What’s Your Buzz?

Bee resting on a flower (Eucera cf. longicornis)

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Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

I remember at a Women of Faith conference I went to some years ago, that one of the speakers, Thelma Wells, used a symbol of a bee. However, her symbol was meant to be an action verb rather than a noun. That dear lady promotes that we BEE the best we can be in our BEEing devoted to God.

We have a choice to BEE like-minded, sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble. It seems like it would be an easy choice, but when situations and circumstances arise, mixed in with our prior life experiences, sometimes it is very difficult to make the right choice.

Like Joshua said in Joshua 24:15, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” is showing that making the choice before a situation arises is the way to victory. Will we BEE a servant of the Lord or of the world?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the reminder of having the choice of serving you. Forgive me when I choose to serve myself. I pray that my answer will always be “Yes, Lord” when you call on me. Amen

Faith Tip: Make the choice now. Who will you serve? Then live it out.

God of comfort and compassion

Friends catching up

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“[Praise to the God of All Comfort] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

To be understood is to be given a great gift. We all have different life experiences, but when we run into someone who has been through a similar experience we have, there is an instant connection. You both feel understood.

God being the author of our lives allows us to connect with those on similar paths so that we can be understood as well as give understanding. Compassion and comfort are offered, and it’s the perfect kind because someone who’s been through our type of situation is sensitive to our needs and seems to know how to minister to us in a powerful way. It’s all from the hand of God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful gift of compassion and comfort. You empower your people to display your love to others in wonderful ways. I pray that I can be sensitive to those you connect me with and attune to their needs. Amen.

Faith Tip: When you hear of someone struggling, see if you have a common experience that you can understand their challenges and minister to them in Christ’s name. If you don’t, then just let them know you care and desire to help them.

Filling up with compassion

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During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, 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. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance” (Mark 8:1-3).

The elderly woman was standing at the gas pump reading the instructions when I pulled in. As I got out of my car to fill it with gas, she came up to me and said, “Could you please help me? You see, my husband just died and I don’t know how to put gas in the car.” Tears started brimming in her eyes. Her life had drastically changed with the death of her husband, and this was one example of having to do things differently. It was a reminder to her that he was gone from this life. Each day would bring that reminder as new tasks would come. She needed compassion.

God has compassion for his people. A call goes out to his disciples to display his compassion as they journey through life. If we refuse to show God’s compassion, we cut off God’s desire to show love to other’s through us. We may think that we would never do that, but as life gets busy and chaotic, we move right by people who need compassion to reach our next goal. God’s goal is to show care for his people. It has always been the people for which God cares.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the many times you have shown me compassion. I have been blessed with the caring actions of your people that encouraged and strengthened me. I pray that I may “pay it forward” to others who need to experience you compassion. Amen

Faith Tip: During your day, see if God has put someone in your path to show his compassion for them. Be a blessing by showing God’s care.

The call of compassion

Suffering People

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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.”

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan (Matthew 15: 32-39).

Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” God feels that for his people as shown over and over again in the Bible. The interesting thing is that there is usually a miracle that follows. Sometimes those miracles are done through his people. How would people know that God has compassion on them unless we feel that compassion and express it? Do we have a strong desire to alleviate suffering? How have we shown it and acted upon it? To say it is not enough.

God acts on his compassion. He calls his people to action. What if we say no like Jonah did? Sometimes we don’t understand God’s compassion for it doesn’t fit our human experience of compassion. God says that he will have compassion on who he will have compassion. No explanation needed. We just need to respond to his call.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for your great compassion on us and pray that I can express that same compassion to others. I want to act on that compassion to give you glory. Direct me to the people who need to know that God loves them and has compassion on them. Amen

Faith Tip: Ask for eyes to see where compassion is needed and then act on it as directed by God.

No Lone Rangers

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“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

The police are at the neighbor’s house again. It’s the third time this month, and you wonder if it is going to end. Is it the eldest son again or another child? You hear the yelling through the night. They always communicate with loud voices. There is someone being led to the police cruiser in handcuffs. The mother is crying. The smaller children stay behind in fear. You can’t imagine how people can live that way. You are thankful for your stable family. You go to church and pray and….wait…what was that? You feel something tugging at your heart and mind. Jesus is knocking. Now the choice is yours to let him in or not. If you let him in, he’s going to want you to do something out of your comfort zone…you just know it.

Fulfilling the law of Christ means to love God with your heart, soul and mind and to love others as you love yourself. This means helping each other along the journey for none of us is above the other. We all need help. None of us were meant to be Lone Rangers. Don’t be afraid to answer the door when Jesus comes knocking.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for always being there for me. I pray that I will always open the door and allow you to work in me for your kingdom purpose. Amen.

Faith tip: Ask God to help you see others as he see them.