Tag Archive | love

The Cost of Compassion

There’s an old saying that tells us that anything worth having is going to cost us something. For the Christian having the character and nature of Christ is definitely something worth having, and, yes, it’s not a free ride on easy street to obtain it. Compassion is one of those highly prized attributes that will not be cheaply won. Today’s devotional by Craig Groeschel, reposted from faithgateway.com, explores the cost of compassion for those who would follow Christ and become like Him.

Compassion not only requires action, but it also pays a price and sacrifices something. In Luke 10, Jesus tells a compelling story about a man from Samaria who went out of his way to help a Jewish man. In their culture at that time, these two men would most likely have hated each other. But when the Samaritan found the Jewish man beaten up by the side of the road, he put bandages on him, took him to a hotel, and paid two days’ worth of his wages to the hotel owner to let the man stay there and to take care of him.

Who would do read more

source: faithgateway.com

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Kinds of Love

heart hands The term love has to be one of the most over used words in our vocabulary. We humans say we love our cars, homes, jobs, shopping, flying, certain types of food, and 101 other things while in the same breath we declare our love for our spouse, kids, friends, and God. Surely we cannot mean that we love our friends and family in the same way that we “love” inanimate objects or pastimes, can we? Perhaps a more accurate verb would be like or possibly enjoy – love, though? Maybe not so much. Click on the arrow below to listen to Sunday’s message  by Pastor Marlan as he challenges us to contemplate the idea of love.

 

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Big in God’s Eyes

Take heart from today’s devotional is by Holley Gerth and do whatever your hand finds to do for His glory.

JESUS
He came not to a throne, but to a manger.
He lived not as a king, but as a servant.
He chose not a kingdom, but a cross.
He gave not just a little, but everything.
—Holley Gerth
{DaySpring Christmas Card}

A hush slips through a stable after the sounds of labor and the cry of a newborn entering the world he made. Divine paradox. Of all the ways to make an entrance, no PR or Marketing firm would choose this one. Blood and dirt. Animals and anonymity. No facebook or twitter or instagram.

What does this unexpected beginning tell us?

That what is small and hidden can be of great worth to God. 

Yes, that means the moments you stand washing dishes when no one sees.

The quiet conversations that bring comfort to just one friend.

The details you add with care to the end of the report or project or blog post.

You may sigh and think, “I should be doing big things for God.” And perhaps he’s watching and whispering back, “You already are.” The One who spoke the stars into being thinks of size entirely different than we do. We assign size based on what we can see and measure. And then we equate size with significance. But what matters to God is more often unseen and unmeasured.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam. 16:7

If that weren’t true, there would have a throne instead of a manger. There would have been red carpets instead of red blood spilled upon a cross on a lonely hill. There would have been press releases instead of angels presenting extraordinary news to ordinary shepherds.

What’s really big in God’s eyes? LOVE.

In the quiet moments. In the corners of our lives. Often given without recognition or reward.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.–Mother Teresa

It turns out the most sacred spaces in our lives are often the ordinary ones. The plain ones. The ones no would say were anything special. The ones that seem so small they don’t even deserve to be noticed.

The ones like a manger.

Because when we lean in and look a little closer like shepherds did in a stable long ago we discover this glorious surprise: Jesus is right there in the center.  

(c) 2014 Holley Gerth Used the Permission http://holleygerth.com/not-small/

Forgiven!

Today’s devotional by Holley Gerth reminds us that God is a gracious loving, forgiving God.

“I messed up. Again.

I sat on the back deck thinking about what a failure I’d been. What must God think of me?

I began to write about my mistake. I finished and looked at the black and white evidence that I had fallen short yet again. Then I seemed to hear a whisper in my heart.

“Rip out the page.” I paused and listened closer. “Rip out the page.”

“God, what are You saying? What do You mean, rip out the page? I need to record this mistake. I need to remember it.”

Again the clear message came. “Rip out the page.”

I touched the white page of my journal, now covered with writing. Then slowly I pulled from top to bottom. The paper made a sharp sound as it separated from the journal. Only a few fragments of white paper remained where my mistake once had been. The picture couldn’t have been clearer.

Forgiveness. Mercy. Grace.

They were right there on the clean, white pages of my journal.

God seemed to whisper to my heart again. “All of the mistakes and failures you remember, all the secrets you run from, all the regrets and remorse… they are all gone. Every one of them has been torn from the story of your life. You are forgiven. You are accepted. You are loved.”

I realized at that moment that God loves me. He doesn’t just tolerate me. He doesn’t just put up with me because I’m a Christian and He has to. He really, truly loves me.

So wherever you are, whatever mistake you have written in the journal of your life, know that God has ripped it from the pages.

There’s only love.

There’s only grace.

The story of your life is far different than you imagined…and the Author loves you far more than you ever dared to dream.”

 

(c) 2014 Holley Gerth Used with Permission  http://holleygerth.com/wonder-youre-really-forgiven/