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Church Day (Sunday, January 12, 2014)

Week 3 Overview:
Contentment
Sunday, Day 15—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 16—What is Contentment?
Tuesday, Day 17—The Lord Gives and He Takes Away
Wednesday, Day 18—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 19—A Caring Father
Friday, Day 20—Thou Hast Lacked Nothing
Saturday, Day 21—Trust God with the Balance

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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Compassion One of Another (Saturday, January 11, 2014)

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 

Introductory Thoughts

Every word of God is pure, but the Bible contains words of emphasis intending to draw the reader’s attention to a specific thought. 1 Peter 3:8-9 begins with the word finally, thus signifying that this is the final statement in a list of thoughts. The closing statements on a matter frequently contain crucial truths. Certainly, these two verses offer the believer vital bits of information. They reveal five responsibilities: Believers are to be of one mind. They also are to have compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful (that is, full of pity for others), and be courteous. Verse nine defines courteous as not mistreating others even if mistreated. Finally, believers are promised that obedience offers them a great blessing.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Name some of your friends from church. Why do you like them? Is there anyone who doesn’t treat you right? How should you treat them?
  • (For everyone): What would happen if all believers obeyed the commands given in the 1 Peter 3:8-9 passage? What would happen if you obeyed them? How would it benefit the saved and the lost alike?
  • Why is this passage so very important for us living in a sinful world? Why should believers have the right relationship with one another? (Hint: Consider John 13:35.) How could this help eliminate many of the problems experienced by churches? 

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you obey the commands of 1 Peter 3:8-9.
  • Ask God to work in your heart to love others like you should.

SONG: TBD

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Love With Action (Friday, January 10, 2014)

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

 

Introductory Thoughts

The Bible associates love with action. In this passage, the Bible speaks of the believer’s love for other believers, relating it to the Lord’s crucifixion. If a Christian knows and recognizes the love of God, it should drastically affect his relationships. He cannot deal with others as the world would because the love of God has formed compassion within in his heart. This matter is so important to the Lord that He provided believers with a scenario to help judge their level of compassion. The book of First John says that if a brother has a need, and another brother can help him with his need, yet refuses, he lacks compassion (see also James 2:15-16). Therefore, one’s deeds, not simply one’s words alone, demonstrate true love!

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): We need to do good to all people, but especially to our church family. What are some ways that we can help our pastor, our song leader, our Sunday School teacher, the elderly and those who clean the church, etc?
  • (For everyone): Compassion requires action. If there is no action attached to one’s desires, true love or compassion does not exist. The greatest example was given by Christ when He died on the cross. What are other examples of compassion that come to mind?
  • Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? What have you done for others to show your love for them? Have you prayed for them? Have you helped them in a time of need?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to provide opportunities for you to show compassion toward others.
  • Ask God to help you love others in spite of how they or others may have mistreated you.

 

SONG: TBD

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A Compassionate Father (Thursday, January 9, 2014)

Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Introductory Thoughts

Compassion forgives. A familiar parable of the Lord displays this truth. A father had two sons. One stayed home with his family and worked the land, while the other son decided to leave and travel the world. Before leaving, he asked for his inheritance (what he would have received upon his father’s death). Instead of being a wise steward with this inheritance, he foolishly wasted it. Afterward, he found himself broke and starving in the middle of a famine. At this point, he would have willingly eaten the swine’s slop. Finally, he decided to return home even if it meant that he would become a servant rather than a son. As he neared the old homestead, his father saw him coming. His father wasted no time but ran to meet and embrace him. Rather than rebuking his son, the father welcomed him back into his home with a renewed relationship.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God the Father always wants to forgive. In this story, although the son had been very unwise, the father was glad to have his son return home. The son said he was sorry and wanted his father to forgive him. What should we do when we do bad things?
  • (For everyone): The son wasted his inheritance by living foolishly. When the son returned, what did he own at his father’s house? What did his father give him when he returned? How do the father’s actions demonstrate compassion?
  • This parable is a great picture of what God has done for us in salvation. Think of some things you did before you were saved. Did you deserve the compassion you received? How did you feel once you got saved? Did you realize that you received mercy from the Lord?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you rejoice when others receive compassion.
  • Ask the Lord to give you strength to draw nearer to Him.

SONG: TBD

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The Compassionate Samaritan (Tuesday, January 7, 2014)

Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord expects His followers to demonstrate the same compassion that He has for His creation. Perhaps, the best biblical example is the Samaritan mentioned in Luke chapter 10. The story begins with a man who took a journey to Jericho. On his way, evil men robbed and wounded him. As he struggled for his life, lying on the ground, a priest passed by him. The priest saw the man but passed on the other side. A Levite came and did likewise. Then a Samaritan (a person who was partly Jewish yet bitterly despised by the Jewish people) approached the man in need. Unlike the others, this man stopped and helped the injured man. He bound up the wounds, placed the man on his beast and took him to an inn. He paid for the inn and offered to pay any additional expenses.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Jesus cares for others and wants us to do the same. If you saw someone get hurt, what should you do? How could you help if a friend was sick or lost his toy? How would he feel if you did not help?
  • (For everyone): What are some reasons the men might offer for deciding to pass by the man in need? Would you offer similar reasons? Are these reasons good reasons for failing to help or just excuses?
  • Since we understand that compassion is suffering with someone, in what ways did the Samaritan show compassion? What did he provide that he might otherwise have used for himself?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you give of yourself when you see others in need of help.
  • Ask the Lord to help you care more for others by putting them first.

SONG: TBD

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Moved With Compassion (Monday, January 6, 2014)

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

42 And they did all eat, and were filled.

43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Introductory Thoughts

One’s actions demonstrate true compassion. Five times the Bible uses the phrase moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36; Matthew 14:14; Matthew 18:27; Mark 1:41; Mark 6:34). Four of the five references refer to Christ’s compassion toward others. True compassion always moves people to do something for others. In Mark 6:34-44, the disciples wanted to send the crowd away hungry, but Christ refused to send them away empty. He would not allow the multitudes to leave His presence still in need. In this one example, Christ’s compassion fed thousands when others would have sent them away faint and hungry. The Lord not only fed thousands with two small fishes and five loaves of bread, but also produced a miraculous amount of leftovers.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Jesus loved the people and did not want them to go away hungry. Amazingly, He fed a hungry crowd of more than 5,000 men with one boy’s lunch. Dad and mom love you and ensure that you always have food enough to keep you healthy.
  • (For everyone): It is obvious, from the context, that the Lord and His disciples were very tired. Yet, we find the disciples learning an important lesson about serving others. What does this teach us about serving others rather than making excuses?
  • The Lord performed a miracle of compassion using what the disciples already had. What does this teach us about what the Lord wants us to use in serving Him?

Prayer Thoughts

  • How do you feel about your level of compassion for others? Is this something with which you need God’s help?
  • Ask God to open doors of opportunity for you to demonstrate your compassion toward others.

SONG: TBD

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Church Day (Sunday, January 5, 2014)

Week 2 Overview (Issue 002)
Compassion (con’t)
Sunday, Day 8—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 9—Moved with Compassion
Tuesday, Day 10— The Compassionate Samaritan
Wednesday, Day 11—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 12— A Compassionate Father
Friday, Day 13— Love with Action
Saturday, Day 14— Compassion One of Another

Psalm 78:38
But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

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The Only Son of a Widow (Saturday, January 4, 2014)

Luke 7:11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.

12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.

Introductory Thoughts

God is a compassionate being. The earthly ministry of Christ repeatedly demonstrated this truth. In Luke chapter 7, the Lord entered into a city only to find that a widow (a woman whose husband died) had just lost her only son to death also. It was a very sad time for this dear lady. The loss of her husband had been hard to bear, but her son was a daily reminder of the husband whose love she treasured so greatly. Yet, now the son too was gone. Perhaps the young man worked to help support his mother, but now she was alone without her husband and without their son. Fortunately for this woman, God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). He intervened on behalf of the woman bringing her son back to life. Her tears of mourning (Luke 7:13) turned into tears of joy.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God cares for everyone. He is interested in listening to your prayers. He cares for you when you are sick or hurting. You are important to Him.
  • (For everyone): How do you think Jesus understood the pain the widow would experience in losing her son? (Think about the separation of God the Father and God the Son.)
  • Out of all the things the Lord needed to do, He took time to raise this young man from the dead. Out of all the people who needed the Lord, He took time for a lonely widow. What does that teach us about our great Saviour?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Take the burden of your heart to the Lord and seek His help.
  • Ask God to help you understand that He cares for you.

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The Sighing Saviour (Friday, January 3, 2014)

Mark 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Introductory Thoughts

The journey of the Lord from Phoenicia (Tyre and Sidon) to Decapolis covered between 50 and 75 miles. No doubt much of the traveling might have taken place on foot. When He arrived at the Sea of Galilee, the Lord must have been drained physically. Yet, there was no time for rest because a man in need of healing was brought to Him. The man was deaf and had a speech impediment. The Lord separated from the multitude and healed the deaf and dumb man. He first put His fingers in the man’s ears, then spit and touched the man’s tongue. The Lord looked toward heaven and sighed, then commanded the man’s ears to be opened. Immediately, his eyes were opened and his tongue was loosed and he could both see and speak.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Discuss how mom and dad show their love by still caring for their family even when they are tired or sick. God helps them to do this. Jesus cared for people even when He was tired. He even took care of people even while suffering on the cross.
  • (For everyone): How would you feel after a journey of 50-75 miles? (Remember travel was not the same as it is today.) Would you easily be able to focus on helping others?
  • What problems did the man in need have? How did Christ heal him? If compassion means “suffer with someone,” why is it significant that the Lord touched the man’s ear and tongue?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank the Lord for being touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

Ask God to help you become more aware of His compassion.

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