VIDEO What Does Love Do? Love Cares!

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous. 1 Peter 3:8

Sometimes one word just won’t do. In New Testament Greek, when the writers wanted to encourage people to act kindly and affectionately toward one another, they wrote “have eusplagchnon”—two words combined into one: eu meant “good” and splagchnon meant “the internal organs”—heart, liver, bowels. It meant to pull up good feelings and affections from deep within yourself and display those toward others.

When it came to translating eusplagchnon into English, again, one word wasn’t sufficient. We combined com (with) with passion (heartfelt emotion) to create compassionCompassion is the English version of Greek “good affections from deep within.” Both are good words, strong words, that evoke images of what it means to identify with the pain and needs of others. Com means compassion is with or toward others; compassion is not a solo act or emotion. Compassion has a human object. And passion—well, passion is passion. We know it even when we can’t define it.

Compassion cares. Have compassion for someone in your world today. Pull up from deep within the love that will let them know you care.

Compassion makes one person feel pain when another person is hurting.  Unknown


True Love Cares: A Conversation on John 21

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How to Change a Life

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Sometimes our lives can change in a moment through the powerful impact of others. For rock ’n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen, it was the work of musical artists that helped him through a difficult childhood and a persistent struggle with depression. He found meaning in his own work through the truth he’d experienced firsthand, that “You can change someone’s life in three minutes with the right song.”

Like a compelling song, others’ well-chosen words can also give us hope, even change the course of our lives. I’m sure most of us could share stories of a conversation that forever impacted our lives—words from a teacher that changed the way we saw the world, words of encouragement that restored our confidence, gentle words from a friend that carried us through a difficult time.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Perhaps this is why the book of Proverbs spends so much time emphasizing our responsibility to treasure words and use them wisely. Scripture never treats speech as if it’s “just talk.” Instead, we are taught that our words can have life-or-death consequences (18:21). In just a few words we could crush someone’s spirit, or, through words of wisdom and hope, nourish and strengthen others (15:4).

Not all of us have the ability to create powerful music. But we each can seek God’s wisdom to serve others through our speech (Psalm 141:3). With just a few well-chosen words, God can use us to change a life.

Lord, help us never to take for granted the powerful gift of language. May we use our words wisely to heal and strengthen others and point to the hope we have in You.

God has given us the power to have an impact on lives through our words.

By Monica Brands 

INSIGHT

We can’t control the words that come our way, but we can harness the words wespeak so that they bring life and encouragement, not destruction. That’s why the psalmist asked God to “set a guard over my mouth” (Psalm 141:3). His prayer is especially apt for us today when our words can travel far and wide via social media.

Jesus set the pattern for how we should use our words. He never backed down from a challenge, yet He spoke with love and grace. His twofold goal was to honor His Father in heaven and to bring about the spiritual health of His hearers. The words He spoke aligned perfectly with His life of sacrifice.

How are we doing with our speech? What do we do when our words have hurt someone? A good start is to offer a heartfelt apology. Then ask the Spirit to help us use words that promote life instead of destruction, unity instead of division.

Tim Gustafson

Serve With Humility

Philippians 2:3-8

There are no big shots in Christ’s kingdom. We are all on the same level at the cross and saved by the same grace and blood of Jesus. As we humbly admit our sinful, helpless condition and call on the Lord to save us, He forgives our sin and irrevocably adopts us into His family. And just as we humble ourselves to receive Christ’s salvation by faith, we must also serve Him with humility of mind.

Being a servant of Christ requires that we submit to His leadership, regarding what we’re to do, how we’re to carry out His will, and where He would have us serve. There is no room for self-seeking or self-promotion; our only concern should be obedience, with the aim that God alone gets the glory.

Sometimes we become preoccupied with finding our purpose in life so we can gain a sense of usefulness and self-fulfillment. Although we do benefit from serving the Lord according to the way He’s gifted and designed us, that should not be our motive. A humble spirit doesn’t look out for its own interests but instead thinks of others. This is the attitude Christ had. He willingly left heaven to take on human form in order to go to the cross—that was a selfless act of obedience to the Father so we could be saved.

Are you willing to serve the Lord in obscurity? What if no expressions of gratitude or praise come your way? Do you cheerfully do lowly tasks? It’s not always easy to evaluate our motives, but asking ourselves these questions will help us determine whether we’re truly serving in humility or seeking our own interests.

Wrong on Two Counts

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

When the Sadducees, who were the theological, philosophical, and scientific elite of the day, came to Jesus with a trick question in an attempt to discredit Him, He responded with the stinging rebuke in today’s verse. While His response dealt specifically with the fact of resurrection and the nature of the afterlife, His twofold evaluation of self-reliant scholars still fits today, particularly in regard to evolutionary speculations.

By the time Darwin had published his book Origin of Species attributing evolutionary progression to natural selection, he had probably become an atheist and so set about to ascribe creation to natural causes. He attributed to nature abilities that clearly belong to God alone. He knew something of the Scriptures, but his memoirs show that he had little understanding of basic biblical teaching. He felt that if there was a God, He had little power or had not been involved in the affairs of this earth. Most atheistic evolutionists today follow Darwin’s intellectual footsteps.

But what of Christian intellectuals, theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, or advocates of the framework hypothesis, who claim to know God but yet deny His awesome power in creation? They too reject the clear teaching of Scripture regarding creation, relegating God to the mundane task of overseeing the evolutionary process, reducing His power to something man can accomplish. Peter aptly describes this attitude when he calls it willful ignorance (2 Peter 3:5).

It has been suggested by some that all human error can be traced to one or both of these categories: not knowing (and/or believing) the Scriptures, and underestimating the power of God. JDM

Oppress not the poor

2 Kings 23:34-37

We now find another of Josiah’s sons upon the throne, but he was no better than his brother. Alas, poor Judah!

Ezekiel 14:5-9

Ezekiel has described his character and reign in a parable. Jehoahaz was the first lion cub which had been destroyed, and then the nation found another in Jehoiakim.

Ezekiel 14:6

Jehoiakim was evidently a plunderer of the poor nations around him, a common freebooter, living by the sword.

2 Kings 24:1-4

2 Kings 24:1

No doubt tempted by the promises of the Egyptian king. Judah lay between the territories of the two great rivals, and both were anxious to secure it as a border country.

2 Kings 24:2-4

Jehoiakim and his people endorsed the sin of Manasseh, and the accumulated wrath of God fell upon them.

Jeremiah 22:13-19

This king was a great oppressor, and built a palace for himself by the unpaid toil of his subjects, making it sumptuous with the spoils which he took as a border robber. Jeremiah thus bravely rebuked him—Jeremiah 22:13-19.

Jeremiah 22:15

Josiah

Jeremiah 22:19

None lamented this tyrannical monarch. Consigned to infamy, his carcase was left to rot like that of an ass, none caring to cast a handful of earth over his detested person. The poor should be paid fair wages for their labour, and never should the rich and mighty dare to wrong them, for God is the avenger of all such. Woe unto those who grind the faces of the needy!

 

God Does Reveal Himself

I saw also the Lord… then said I, woe is me! for I am undone. (Isaiah 6:1, 5)

I often wonder how so many people can live with a continuing hope that they will in some way be able to commune with God through their intellectual capacities. When will they realize that if they could possibly “discover” God they realize that with the intellect, they would be equal to God?

Isaiah is a dramatic example of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. Isaiah could have tried for a million years to reach God by means of his intellect. But brainpower is not the means by which we find God!

Brethren, it is true that all of us would still be far from God if He had not graciously and in love revealed Himself to us. In the space of a short second of time, the Lord who loves us can reveal Himself to the willing spirit of a man or woman. It is only then that an Isaiah, or any one of us, can say with humble assurance, “I know Him!”

A committed Christian, then, should have upon him an element that is beyond psychology—beyond all natural laws and into spiritual laws!

 

He Freely Gives

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all thing?.” Rom. 8:32

If this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the Lord deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in Heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son.

What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure, and extort an unwilling gift from the Lord’s hand; for He will give freely. Of His own will, He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only-begotten; and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself, and overflows for the supply of all thy needs.

 

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