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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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God Full of Compassion (January 2, 2014)

Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Introductory Thoughts

God’s compassion originates from His mercy and grace and the way He deals with man displays this compassion. For example, He is “slow to anger” and “good to all,” etc. It is important to note that compassion is not something God simply does but rather a manifestation of His character. The Bible emphasizes the importance of this truth  by stating that God is “full of compassion” on five separate occasions in the book of Psalms (Psalm 78:38; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 111:4; Psalm 112:4; Psalm 145:8). God’s actions (past, present, or future) can all be traced back to His compassion. This even includes His acts of judgment. When the Bible refers to God’s longsuffering it means that He will suffer for a long time before bringing judgment against a person, nation, or the whole world.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When you do something wrong, your mom or dad does not just simply snatch you up and discipline you. Rather, they generally first warn you to change your behaviour. Yet, if you keep doing the same thing after you’ve been warned, correction usually follows. God is like that with us—He is slow to anger.
  • (For everyone): Can you think of a time when God was slow to anger with you? What kind of judgment did you deserve? What kind of judgment did you receive?
  • When you think of the compassion of God, what comes to mind? How has God’s compassion helped you through some difficult times?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank the Lord for the benefit of compassion.
  • Ask the Lord for help in not abusing His compassion.

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A Compassionate Saviour (Tuesday, December 31, 2013)

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Introductory Thoughts

The scripture plainly declares that God was compassionate prior to the coming of Christ. His coming to earth in a body of flesh simply confirmed that He is a compassionate Saviour. The coming of Christ, in the likeness of sinful flesh, enabled God the Son to experience the temptations and struggles of mankind (Romans 8:3, Hebrews 5:8). His compassion on earth reveals that He suffered with man, but more importantly, He suffered for man. He took the sin of the world upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24), and gave man His own righteousness in its place (2 Corinthians 5:21). One of the greatest demonstrations of His compassion is the fact that God Himself loved us enough to be housed in a body of flesh (Hebrews 10:5).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): How would you feel if someone took you out of your home and put you in a home where you were not loved by everyone and even got mistreated? Jesus willingly did this for you.
  • (For everyone): Did Jesus learn anything by coming in a body of flesh? If so, what did He learn? What are some of His experiences while on earth that you might also have to endure?
  • God’s compassion stems from His mercies (Lamentations 3:32). Since each of us is undeserving of His mercies, isn’t it also likely that we are undeserving of His compassion?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you sacrifice for Him like He sacrificed for you.
  • Ask God to help you understand the benefits of His compassion.

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What Is Compassion? (Monday, December 30, 2013)

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Introductory Thoughts

The word compassion consists of two components: “com” plus “passion.” Acts 1:3 defines the root word “passion” as suffering. The prefix “com” means with. Therefore, the compound word, compassion means to suffer with someone. God expects every true child of God to demonstrate compassion, but even more impressive is the thought that the Lord Jesus Christ manifested compassion during His earthly ministry. What an amazing truth—the Lord of glory willingly humbles Himself to suffer with others. One might assume this only became possible because Christ took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3). Yet, the Bible attributes compassion to God prior to the first coming of Christ.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children) How do you feel when someone gets sick or hurt? What can you do to help them? You want to do these things because you hurt for them. That is how you express compassion.
  • (For everyone) Upon what is the Lord’s compassion based? How does this help us understand God’s ability to have compassion before His Son came in the likeness of sinful flesh?
  • What are some ways in which the Lord has had compassion on you? Were you completely deserving of His compassion? Were you grateful to Him for having this compassion upon you?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Take time to thank the Lord for His compassion toward you.
  • Ask God to give you opportunities to be more compassionate toward others.

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Church Day (Sunday, December 29, 2014)

Psalm 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Week 1 Overview (Issue 001)
Compassion
Sunday, Day 1—Church Day (no devotional)
Monday, Day 2—What Is Compassion?
Tuesday, Day 3—A Compassionate Saviour
Wednesday, Day 4—Church Night (no devotional)
Thursday, Day 5—God: Full of Compassion
Friday, Day 6—The Sighing Saviour
Saturday, Day 7—The Only Son of a Widow

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