Pastor Shaun was teaching about Compassion and that true Compassion which leads to an Active Action. A few of the Scriptures that were mentioned are:
Matthew 14:14 > When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Matthew 15:32 > Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
Mark 6:34 > When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Luke 15:20 > So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
As you see 3 of these scriptures are about Jesus having compassion with the people who are in front of him and the last one is about a Father having compassion for his son.
If we are going to be a light shining for Jesus we must put our Compassion into Action and look for those opportunities that are right in front of us. This includes our family members – this one hit me the hardest and I know that I need to improve on this one allot. It is an area that I have failed at recently and since Pastor Shaun’s message I have taken a step back and looked for ways that I can change. If I am to have an impact in presenting Jesus to my sons or siblings I need to show some compassion in the areas that discourage me. It is helping.
My study Bible showed a long list of people that Jesus showed compassion to and several of these I would struggle with putting my Compassion into Action.
For Example my version for a few on the list:
Those on Drugs who are insane at the time.
Those I oppose on political issues.
A religious leader whose views contradict what the Bible says.
A really sick person who is contagious (Leprosy was the one on the list).
The homeless on the street begging for money or help.
These are just a few of the ones that I would struggle with. I know that I need to pray for wisdom and understanding to get past the issues I have. If I am to put my Compassion into Action I need to be able to get past my flaws and let Jesus shine through me.
What does your list look like with those you struggle in putting your Compassion into Action?
Work on letting Jesus shine through you in these tough areas!
I just want to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS — Enjoy your families and friends – I will see/write you next year. Bobbyg
**This picture was shared on Facebook by Bonnie F. and it is the reason for the season… enjoy.
My wife just bought me another Joy cup, but I must explain why. Just before I retired in 2016 my co-worker knew I was struggling during Christmas time at the post office. So he bought me a Joy cup to put on my desk to remind me that I was the only person that could let someone take away my Joy. It worked and I made it to retirement. So Diane wanted to remind me that I needed some more Joy during this Christmas season.
This is a Season of Joy and to celebrate that birth of Jesus, when God became man (This was His gift to us). This season also brings some challenges to those who have lost a loved one or going through a hard time. This brings me back to my Joy cup – it reminds me that I can help others get through their hard times by being there for them with a smile and understanding. My aunt passed away Sunday and even though there will be sorrow I know where she is now (HEAVEN).
This is also a time of year when there are is great Music about the reason for the season – so if you see me in my car and it looks like I am talking to myself — I am probably just singing. I would like to share a couple of my favorite songs (These are both done with no instruments – what is the at called- LOL).
Mary did you know? By Pentatonix…. [button link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Mary did you know[/button]
Christmas with a Capital C. By Go Fish…. [button link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkIj94yepfU” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Christmas with a Capital C[/button]
I hope you have your favorite songs during this Christmas season that explain the reason for the Season and go forth with JOY>>>>>
This last Sunday pastor Shaun started the Christmas series for the next four weeks on Introducing Jesus using the four Gospels. Each Gospel has a different way of introducing Jesus starting with Matthew who explains Jesus’s family tree.
I was thinking how I would introduce Jesus and I believe I would focus on His Characteristics – here a few: Faithful – Lord – Savior – Wise – Humble – Obedient – Patient – Forgiving – Prince of Peace – Guide – Messiah – Joyful – . **I keep adding to the List and probably by the end of the week it will become larger… but Pastor Shaun shared a Video Clip from Steve Harvey that you really need to listen too.
Here it is: [button link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfCLS4hmj5U” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Introducing Jesus[/button]
If you did not clap at the end – then we need to talk. This was a very Powerful message that would be great for to use as an Introduction for Jesus at any time.
**This is the start Christmas season and I believe that we need to focus on the reason for the season… I normally could be a great Grinch during Christmas (Just ask my wife) – but this year I am trying to refocus on the Joy that Christmas brings. My wife does a great job on making sure that if anyone was to visit our home – they would see the reason for season. They would see Jesus… This is the perfect time to be Joyful and not a Bah Humbug – we need to let the light of Jesus shine through us. So let Joy of Jesus shine from us as we great those in front of us this Christmas season.
Find a way to Introduce Jesus this Christmas season to those you meet!
I attended church this last Sunday at Grace Fellowship in Spearfish SD. Pastor Steve Miller shared a story about a Square Watermelon that were be grown in Japan. The Watermelon is conformed into a cube by its surroundings – a cube made of different types of material is used to form it. The problem is that when it is harvested you cannot eat it – the inside is not ripe so it is for decoration only. (There is more about the Square watermelon below).
Pastor Steve then shared the story about John the Baptist in Luke. You can see that he was not being conformed by his surroundings but that he had been transformed by God. I have always liked the story about John the Baptist – the book “The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus” uses his character allot to show how we can have this intense relationship with Jesus. After John was transformed by God – he then proceeded telling others of the Good news of Jesus and was transforming them.
Luke 3:16 – John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
It made me look back and see how many times that I had conformed to my surroundings instead of being Transformed by Jesus and let Him guide me. It is so easy to get caught up in the World by what is happening around me that I forget to let Jesus shine through me. I become that square watermelon that is there for decoration only and do not have any good fruit inside of me. I am so lucky now to have the Spirit working inside of me to help me in my transformation and then I can be like John and share the good news.
Have you conformed to your surroundings?
Are you just a square Watermelon for decoration only and no fruit inside?
Is the Spirit working inside of you?
How is your Transformation going?
Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front: It doesn’t matter what shape the watermelon is, it’s what’s inside that matters.
It’s actually pretty easy (relatively speaking) to grow a square watermelon. Just about anyone can do it. While the watermelon is still small on the vine, a square, tempered glass box is placed around it. When the watermelon gets bigger, it assumes the shape of the box! You can do this too. There are even websites dedicated to teaching you how. Just remember to use a glass or transparent mold so the sunlight can reach the watermelon on all sides (except the bottom, I guess).
And why are square watermelons grown? Two reasons actually. First, the square watermelons are easier to stack, which makes them easier to ship. Second, and perhaps most ingeniously, with space being an issue in crowded areas of Japan, the square watermelon is designed to fit perfectly inside smaller Japanese refrigerators.
But, just like the heart-shaped creations, square watermelons cost a bit more than one shaped by Mother Nature. It’s a small price to pay for the ability to store it in your fridge, although I guess you could just cut up a normal watermelon and make it fit. Oh well… the square ones still look pretty darn cool.
**The cube shape of the watermelon can only be achieved at the expense of its contents. To retain the proper shape, square melons must be harvested before they are ripe, rendering them inedible. They are for decoration only and the cost is really expensive – as high as $100.
A friend of mine (Bob W.) sent me a link to an article about 8 signs your Christianity is too comfortable. I have been writing about “Crashing the Divide” and this looked like a great way to check to see if I am having an impact on those around me.
Here is the list:
8 Signs Your Christianity Is Too Comfortable! By: Brett McCracken
**These are just the 8 items – but if you click on the link below you can see the explanation of each of them.
There’s absolutely no friction between your Christianity and your partisan politics.
There are no paradoxes, tensions, or unresolved questions.
Your friends and coworkers are surprised to learn you’re a churchgoing Christian.
You never think about or even remember the Sunday sermon on Monday.
No one at your church ever annoys you.
You never feel challenged, only affirmed.
You’ve never had to have a ‘truth-in-love’ conversation with a fellow Christian.
No one in your church could comment on any area of growth they’ve seen in you.
Click on this link to see the whole article [button link=”https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/8-signs-your-christianity-is-too-comfortable/” newwindow=”yes”]
As I read through each of these, I could identify with a couple of them that I need to really work on… If we are going to have an impact on the world/people around us – then we need to be challenged in our growth as a Christian. I have always believed that if I am really comfortable, then it may mean that I am becoming stagnate as a Christian. These are just a few check and balances that can be helpful, but there others that you may have come up with that help. (Please share them with me).
Just to carry on from last week’s blog on “Crashing the Divide” and as I explained what my understanding was: “taking what you have learned from God and applying it to what you encounter in the world”.
Pastor Shaun has been teaching from the book of Mark and one section of his sermon fit this topic really well this last Sunday.
Mark 4: 21>23 – He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
In my study bible it explains verse 21 in this way: “Many Christians today are hidden from sight, reluctant to be identified as Christians. Such a Christian is like a brand-new light that never leaves the carton it came in. If a lamp doesn’t help people see, it isn’t worth much. Does your life show other people how to find God and how to live for him? If not, ask what “Bowls” have hidden your light. Complacency, resentment, embarrassment, stubbornness of heart, or disobedience could keep you from shining.What do you need to let your light shine?”
I have to tell you that in the past I have fallen into one of these excuses of not letting my light shine… I can remember a time at work when someone came up and asked me about church and I directed them towards someone else (embarrassment). This one hit me really hard later on in my career and I promised never to let it happen again.
Letting our light shine can be so easy… When people encounter us in the world they should see something different about us (Jesus should be shining through us). Here is a short list of some of the things I try to do when I meet people.
Smile and if they have a name tag – greet them by their name. You know after a while they get to know you and you get to know them. Also I made an effort to know my neighbors by name.
Do not expect a certain response from people you meet – create the response you want by how you interact with them. If you expect a “Thank You” then you be the first to say “Thank You”. You will get the response you are looking for when you are doing what you expect from the other person.
Look for easy ways to help people. If you pay attention you can take a shopping cart and put it away for someone. Help someone find their car when they are disoriented (this happen at the store about a month ago). Hold the door open for people.
**When you show acts of kindness people notice something different in you and it will be the light of Jesus shining through you. One of my most rewarding things at work one time was when a co-worker came and asked me if they could use my bible. It was not something that I expected but they knew who I was because of my Light…
How is your light shining?
Do they see Jesus in your actions?
When your light shines people will be asking you about it – you can let them know about the shining Light of Jesus!
GMM took a pause this year and we will planning the 2019 GMM Conference starting next month. One of the themes that is on our Web Site (under the GMM 2017–2018 page) is “Crashing the Divide” – my thoughts on this theme are taking what you have learned from God and applying it to what you encounter in the world. I believe that the Men of God have been quite for so long that sin has become normalized in our world today.
I attended a Men’s Conference this weekend and the speaker shared a story about Adam and Eve. This reminded me of what I have done so many times in my life.
Genesis 2:15-17 – The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
**God has spoken to us about sin and what the consequences are if we do not turn from sin. This is what he is doing with Adam.
Genesis 3:6 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
**As you can see Adam was with Eve and did what God had told him not to do (you know the rest of the story) – but he stood by and joined in. Also communication is a great tool – did Adam tell Eve what God had told him or did he just go along and not say anything?
In my life I have stood by and done the same – instead of speaking out I just stood by and either joined in or just said nothing. I have been told that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin – but never to speak out. I can no longer just sit back and say nothing.
In the last few years I have taken a stand in what I believe to be what God has taught me and I have started speaking out on what I see as sin. I have seen some of the laws that are starting to come forth in legislation to normalize what I perceive as being sin. So I have written to my local government leaders, had coffee with a few and let them know what I believe to be truth in what is see is being presented to them. We can also turn from sin when we see it. Recently the show “God friended me” came out on Sunday and I thought it was going to be a good movie. In one of the recent episodes a sin situation came out and the father who is a minister responded that if it makes you happy then it is ok….. wrong….. We can come to action and stop watching these shows and speak out to others as to why we did. So I am finally starting to speak out – I just hope it is not to late.
Have you done what Adam did?
What can you do to speak out?
We need to come to action and start telling people what God has taught us!
This week at the Pastors Prayer meeting we prayed about several items but a repeated topic that came up was the struggles that we go through. There were prayers about some unexpected health issues – family issues – being bold in circumstances – the many people who were hit by the hail. Life just seemed to be catching up with us and allot of people we knew– one pastor was led to lay hands on everyone (this was powerful).
My Blog is titled “You Say” and this is a song by the Artist Lauren Daigle and it reminded me of the Pastors Prayer time. It talks about the mental struggles we go through but that I just need to believe in what “You Say”. Below are the lyrics and a connection to the song. Be Blessed…. This song will finish this blog in way that I cannot… Bobbyg
“You Say” by Lauren Daigle
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, ooo-oh
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory, ooo-oh
I had the privilege of being blessed by Pastor Daniel M. of the Rhema Covenant church this last Saturday. Pastor Dan had a great message on Peter when he denied Christ 3 times and explained that “It did not happen overnight”. There were things leading up to this part of Peter’s life that brought him to the point of denying Jesus. As Pastor Dan stated: Satan works on us in several ways to get what he wants. Pastor Dan explained 5 points on how Peter got here.
Here are the 5 points – but they may have more of my definition then Pastor Dan’s – He explained his topic in detail and I am going to try to paraphrase it with my thoughts (I do have some – LOL).
Pride: Peter thought he would be strong and could not be swayed when it came to standing up for Jesus. This is his response when Jesus told him he would betray him 3 times. (Matthew 26:33 – Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”) How many times do we believe that we will not fail and be tempted with sin?
Falling asleep when we need to be awake: Jesus had asked Peter to follow him and stay alert while he prayed. Peter failed 3 times when Jesus needed him the most (Matthew 26: 40&41 – Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”) How many times to we fail to stay alert and pray when someone needs us the most.
We use our Sword in the wrong way: Peter drew his sword and cut off the soldier’s ear and Jesus did a miracle to replace it. The sword we carry today is our Bible. (Matthew 26:51&52 with that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.) How many times do we use our Sword (Bible) the wrong way and condemn people instead of loving them.
Follow Jesus at a Distance: After Jesus was arrested Peter followed at a distance instead of being Bold about his faith and standing next to Jesus. (Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.) I believe that this happens to us many times and we just do not realize we have distanced ourselves from Jesus. When it comes to being Bold about our faith we are silent so as not to make waves.
When we have distanced ourselves from Jesus we seem to get involved with the wrong people: After Jesus was taken Peter began hanging out with the non-believers. (Matthew 26:69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.) As Pastor Dan stated we need to surround ourselves with Faithful people who will help us stand for our beliefs. If we hang out with the wrong crowd we will be like Peter and fail Jesus.
You can see “It did not happen overnight” for Peter – there was a process that Satan used to make him fail. Satan used the same process on us…