VIDEO The Cost of Compassion

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

We often hear, “Freedom isn’t free.” Likewise, we refer to salvation as a free gift. It was free to us, but it was not free for God. His love for us was paid for with the life of His only Son.

Love and compassion always come with a price in time, talent, or treasure—and often, all three. Jesus illustrated the price of compassion in His parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan man who helped the injured Jewish man paid with his time: He interrupted his own travels to stop and help. He paid with his talent: He employed his creative compassion to make arrangements for the man’s care. And he paid with his treasure: He paid out of his own pocket for the victimized man to be cared for at an inn. Jesus’ story illustrates that love and compassion are not free. It will cost something to be compassionate to those in need.

Take a moment today to pray for the grace to expend time, talent, and treasure toward those in need.

Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world. Francis Schaeffer

How To Attract Flies – 1 Peter 3:8-12 – Skip Heitzig

Keep Your Guard Up

Be careful, and watch yourselves closely. Deuteronomy 4:9

A man and several friends went through a ski resort gate posted with avalanche warning signs and started snowboarding. On the second trip down, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” But the man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some criticized him, calling him a novice. But he wasn’t; he was an “avalanche-certified backcountry guide.” One researcher said that skiers and snowboarders with the most avalanche training are more likely to give in to faulty reasoning. “[The snowboarder] died because he was lulled into letting his guard down.”

As Israel prepared to go into the promised land, God wanted His people to keep their guard up—to be careful and alert. So He commanded them to obey all His “decrees and laws” (Deuteronomy 4:1–2) and remember His past judgment on those who disobeyed (vv. 3–4). They needed to “be careful” to examine themselves and keep watch over their inner lives (v. 9). This would help them keep their guard up against spiritual dangers from without and spiritual apathy from within.

It’s easy for us to let our guard down and fall into apathy and self-deception. But God can give us strength to avoid falling in life and forgiveness by His grace when we do. By following Him and resting in His wisdom and provision, we can keep our guard up and make good decisions!

By:  Marvin Williams

Reflect & Pray

When do you tend to let your spiritual guard down? What will you do to follow God’s wisdom and remain alert to dangers to your faith?

Dear God, please help me to remain alert and follow You in loving obedience.

When Faith Falters

When our focus is on God rather than our problems, our faith grows stronger

Mark 9:14-29

Do you sometimes doubt that all things are possible with God? It’s likely most of us have felt this way at one time or another—probably when something we asked of the Lord failed to happen. Faith is not a means to coerce God into doing what we want; it’s simply believing that He will do what He’s said. 

Doubts come when we use human wisdom and logic instead of relying on God’s Word. Then fear and uncertainty about the outcome interfere with trusting biblical truth. It may seem as if we’re going out on a limb, but in reality, trusting the Lord is a firmer foundation than relying on ourselves and human reason. When we focus on God instead of on the situation, our faith grows stronger. 

In many ways, we’re like the father in today’s story—we believe in Jesus but sometimes struggle to trust that He’ll help in our time of need. That’s when we should cry out to Him the way the desperate father did: “I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Then we should also read and meditate on His Word. As our knowledge of God grows, so will our trust in Him. 

Asking and Receiving

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)

The tremendous resource of prayer is far too often neglected by far too many Christians. If nothing is standing between us and the Lord to keep us from asking effectively (sin, unbelief, selfish motives, etc.), then God has promised to act when we ask by giving us our request or something better. Note just a few of the many promises to those who ask.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

“How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22).

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

Obviously, there are conditions. These marvelous promises assume that those who ask are abiding in His commandments, truly desiring His will, having His priorities, thinking His thoughts, and are asking in faith and in His name. HMM

Disease of the Heart

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.1 John 2:15

The deep disease of the human heart is a will broken loose from its center, like a planet which has left its central sun and started to revolve around some strange body from outer space which may have moved in close enough to draw it away. When Satan said, “I will,” he broke loose from his normal center, and the disease with which he has infected the human race is the disease of disobedience and revolt. Any inadequate scheme of redemption must take into account this revolt and must undertake to restore again the human will to its proper place in the will of God. POM107-108

The spirit of the world is incompatible with the spirit of the gospel. It is the spirit of pride, and not humilityof self-indulgence rather than self-denial. Riches, honors and pleasure form the great object of pursuit with the men of the world….This spirit the Christian has mortified. DTC173-174

Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted;

Not I but Christ be seen, be known, be heard;

Not I but Christ in every look and action;

Not I but Christ in every thought and word. HCL264

Gaze on His Face

Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.Hebrews 12:1-2

In order to stay spiritually fresh you must keep your eyes fully focused on Jesus.

Our Lord was the most alert and alive person the world has ever seen. Never once do we read that He experienced spiritual staleness or had to confess to being out of touch with heaven. He was always confident, always assured, always in the right place, always doing the right thing at the right time. Even after a period of prolonged fasting in the wilderness when He faced the fiercest of temptations, He turned—not exhausted and limp as a wet rag—but “in the power of the Spirit.” Here was spiritual freshness to the nth degree.

Our text today tells us that one of the ways by which we can become more and more like Christ is to stand with unveiled faces and continually gaze upon Him. It is a breathtaking concept—and so simple. Yet how profound. Look beyond yourself to Another, and thus free yourself from self-preoccupation. Have you noticed how many of the religious cults get their followers to concentrate on the divinity within them? Then what happens? They finish up preoccupied with their own states of mind and emotion. As someone put it: “If I worship the divinity within me, I will probably end up worshiping myself.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 gets our gaze in the right place—on the face of Christ: “We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” The attention we give to this is important, for whatever gets our attention gets us. Therefore, when Christ gets our attention, He also gets us. Our gaze must be person-centered, not problem-centered. And that Person must be Jesus Christ.


Blessed Lord Jesus, when I look at myself I feel unworthy and inadequate. But when I look at You, I feel anything is possible. Help me not just to glance at You, but gaze at You—continuously. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 8:29-39; Jn 1:36; Col 2:2-3

What is God’s plan for us?

What was John’s declaration?

Judge Not

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”Luke 6:37

There is a significant difference between judgment and discernment. God sees people’s hearts and knows their motives (Prov. 16:2). Only God can accurately judge those who deserve punishment. Ultimately, Christ will sit in judgment upon us all in the day of judgment (2 Cor. 5:10).

Our problem is that we like to sit in the judgment seat and pronounce condemnation upon those whom we think have sinned! Scripture commands us not to judge or condemn others, for we cannot be judgmental and redemptive at the same time. It is difficult to pray sincerely for someone while we are judging them. At times our judgmental attitude can seem to provide us an excuse not to become involved in God’s redemptive work in someone’s life. Scripture reminds us that God will treat us with the same grace or severity with which we treat others (Luke 6:38).

God commands us not to judge others, but He does want us to be discerning. Jesus said we would know people’s spiritual condition by the fruit of their lives (Matt. 7:16). He said grapes are not produced by thorn bushes. If a person’s life produces thorns, we can assume that person is not a grapevine! Are we being judgmental? No, we are being discerning. Scripture commands us to avoid associating with scoffers or fools (Prov. 22:10; 17:12). Unless we are able to identify scoffers and fools, we cannot obey God’s command. That is not being judgmental, it is being discerning. As Christians, we have been instructed to observe the lives of others so that we can help them while avoiding any sinful influence.

You will be helpful to others only if you see them as God does. If you have been judgmental of others, ask forgiveness and pledge yourself to let God use you as His minister of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).