But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the Lord! Psalm 146:5-10
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The month of November is all about Missions. The goal of talking about missions is to raise our level of awareness, understanding, and participation. Last week was an introductory week. Here is some of what we covered: God's mission for this world is first and foremost a mission of Redemption. Redemption is a gift of compassion that God gives to a lost and rebellious world. The compassion with which God relates to us becomes the compassion with which we relate to others. When we relate to others with a compassion and love that comes out of the compassion and love we are experiencing from God, we become channels through which God brings his redemptive love and provision to a battered and hurting world.
This is our second week of focusing on Missions. Our goal this week is to see that our mission of compassion is two-fold. Yes, Missions brings the Gospel message of redemption to the world, but it is also involves caring deeply about the significant pain and suffering that exists in our world and taking helpful steps toward alleviating it. We know that God is on a mission to redeem the world, but he is also on a mission to alleviate the significant pain and suffering that exists in our world. Today's passage speaks very clearly to the fact the God cares very deeply about human pain and suffering and that he truly seeks to do something about it. Notice the following: “He gives justice to the oppressed, he gives food to the hungry, he frees the prisoners, he opens the eyes of the blind, he lifts up those who are weighed down, he protects the foreigners among us, he cares for the orphans and widows.”
Throughout the week we will explore more fully what it means for us to join God in his two-fold mission of compassion for the world. For years, Clive Calver, our Missions speaker this past Sunday, headed “World Relief,” a Missions agency that wonderfully exemplifies this two-fold mission of compassion. After each day’s “prayer response” this week, you will find an expression of one of the five emphases of “World Relief.” Please use them for guidance in prayer and giving as you further join God in whatever responses he is calling you to. (Note: there is not necessarily a correspondence between the “World Relief” emphasis and the Devotional theme for each day.)
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I recognize that I can have this two-fold compassion for those who are my neighbors in the actual sphere of my own life. I ask that you develop this kind of compassion in me more fully throughout the week. Lord, I recognize that the world is my neighbor as well and that partnering with others is the key to being involved with your two-fold mission of compassion in places where I cannot go. Lord, I ask for your clear leading in regard to increasing my participation by partnering with others, like “World Relief.” Amen!
Throughout our history, World Relief has responded to wars, famine, flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes and deadly epidemics. Whether it’s providing winter clothes for refugees fleeing war in cold climates, medical supplies to help those fighting the spread of massively fatal disease or food for survivors of famine, World Relief empowers survivors with tangible support.
Posted on Mon, November 14, 2016
by Alan Porter