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Listen while you read: "Jesus Calls Us"1 (Lyrics)
For a number of weeks through this past winter, I was out in western Canada to visit family. In some places, the ice underfoot was thick and treacherous. I am used to having salt mixed in the gravel that is applied to roads and parking lots through the winter, but it was so cold that salt was useless, so walking was difficult.
Occasionally, we went to a restaurant. One time, I was inching ever so slowly across the ice to the step into the restaurant when someone took hold of my arm and held on tightly, saying, "You need help." The man with graying hair helped me to the step, which had been cleared of snow and ice. I thanked him for his kindness and thoughtfulness. He sloughed it off, saying, "I need to help someone who has the same boots as me." The man pointed to our footwear, and the style was identical. We both chuckled.
Another time, there was so much ice that I had to hold onto the car door handles and inch my way to the sidewalk. This time, a young man stopped to help. I thanked him for his kindness.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 – Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (NIV)
I will probably not see these kind, considerate men again, but as long as I have memory, I will remember their acts of kindness. The actions of these men are an example of how believers should show God's love through compassion, kindness, gentleness, and selfless love.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)
God's love to mankind was demonstrated in the sending of His Son, Jesus, to Calvary to pay the penalty for our sin. The dictionary explains compassion as "love in action". We need to love others through the eyes of Jesus. The two men for whom I am grateful put my safety above their own risk of falling.
Ephesians 5:1-2 – Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)
Day by day, we must remember that we are Jesus' witnesses. We need to look for times when we can show kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness to others, as God has to us. We need to put others ahead of ourselves and love as Jesus would.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love in Jesus Christ. Help us to be aware of the needs of others around us. Help us to extend compassion and help wherever we can as imitators of You. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Beautiful stories, Ruth.
Thank you, Ruth, for your purposeful message.
Thank you, Ruth, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.
Hi Ruth. Thanks for the devotional. Please buy a pair of crampons that slip on over your shoes/boots and provide grip on ice.
Good morning, Ruth,
I like the statement, “Compassion is Love in Action” Good title for a devotional actually.
Thank you for your good words.
Thank you, Ruth. I’ve just returned from a trip that involved much walking over uneven ground and experienced what you described — helping hands reaching out to make sure I didn’t fall. It was an encouragement to watch out for how I could help others.
As I started to read PresbyCan today I thought of your experiences when out west this winter. And then lo and behold when I got to the end it was actually your experiences.
Another thoughtful message.
Thank you, Ruth, for your wonderful format and godly message. Not only did you change up the formula pattern of the devotional but also pointed out a typical challenge for me of compassionate forgiveness as a way of Christian living, especially when that need is so random!
God continue to bless your ministry!
Growing up in Kenora I know about cold and snow. Being young it was always good, skating, skiing etc. Now here in Toronto we still have slippery sidewalks and being old falling is a constant fear. On the bus I always get a seat as the young folks give up their place. Our neighbors don’t speak English, but we communicate with a smile, a wave and “Good morning”. I share this because Jesus shared his life for all peoples.
Many thanks for your very mindful devotional today, Ruth. We had a lot of icy areas to deal with this past winter too and it was very tense every time I had to walk from my car to the shopping centre but thankfully, I managed without falling. Yes, the compassion of our Lord is very abundant, and it is important that we show that same kind of compassion to people in our lives. Blessings for your special writing.
Good morning, Ruth,
Your story reminds me of when I visited a friend who had moved back to Saskatoon, and she showed me how you need to plug in your car when you were at the mall to help your battery. I didn’t experience a winter there, but it did make me thankful that I live in Toronto.
I do believe that acts of kindness and compassion lead to more acts of kindness and compassion. It multiples by example. Thanks for sharing and encouraging everyone to think about the people around us and how we might be able to help.