Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

Let’s Start Over!

Jan 09

by Victoria Robinson

In the beginning … ahhh those famous first words recorded in the book of Genesis. Beginnings so often start with a sense of great hope and wonderment. This was the fresh starts of all fresh starts. A blank canvas with limitless possibilities. Girlfriends, don’t you just love a fresh start? A chance to begin anew with no past mistakes. There are times when we just need to start over.

Spiritually speaking, a new beginning is found in the book of John. That new beginning is found in putting our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The apostle Paul spoke of this transforming faith in the book of Titus. he said, “… a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time …” Acknowledging that a new life is only possible through Jesus Christ is the only way to have a fresh start. In fact, Jesus said to a man named Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Born again—let’s start over! If this is your desire, click on this Heaven link and learn more. Heaven

If you already have a relationship with Jesus Christ then you surely know what a wonderful feeling it is to be able to “wipe the slate clean” and start over. King David came to a place in his life when he desperately needed to start over. Troubles surrounded him due to his disintegration into a sinful life. The enemy of his soul had enticed him to indulge in lustfully gazing upon a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. This led to sleeping with her apart from marriage as set forth in the Word of God. Once it becomes known to him that Bathsheba is pregnant, we see the actions of a desperate man. So panicked by his circumstances that he engaged in a murderous plot to kill Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. If ever a person needed to start over it was King David.

The good news is David repented and turned his heart back to the Lord. David’s fresh start resulted in the Lord speaking these kind words about him after his departure from this world, “… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness …”

King David whose life was ravaged by his sinful choices, but who got a fresh start from the heavenly Father, has been memorialized by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus.  He wrote, “David was truly a man after God’s own heart.”

This is an encouraging story when we reach a point in our life where we need a new beginning. If that is where you are today, then praying the very words King David prayed after he repented are appropriate. In the book of Psalms David wrote, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Near the end of Lamentations, a book of poetry written to lament the destruction of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah makes a plea to the Lord. He says, “Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start.” What a wonderful way to cry out to the Lord when we have a remorseful heart and want to start over!

Dearest girlfriends, let us turn our hearts towards our heavenly Father and receive a new beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~ Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-2,14 NIV
 
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, ~ Titus 1:1-2 NIV
 
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ~ John 3:1-6 NIV
 
… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness … ~ 1 Kings 9:4 NKJV
 
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, …  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:1-4,7-12 NIV
 
Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start. ~ Lamentations 5:21 CEV

How Long Will This Be Going On?

Jun 07

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, do you feel forgotten by the Lord? Have you been waiting so long your heart is just aching? We know the psalmist experienced this because these words overflowed from his heart, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”

In His divine wisdom our heavenly Father does not always divulge the day and time our sorrows will come to an end. When the pain does not make sense we must hold fast to trusting His love for us and knowing we are safest in His arms.

Another aspect can be seen in the fortieth psalm—that when our deliverance comes many will see and fear and put their trust in God. This elevates our waiting to a whole new level. The truth is God will use our suffering to draw others to Him. Needless to say, our behavior during difficulties is either a positive or negative reflection of our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us wait patiently on the Lord and know for certain He hears our cries and will care for us.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? ~ Psalm 13:1-2 NIV
 
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. ~ Psalm 90:13-17 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

Falling Into the Hands of Mercy

Jan 04

by Victoria Robinson

How and when our heavenly Father chooses to have mercy on us is a mystery. In fact what the Lord told Moses only deepens the mystery. He said, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy …” The Hebrew word for mercy King David used in the twenty-fourth chapter of Second Samuel is racham, which means compassion, and tender love. He was in distress and relied upon the thought of falling into the hands of the Lord for His mercy.

The mystery of His mercy is unexplainable. Nothing exemplifies this more than the parable of The Workers in the Vineyard. This story shows us the complete mercy of our heavenly Father. Here we see a landowner hiring men to work in his vineyard for a day and agreeing to pay them each a denarius. Sounds straight forward and fair to all the workers except not all the workers worked all day. In fact he hired workers throughout the day so that some worked all day and the last ones hired worked only one hour. When the pay was given, each man got the same pay of one denarius. The workers who had worked all day were upset at the irrationality of the pay scale. Why should they be paid the same as those working less hours, and yet the landowner set them straight in his answer. He said, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man 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?” This story brings to mind all of the comments I have heard from lost people who say, “God would never let a murderer or worse into heaven just the same as a good man like Billy Graham.” The mystery of our heavenly Father’s mercy is the only explanation for such a gracious act of generosity.

There is however one aspect of mercy where you will find no mystery. To retain the mercy your heavenly Father has lavished on you, you must give mercy to those in your life.

Our heavenly Father’s mercy is a mystery and unexplainable which is good for us all. Girlfriends, lest you think His mercy is doled out wrongly, you better look into the annuls of your own life and consider the wonderous mercy He has shown you. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would marvel at the mystery of His mercy and give thanks that His love is unconditional.

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” ~ 2 Samuel 24:14 NIV
 
 
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? ~ Romans 9:14-24 NIV 
 
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace … 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 the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. … “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 the eleventh hour 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 men 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, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man 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?’ ~ Matthew 20:1-15 NIV
 
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. ~ Matthew 18:32-35 NIV

Why Me?

Nov 28

by Victoria Robinson

The troubles that come into our life produce amazing fruits. The first fruit is the comfort we receive from the God of all comfort. The second is when we then in turn pass this comfort onto others in their suffering. Then the whole cycle continues with the person you have comforted. They in turn will be a blessing to others.

So much of what our heavenly Father does in our lives is not about us alone. He sees the big picture we can miss if we are only focused on our own selfish thoughts. Our first thought is usually, “How does this affect me?” Conversely our Lord and Savior looks at how He can serve others.

None of us truly desire to have troubles on our own doorstep, but we need to consider the grander plans God has for everything that happens in our life. The next time we are tempted to say, “Why me?”, we should look at the bigger picture and see how we can comfort those who so desperately need the gift of comfort our heavenly Father has so graciously given us.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would open our eyes and look for our heavenly Father’s purposes in all our circumstances.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV
 
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. ~ 1 Peter 4:12 NIV
 
… O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. … ~ Jeremiah 32:18-19 NIV
 
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4 NIV