Archive for the ‘Kindness’ category

You Will Mess Up, What You Need to Know When You Do

September 27, 2011

The Devil really loves to blind us to simple truths. When he can get us to forget the nature and work of God he can discourage us enough to give up. Don’t let that happen. You should treasure these thoughts in your heart so you never forget them.

  • You are loved by God (Eph 5:1; John 3:16)
  • He showed his love when we deserved it the least (Rom 5:8).
  • There is nothing in this world or the heavens that can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).
  • The sacrifice of Jesus blood covers all the sins we confess before God (1 John 1:7-9).
  • You can repent of any sin and God will remove it from you (Acts 3:19).
  • Once a sin is forgiven it is gone for good you’ll never be held accountable for that sin again (Psalm 103:12).
  • It’s not to late to change and follow Jesus (Heb 7:25).

Confession and asking for forgiveness brings back the “joy of God’s salvation” (Psalm 51:23). It restores us to God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, we can easily forget that when we head away from God into sin.

The Devil is a liar (John 8:44), he deceives you into living below the privileges given by Christ. Don’t let him win when you falter and sin. Instead, turn your heart toward God and bask in his forgiving grace. God loves the contrite and penitent (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). He is overflowing with love for all of us (Psalm 51:1). He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), including those who have fallen back or fallen away.

Restoration and full fellowship comes to all who seek God’s forgiveness. No matter what your sin is God’s kindness, grace and mercy is greater.
God is calling today, he is pleading with us to come partake of His mercy and love. What are you waiting for? Come home today!

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Ways to Help You Help The Hurting

May 24, 2011

Our world is filled with people who carry burdens we never even know about. Nearly everyone you meet is bearing some sorrow, hardship or pain that may not show outwardly but nonetheless hurts indescribably. God wants us all to care about our fellow man whether they be friend or enemy. In an effort to help us be more aware here is a quick list of ways to bring cheer and support to others.

  • Be mindful of the lonely, extend a smile and a cheer bringing word.
  • There will be many who will slip our attention if we don’t watch carefully.
  • When people talk, listen to what they are saying. Often this is the kindest thing we can do for someone who is hurting.
  • As the old saying goes “walk mile in their shoes.” try to imagine what you would feel if you were lonely, poor, hungry, dirty, homeless, friendless.
  • Look carefully and compassionately into people’s eyes as they talk to you. Often tears are just below the surface of a brave facade. Don’t let an opportunity pass to give help just because someone is masking their hurts.
  • Learn to spend time with people who need you. Our retirement centers, hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, and many other places are filled with people who need human contact and compassion even more than food, clothing and shelter.
  • Give without expecting a return of gratitude. More often than not people are embarrassed by kindness freely given. They don’t really know how to respond. You are planting a Christ-like seed of love that will in time grow gratitude.
  • Look past the sins of the past and present to see the potential of a sinner saved by God’s grace. Don’t let your hatred of sin cause you to hate sinners. People lost in sin are in bondage, under the influence of the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world. You can only expect that they would live below the calling of Christ.
  • Realize you are not a police man over the gift once given. It is guaranteed that some people who receive blessings from you will misuse them. However, that is for God to judge. You’ve done the good by blessing.
  • Be especially careful of people’s privacy. If you are fortunate enough to share in carrying a burden count it a privilege that someone let you into their lives. Let them choose with whom they want to know their struggles and problems.

It is in giving to others that we serve the Lord. Opportunities usually come in ugly packages called problems. Those opportunities when taken will provide untold benefit to the giver, the receiver and the Lord’s Kingdom now and for evermore.

Dear Lord, Open my eyes and heart to every opportunity you send my way. Never let my selfishness hinder the goodness you intend to be done through me. Through Jesus I ask this prayer.

Joe Chase

North Loop Church of Christ

Gladewater, Texas

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Your Role in Leadership Training The Awesome Power of Encouragement

February 25, 2011

I know first hand how difficult learning to lead singing, public prayer or devotional talk is. The fears of standing in front of everyone carrying the awesome responsibility of leading them to God’s throne room is almost paralyzing. There is a weight of seriousness that failure is not only embarrassing but in some way disappointing to family, friends and most importantly God. Training in any of these areas is often trial by fire.

Being a part of the assembly while a fledgling leader trains, carries just as much responsibility. We must remember that we are building a leader. We are part of the formation of desire, skill and ability that the novice leader will carry with him for the rest of his life. We have to be sensitive to the feelings of those learning. We need to go out of our way to encourage them to continue to grow. Give attention to the fact that they are learning and mistakes are part of that. Judgment and harsh criticism can end a leaders desire or even their ability to try again.

You may not know it but your presence in the assembly is a great source of encouragement. Your enthusiastic participation and a cheerful disposition goes a long way to building the leader’s confidence. A new leader is so focused on the possibility of failure that every facial expression and action of those in the crowd can be interpreted to say “They think I am doing a poor job.” We must watch our expressions and actions carefully during the time that a new leader is practicing. A frown, demonstration of frustration, or look of boredom can cripple or destroy any future desire to lead in a young leader.

Learning to lead is difficult. It takes much time and effort to develop abilities, skills and personality traits needed to lead God’s people. You can do a lot to provide that most important ingredient of encouragement every time a young leader tries. Offer kind words, hugs, a pat on the back and most of all more opportunities to train. Offer your support financially for leaders to attend singing schools, preaching seminars and other training opportunities. Pray for them and tell them you are doing so. Send encouraging notes and cards every chance you get. Attend with vigor every time a young leader is leading. Participate wholeheartedly and sincerely in such a way that the leaders recognizes your support.

So Good!

December 10, 2010

My friend and teacher Thomas Chapin has a gift for writing, arranging and performing music.  He chooses to direct that talent toward worship of God.  He penned a beautiful song a few years back that reminds us of how truly good God is.

As I wake with the dawn,
I am blessed by your light,
And when the light is gone,
You give me peace in the night.

I feel your love and your mercies
They’re new everyday
They inspire and stir me and I have to say…

You, are so good, You are so good to me.

Thomas Chapin

So many things remind us of God’s goodness.  Often the most important blessings are the simplest of all. Paul’s preaching reminded us that it is in God that we “live, move and have our very being.” The joy of beauty is a rich blessing we see, hear and experience all the time.  The mighty maker didn’t have to marry artistry and beauty with function.  He threw that in as a blessing.  Every sunrise and sunset are testimony to God’s goodness.

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout
The universe displayed;

Carl Boberg

Grateful hearts should be noisy.  Because of God’s kindness toward us we should be telling others about what He is doing and has done for us.  That could be our project for improvement.  Let’s try to tell at least one person how good our God has been to us.  It could be something that happened today or years earlier.  God is so Good.

Getting Along

November 12, 2010

My childhood memories are filled with the joys of arguments with my sisters.  It brought me great pleasure to needle them to the point of explosion.  It seemed all my sisters had large red buttons that read “PUSH ME”.  I obliged them as often as possible.  Often that chicanery and misdemeanory spilled over to others as well.  Picking on people for sport became a treasured past time for me.  I’ve come home from school on many occasions with either a black eye, or a paddled behind as payment for taking things a bit too far with people of little tolerance for my sport.

Surprisingly, turns out people don’t like being picked on as much as I like picking on them.  I learned I would have to dial back my pursuits to irritate everyone in the world if I was going to have any friends or more importantly influence people for good.

The Lord expects us to win souls into the Kingdom.  Much of the skill in doing this requires getting along with people.  I believe Paul put it perfectly…

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4).

The key is to try to treat others with respect, kindness and love. Like Jesus told us “…whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…” (Matthew 7:12). Getting along with people paves the way for us to share with them the peace that Jesus provides to all mankind.

I hope I have put away childish things as I try to “get along” with everybody.  The higher calling is “to do good to all men especially those of the household of faith.”

Lord, please guide my life to get along with people in such a way that I can show them your love, your hope for their salvation.  This is my prayer through Jesus.

Is It Futile To Serve God?

August 12, 2010

The Bible reveals that many of the Israelites grew weary of serving God. They found it a burden to worship as God had instructed.  In Malachi 3:13-18 God reminds them of their lack of zeal for Him.  I am afraid that sometimes this sin still lingers in the hearts of some of God’s people.  They grow tired of faithfully attending worship, singing, praying, giving and living as God has told us to do.

Let’s try to remember that God’s way gives joy and satisfaction to those who really love Him and serve Him.  Hebrews 11:6, tells us that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. God told Abraham that his reward would be “very great” if he would continue to serve (Gen 15:1).  Jesus reminded us that those who suffer will have great reward (Mat 5:12).  Solomon taught us “the one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.”

Let’s not forget the blessings of serving the Lord.  In fact we should spend much of our time extolling the riches God gives to us as His children.  This way others will see the joys of being a Christian.

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That Really Hurts!

July 14, 2010

Most everyone  who looks at YouTube videos has seen the “Charley Bit Me” video.  After Charley chomps down on his brother’s finger the brother exclaims “And that really hurt.”  That video became viral because the boys were so cute.  However, real pain is never really funny when it happens to you.

As children we used to proclaim “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  We all learned quickly that saying was very far from being true.  Words do hurt, they harm us sometimes for our lifetime.  Words of discouragement, slurs and cruel epithets bring pain and maim their recipients.  I don’t know how many thousands of times I was called “fatty” or “fatso” or “tubby”, or been the butt of a joke planned to bring laughter to the crowd and hurt me to my heart.  No matter how innocent people try to be in teasing;  joking at some one else’s expense wounds and scars.  You just can’t erase the pain caused by hurtful words.

Sadly, children often fulfill the prophecies of the words used to describe them by their loved ones.  The child who hears they are stupid, fat or ugly from a loved one will often try their whole lives to overcome those words only to see themselves as fat, ugly, or stupid in the end.

Isn’t it just as easy to say nice things, helpful and encouraging words?  Wouldn’t it make sense to implant into the hearts of others messages of esteem and encouragement?  Lets all try to say only kind words about and to others.  Let us all try to have people say of us as they did our Lord. “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 2:44).