COMPASSION WITH ACTION
Luke 7:13 – When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
My friend, there is no trial, difficulty or challenge we face today that our Lord Jesus cannot identify with. The moment we experience a trial, right there and then, because He “was in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15), He feels it too and is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
Jesus’ compassion for you is the same compassion He felt for the widow at Nain when He saw the dead body of her only son being carried out of the city gate to be buried. (Luke 7:11–15) It must have been terrible for her to experience the death of her only son after having already experienced the death of her husband. What a horrible thought to be left all alone in the world with no means of support! When Jesus saw her, He was moved with compassion and said to her, “Do not weep.”
Now, some religious leaders might also be moved to approach her, but only to say, “Look sister, something is terribly wrong. Your husband died. Now, your only son has died. You must find out what is wrong. You better ask God what sin you have committed and repent. Or perhaps there is a curse in your life that needs to be broken.”
Isn’t it beautiful that Jesus did not extend more confusion or condemnation toward her? He only extended His compassion to her, telling her, “Don’t weep.” This same Jesus will also come to you when you are most distraught and say, “Don’t cry.”
And Jesus’ sympathy does not stop at “Oh, you poor thing! I am so sorry about what has happened to you.” No, His sympathy will move Him to give you the miracle you need in your life. That is why He raised the widow’s son back to life!
Beloved, rest in the truth that He who is seated at the Father’s right hand today understands what you are going through and sympathizes with your weaknesses. The compassion of Jesus toward you causes Him to breathe life into your dead situation and turn it around for your good!
Thought For The Day
Jesus, who understands what you are going through, will also breathe life into your dead situation!
The Bible records an account of a woman who had a bleeding condition for 12 years. She sought all manner of treatment to no avail. In fact, her condition got worse. But everything changed one day “when she heard about Jesus” (Mk 5:27). Beloved, your miracle, healing, supply or freedom comes when you hear about Jesus—His compassion toward you, His willingness to save and deliver you, and what He has already done for you at the cross
TEARS OF A TEEN
I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. —Romans 9:2
As I sat with four teenagers and a 20-something homeless man at a soup kitchen in Alaska, I was touched by the teens’ compassion for him. They listened as he talked about what he believed and then they gently presented the gospel to him—lovingly offering him hope in Jesus. Sadly, the man refused to seriously consider the gospel.
As we were leaving, one of the girls, Grace, expressed through her tears how much she didn’t want the man to die without knowing Jesus. From the heart, she grieved for this young man who, at least at this point, was rejecting the love of the Savior.
The tears of this teen remind me of the apostle Paul who served the Lord humbly and had great sorrow in his heart for his countrymen, desiring that they trust in Christ (Rom. 9:1-5). Paul’s compassion and concern must have brought him to tears on many occasions.
If we care enough for others who have not yet accepted God’s gift of forgiveness through Christ, we will find ways to share with them. With the confidence of our own faith and with tears of compassion, let’s take the good news to those who need to know the Savior.
Is there someone you need to talk to about Jesus today?
Sharing the gospel is one person telling another good news
STEWARDS OF GOD’S GRACE …
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? – Luke 12:42
A steward is a person who has been entrusted with administering someone else’s wealth or affairs. The possessions a steward controls are not his own and he does not have the freedom to do with them as he wishes. He is supposed to carry out the desires of the one who made him steward.
A banker is a steward. He has been entrusted with other people’s money. He is free to invest that money wisely in a way that will benefit his depositors and stockholders, but would be sent to jail if he took all that money and simply consumed it upon himself. A steward is accountable (Lk. 16:2) to someone else for the use of that person’s money. The money does not belong to him even though it is in his possession.
This parable, and other scriptures (1 Cor. 4:1; Ti. 1:7; 1 Pet. 4:10), describes every believer as a steward of God’s grace. The wealth, talents, and abilities we possess, as well as the revelation of God’s love that we’ve been given, are not our own to do with as we please. We have received these things from God and are therefore accountable to Him for the use or misuse of these gifts. Keeping this in mind is essential for fulfilling our obligation to God as stewards of His “manifold grace.”
THE PRINCE OF PEACE
“…and his name shall be called…The Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6, KJV
Aren’t you glad Jesus is our Prince of Peace? He rules our hearts with peace. He gives us peace that passes understanding—which means we can have peace when it doesn’t make sense. We can have peace in the midst of the storm. We can have peace in the midnight hour. We can have peace when gas prices go up and the housing market goes down. We can have constant peace because we are connected to the true source of peace!
Do you need more peace in your life? Call on the Prince of Peace. Give Him your burdens and cares. The Bible says that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. When we are living the way God intends—full of peace and joy—we are carrying His “light” burden. We don’t have to carry the worries and stresses of this life! Call on the Prince of Peace, and He’ll take you places that you’ve never dreamed!
DEALING WITH CHANGE (1)
…Enlarge my territory…’ 1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV
Think how foolish it is to pray for success, and resist the changes needed to bring it about. However, we do that, don’t we? Let’s face it; it’s easier to settle for the status quo than to face the ‘what ifs’ that accompany progress. Some of us even think it’s selfish and unspiritual to pray for success. Not Jabez! Listen to his prayer: ‘…Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ (1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV) So God granted him what he requested. Consider this list of ‘changes’ you may be resisting: leaving an unfulfilling job, starting a business, or letting go of an unprofitable one, learning to use a computer, abandoning a toxic relationship, letting go of an unaffordable home, car or lifestyle, establishing a responsible spending plan. All these changes are normal; they’re part of daily life. However, panic sets in when the change is unexpected. That’s when we discover the difference between what we say and what we truly believe. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28 NKJV) The key words in this Scripture are ‘all things’ and ‘good’ and ‘purpose’. Since you are ‘in Christ’, nothing can get to you without first coming through Him. In ‘all things’, including things you don’t like, God has a ‘purpose’, and He’s working for your ‘good’. You’ll look back and say, ‘If I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be experiencing the blessing of God I enjoy today.’
A GIVEN NAME
She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. —Matthew 1:21
Most families have their own family stories. One in our family has to do with how I got my name. Apparently, when my parents were in the early days of their marriage, they disagreed about what to name their first son. Mom wanted a son named after Dad, but Dad wasn’t interested in naming a son “Junior.” After much discussion, they reached a compromise, agreeing that only if a son was born on Dad’s birthday would he be given Dad’s name. Amazingly, I was born on my dad’s birthday. So I was given his name with a “Junior” attached to it.
The naming of children is as old as time. As Joseph wrestled with the news that his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant, the angel brought him insight from the Father about naming the Baby: “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Not only would Jesus be His name, but it would also explain the reason for His coming into the world: To take on Himself the punishment we deserve for our sin. His redemptive purpose behind the manger is wrapped up in the perfectly given Name above all names.
May our heart’s desire be to live in a way that honors His wonderful name!
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son to rescue us from sin and bring us into relationship with You.
Jesus: His name and His mission are one and the same.
PURSUE YOUR STRENGTHS
Do not neglect your gift… – 1 Timothy 4:14, NIV
God has equipped each one of us with specific gifts and talents. It’s up to each of us to identify those gifts and be disciplined enough to develop them. You have to learn to stay in your strength zone. What are you naturally good at? What do you enjoy doing? Take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and as the Scripture says, give yourself to your gifts. In other words, don’t spend all your time trying to improve your weaknesses. Don’t waste valuable days pursuing things that are outside your main gifting. Focus on your strengths.
Be bold and step out in the area of your gifting. Are you good with people? Are you good with your hands? Do you have a great voice? Find ways to develop those gifts. Know that your gifts and talents are a part of your divine destiny. If you’ll be comfortable with who God made you to be and thank Him for your unique gifting, you’ll not only enjoy your life more, but you’ll be ready to receive the abundant blessing God has in store for you
WHOSE COMPANY DO YOU PREFER?
And being let go, they went to their own company… – Acts 4:23KJV
We all have our ‘own company’. It’s where we feel most at home, where we naturally gravitate to when we have the choice. The great Bible teacher AW Tozer once said, ‘The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to go, but where he goes when he is free to go where he will.’ The apostles went to jail under compulsion, but when they were given their liberty they chose to return to ‘…their own company…’ of praying believers. How revealing! The clear choices of life—not the compulsions—reveal our true character. Let’s consider a real–life illustration. You’re absent from church on Sunday. Where are you? If you’re having surgery, your absence reveals that you’re compelled to miss church due to hospitalisation. However, if you’re on the golf course, that tells us a different story. Assuming that you’re not on a well–deserved vacation, we know that you chose to skip church in favour of your ‘own company’—your fellow golfers. Has your choice to play instead of to pray become a habit? If so, you might be on the threshold of letting slip ‘…meeting together with other believers, which some people have got into the habit of doing…’ (Hebrews 10:25 CEB) Habits are not the product of one decision—they’re the result of repeated choices that eventually become automatic responses. How can you know your true spiritual condition? By the company you keep and the choices you make. When you’re free to go, where do you choose to go? Whose company do you prefer?
CHRIST, THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD
1 Corinthians 1:24 …to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
People today run after two things: miraculous signs and wonders, and knowledge. It was no different in Bible times. The apostle Paul acknowledged that “Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom”. (1 Corinthians 1:22)
So when Paul preached Christ crucified as God’s solution to them, the message was “to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness”. (1 Corinthians 1:23) They didn’t understand how getting a revelation of Jesus and His death could give them the miracles they needed or the wisdom they wanted.
Beloved, we don’t have to run after miracles or wisdom today. We just need to run after Jesus because He is “the power of God and the wisdom of God”. The more we know Christ and Christ crucified, the more we will have the power and wisdom of God.
Several church members have shared how they have seen the power of God blast financial debts out of their lives. Not knowing what to do about their debts, they looked to the Lord to deliver them. And the Lord was able to do so mightily because He is indeed the power of God.
So if you are facing a financial debt, Christ has the power to remove the debt. And because He is also the wisdom of God, He will show you where you went wrong and teach you how to stay out of debt!
Let me give you another illustration. Let’s say a man, whose wife has left him, looks to Jesus to bring his wife back. Christ, the power of God, brings about a miraculous restoration of their marriage. But it is Christ, the wisdom of God, who will teach the husband how to keep his wife by showing him what he had done wrong and what to do to strengthen the marriage. If the husband does not have this wisdom, it will only be a matter of time before the same problems surface and his wife leaves him again.
My friend, Christ is both the power and wisdom of God to us. As the power of God, He removes obstacles in our paths. As the wisdom of God, He continually directs our paths!