Compassion Quotes

Here are some quotes from my journals that relate to giving to others in need:

James 1:17 tells us our Father is the giver of all good gifts.  Throughout all of eternity, we will be lavished in the limitless wealth of the CEO of the universe.  Until then, we show ourselves to be sons and daughters of the one true God when we give, give, and give.  Let’s keep shoving that abundance out the door to help others in need, and God will lay up treasures for us in His own divine storage lot.  — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 237

Don’t be afraid, you tiny flock!  Your Father plans to give you the Kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give the money away.  Get yourselves purses that never grow old, inexhaustible treasure in Heaven, where no thief can ever reach it, or moth ruin it.  For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!  Luke 12:33-34 (PHI)

I decided not to run away from the massive effect that my mother had on my life.  At that point, the lyrics and ideas began to flow more easily.  With all my records, I’m just regurgitating what she put in me.  For example, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” was a message I got from my mother…I was thinking about how she always helped the homeless, the hungry, the handicapped, anybody who needed some elevation.  Thought about it for years.  But how do I get that out in a song?  “Oh, they build their houses in preparation for the King/ and they line the sidewalks with every sort of shiny thing/ They will be surprised when they hear Him say/ Take me to the alley/ Take me to the afflicted ones.”  That is how my mother operated–she would go to the alleys, to Skid Row, and try to help people.  –Gregory Porter regarding his tunes, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” and “Take Me to the Alley”

If the bottom falls out, if the bridges fall down/Don’t lose your head of steam, don’t lose your dreams.  — Gregory Porter

Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.  Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.  Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal.  — Isaiah 58:7-8a (NLT)

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Broken Glass

As a start to my new Word of the Year, I’d like to share this devotion from Beth Moore.  It speaks about joy in a very interesting way:

Seven blessings are pronounced during a Jewish wedding ceremony, each of which comes from the dignitaries at the wedding, my friend Arie tells me.  Usually the rabbi begins it.  Then maybe a father-in-law, maybe an uncle, maybe an older brother.  But there are seven blessings spoken.  And the seventh blessing is always the blessing over Jerusalem.  I find this to be very intriguing.  The blessing goes something like this:  “Bless You, Lord, the Builder of Jerusalem, who will rebuild the temple one day.”

Then what do you suppose they do?  What is the part you and I probably now the best?  Right–they break the glass.

Arie said, “There are some who think that the broken glass just begins the great ceremony, but that is not what it’s about.  The breaking of the glass is to bring them to a very sober time of thinking that in the midst of great celebration, we must remember” — and I’m quoting his exact words — “that our joy is incomplete.”

I said, “Okay, Arie.  What makes our joy incomplete?” (Remember all the times that Christ said, “Make My joy complete?”)  “What makes our joy incomplete, Arie?”

“Two things,” he said.  “The first thing is that some of our loved ones are missing from the wedding, those who have already died.  The second one is because there is no temple for now in Jerusalem.”

But for us as New Testament believers, both of those longings have been satisfied.  Regarding our loved ones:  those in Christ will be present at the wedding supper of the Lamb.  And regarding the temple:  well, no, there’s not a temple in this new Jerusalem.  But that’s okay, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).  Who needs a place of worship when the object of our worship is right here before us, not seen through representation and symbolism, but here for the enjoying?

Isn’t that enormous?  No more sadness, reflection, regret, or mourning.  No more holes in our happiness–having someone who’s not there to share it with, a shoe waiting to drop.  No more taking worship to a level that only makes our heart ache for more.  Do you understand that our joy gets to be complete, just as John had reported, just as Jesus had said?  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 511

 

Imagine

Here is an excellent quote from Beth Moore that uses my “Word of the Year” — “Cast.”  Can you imagine the scene?  In this crazy world of uncertainties and division, this is real and pure–no negativity, pain, criticism or pride.  This other world is real, and will certainly win the day.

Think of some of your greatest challenges.  Picture them then go back and stamp the words “before the throne” in front of each of these challenges.  The heart of prayer is moving these very kinds of tests and trials from the insecurities and uncertainties of earth to the throne of God.  Only then can they be viewed with dependable accuracy and boundless hope.  Close your eyes and do your best to picture the glorious seraphim never ceasing to cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”  Imagine the lightning emitting from the throne, and hear the rumblings and the thunder.  Picture the elders overwhelmed by God’s worthiness, casting their crowns before the throne.  Approach the throne of grace with confidence, with eyes on Him, not on yourself.  Our God is huge!  Our God is able!  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 496

My favorite hymn is “Holy, Holy, Holy,” although, sadly, it isn’t sung much any more.  I still love playing this hymn on the piano in various arrangements and styles, just alone in worship and wonder.

  1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
    Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
  2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
    Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
    Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
    Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
  3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
    Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
    Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
    Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.
  4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
    Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!                              –Reginald Heber, 1826

Firmly Nailed

In honor of our Easter celebration this weekend, today I share another wonderful devotion from Beth Moore.  How beautifully the Old Testament prophesies the coming of Christ!  There are numerous pictures and stories that prefigure the coming of our Savior.  Here’s one:

I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him.  He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.  I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honor for the house of his father.  –Isaiah 22:21-23

Now here is what Beth says about this passage:

If you study the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus, you will find that they come in a dazzling variety of forms.  In some places the predictions were clear.  They obviously pointed to the coming Messiah.  In other instances they were veiled.  Join me now as we look at an absolutely fascinating passage–these words that apply so beautifully to Christ at this moment.  In their immediate sense, they were written about Eliakim, the palace superintendent during the Assyrian invasion of Israel, but you can see their ultimate significance in terms of the cross of our Christ.

Note how God said He would give His servant the key to the house of David, opening a door no one can shut.  He said He would “drive him like a peg into a firm place.”  As unfathomable as the process is to you and me, the cross was the means by which God chose to position Christ in the seat of honor for the house of His Father.  The cross is the open door no man can shut.

Isaiah 22:23 says, “I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place” (KJV).  The original word for “firm” in the NIV and “sure” in the KJV is aman: “in a transitive sense to make firm, to confirm…to stand firm; to be enduring; to trust.”

Nothing was accidental about the cross of Christ.  The Son of God was not suddenly overcome by the wickedness of man and nailed to a cross.  Quite the contrary, the cross was the means by which the Son of God overcame the wickedness of man.  To secure the keys to the house of David and open the door of salvation to all who would enter, God drove His Son like a nail in a sure place.  A firm place.  An enduring place.

When God drove His Son like a nail in a firm place, He took the written code, finally fulfilled in His Son, and canceled our debt to it.  With every pound of the hammer, God was nailing down redemption.  — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 270

Cast Into The Sea

This week I’m returning to my “Word of the Year” — “Cast.” I don’t see it often in my studies, but it makes it all the more meaningful when I do come cross it.

I like to imagine God the Father catching those confessions in the palm of His mighty hand and casting them into the sea. What sea? Perhaps the one most conveniently located right in front of His throne. — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 495

So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons.  But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak.  Mark 1:34 (NLT)

Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles.  They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons.  Mark 3:14-15 (NLT)

So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.  And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.  Mark 6:12-13 (NLT)

New Word

And now for the moment I reveal my new Word of the Year — drumroll, please — the word is “Cast.”  I keep coming across this word in various contexts, and it’s pretty amazing to see what a diverse word it is.  I know this word will keep coming back to me throughout the year, in surprising ways, revealing more of God’s character and Presence in my life.  I’ll be keeping an entire journal filled with quotes from this word, such as the ones below:

[In Rev. 2:17] Christ promised two things to those who overcame:  hidden manna and a white stone…The most probable meaning of the white stone in verse 17 is remarkable.  In an ancient courtroom, jurors voting to condemn the accused would cast their vote by tossing a black stone or pebble.  In contrast, jurors voting to acquit the condemned would cast their vote by tossing a white stone or pebble…In the course of sharing his testimony, Paul said he “cast my vote against the Christians (Acts 26:10).  The original wording is katengka psephon.  The Greek word katengka means “to deposit or cast.”  The Greek word psephon means “pebble or stone.” and is only used in Acts 26:10 and Rev. 2:17.  Paul formerly deposited or cast his pebble to vote against the saints…How I praise God that the Judge of all the earth pitches a white stone to acquit us–not because we’re innocent but because Someone has already served our sentence.  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 484

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God…casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.  –1 Peter 5:6-7, ESV

The immediate connection of the thoughts in 1 Peter 5:6-7 should be encouraging to us in times of adversity.  On the one hand we’re to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand–submitting with a Spirit of humility to His sovereign dealings with us.  On the other, we’re to cast our anxieties on Him, convinced of His care…We’re to accept the adversities but not the anxieties.  Our tendency is just opposite.  The way to cast our anxieties on the Lord is through humbling ourselves under His sovereignty, then trusting Him in His wisdom and love.  –Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, quoted in How Great is Our God, 9/8

The 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, [and] cast their crowns before the throne.  –Rev. 4:10 (NIV)

You may have noticed the last quote included this year’s word and next year’s word.  It’s time to say farewell to my word “worship” and focus on the new one, but it will never be cast aside (pun intended).  I’ve been learning to worship Him in all circumstances, good and bad, happy and sad, easy and difficult.  Regarding the new word, this is only the beginning.  I have much more to share about this word “cast” throughout the year.  There are already several deep truths that the Lord has taught me from this one word already, but it will need to be explained a little at a time.  Have you chosen a Word of the Year?  If so, what is it?

Worship

This week I’m sharing quotes from my Word of the Year–“Worship.”  We don’t worship God because He needs it or requires it, but because He deserves it.  I can say for a fact that He is real; I’ve felt immediate healing at least twice in my life; He speaks to me daily not only through His Word but through many other sources, such as a book, a friend or an unexpected message of some type.  In other words, I’ve experienced Him; He’s real and trustworthy.  He’s worthy of our worship:

It is the heart that must trust and love and worship and obey…The Christian needs ever, when he has studied or heard God’s word, to cease from his thoughts, to put no trust in them, and to waken up his heart to open itself before God, and seek the living fellowship with Him.  –Andrew Murray, How Great Is Our God, 3/7

Worship is essentially a way of honoring God.  It means recognizing His honor and feeling the worth of it and ascribing it to Him in all the ways appropriate to His character.  Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth.  The reason for saying gladly is that even the mountains and trees reflect back to God the radiance of His worth:  “Praise the LORD from the earth…mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars.”  (Psalm 148:7,9 ESV).  Yet this reflection of God’s glory in nature is not conscious.  The mountains and hills do not willingly worship.  In all the earth, only humans have this unique capacity.  –John Piper, How Great is Our God, 4/23

When God spoke out of heaven to our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes:  they said “It thundered”  (John 12:29).  The believing man does not claim to understand.  He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.”  The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship.  He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things.  –A. W. Tozer, How Great is Our God, 7/7

Meet Lydia.  She was a city girl, a salesperson.  A homeowner with enough room to house a host of people.  Yet her professional life was balanced by the priorities of her spiritual life.  She worshiped God.  — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 358