Monday, May 21, 2018

Shoes of Peace


Security is a big topic in our society. A lot is invested in the best home security systems, stable stocks and businesses, reliable ventures and partnerships. One of the biggest issues in security is identity theft. It can happen easily, to anyone. No one is safe from it. If a person’s identity is stolen they could lose everything. A person’s identity is directly tied to their security. So what is our spiritual security?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Devotions: Crowning Compassion


Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion
Psalm 103:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Who is it who redeems us from sin and sorrow? Who crowns us with love and compassion? God! When we are down, despairing or confused, we need to turn to this psalm! It is so helpful, and so important, to remember everything God has done for us, to recount His abundant love and faithfulness. He is not stingy, but gives freely and bestows abundantly, far beyond our need or merit! When you are down in the pit, when you are covered with sorrow or sin, remember Who your redeemer is! Remember Who crowns you with love and compassion! Trust in your redeemer and rest in the assurance that He will rescue and restore you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Devotions: Promised Compassion


You will arise and have compassion on Zion;
For it is time to be gracious to her,
For the appointed time has come.
Psalm 102:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

This psalm is the prayer of a man, like Job, greatly afflicted and tormented. He suffers, not from the consequences of his own sin, but because of circumstances beyond his control or influence. Part of his anguish is at the destruction of Zion, likely referring to the exile of Judah. He loves God and His people and is distressed over the fall, torment and defilement of what he held dear. We have all felt this way at some point, confused and distressed over seemingly cruel and unnecessary circumstances. It can lead us to despair and bitterness, but this man did not fall that way. Instead, he found his only consolation in God, trusting in God’s love and compassion. He firmly believed that God would step in right the wrongs, which He did. We may not understand what is going on, or why, we may be confused and hurt by the situation in which we find ourselves, but we can always trust in the love, compassion and goodness of God. We should trust in that above all else. Our bad circumstances do not reflect God’s character or feelings toward us. They only reflect what is wrong in this world. We need to hold to what we know of God, to the truth, and let that carry us through until we see the light on the other side. Don’t lose hope!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Devotions: Hopeful Compassion


Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us;
Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us,
For we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.
Psalm 79:8-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

This psalm was likely written after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. It was a time of devastating grief and horror for the Jews, for not only was their capital destroyed and the people exiled, but the magnificent temple built by Solomon, the only place they could worship God, was also defiled and destroyed. The writer, Asaph, realized that all this was happening because of the sins of Israel. They had continually turned away from God to worship idols, broke His covenant by committing horrific sins, and turned worship into a heartless ritual mixed with pagan aspects. They got what they deserved. That did not stop them asking God to relent, to have compassion, to forgive and deliver them. They repented of their sin and begged God to forget the sins of the past.
No matter what we do, we should never assume that it is too late, that we have gone too far to come back. God has promised to never turn away a repentant heart. He will always take us back if we truly repent, if we acknowledge our wrong and turn away from our sin. You are never beyond forgiveness and compassion!

Notice

I have to apologize, my morning devotion will be late. I had surgery yesterday morning and it was supposed to be outpatient but due to some minor complications, I had to stay the night for observation so I won't be able to post it until I get home later today. Thanks for your patience and prayers!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Breastplate Of Righteousness


We have access to many forms of protection. Various companies offer insurance for just about everything. We have locks on our doors, security systems, law enforcement, fences and barriers. Our bodies have antibodies to help protect us against sickness. Laws and rules are even a form of protection, but what about spiritual protection? Is that even necessary?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Devotions: Enduring Compassion


For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.
Psalm 78:37-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

These verses come in the middle of a fabulous psalm by Asaph which recounts the history of Israel, particularly of God’s faithfulness despite their waywardness. It is very encouraging and uplifting! It doesn’t matter how much we fall or stumble or mess up, He will always be there to wipe our tears, mend our scrapes and welcome us back. He would have been entirely justified in abandoning Israel, so many times they deserved it, but He didn’t. His love and compassion kept Him from letting them go. It restrained His wrath and soothed His anger. He is ever aware of how fragile and transient we are. He only has a little while to guide us before our time is up. He loves us so much that He will not miss any opportunity of fellowship with us. His compassion is so great that He will never turn us away, no matter what. Have you accepted His love and compassion? How will this impact your day?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Devotions: Forgotten Compassion?


Has God forgotten to be gracious,
Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?
Psalm 77:9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

How often, in our sorrow and trouble, do we feel abandoned? How easy is it to feel alone? That is where we find Asaph. He is troubled, confused and discouraged because of the suffering and trials he endures. It feels as if God has gone against His nature. It would be a depressing and hopeless feeling to leave off there, but he doesn’t. He rallies himself to remember the great things God has done, to recall God’s infinite and great compassion.
In the midst of trouble, it is tempting to think that God has abandoned us. Life just isn’t going the way we think it should, God isn’t acting as we think a loving God should. But that is where we are mistaken. We are not God and we cannot know how or why He acts in any circumstance. We can’t see what is or will happen. We need to trust God, trust in His nature and character which does not change. We need to remind ourselves of all the times when He has delivered, provided for or rescued us so that we can have hope in the One who does not disappoint. Remember why you believed in Him to begin with, and don't lose hope!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Devotions: Complete Compassion


He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
Psalm 72:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

This was a psalm of Solomon outlining the qualities of a righteous king. Among the many listed is compassion on the poor and needy. In order for a king to be considered righteous, he must have compassion on those who cannot contribute to the wealth or success of his nation, on those who can only take from it. He must work toward the betterment of those people, and seek to rescue them from oppression and annihilation. This concept is contrary to the actions of most political leaders in world history. In a way, it seems to be contrary to human nature. How often do we avoid, look down on or put down those lower than ourselves. However, this is not only a requirement of a righteous king, but of a righteous individual, and yet so few do it. Many think it is important, but few are moved to action. Compassion is made up of two components: feelings and actions. Leave out feelings and it is merely duty, leave out actions and it is merely pity. Compassion is an emotion which moves a person to action. Not many portray it in its full extent. Do you reveal that level of righteousness? What needs to change?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Belted With Truth


Truth. Something once so fundamental, now so subjective. It seems that no one can agree what truth is any more. Truth has become whatever anyone wants it to be, but it hasn’t always been that way. And it shouldn’t be. Truth was once something hard and fast, written in stone as it were. In a way it is, for it is written in the Bible which is not stone but the living Word of God. God does not change so His Word and, therefore, His truth do not change. God’s truth should be the basis of life, but how do we wear that as a belt?