsibilities never stop, but a breath of fresh air would be nice occasionally. However, there are days the breeze is a no-show. When those days occur, encouragement would still be nice. So, here’s a hint that may work. find a quiet place and relax. While there, reflect on what the Lord has done for you. 

The truth is, as a Christian, you know the Truth giver, Jesus. He told us he is the truth, the way, and the life, in John 14:6. Where would we be today without him? Our lives in this world of hypocrisy and sin would undoubtedly be different and worse. But, as a believer, you can sit all day and remember how Jesus has protected and provided for you.

Jesus has a way of encouraging us to reflect on the best of times. Our thoughts reveal we have more than we deserve if we’re honest with ourselves. It doesn’t make any difference whether we are rich or poor by the world standards. Whatever we have, we need to be a good caretaker of it. If you are employed, be thankful. Your eyesight could always be worse. Your shoes could have holes in them. Be grateful and encourage yourself in the Lord..

Some people grumble no matter what their situation in life consists of whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant. Grumblers will never be content. Wherever you are in the food chain of your world, be grateful. However, contentment with your reality is your choice. I Timothy 6:8 says, “We should be satisfied just to have food and clothes.” Satisfaction is hard to achieve. We tend to want more which leads to the sinful enticements of our world.

If your reality seems harsh to you, have a seat. Reflect on the truth giver, Jesus. The Romans crucified him. If you need encouragement, think about Jesus’ resurrection; he is alive today and praying for you. Your reality as a saint of God is better than you deserve.

Walk In The Truth

Spiritual truth has its beginning with God making it pure in its origin. Consequently, we can’t touch or hold it, but we can proclaim and live it, because it’s real.

How does truth become part of humanity, you may ask. In a word—faith. “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” ( Hebrews 11:1 CSB ). In this verse, two words, reality and proof, relate to faith understandably. Even though we can’t hold faith in our hands, the reality of our faith moves the unseen to produce the seen.

Then, there’s the word proof. As a result of individual faith, the impossible becomes possible. The unaccomplishable happens without human interference because of divine involvement. God is moving in our midst by answering prayers. The Lord saw what we couldn’t do through man or medicine, so He took action.

Faith is man’s avenue to God, heaven, and today’s miracles. Believe in the Father, trust in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work. The Trinity working together, performs the faith action. Sometimes it is God alone doing the activity, and other times he’s working through a person.

Enoch started walking with God at age 65. He continued his godly walk for an additional 300 years. Then, the Lord transported him to heaven, avoiding the grave (Genesis 5:21, 24).

Noah was blameless among men because he walked with God. The Lord spared Noah and his family during the flood because of his walk (Genesis 6:9). Job walked by the Lord’s light (Job 29:3).

In the New Testament, III John commended Gaius and the church in his house for their walk in the truth (versus three and four).

The will to walk in the truth is proof to the world Jesus is real. The reality of our salvation enables us to walk and talk in a manner pleasing to our Lord.


The Lord’s Presence

Circumstances surround our everyday lives. Many times, they dictate our every move. Go here, do this, now, do that. Sound familiar?

We cannot control everything in our lives, whether it’s work, leisure, or spiritual. However, there is one thing we can correct. It’s our outlook on what is before us. No, we’re not in control of the events that come our way. However, how we react to the good and the bad is within our reach. That sounds crazy. Because we allow emotions to control us, some will say, “I can’t manage them.” We tend to burst out with sadness or anger, which is understandable, but how long we are in that state is within our control mechanism.

The Christian has a verse of reassurance to claim, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” ( I John 4:4 KJV). Every believer needs to claim this verse and practice it. This verse can be life-changing for every believer. It will allow us to have a different outlook on the circumstances of everyday life. 

Positive attitudes are contagious as well as individually life changing. Every event of your day, good or bad, can make you search for the good in them. The inspection process will allow you to draw insight from the fact that God is in control. You may scream, “no, He is not! He allowed x,y, and z to happen.” Yet, even in that circumstance, God has something for you to learn and help others as well as yourself.

Jesus told his disciples, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20 KJV). That verse applies to every believer today. No matter where we are or the circumstances, we can appropriate the Lord’s presence in our lives. But, when we do, our outlook will be different. Our hearts will be different, and others will be in awe of what God is doing in our lives. So, when circumstances are adverse, look to see how God is in control of them.

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