Scripture reading for March 23rd: Luke 15
Key Scriptures: Luke 15:18-24 “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Jesus gave a series of parables about lost things. There was the lost sheep, one out of a hundred. There was the lost coin, one out of ten silver coins. In each of these parables, there was great rejoicing as the lost was found. Jesus said these represented the joy in heaven over a sinner who repents. And then there was the story of the lost son, one of two, who chose to take his inheritance from his father and wasted it in the far country. This son was reduced to feeding pigs and at that point came to himself. He decided to go home and beg his father for mercy. The father was watching, and saw the returning son. He ran to greet him, hugging and kissing him. When the son confessed and asked for a slaves job, the father restored him to sonship and threw a party! Lessons on our Father’s heart abound in this amazing story!
Luke 15:7 “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing our Father’s great compassion and heart to restore what as sinners we foolishly wasted. May the joy of heaven be increased through my life and sharing of this Good News!
Psalm 86:15 “But You, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for March 19th: Deuteronomy 6-9, Luke 7
Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15 “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, “Do not weep.” Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.”
As God had commanded His people in the Old Testament law, Jesus was caring and compassionate towards a widow. This widow had lost her only son and would be left without support. The funeral procession was passing by and Jesus reached out and touched the bier containing the body. He spoke to the body of the man and commanded him to arise. To the amazement of all (except Jesus), the young man arose and began to speak!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your demonstrated compassion for the hurting and for orphans and widows. Fill me with Your heart of love and compassion and use me to bring life and restoration. Multiply Your kingdom!
Deuteronomy 7:12-13 “And because you listen to theses rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that He swore to your fathers. He will love you and bless you, and multiply you.”
Scripture reading for March 12: Luke 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20
Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15 “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”
Jesus encountered a funeral procession with the body of a young man who had recently died and followed by the mother and a crowd of mourners. Luke says Jesus was moved by compassion to speak to the mother, telling her not to weep. He then came and touched the bier where the body lay and spoke to the young man, telling him to arise. The young man immediately sat up and began to speak! The love of Jesus moved Him to speak comfort and life in the face of hopeless grief and death.
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, thank You for filling me with Your great love and compassion through the Holy Spirit. Help me to allow You to use me to speak life into places of fear and death. Action step: As God directs, speak life to someone you know who is in fear or despair.
Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”
Scripture reading for September 10th: Proverbs 12-14, Colossians 3
Key Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Learning and living go together in our walk with Jesus Christ. As we follow Jesus, His example is to guide our conduct and His Holy Spirit is to fill us with the fruit of His Holy character. We are one with Christ and other believers in one body, His Church!
Proverbs 14:2-3 “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises Him. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”
Prayer: Lord, clothe me today with Your Holy Spirit and Christ’s character so that I might reflect Your goodness to the people You love and died for. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 12-15, Mark 2
Key Scriptures: Mark 2:15-17 “And as He reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus chose to invite sinners to have fellowship with Him. He ate with them and even invited Matthew, a despised tax collector, to follow Him. The religious leaders questioned how Jesus could be willing to be with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ and Jesus spoke plainly to them. He had come to minister to those who were in need of healing, not those who did not need it. God taught His people in the Old Testament to minister to the unclean, lepers, and bring restoration.
Leviticus 14:1-3 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of the leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds. . . “
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for caring for the sinner and the hurting. May your compassion fill my heart today to bring healing, encouragement and hope. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 19th: Genesis 50, Exodus 1-2, Matthew 15
Key Scriptures: Matthew 15: 32-34 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have had nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
Jesus was filled with compassion for the crowd that had listened to Him for three days. He shared His compassion with His disciples and got their input. In the natural, they had very few resources in the wilderness where Jesus had led them. Jesus asked them what they did have. Miracles happen when we offer what we have to God and allow Him to bless it! God saw the suffering of the Israelites and was filled with compassion, sharing His concern with Moses, had a plan of action to answer their need and prayers.
Exodus 2:24 “And God heard their (the Israelites) groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your heart of compassion for hurting and lost people. Give me a sensitivity to Your compassion flowing in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jonah 3-4, Micah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Jonah 4:4-5, 10 “On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. . . . When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”
Jonah had vowed to preach whatever message God gave him for the wicked city of Nineveh. He began a walk across the huge city that would take three full days announcing God’s plan to judge them in just 40 days. This brought holy fear and faith to the whole wicked city and they repented! When God saw their faith and deeds of repentance, He had compassion on them! He would much rather save people than bring judgment. What an awesome God of compassion we serve!
God’s great compassion: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
Scripture reading for June 8th: Psalm 39-42
Key Scriptures: Psalm 41:1-3 “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.”
David knew that God cared for the weak and needy. All who know God will have concern for the hurting. God rewards those who share His heart by promising them protection and deliverance in their own times of sickness, trouble and weakness! We reap what we sow from a God who is faithful and caring!
Thankful for a caring God: “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.” (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
Scripture reading for February 10th: Mark 1
Key Scriptures: Mark 1:40-42 “A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy was cured.”
Leprosy is a disease of the skin that causes the skin to crust with sores and ooze body fluids. It was contagious and people with the disease had to separate themselves to keep from infecting others. Any Israelite who touched a leper would be considered “unclean.”
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was humbly approached by a man with leprosy. This man fell to his knees and begged the Master to be willing to heal him. Mark records that Jesus was filled with compassion for this hurting man who was suffering from the disease and its lonely consequences. Compassion is love that deeply touches the heart and moves a person to take action to minister to the one that is hurting. You might call it love on steroids! Jesus reached out His hand, and touched the man. He told him that it was His will to heal and at Jesus’ command, the leprosy left immediately!
Observation for over-comers: As believers, through empowerment by the Holy Spirit, we have a river of Christ’s love and compassion flowing in our hearts. God is willing and we have authority and compassion waiting to be released for hurting people! “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, . . ..” (Proverbs 15:4)
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Matthew 23
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Matthew 23:37-38 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.'”
Over the ages of time, the Bible records many times where God tried to warn and protect His people from coming disaster and judgment. Many times they were stubborn and unwilling to listen, wanting to go their own way. They sometimes killed or mistreated the messengers that God sent to them. In New Testament times, they would kill the Son of God, Jesus Christ and similarly mistreat His disciples.
Over-comers must always welcome Jesus’ direction and protection. They must welcome the messengers of God and be a willing bearer of the good news themselves! They must walk in awareness that not all will receive the good news and that persecution may come.
Observations for over-comers: Jesus longs to gather and protect His people! He would rather show mercy than judge! “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:7-8)