DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Compassion and Love
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11
Charles Allen once made this statement: Some people seem to have such passion for righteousness that they have no room left for compassion for those who have failed.”
I pray that would never be true for us. God, our Father, has shown us such great kindness and gentle mercy.
May we ever reach out to the lost in compassion and love to bring them gently to Jesus Christ. Jesus, “when He saw the multitudes … was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
Let me share these lines from an unknown poet:
Just to be tender, just to be true,
Just to be glad the whole day through,
Just to be merciful, just to be mild,
Just to be trustful as a child:
Just to be gentle and kind and sweet,
Just to be helpful with willing feet,
Just to let love be our daily key,
That is God’s will for you and me.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Worth of Weakness
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distress, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
In our society, physical strength is the hallmark of success and power. It doesn’t take long to figure out the messages behind countless advertisements for fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise equipment.
Of course, staying in shape and taking good care of your body are worthy, healthful goals with the right perspective (1 Tim. 4:8). But the underlying assumption of people who value physical training as an ideal in itself is that weakness is shameful. For them, physical weakness represents who you are as a person: pathetic and helpless and unattractive.
In spiritual terms, weakness carries a far different message. It says, “I have a problem, and I need a savior who can fix it.” Weakness becomes an opportunity for God to demonstrate His power on your behalf.
Do weaknesses prompt you to hide or attempt to make changes by yourself? They should be your signal to ask the Lord for the help that only He can give.
Precious Lord, there is intrinsic value in weakness. Help me embrace it, realizing that therein lie dormant strength and unlimited potential for greatness.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Sometimes you feel that no one understands what you are going through. Even those closest to you don’t seem to comprehend or care. I want you to know today that you are not alone. For I have given you more than a savior, more than a distant and ethereal high priest who exists above all human experience. I have given you a friend who has walked through his human life before you.
How well he understands your breaking heart! How well he knows what it is to be beaten back by fatigue, plagued by enemies, misunderstood by friends. Whatever you are struggling with today, he has struggled with that same emotion or feeling. Whatever your temptation, he was tempted that way, too. Wherever your feet are on the journey, his footprints are in the road ahead of you.
Never again do I want you to say that no one understands. Jesus Christ understands, and because he sits at my right hand, day and night interceding for you, I am constantly being reminded of your plight. I encourage you, my child, to come into my presence with boldness and confidence. Tell me what’s going on. I have mercy for your sins and grace to uplift you when you are hurting.
You see, I understand, too. God.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to
hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Never-forsaking God
He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’ — Hebrews 13:5
What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? “For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave
you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” – Hebrews 13:5-6
“I will never leave you . ..”— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not
truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.
“I will never . . . forsake you.” Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful— just the everyday activities of life— do I hear God’s assurance even in these?
We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing— that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s
assurance behind us, the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.