Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Alexander MacLaren said, “It is of no use to say to men, “Let not your heart be troubled,” unless you finish the verse and say, “Believe in God, believe also in Christ.”
What is compassion all about? It is about believing in the God of compassion, and recognizing even in the midst of our rejection of him, God-the Christ had compassion on us. He died for us so that transformation, restoration and salvation could be ours. Compassion is about the gift of love and forgiveness even if recipient of the gift never respond. It is still their gift. We see it as God sees our stubborn refusal to accept all that he is. He desires for us to have the gift, and it grieves him when he sees his children walking away from their birthright.
Empathy and sympathy are the two lynch-pins of compassion. The desire to love and suffer for someone else which allows us to offer compassion. God desired to relieve us of the pain of eternal separation from him by offering up his only son, Jesus.
So, when all the things that trouble us, and keeps us awake at night, turn your minds and hearts to the blessed hope of Jesus and eliminate the emotional baggage. Meditate on the compassion of God, his goodness, his grace, and the gift of His abundant love. Cultivate your compassion and show the world your faith in God.
I Surrender All by Clay Crosse
Theologian Howard Thurman wrote, “ I surrender to God the nerve center of my consent. This is the very core of my will, the mainspring of my desiring, the essence of my conscious thought.”
To surrender to God, the work you do, the things you own, the relationships, the hopes, the dreams, and the fears is to give up everything. And everything includes the hurts, the pains, the disappointments, the injustices into the hands of a loving God who knows what it is like, and what we are like and still says cast your burdens unto me. God has our life. He has it. The things we carry around is no match for God. Surrender, today all of it to Him.
Here is a question for today: Do we really believe God? This is one of those questions that should cause the believer to stop and think carefully.
Because if one truly believes God is who he says He is, then we should be okay with God running our lives. Right? After all God is our creator, the Father of us all, and He knows precisely why we were created. He gave us gifts, skills, talents and abilities. He knows our beginning, our middle and our ends. He was before us and holds eternity in His hands. He created everything and design this magnificent world for us to live in. So why don’t we trust Him enough to let go of the steering wheel, or enough to seek His guidance daily? It is an interesting question, because I know from personal experience I stumble around often because I failed to go to God and get the much needed help. Why this is so difficult? Why the hesitation and fear? God knows what best, and He certainly knows what’s around the next corner.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 states,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” [NIV]
Why is this so difficult? Maybe because we don’t truly believe God. Well, maybe today you and I can adjust our focus and take our hands off the steering wheel long enough to trust our loving, all knowing, all powerful Father to do what He does best-everything. Let’s trust God for the answers to all the questions. He can certainly do a better job of running things than we can.
The Same Love by Paul Baloche
Isn’t it amazing what music can do to the soul of man? It can lift the soul, encourage the soul, and even drag it down. A good melody can soothe a crying bady, and calm frayed nerves. God created a love song; an epic sonnet composed of sunlight, and starlight, warm breezes, crystal blue waters, green flowing grasses. This same love that created the universe, and each planet in perfect position, created you and me.
Sing a song of love to the creator of “this same love.”
Read any good books lately? Ones that stimulate, encourage, inspire, and uplifts you. I just finished a wonderful book by author Marilyn Brown Oden,”Abundance. Joyful Living in Christ.” It captures the inner work necessary to locate the source of abundant living. Ms. Oden skillfully leads the reader on the journey of discovering God through insightful stories and tidbits. One of the tidbits which jumped at me in the first chapter was an amazing quote from a Fifth century Spiritual leader, Abba Poeman. He said “Do not give your heart to that which does not satisfy your heart.” That quote alone was worth the cost of the book.
The quote is a true statement. We do give our hearts to all sorts of things that do not create light, and love, nor help us fulfill our destiny. The Bible calls them idols, and there are lots of them. These things never satisfy us.
God is the only source, the person who can satisfy our hearts. We are told to love Him with everything we have, to place Him first, to have no other gods before Him. And for those who do, something remarkable happens. We become sensitive and open to His call. And with that our hearts, our very souls experience true fulfillment.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God;…
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love…
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us…
No one has seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us…
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:7-16
In the gospel of John 12:50, Jesus said…”And I know that His command is everlasting life…” Everlasting life is a command, not only a prized gift or by-product of salvation. Our spirits are directed, told, instructed to have everlasting life. Wow!!!
But we said no and disobeyed a direct order from God for a shiny new thing. We refused, rejected, rebelled against our commander-in-chief or creator, because we felt we knew better. Think about how different your life would be, if you truly believe in God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. What if the entire world began to believer? What would the world look like? There would be less mayhem, less hardened hearts, less blinded eyes, less monsters under the bed. Just imagine a world filled with the pure light of truth, love, beauty, joy, peace and the glory of God. Where would you be now, and what would you be doing?
What changes would you make to have everlasting life? How would you change?
Anne Graham Lotz once wrote, “As we live moment by moment under the control of the Spirit, His character, which is the character of Jesus, becomes evident to those around us.” It’s really up to you. Your choice to make. Do you want to experience more mayhem, darkness or do you want everlasting life?
The answer is evident.
Go Light Your World
A pastor in Detroit, Michigan asked the question during a sermon, “What does light mean in the life of women?” He went on to say that inner spiritual and moral transformation takes place when there is a single-minded commitment to the Lord and his will. So what does light mean and what does it have to do with love?
Well, here is my take on the question. We are called to do God’s will. This requires us to work according to our divine destiny. We are to radiate light and love in those dark corners we encounter each day. Our light and love must be seen and felt by those around us. As we do, a transformation takes place. Those hidden, distorted, crumbling, dark places of our soul gets the image and characteristics of Christ. Imagine it? A change – the true one – the real one unfolds into an anointed, sweet fragrance – a blessed altar motivating others to enter into the Holy presence of God. As a result, there is love for our neighbors( Matthew 22:39), and yes even love for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
This “Lovelight” appear because we make a single-minded commitment to make it visible. In Philippians 4:8, scripture tells us to “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things”. The world needs our “Lovelight” shining brightly, and not hidden under the rubble of today, the distractions, the chaos, or the constant dim of darkness. We need to remain focus on those things that bring light and love and stay connected to the source, so our light can shine all the more.
The world needs to see and to experience our “Lovelight” as it is connected to the source of all love – GOD!
So what does light and love mean to you today? Is your “Lovelight” showing? I hope so, because the world needs it.
Psalm 91:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork”.(KJV) All nature shows the love of God. In the beginning, God created a world filled with His glory and His love. He loved us enough to fill the earth with beautiful things-blue skies, and blue oceans, green grass, and flowers in all sorts of color. Mountains, hills, rivers, trees – the firmament shows his handywork. Today was a beautiful day. The birds were singing, blue skies, blooming trees, and flowers, and I thanked God for sharing his love of nature with us.
The Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Ephesians to “let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” So much is written about the lack of respect, and civility among even the young. Even in movies, and in music, our spirits and souls are not sent soaring into atmosphere, instead we are brought spiraling down into the abyss.
But that is not what we are called to do. Words are mean to propel, to enlighten, to teach, to push our imaginations into worlds beyond worlds. As Christians we are told to speak the speak the truth in love “We can be born anew through Love. Love is the healing power and God is love.” Encouraging words create, heals, transforms and transport us into God’s amazing light.
Make a pact today to show God’s love by encouraging someone with words of love.