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Compassion Rather than Condemnation ~ December 26 Morning Devotion ~ Angela

compassion cures more sin than condemnation beecher quote

December 26, 2014

Friday 4:30 a.m.

I woke up thinking about how Jesus is our friend but He is also King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our relationship with Jesus should bring us to love Him even ever more and in humility. The more we get to know Jesus, the more we love Him and the more we see how holy and righteous He really is and how much in need of Him we are. To see His beauty and grace and to see my true self – only makes me love Him more and walk more humbly with Him.

Being friends with Jesus doesn’t make us better or more special than other people – it should make us more humble and compassionate. Jesus was humble and compassionate as He walked on this earth and among us. He humbled Himself to come and walk in our shoes and to grow up among us from a babe in a manger, to a lowly carpenter, to a ministry full of compassion and teaching and healing and love – to die on a cross for everyone’s sins so that whosoever would call upon His name could and would be saved. Truly, we have a LORD who understands us and our sorrows and flaws and who was willing to come and do what He has asked us to do. God was willing to come here, walk among us, be tested and tempted and to persevere, obey the Father and ultimately to overcome and to conquer so that His victory could be transferred to us and repeated by us because He defeated the curse of sin and the grave!

He is a God who understands. Jesus is a Savior who understands. He has sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to live in us and teach us and guide us into all the Truth.

When we see or hear of someone that seems to personify evil to us – like a murderer or a rapist, or a child abuser or drug addict – we need to check our hearts for humility and compassion in the likeness of Jesus. If we find ourselves thinking something like the following statements, then our hearts are not right:

“I would never treat someone like that!” “I am so glad I am not like her, I know

better than to do something like that.” “I can’t understand how a person could do

something like that – I’d never do that!” “That creep needs to burn in hell for

doing that!”

Friends, Jesus would rather us pray for that person that they repent and turn to Him and have their lives transformed by His work in them that they do good instead of evil. Our first thought should not be about how much worse that person is than us. Our first thought should not be how much better of a person we are than others who are caught in sin. We are not here to condemn others. We are not here to gloat over others’ failures and flaws and use them to make us feel better about ourselves.

We should recognize that we are only “not as bad” as someone else because of the grace and mercy of God and His work in us. We all fall short of God’s glory. We all sin and mess up and fail and fall. Some people sin differently than we do, but all sin is sin. All sins, whether they are big or little, horrible or seemingly justifiable, are enough that Jesus died to cover them with His blood to pay the price for them. The cost for all sin is the blood of Jesus Christ.

So let us all be moved with compassion for others and pray for God to work in others as well as ourselves to bring us all to godly repentance when we sin and to bring us all to a saving knowledge of Jesus and a love relationship with Him. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to each one of us who seek to know the Lord, to bring forth and bear kingdom fruits in our lives. Let us pray for conviction and repentance. Let us pray for the transforming of our minds and read God’s Word and allow our minds to be renewed in Christ Jesus so that we do become more like Jesus. While we may not be addicted to alcohol – are we giving ourselves credit for what God alone is doing in our lives? While we may not be murderers, are we taking the credit for that by believing that something we are doing is actually responsible for that?

Our hearts as humans are wicked and our good works are like filthy rags. Only through Jesus and His blood are we able to become God’s children. And as God’s children, our goal is to make Him known and to love Him supremely and our neighbors as ourselves.

Following all the external rules is not all we are to be doing – if we are not loving as Jesus loves us, then we are missing the mark just as much as the thief who steals from his neighbor. When we withhold the love of Jesus from others and act out of condemnation rather than love and compassion, we are stealing blessings from our fellow man. How can those who are in darkness be brought into the light if we do not tell them of God’s love by sending Jesus to bring them out of that darkness and into His glorious kingdom of Light? If all we do is stand in judgment and see and remark about the wrong that they are doing, but offer no answer, share no love or light with them, then how are we different from them? Is the love of Jesus and His Light within us? If so, then we are compelled to share this love and His Light with others, especially with those who are still in the darkness.

Bottom line of this morning’s thoughts:

I cannot take credit for where God has brought me from and for the work that He is doing in me to change me from the lost and wretched sinner that I was. It is only Jesus and the work of God through the Holy Spirit in me and in my life that I am not who I once was. I was a lot of things that I am not now. I am now a new person and I do desire to be fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. But once, I was not this way and I can only thank God for the change in me and in my family. I can never look down on anyone or condemn anyone. I have been forgiven of so much and I do choose to follow the command of Jesus to forgive others or I will not be forgiven. I remember the parable of the man who was forgiven of a huge debt and when he went out, he met a man who owed him very little. Instead of forgiving him of his small debt, the man who was forgiven of the huge debt threw that man who owed him little into prison. The one who forgave the man of the huge debt heard about it and was very angry. He could not believe that this man whom he had forgiven of such a huge debt had someone else who owed him little thrown into prison. I do not want to be like that. I led a life of such wretched sin. The Lord Jesus looked beyond my faults and saw my need – my need for a Savior, a Redeemer, a Deliverer, a relationship with a Heavenly Father who created me and loved me and wanted me to know Him. I am so thankful that Jesus loves me and has made a way for me to be forgiven and to know Him, to know that Father and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

For those that do not have this same relationship with Him, I am filled with compassion and pray for them to know just how good God is. I long for others to know the love that I have found in Jesus and the freedom from worry and strife. I so wish that I could explain and show you just how good God is. But you have to taste and see for yourself, by faith. I pray that you do. I really do. God bless you!

Ashamed of Us, 2fools4Christ? Do Not Fear!

Well, it looks like mother and I will be trying to relax up here in TN until tomorrow morning. God is good. We will praise Him no matter what – we had these same issues from 2010 to 2012 in getting to see the right judge on the right day, but God was orchestrating miracles all along the way. We were able to look back and see that and we can still see that today and know that this time He is still for us and loves us with an unfailing love. Though we struggle we do not fall. He upholds us with His righteous right hand. He has plans for our good, to prosper and not to harm us and for us to have a future and a living hope. We do have a living hope. Like Jerry Dingler said to me in his letters from jail, “But we are not like those who are without hope. We do have a living hope in our Living Lord!” Our Lord does not abandon the work of His hands and He completes the good work that He began in us and He is faithful to complete it.

Friends, you do not need to be ashamed of us for being here. You do not need to fear for us or for our or your or the Lord’s reputation. God is in control. This following verse helped me when I was feeling condemnation towards Jerry as God Himself was dealing with Jerry and his walk with the Lord: Romans 14:4 ” Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Like wow! I hope that hits you like it did me several months ago! I was trying to control every minute detail of our lives and fix Jerry and our family – with tons of prayer and prayer books and being “perfect” myself in order to help him not be ever stressed out in any way and maintain harmony in the house and make sure he read his Bible every day and prayed every day and prayed with me, blah blah blah…

God told me to get out of the way! He said “I am Jerry’s Lord and Savior, not you. How can Jerry hear the still small voice of my Spirit when you are hovering and smothering and criticizing and accusing and demanding all of the time?” God also let me know to love like He loves… uhm… can you say not easy? Hard? Reluctant? But can you also say, OK? And forgive, and when you see someone really trying, be there for them and encourage them when they are truly trying? Can you swallow your right to be angry and feel betrayed and worried and want to punish and make them regret their behavior and make them mean it and feel some of the anguish that they have caused you?

AND NO YOU CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT SURRENDERING COMPLETELY TO THE LORD AND LETTING HIM DO THIS WORK IN YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT AND THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

It starts with the choice to surrender to Jesus, to know that you cannot do anything without Him and that you choose to be obedient to His call to love as He loves, to love God with all that you are and to love your neighbor as yourself… love your spouse, love your sister, love your brother. I am mainly speaking right now of my own experience with my sweet husband, a man that I know sincerely never wanted to be in jail again. That never wanted to do anything to separate himself from his family or the Lord. A man that prayed for God’s will to be done and meant it. A man that started out on a journey of complete surrender in 2010 that has brought him to a deeper level of understanding of the fullness of the love of Jesus.

I call it a miracle now in the name of Jesus. I am seeing prayers fulfilled over and over – because we did pray for complete surrender to God’s will, for His way or no way, for His leading, guiding and filling – every day. Maybe he or I meant it more one day than others, perhaps we stumbled in addictions, actions, attitudes, motives – perhaps we sinned/sin along our journey to see the face of Jesus. We struggle with our flesh all the time between our spirit and our flesh they are at war with each other, but that is also how we know that God is at work in us. We do not want to do the things that we used to do. We pray and wish and hope and yearn for the day that we never ever have to battle this flesh again. We are told to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Yes we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. That is why He died for us. He knew we needed Him to cleanse us of each sin, past present and future. Jesus knew who we were when He called us to accept His free gift of salvation and yet still loved us. And God has a reason for our journey. I know it is also to touch each of you that found yourself reading these words. I pray that God’s purpose for you to read this is fulfilled and I know that it will be. He knew your story before you were formed and born into the world. He loved you then and He loves you now. Please surrender to Him, today. ❤ God bless you!

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