The Father of Compassion

How do  we learn to be compassionate?  How do we find ourselves with an overwhelming urge to reach out and embrace someone who is hurting?  God envelopes our hearts and bathes us with healing comfort when we cry out to Him.  Having felt the great need for compassion and finding it in Him, we then yearn to lovingly comfort those we see who are in need of  understanding and solace.

Good News

Good news. "Your check came in!"   "The test was negative!"  "You’ve won!"  We all want to hear good news, especially when we may be fearing the opposite.  The message of hope that God has for the world is often called the "Good News." 
I remember those who faithfully brought the message of Jesus and His salvation into my life. They are beautiful to many they have encountered, because they chose to live their lives as messengers on a journey, bringing news of abundant life and direction to aimless wanderers like me.

Considering the Lily

Today was an emotional day.  After I made the final payment for our son’s cemetary marker, I drove to the grave site. I could not keep the tears from coming. Grief is a strange thing. Like an illness with many symptoms, it grips those it visits with a myriad of pangs. Driving away slowly through the memorial gardens, I was aware that God was comforting me as I cried. He knows every feeling I have–the inner struggles that no one else notices. Like the tiny parts of a flower’s center, He looks upon my little known hurts and values their worth. How I feel does matter to Him. He clothes the lilies of the field and provides for their needs. God will meet me where I am, assuring me that I am not alone.

Opening Their Treasures

Exactly what were the wise men doing when they came to see Jesus?  They had come expecting to find Him.  They prepared themselves beforehand to meet Him.  When the moment came, they fell down and worshiped Him.  They opened their treasures  and presented them to Him as  gifts. They were kings;  they gave the best they had to offer.  Where did they attain their riches? Who appointed them royalty? They were face to face with the author of existance, bowing before the One who had granted them all things.  Their response was to give back  some of the treasure they had been given and to offer  their worship with  sincere hearts.  What  treasure has God given me? Tonight, I am asking myself these questions. Do I willingly  set the talents He has given me before Him in worship and allow Him to use me as His instrument to minister to others?

Glory to God

"The GLORY of the Lord," " the King of GLORY," "the earth is full of His GLORY," " the power and the GLORY, " "the GLORY of the Lord shone," " GLORY to God in the highest, " "give GLORY to God," " the gospel of the GLORY of Christ…."  The Bible has many references to glory.  What does glory mean?  Honor and splendor. It was a multitude of heavenly host that was praising God the night Jesus came to earth. They proclaimed His glory and pronounced "peace among men on whom He is pleased." The world was filled with sin and rebellion, yet God was pleased with men?  Surely, when we were without hope, a people lost in disobedience, the glorious God , to whom all honor and splendor is due, was pleased  to love us as He sent His Son Jesus to reconcile us in peace without condemnation.

Where Is He?

A card is affixed to a piece of furniture in my bedroom. It says, "Where are you going to see God today?" It is a reminder that He is working all around me.  Will I choose to take the time to notice? Will I ask myself, "Where is He?"  The wise men were paying attention. They were familiar with prophecy, and they had faith to believe. Am I familiar with the Bible? Do I have the faith to believe?

God With Us

"God with us."  I have heard this statement many times. This evening, the opposite thought came to mind: "God without us." He so loved the people of this world that He sent His Son to redeem us from our certain fate. God did not want to be without us for eternity. His desire was to forgive; to purchase back that which had been lost to sin.

A New House

I am currently reading a very interesting book. One particular passage speaks of how what we see in existance begins in the minds of those who desire their creation. A building is constructed only after the dream of the architect is realized on paper. The marriage covenant is pronounced only after love and commitment have grown in the hearts of the two being wed. We have a promise from God. It is already in existance in His mind. When our earthly bodies become worn or damaged beyond repair, we will be given a heavenly body, one that God desires to create for us, realized the moment we are transported from our current realm into the everlasting presence of our Heavenly Father.

Signs

What will it be like?  At the moment that  Christ returns, there will be rejoicing on the part of the Christian.  But what of those who never acknowleged Him as Savior?  What if  Christ had returned the day  BEFORE  I realized I needed  His salvation?  I am thankful that  I did not miss  the opportunity to choose life.  Do you know for certain where you will be spending eternity?

The Plans of My Heart

While listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, I cried. The words I was hearing so beautifully sung were piercing. What does it really mean  to want to please God?  The words that so broke my heart were, "But I  offer all I am for the mercy of Your plan. Help me be strong."  Am I offering all that I am? Am I willing to live out the plan God has for me? I pray that God would help me be strong.

Number Our Days

Through the years I have enjoyed looking at coins. Far away dates inscribed on certain coins compelled me to save them. It’s as if I could somehow connect to the past by holding something still in existance from that time. We use coins everyday. New ones from this year, old ones from another.  Small reminders that time is indeed passing, relentlessly leaving a record of how we spent it in it’s wake. Will I spend my hours investing what God has given me in a way that is pleasing to Him?

A Sun and Shield

When I arrived at work yesterday morning, the fog was thick. As I was parking the car, I could see the sun through the blanket of mist that was suspended above the trees. When I consider the sun, I think of light–powerful light. When thinking of a shield, thoughts of covering and protection come to mind. The sun is a life sustaining force. Without it, we could not exist.  In the spiritual battles of our lives, we are not left unguarded. It is the power of God that grants us life, and it is His shield that surrounds us, keeping watch over our very souls.

A Spirit of Timidity

There he stood. So still, even on such a windy day. As I approached, there was no movement on his part. Only an awareness of my presence and a resolve to remain firmly at his chosen vantage point. Looking at him now, he shows no sign of  timidity; head held high, he made the decision to stay. As I carefully acquired his visage on my camera, I was mindful of every step I took. Excitement mounted within me as I realized the opportunity to capture such graceful beauty with my lens.

Not Ashamed

"Can I take a survey?" he began without any prior warning for his next question. "Who all in here is scared to die?"  I was shocked by his transparent emotion. Not being in a religious setting of any kind, I was unprepared for his spontaneous interest in the views of others around him. Many were quick to relay their fears as well. I was brought face to face at that moment with the reminder  that there are those who live each day without any assurance of salvation. God’s plan of reconciliation is deposited within me in order that I may share this knowledge with others. I pray that I would have the boldness to speak out to those who do not know Christ.

I Forgive You

"I forgive you."  Such sweet words to hear when we have uttered hurtful comments, made a careless mistake or embraced a destructive attitude.  When we are truly repentant, forgiveness  from someone we love is priceless as it brings instant relief from the turmoil of guilt  that so mercilessly grips us deep inside. Greater still is the comfort that is felt when it is God who reaches into the depths of our soul and washes away all transgression.

The Lord of Peace

How do we  need to pray for others?  As we look around us,  people in every walk of life  are  worried and distraught. There is a peace that can only come from God;  an inner assurance that  He is there  .  As we think of  friends and neighbors this season, perhaps we should  ask  the Lord of peace Himself to  calm the hearts of those  we know.

Partiality With God

Perhaps this has happened to you. Having spent the afternoon working in the yard, rake and shovel in hand, you find that in order to continue your work, a certain item must be purchased.  A very important part to repair a lawn mower, a bag of seed or fertilizer, or those stones that you’ve been meaning to place around your garden. With no time to shower, you rush to the store. Clerks treat you amiably, but there is a nagging feeling that your appearance is creating a less- than -desirable opinion.  Months later, having attended a special luncheon, wearing your nicest clothes, you recall the need to purchase that last bit of screen for your bedroom windows.  Stopping by the same shop as before, you begin to sense an air of respect coming from the associates assisting with your purchase. Pondering the situation, you consider the somewhat shallow qualifications for acceptance that is present in society.  Who should we accept as candidates for the hearing of the Gospel? Does God show partiality or did the sacrifice of His Son apply to all men? Surely, it does! Our outer appearance shows very little of what is truly inside. God knows the condition of our hearts. Who we are is not defined by how we look.  Below you will find one of my favorite photographs. Ice covered branches on a snowy day?  No.  These are the magnified images of the fibers of my dark gray car mats, glistening in the sun when viewed through a hand held microscope. Not what you expected? That was what I was hoping.  Praise God, He sees in us what no one else could ever understand. Yet, loving us completely, He makes salvation available to all who will receive it, being partial to none.