Compassion is part of our Christian lifestyle. Why aren’t we living the precepts we are governed by?
A few Wednesdays ago, my BSF small group discussed compassion as part of lesson 10. Living as Christ’s Followers, 1 Peter 3-5.
During the discussion, compassion was trending as predominately a Christian behavior, more so than any other religion. I believe most religions encourage their members to become more compassionate, this also includes secular groups, such as schools. Compassion is sought after by most people. It is a common theme among humanity.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune and is accompanied by a strong desire to help those who are suffering. (Bible Verses for Compassion. Biblestudytools.com)
The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9 NIV
When he saw the crowds (in the towns he visited), he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like the sheep without a Shepherd. Matthew 9:36 NIV
The difference between Christians and others and every other religion is that it is more profound, in that it is part of the makeup of our living God. The key is ‘living’ God who exudes compassion as part of who he is and the inspiration that we, too, internalize as part of His righteousness in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. PS 116:5 NIV
Only Christians have a God who lived on earth without sin, was persecuted, suffered for us, died on the cross, and rose to heaven promising He will return someday to retrieve all believers and carry us to heaven with Him. He washed away our sins to give us new life and promises to return to earth and collect us (the believers) upon His return to usher us into heaven.
And as if that wasn’t enough, He returns a second time to receive those who had a change in heart and received Him as their Lord and Savior after the first were ushered into heaven. Our Lord is compassionate to the point of saving the least of us. We cannot earn His compassion; it is ours despite our flaws. He left the 99 sheep to go after the single lost sheep and carry him home. No other religion can share our testimony about compassion.
Reference – BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, mybsf.org; Scriptures – Bible.org; Images – Google Images
Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s our time to share what and why we are thankful. I am so thankful for so many things. My list is in this order – I am thankful for having a Sovereign God who is my Father in heaven, my family (husband of 47 years, three sons , daughter-in-laws and son-in-law, two granddaughters, one 11 and the other 2, and many cousins). We are blessed to have a 100 yr old Aunt who still lives in her own home and walks the bay several times a week. She has spent her life in church, and as they say, is a God fearing woman.
I’m thankful for our health and prosperity and the fact that Christ was by my husband and my side this year during health challenges that could have turned out much different. We are well.
But most of all I am thankful that Christ died for our sins. Our salvation is the result of Him taking on the worst of humanity to free us.
As long as I have Christ, I know my loved ones who shared their lives with me, raised me, cared for me, and made certain my memories are bright, are with God.
I will continue to be thankful everyday and see the wonders of Christ in everything. Whether I suffer, experience trials and tribulations, or am in a place of peace. God will always be my Savior. I will continue to strive in obedience to His Word, His Will and His Life.
All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories.
~ Lisa Blair
All to often we pray, solicit prayer experience God’s blessings but never share our testimonies and victories. Sharing God’s grace, healing and strength is just as important as the prayer seeking God’s help. So, today I share this and encourage you to share His blessings as well.
Praise the almighty power of God. I have submitted multiple prayer requests over the past two years regarding a friends who was being attacked by a form of fibromyalgia in Europe. Eventually, she was bedridden and unable to do anything for herself.
She texted me the other day to thank everyone that prayed for her. Deliverance has arrived, with the help of everyone who prayed for her complete recovery. She did not give up, or give in, but kept her eyes on the strength of the Lord. Result, she received new medications and the illness reversed itself. She walked her dog for the first time in two years, two days ago.
She is in physical therapy, strengthening muscles etc., but functional again. She was always a God fearing woman and did not let Satan strip her faith.
I love our victory stories, our God is our strength. When we walk by faith and not sight all things are possible. 1 Chronicles 16:12 tells us – “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
Thank you prayer warriors from the bottom of our hearts.
The world is in major upheaval and we are caught in it if we are part of the crooked generation. The only escape is through Christ; break away and free yourself from this crooked generation.
~ Lisa Blair
Many times in history we have found the world in upheaval, this generation is no different. During these times our Christianity is being called into question, collectively and individually. In Acts 2, Peter urges over 3000 people to save themselves and join others who believe in Christ. The Call is relevant today.
The NLT says, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. The NIV refers to the times as the corrupt generation. And, the NKJV refers to the times as the perverse generation. Crooked, corrupt, ad perverse all refer to the acts of the Evil One, Satan.
Satan’s goal is to separate and destroy us through perversion, corruption, and dishonesty. His intent is to keep us separated and in disbelief. He wears us down polluting our ears through the media and social media that becomes the topic of conversation of the day, none of these outlets focus on the good accomplished throughout the world everyday. It does not focus on nature’s beauty, the strength and resiliency of people, or the attributes Jesus wants us to live by defined in Galatians 5—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we choose to live a carnal life, we are rushing along on our own, down the crooked path.
There’s a Christian song, Not In A Hurry by Will Regan & United Pursuit—Tell All My Friends, the opening lyrics are: Lord, I don’t wanna rush on ahead in my own strength when you’re right here. It is focused in Acts 2:40. Luke wrote about Peter urging us to relinquish pride that is fed by the things of this earth, created by Satan to debilitate and imprison us.
Part of saving ourselves from the crooked generation is to join the faith, or renew our faith, if you are a back slider, and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Peter preached,“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 NLT
When we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we no longer want to rush ahead in our own strength, instead we seek community, brothers and sisters in the faith. We seek to conform to His image (Romans 8:29), to be like Christ. Conformity requires that we learn to be obedient, and dependent upon Christ.
John 15:9-10, NIV, Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
It is only through The Father’s love that can we be freed from this crooked, corrupt, perverse generation. To return to the lyrics of the song, As the lyrics of the song, we find that once we receive Him, we want to enter in prayer and hear His voice, we relinquish our own pride and choose dependence and hence become obedient.
When it comes to Your spirit When it comes to Your presence When it comes to Your voice
I’m learning to listen Just to rest in Your nearness I’m starting to notice You are speaking
Lord I want to love like You I want to feel what You feel I want to see what You see Open my eyes, I want to see You more clearly Open my ears, I want to hear You speak
It is through God’s grace that we are saved. We cannot save ourselves from being a part of the crooked generation, our sin nature confines us to the cycle of sin, however, because Christ died on the cross, we believers receive salvation. Only our relationship with Christ can save us. The Lord is always with us. We cannot be shaken, he is right beside us. He shows us the way, and fills us with the joy of His presence (Acts 2:25 paraphrased); through Him we escape the crooked generation, our inner being is secure, quiet and protected.
Psalms 91 puts it this way,
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:1-16 NIV
The world is crazy, social media is inundating our minds with vile things. There is little to keep us from questioning our sin nature. Life for many is only a finger tip away, everything is online and one click away. This is a wake up call, the only person that can separate us from this crooked generation is Christ. Everyone who calls upon His Name is saved and covered in His blood. Christ will keep you from veering to the left or right and create in you a clean heart, no longer a member of this crooked, corrupt, perverse generation.
There are many ways to pray and petition God. Do not overlook – supplication.
The Word supplication in English is defined as a noun, however in Latin, it is a verb, supplicare, which means “to plead humbly.” (Vocabulary.com) According to the KJV Word Study Bible it signifies a petition for favor or mercy. Supplication in Hebrew means: petition, appeal, litany, mercy, request, invocation, outcry, plead, implore.
I hope this study will strengthen your prayer life as it has mine over the years. We must come humbly to the throne of God in prayer and supplication.
The earth is ours, a gift from God. Are we good caretakers?The responsibility is ours to accept. God’s footprint is our carbon footprint.
~ Lisa Blair
Your Footprint Leads To You
Many years ago I read a story about a teenager that burglarized a store very early in the morning and while he was rummaging through this small town store a snow storm began to drop thick snow on the ground. When the teenager left the store he walked home. The police followed his footprints, in the snow, directly to his home.
We are in the midst of a snow storm. Our disregard for earths environment has resulted in catastrophic changes to the earth. Some debate that climate change is a natural event and there is truth to that statement, however, industry created a byproduct, pollution. Pollution is equivalent to the snow storm, and the footprint is the decay it causes, leading directly back to us.
As Christians, we must examine these climatic chances through two lenses, the natural and the spiritual. Our natural lens focuses on the need to produce low cost goods, at low overhead production. Our spiritual lens focuses on the responsibility God gave us eons ago in the Garden of Eden.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” ~ Genesis 2:15 NIV
Many hikers feel that leaving footprints behind them causes damage to the trails. In an effort to leave the earth as they found it, for others to benefit from its pristine view, they sweep directly behind them to eliminate their footprint. We can take a lesson from the hikers. It is time to correct how we impact the earth individually by recycling what we can, eliminating the use of plastics, and sweeping behind us wherever we can.
We Are Caretakers
This morning during prayer, climate and the disregard for God’s earth entered my thoughts in prayer. My conversation with God resulted in an understanding of our responsibility for God’s footprint, leading back to Adam and Eve. God created the earth for us, with the expectation that we would care for the planet.
To put it bluntly, we fell short and mankind was expelled from Eden. [This is not the full reason, but pertinent to this post.] The short story is – we failed. But God is a God of second chances.
The battle between good and evil has prevailed throughout time, carnality vs spirituality. One seeking to get the most for the least, the other attempting to preserve the garden.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ~ John 3:17 ESV
As children of God, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. It is through this relationship that we know and feel the responsibility to protect the earth. It is time to wake up and receive His daily mercies leading us to protect the earth God gave us.
My new mantra —
“God’s Footprint is my carbon footprint.”
If each of us go into prayer to seek guidance, we can change our footprint. God uses us to instruct and direct needed changes. There is an old saying, ‘it is never over until God says it is over.’ Our actions will either exacerbate current conditions, or begin to reverse them. Plastic islands are a byproduct we can eliminate, which will help revive the oceans. Air pollution, caused by particulates from industry and individual use can be exchanged for less destructive products, allowing us to better protect our ozone layer, or throwing things away with reckless abandon, litter can be mitigated, or better yet eradicated. We can become earths caretakers as God planned.
If we cannot silence our thoughts, we cannot hear God. He won’t compete for our attention.
Our lives are busy, we run to and fro trying not to miss a step. Our minds race, we never experience being still. One of my earlier posts shared that we can either learn to be still or as I once told my employees and students, we can suffer mandatory volunteerism. God gave me multiple opportunities but I did not take Him seriously. I gave one excuse after another. Finally, like any good Father, He took command and placed me in time out. He centered me in a place to be still, retirement, and told me to be still and listen to His quiet, still, voice.
God cannot lead us if we don’t take time to listen and converse with Him. He cannot converse with us if our minds don’t shutdown and release the static. You know, this type of static.
Stillness is the platform for establishing our relationship with our Lord. The scripture Psalm 46:10 reads, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. There it is plan and simple, yet, so difficult to comprehend in a world were silence no longer exists.
This poem shares the concept of silence and how impactful conversations with God are on our lives.
Take time everyday for the next two weeks and learn to converse with God. Listen to what He has to say about your life and the steps that will lead you down your destiny pathway. You will be renewed and no longer bound by self-talk, social media, and purposeless thoughts. You will experience love greater than you can imagine, peace greater that you thought possible, and a sense of who you are in Christ.
Video – Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.