The best life is a God First life

Category: Compassion (Page 1 of 2)

A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Time and Love

Yesterday’s lesson from the pulpit was about showing brotherly love to one another. One of the points made is that being the recipient of such love reminds us we are loved. This is true whether the love expressed is on a grand or minuscule scale.

Whether it’s a card, a visit, a gift, or simply a caring wave from across the way, showing our love for others can make a positive difference in someone’s life while at the same time making one in ours. Don’t discount the little stuff, like a simple phone call. It says we care enough to call.

Let’s take time to reach out, don’t think of the call as obtrusive but rather inclusive. You’re not making a sales call; you’re making an “I Care Call.” Why wait for sickness or turmoil to make a call. If they can’t answer, leave a short message; if they are busy, simply let them know you are thinking of them. The call says: We care!

Phone calls are such simple actions and easy ways to do good and express Christ-like love for others; you never know how much your phone call could mean in someone’s day or even how it could provide comfort precisely when someone needs it most.

Time is one of the most precious gifts we can offer others. It’s a reminder that they are loved.

  • Hebrews 13:16
  • Philippians 2:4
  • Galatians 6:2
  • John 15:12
  • Proverbs 3:27
  • Acts 20:35
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • Matthew 5:16
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:15
  • Hebrews 10:24
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1

God First!

Phone calls are a way of doing good!

Doing good does not require wealth or gestures of grandeur. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with such efforts as they can help the masses, but doing good can also be something as simple as a greeting, a smile, or a phone call.

Did you know that it’s good for someone with dementia-type issues to receive 2 or 3 phone calls a day? Phone interactions engage the mind and brighten both the caller and recipient’s day. As I ponder this revelation, it makes sense that doctors would include phone calls among the list of recommended efforts to battle forms of memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Simple phone calls are ways of doing good; They can help friends and family battling memory loss, not to mention the depression that can sometimes accompany the challenges of each day. Phone calls, text, bible classes, Church services, prayer, games, and puzzles are all activities that engage the mind—these efforts, along with healthy foods, exercise, vitamins, and medications, can help slow memory decline and improve the lives of those living with such issues.

Both of my grandmother’s and my dad had dementia of some type, which makes me a candidate for such problems myself someday. However, had I realized the impactful role a simple phone call a day could make, I would have probably made a nuisance of myself calling dad daily to chat a few minutes.

So, I invite you to consider the following; Take time to identify a few people and add their phone numbers to your contact list? Then, make a point to reach out to someone on that list each day? Spend a few minutes checking on them to see how they are doing. Even if the conversations seem difficult at times, the call alone demonstrates the fact that they matter to you!

Whether it’s a dementia patient, grandparent, parent, sibling, or just someone you know doesn’t get out much, Phone calls or even texts are ways to do good by engaging them in life; it’s very easy for people in these situations to become reclusive and for others to unintentionally follow the adage “out of sight out of mind.”

Phone calls may not seem like much, yet such actions demonstrate the mind and the heart. They show you care enough to give a little time.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Galatians 6:9-10, Which states in part, “let us not grow weary of doing good.”

Communication is free, and it’s an opportunity to do good!

  • Hebrews 10:24
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13
  • John 13:34
  • 1 John 4:8

God First!

Encourage and build-up

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:11-22‬ (‭NASb)

God First!

Offer to pray with someone.

The day I wrote most of the following, I had the urge to ask someone if I could pray with them (at that moment). Pray with them, not just for them, about concerns weighing heavily on their heart. For some reason, I felt awkward about extending this offer of prayer and instead offered to include them in my prayers.

After they left, I reflected on that moment and was disappointed in myself. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer and that God hears and answers prayers, but I’d missed the opportunity to share that understanding one on one.

There are several benefits to praying with someone, rather than just for them. First, in praying with someone, we step out of our shells and open our hearts to their needs; by doing so, we display Christ’s love for them through the prayer. We show compassion and real interest in their situation as we demonstrate our faith and trust in God’s ability to help them and build a closer relationship with that person. Christians care about others!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Praying for others is good; praying with and, for others, even more so!

I have been asked personally from time to time, “Can we pray about this? as I shared concerns. I’ve also been told impactful stories of how such an unexpected prayer moment inspired a person to begin a dramatic change in their life and move towards Christ.

For all the above reasons and many more, I believe there is a lot of good in praying with others and making such prayer a habit. It’s one I hope to develop more fully.

In Acts chapter 4, the disciples prayed for boldness. As I grow stronger in Christ, I pray God will help me overcome any hesitations, great or small, and that I will serve Christ with all boldness.

God First!

If I never make a difference, it won’t be because I didn’t try!

  • James 5:16-18
  • Ephesians 6:19
  • Ephesians 5:2
  • John 13:34
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Taken back in time

Imagine you are taken back in time as an outsider, yet, unseen by any, and walking right beside Jesus as He carries the cross, to “Golgotha.”

Imagine witnessing firsthand all the hatred. Seeing the blood and torn flesh. Seeing Jesus mocked, ridiculed, and spat upon.

Imagine the sign smugly placed above His head in laughter “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

You watch helplessly, as you see the spikes driven through His hands and feet; You hear the heart-wrenching thud of the cross as it is stood up and dropped into its hole. You see the body of Jesus, torn and bleeding. You find yourself listening intently to the few words He speaks, and you understand them all. Then, just before He proclaims, “It is Finished,”

Imagine Jesus looks directly at you! Tears in His eyes and says: I’m doing this for you! will you; love me, and keep my commandments?

Today, God’s Word is at our fingertips. Shouldn’t we try our best to live according to God’s will? Through God’s wisdom, everything we need to know to keep the commandments of Jesus is found in the God-Breathed Words of the Holy Bible.

Let’s put our wisdom aside and pursue the Wisdom of our Creator. It’s not found in one verse or chapter; it’s found in the 66 inspired books God gave us!

“If you love me, keep my commands.”

John 14:15

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life

(John 3:16)

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

1 Peter 3:21
  • 2 Timothy 3:16
  • Matthew 27:1-66
  • Ephesians 5:15-21
  • Isaiah 5:21

God First!

Thank you for your help!

Everywhere I turn, I see God’s help extended to our family.

I see what I believe is God’s providence working in our lives and prayers answered. I’ve prayed many times that God would put people in the lives of loved ones to help them on their journeys. I’ve then heard some remarkable stories on how some friendships came to be. Sometimes, unlikely friendships grow into the best kind of friendship; The iron sharpens Iron kind of friendship. I have no doubt that God hears our prayers. I also have no doubt that God has compassion for our pain and comforts those who love Him as only the God of all comfort can and will do.

Without God, we are nothing; Without love, we are nothing; we all need help from time to time and should be humble enough to realize it, pray for it, and remember just to say; thank you!

God’s answer to prayers is not always evident immediately, but sometimes, when you pause later in life, you can view the bigger picture and become aware of uncountable blessings.

So for my family and me to God and all His loving servants! Thank you!

God is Love!

  • 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5
  • James 5:1-20
  • Proverbs 27:17 (iron sharpens)
  • Romans 8:28
  • Philippians 4:8

God First!

We NEED TO “ARM OUR CHILDREN!”

We need to arm our children; We need to arm them with the teachings of Jesus Christ that they may learn love, strength, honor, respect, compassion, humility, and thankfulness. As our children and we grow in the knowledge of God’s love, it creates a natural zeal to Love and serve our creator. To keep His commandments with all their Hearts, Soul, Mind, and Strength, and Love others as Christ loved us.

Arming our children with the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, is the best way to help them protect themselves. As parents, we strive to protect our children, teach them right from wrong, caution, and self-control, how to be strong yet humble so they can achieve success in life’s challenges. There is no better foundation to provide them than the foundation of God.

Loving God and having His Word in their hearts as their guide helps provide our children with the knowledge they need to make better choices throughout life. It helps them know where to turn to find answers and seek help from Scripture and through prayers. In addition, God’s Word helps them make the right choice when they encounter situations where bad choices may have lifelong, negative impacts.

Our children need to see the adults around them demonstrate how to love one another as Christ loved us in all our actions. They need to see us show respect for authority, respect for others, love, and compassion. Our children need to understand that actions have consequences; if we want good consequences, we need to input good actions.

  • 3 John 1:4
  • Ephesians 6:17
  • Proverbs 22:6
  • Ephesians 6:4
  • Isaiah 54:13
  • Deuteronomy 6:7
  • Psalm 78:6
  • Romans 9:8
  • Matthew 22:37
  • John 13:34

God First!

Little by little

Have you ever opened your mouth and said things you didn’t really mean to come out the way they did? Well, I did this recently. I listened to a presentation regarding the ongoing efforts of one of the missionary works our congregation help’s support and was amazed at all the accomplishments of this ministry. It touched my heart with the desire to help them continue and do more to the glory of God.

In talking with the missionary, I asked what the best way to give additional help is? right after his answer, I made my regretted statement to the effect: “I was not as blessed as others, “financially, but….”

Instantly, I did not like my statement and how it sounded as I am fully aware that I am very blessed, including financially, when compared to many in this world, and I thank God daily for every blessing.

I was trying to convey that I realized there was a great need for the help they were providing and appreciated seeing how they were helping. Recognizing this made me wish I had thousands upon thousands I could offer to help meet the overwhelming needs.

I didn’t want my question to be misleading as to what I meant by: “additional.” So, I attempted to clarify my question poorly and decrease any expectation of grandeur I may have accidentally implied. I hope I never make such a foolish statement again!

This scenario did remind me of a question my wife once asked me. I had just recently started going back to Church services, and she was not yet going but saw a check I had written, and asking very pointedly, she said;

What are you trying to do, buy your way into heaven?

Well, honestly, no, but my donations at that time were very sporadic, so for us, the check she saw looked big. My wife began attending, studying the bible, and later chose to be baptized according to Scripture.

As our faith and understanding grew, we realized although sporadic giving was helpful, it was not nearly as much as it seemed when we wrote the occasional check. So together, we budgeted a small amount for weekly giving. In comparison to previous years, we found that by doing this, we were helping far beyond those periodic checks just by giving a small amount each week that we could manage.

I should have remembered this lesson before my regretful statement to Mani. And, I pray God continuously blesses those who can write the large checks and that they will never give up doing so.

I need to keep in mind that if I budget small amounts, I can still help in significant ways, and if others do the same, we can all humbly make a vast difference within our abilities. Then, as our blessings increase, so can our help.

In the end, those small amounts can help spread God’s Word, Save lives and bring soul-saving truth to the masses.

Galatians 6:9-10 says:

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

To God be the glory,

God First!

Even in death, Stephen was Teaching!

As I listened to a lesson by Kyle Rye this past Sunday, the following thoughts came to mind. In all that we do to the end of this worldly life, Christians should strive to follow the example of Stephen and teach God’s Word in all we do down to the very end. Even in death, Stephen was teaching!

Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:58-60

In Acts 7:59, we are told: “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

  1. Here we see by Stephen’s words and example what faith, trust and commitment entails as he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
    • Stephen did not beg them to stop or try to take back his words but rather; demonstrated by example his belief and trust in God.
  2. With a loud voice Stephen teaches them and us as he identifies their action as Sin
    • In verse 58 we find that Saul, later named Paul was present.
    • In verse 59 whether Stephan’s killers knew at the moment or realized it sometime later, Their actions were NOT Justice, but Sin. Among his last words Stephen called them out on this. Certainly, this did not escape Paul as he later grew in understanding.
  3. In death Stephen teaches forgiveness
    • In verse 60 we find Stephen asking God not to hold this sin against them. In making this statment we learn Steven did not leave this world with a grudge or hating those who were taking his life, but rather; Stephen left demonstrating compassion for their ignorance and love for his murderes, as he appealed to God for them to be forgiven of this sin.

I can only imagine how Paul may have reflected on these memories later in life. How they may have burned in his heart, knowing he could not change what he’d been part of, yet these memories likely became fuel. Heartfelt fuel that helped push him to teach and share Jesus no matter what the worldly consequences may be.

Paul later stated: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)

God First!

  • Colossians 3:13
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • Hebrews 13:14-16
  • Matthew 6:21
  • Mark 16:15

30 Characteristics of Agape love

  1. Unconditional
  2. Without expectation of reciprocation
  3. Desiring good for others
  4. It’s eternal
  5. We desire it
  6. It has no evil in it.
  7. It covers a multitude of sins
  8. Provides motivation
  9. Brings peace
  10. It is a choice
  1. Fruit of the Spirit
  2. Not resentful
  3. Love is God as God, is love
  4. It’s forgiving
  5. Selfless
  6. Patient
  7. Kind
  8. Not envious
  9. Not boastful
  10. Not arrogant

  1. Not rude
  2. Does not insist on its own way
  3. Not irritable
  4. Does not rejoice in wrongdoing
  5. Rejoices in the truth
  6. bears all things
  7. believes all things
  8. hopes all things
  9. endures all things
  10. LOVE NEVER ENDS.

Agape love is choosing to love unconditionally; it never changes. We should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

  • 1st Corinthians 13
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • 1st Peter 4:8
  • 1st John 4:8
  • Philippians 4:8-9
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