Thinking about ourselves is second nature – it's what we do. Every day it's the job, the kids, the to-do list, the meals. We are experts at doing us. Self-preoccupation is not necessarily a sign of selfishness. It's more the pressing of the daily demands of life. We love God and we love people, so why don't we do more to notice the needs of others? Because it takes effort to be aware and alert to the hurts of others. It takes the regular practice of compassion. This week’s devos are created to help us look up and around at the needs of others and respond to the lack in the lives of others. Let the thoughts in the devos provoke your spirit to stay awake to the weak and needy. This week the most powerful thing you can do is to live what you read. Feel free to post the devos or pass them along to others.
“I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.” Psalm 77:12
What was God’s heart toward you when you woke this morning? Was He upset to see you? Did He even notice? Or could He have been excited and thrilled to know that you started your day?
Many of us may have never even considered our view of God. We have believed certain things about Him and have never questioned them or been challenged with an alternative. As we come to know the real God as He truly is, we will be able to love Him as He has loved us. Our heart must be softened to the scandal of God’s love. We begin by examining the ground source of true life by asking two probing questions.
How has God protected you? Think about the times when He has kept you from harm, healed you from illness, or prevented pain in your life. Has God rescued you, spared you from trouble, or heard your cry for help? Remember how He has saved you, protected you from eternal separation from Him, and paved the way for you to live with Him forever. Does your family reflect on what God has done for you?
How has God provided for you? Remember the times when God acted on your behalf and lovingly met your needs. Think about His provision of family, friends, and loved ones to care for you. Consider the ways in which He has ultimately given you every good thing that’s in your life. Does your family reflect on these provisions?
When we get to know the real God who protects and provides for us, we can’t help but love Him back! And then as we learn to love Him, we will be better equipped to love others.
Now is the time for serious application of giving God’s love to others.
How could you protect other people in your life this week? Could you help protect a friend and discourage them from making wrong choices? Could you protect a friend by refusing to listen to gossip or slander?
How could you provide for others this week? Could you provide support, encouragement, or compassion? Would your family members benefit from your respect, appreciation or concern?