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Cut People Some Slack
Everybody has bad days. Kay knows that I have two touchy times every week. I’m touchy on Saturday afternoon because I’m focused on the message I am about to preach. And the other time I’m touchy is Monday morning, because I’m drained from preaching all weekend and talking to people between services. So Kay makes allowances for that. She cuts me some slack.
A Tender Heart and a Tough Hide
In yesterday’s devotional, I wrote that we need to look at the pain behind the behavior of people who need extra grace. We learned that hurt people hurt people.
Look Behind the Behavior of Those Who Frustrate...
We all have people in our lives that drive us nuts. I call them EGRs, which stands for Extra Grace Required. But have you ever thought that God puts them in your life to be heavenly sandpaper. They may irritate us, but God uses them to take off our rough edges and shape our character.
Care Enough to Spend Whatever It Takes
Demonstrating mercy begins with seeing the need, sympathizing with others’ pain, and taking action. The Good Samaritan modeled all of that behavior when he reached out to care for the injured man. But there’s a critical fourth step to showing mercy that he also demonstrated.
When You See a Need, Act Now
The last few days we’ve been looking at what the Parable of the Good Samaritan can teach us about demonstrating mercy to those who are hurting. We’ve seen that we must see the needs around us and sympathize with people’s pain.
Open Your Ears and Sympathize
Jesus gives us a great model for demonstrating mercy in the story of the Good Samaritan. We can draw out at least four steps toward showing mercy from the Good Samaritan’s actions. In yesterday’s devotional we learned that we must see other people’s needs.
Opening Our Eyes to the Needs Around Us
Few passages in Scripture give us a more complete view of mercy than Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this memorable parable, we can learn four specific lessons about how we can demonstrate mercy. In the next four devotionals we’ll look at each of those important lessons.
Three Responses to People in Need
Probably the most famous story in the Bible about unexpected kindness is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told this story to show us what it looks like to love people who are hurting. It’s easy to feel a little guilty when we read this story. At one time or another, we have all passed by somebody in need. The needs of people around us, even in our church or small group, can be so overwhelming that it’s paralyzing. And we ask the question, “What am I supposed to do?”
Living for Heaven’s Sake
Heaven changes everything about how you live today. If you’re headed to Heaven (and after yesterday’s devotional, I hope you are), then that reality should impact how you live here on earth.
Unraveling the Mystery of Heaven
My family lived in Northern California when I was a little boy. One time we took a family vacation to Disneyland in Southern California. As we were driving, my dad tried to explain to me what Disneyland would be like. It was a waste of time. You can’t understand Disneyland unless you experience it.
The Cross Says ‘Let It Go’
Forgiveness is free. But it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus Christ his life. And it’s also not easy. Forgiveness can only occur when the offended person volunteers to assume the debt and not to get even or seek revenge. That’s what Jesus did for us. That’s what he calls us to do for others.
Why You Can’t Forgive Someone Too Much
We all have sources of irritation in our lives — people who repeatedly hurt us or mistreat us. The last thing we want to do is forgive them.
Why Should We Show Mercy?
No characteristic describes God more fully than mercy. It’s the first trait that God uses to describe himself in Scripture. It’s also an important characteristic for any serious follower of Jesus to develop. If it’s such a core part of who God is, it’s got to be essential for us
God’s Number One Characteristic
God’s number one characteristic in the Bible isn’t his sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, anger, or justice. It’s his mercy.
God, Why Is This Happening to Me?
In his pain and despair, Job asked a lot of legitimate questions: “Why let people go on living in misery? Why give light to those in grief” (Job 3:20 GNT).
Where Do You Turn for Help?
When we go through major disappointments in life, our natural reaction is to pull back and isolate ourselves. We want to handle it ourselves. We want to keep our losses and failures and mistakes and crises a secret. We want to withdraw. This is a terrible idea!
Don’t Stuff Your Pain, Tell God About It
Think you’ve had a bad day? The biblical character of Job had a Ph.D. in pain and loss. In the very first chapter of Job, after everything fell apart in his life, “Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 GW).
Convictions Help Us Live Like We Believe
Dictionaries usually define “conviction” as a fixed or strong belief. Conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations.
For Uncommon Courage, Open God’s Word
Faced with attacks on a biblical worldview, how do you live with uncommon courage? There are two things you need to do: 1. You need to accept God’s Word as your authority. Why? Because it is the only source that will never lie to you. If you’re going to be a man or woman of courage, you need to build your life on the rock that never changes, not on popular opinion. Build your life on the understanding that “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it — whether I understand it or not.” Hebrews 6:18 says, “God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us” (NLT).
Learn How to Clarify Your Worldview
To live with uncommon courage and stand up for Christ, you have to learn how to clarify your worldview — the foundation on which you base your beliefs. You also have to understand the non-Christian worldviews that compete for your devotion every day. Here are four popular worldviews:
How to Have Uncommon Courage
In a world full of ideas and beliefs that go against God’s Word, God wants you to have an uncommon courage and stand up for what you know is true and right. Everyone else is speaking up and telling you their worldview every day. Why shouldn’t you stand up for what you believe?
We Know God’s Truth Through Jesus Christ
The Bible says that Jesus was full of grace and truth. Truth is not a principle. Truth is a person. Truth is Jesus Christ.
We Know God’s Truth Through His Commandments
If I discover truth from the Bible, how do I know the Bible is true? There’s a world of objective evidence, both external and internal, that says the Bible is true.
Having the Courage to Stand Up for God
As you are forming your worldview and searching Scripture for God’s truth on all kinds of matters, it’s important to understand God’s stance on the three most controversial parts of a Christian worldview today. I mention these three because they are the ones you need the most courage to speak up about. Why? Because not only will most people disagree with you about these topics, they will also passionately argue with you.
We Know God’s Truth Through Careful...
When you tell God, “I want the truth more than anything else,” he will reveal his truth to you in a variety of ways, such as through creation or your conscience and also through careful consideration. In other words, truth is knowable. You can test it. You can experiment with it. You can prove it.
Articles last updated at Apr 24, 2017 17:06:53pm.
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