Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Phillipians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

A friend sent us the following story.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on in every person. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves'. One is evil — it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good — it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grand son thought for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Need I say any more?

Let's start feeding the good wolf, that we might flourish for the Lord and do great things for Him! There's so much work to be done!!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

Thank God for Independence!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Phillipians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Tonight we'll participate in the Independence Day celebration in Israel — and what a party! — shows, fireworks, music, dancing, everything under the sun!

But interestingly, today is a very solemn one; Israel's Memorial Day, commemmorating all the soldiers who died protecting the nation's birth and continued existence. All the major television stations stopped airing their programs for twenty-four hours in honor of these men and women. At different times during the day, long loud sirens wailed all throughout the Land. Wherever anyone was as the sirens sounded, the entire population stopped whatever they were doing — even standing still on the highways, to give honor to the fallen soldiers. The dedication and camaraderie among Israelis is just amazing to witness and take part in. I have traveled many places and I've never seen anything like it.

This juxtaposition of two of Israel's national holidays speaks powerfully of the gospel. Messiah's death purchased our freedom from sin and eternal damnation. We've often heard and been reminded of the cost paid for our independence by soldiers who gave their lives defending our nation. It is a beautiful and precious thing to remember, when you think of the value of human life and the blessing of individual freedom. Yet our Lord willingly laid down His life for our eternal freedom and joy in a New Creation. How much more should we give honor to His sacrificial death and then…celebrate the astounding destiny He has bestowed on us!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

Don't Neglect Your Hugs!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging one another: and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

I heard a story about a young woman named Linda who was traveling alone up the rugged highway from Alberta to the Yukon. The first evening she found a room at a small-town Inn in the mountains and figured she'd continue her journey bright and fresh, early the next morning. But strangley, when she called down to the front desk and asked for a wakeup call at 5 AM the clerk sounded puzzled by her request.

She awoke bright and early as she intended, and suddenly realized the reason for the clerks reaction the night before. A thick fog covered the mountain tops — it was not the kind of weather in which you'd want to take a Sunday drive. Not wanting to look foolish, however, she got her things together and went to breakfast. There, she met two friendly truck drivers and who invited her to join them. "So, where are you headed?" one of the truckers asked. "Whitehorse", Linda replied.

"You're not planning on driving that little car are you?" he said chuckling and pointing outside at the only little car among several eighteen-wheelers in the parking lot. "This pass is dangerous in weather like this!" "Well," said Linda, "I'm determined to try." "Well then — I guess we're just going to have to hug you," the other trucker suggested. "What?!" Linda gasped, "I don't think that would be appropriate!"

"Not like that!" the two truckdrivers laughed heartily. "We'll put one truck in front of you and one in the rear. In that way, we'll get you through the mountains." All that foggy morning, Linda followed the two red dots in front of her and had the reassurance of a big escort behind as they made their way safely through the mountains.

Just as Linda did, we often feel confident that we can get by on our own, without any help from anyone else — and before we know it, we're lost in the thick fog of the mountain of life. Rivka and I have seen so many people leave the fellowship of believers and go off on their own, becoming bitter against a brother or sister, or pastor and believing they'll be better off doing their own thing. Many of these have sadly never come back to the fold. But this is yet another way the enemy of our souls seeks to draw us away from the Lord. As brothers and sisters in the Lord, we need to be closely knit with one another, helping each other and giving and receiving compassion and love. We need one another!

Let's get back into fellowship. Let's make it a priority to be "hugged" by our family in the Lord who know the way and can lead safely ahead of us, and strive to reach out and "hug" others by gently encouraging them along from behind!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

Keep your head up!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

I read a story about a new young partner in a law firm. The senior partners had set extremely high standards and had coached him carefully. He did well in some minor trials but he lost his first big case. When the partners reviewed the trial, they pointed out his errors and suggested different strategies. Even with all their critique, he lost the next big one. He felt terrible. Were they ready to give him the boot?

Then one of the partners took him aside. "Look," he said, "you're learning. Just keep going. You'll start winning. Meanwhile, your position is secure. You're one of us." Those words were exactly what he needed to hear.

Have you ever experienced this kind of compassion when you were feeling hopeless? If we’re believers, we have. The Lord has taken us aside and said, “Yeah, you’ve made some mistakes, but don’t worry — your position is secure.

Know that God has provided your security today. Rest assured in Him — and be sure to convey that same kind of compassion to struggling siblings in the faith. All of us need to be reassured once in a while.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

Anyone can be restored!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

There is a fascinating true story about the Apostle John narrated by the early church "Father", Eusebius, well worth reading.

The account goes that the elderly John took an affection and interest in a young man from Ephesus and subsequently entrusted him to the care of a bishop in the vicinity, and that, after a season, this young man became entangled with a band of criminals, and was corrupted by them, finally becoming their leader. When John returned after some time to search for the young man, expecting to find him spiritually well and maturing, the bishop despondently informed John of his fate.

Eusebius wrote, "The apostle tore his clothing, beat his head, and groaned, 'A fine guardian I left for our brother's soul! But get me a horse and someone show me the way.' He rode off from the church, just as he was. When he arrived at the hideout and was seized by the outlaws' sentries, he shouted, 'This is what I have come for, take me to your leader!'"

"When John approached and the young leader recognized him, he turned and fled in shame. But John ran after him as hard as he could, forgetting his age, and calling out, 'Why are you running away from me, child – from your own father, unarmed and old? Pity me, child, don't fear me! I will give account to Christ for you, and if necessary, gladly suffer death and give my life for yours as the Lord suffered death for us. Stop! Believe! Christ sent me.'"

"The young man stopped, stared at the ground, threw down his weapons and wept bitterly. Flinging his arms around the old man, he begged forgiveness, baptized a second time with his own tears…[John] led him back and did not leave him until – through prayer, fasting, and instruction – he restored him to the church."

What an awesome story! I've used this story many times when talking to the despondent backslider who believes he can no longer be forgiven.

Be an example of His love! No matter how far someone believes he has strayed from, or even deserted the Lord – he can always be restored! Perhaps, while reading this message, the Lord is reminding you of a person with whom you can share this story. Just possibly, you are the one that God wants to use to bring about his/her restoration. If so, I trust that, reading of the Apostle John's loving example, you've been inspired by the compassion and grace the Lord Himself feels toward His "prodigals", and moved by His Spirit to go out in faith…and rescue the lost sheep!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Compassion