compassion

Stop Judging! We Were Never Designed to Live Here

The pain of living in a world we were not designed to live in can be unbearable. In this short video, Frank encourages us with the truth that there is hope when death is all around us because with God it is never the end of the story.

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Stop Judging! We Were Never Designed to Live Here.

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Come with me to Lamentations chapter 3, and let’s walk through it together. Jeremiah says, “I'm the man who has seen affliction. I've seen the rod of His wrath. He's led me into darkness and not into light. His hand is against me all day. He is building walls around me.” Have you ever felt like you have walls around you, and you can't escape, they’re closing in?

He continues, “He’s caused my flesh to rot. He's broken my bones. He's besieged me with bitterness. I dwell in dark places.” Have you ever been in the darkness so bad that you can't see the light?

“He's made my chains heavy.” Have you ever been in a situation where you’re carrying a load that you just can't get off your shoulders?

“He shuts out my prayer; He doesn't listen. He's not hearing me. I feel like He's a bear lying in wait like He's a lion waiting to ambush me. He's drawing the Arrow of His quiver, and I'm the bullseye. He's made me a laughing stock. He's broken my teeth.” Oh, I've been there, haven't you? Where the wilderness is so big and so strong that it looks like you're never going to make it through. Life is so intense that you're grinding your teeth, and you're not even aware that you’re doing it, but you can't seem to stop. You go to the dentist and end up with a mouth a guard because you know - you are not going to be able to stop the grinding.

We have got to understand this friend, we don't judge that as Christians! That person who's experiencing that is living in a world they weren't designed to live in so stop the judging! Let them be human! They weren't designed to live here!

Let’s read a little further in Lamentations, Jeremiah’s cowering in the darkness and says “I have no peace. I've forgotten happiness. My strength is gone.” He’s saying he has fear, he has no peace, he has no joy, and he has no strength! Are you there loved one? Well here’s the key to it all right here in verses 19 and 20; “Remembering my affliction,” (and just to make sure we get it he says it again,) “Surely my soul remembers, His eyes are on the rubble of Jerusalem, His eyes are on those murdered little babies, His eyes are on those weeping violated women, His eyes are on the ashes of what was once the glory of Israel.”

And in the midst of Jeremiah’s anguish, the spirit of God helps him and look what he is able to say, “This I recall to my mind, the Lord’s lovingkindness never ceases; His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness. For this reason, I have hope.” He’s gone vertical! Oh, beloved, there is HOPE when death is all around you because it is NOT the end of the story. Jeremiah begins to recall to his mind all that God is, and all that God has done, and he ends up with hope, and a man cannot live without hope, he must have the belief that things are going to change.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
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The Balance of Love

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The great American entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller stated, “I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.” The most powerful leadership tool available is the ability to get along with other people; to be able to relate to people and not only to understand people but encourage them. The apostle Paul certainly fit this bill.

In the second chapter of the first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul states that he cared for them like a nursing mother gently cares for her own children. There is nothing so dear as the love of a nursing mother. Paul also went on though, to declare that he was like a father to the Thessalonians. In that context, he affirmed that in the role of a father he exhorted the Thessalonians; simply put, he spoke the hard words, the strong words that we all need to hear sometimes.

I love that he chose the word "parakaleo," which literally means to "come alongside." What a great lesson for us to learn! When we have to speak those hard words to the ones we love, those words are best spoken not with a finger in another’s face, but instead with an arm around them, communicating our love and acceptance of them, even if we do not necessarily accept their behavior.

Further, Paul instantly added that he encouraged them. It is not enough to just exhort others. If all we do is exhort people, we will soon have very few friends because they will run when they see us coming. Paul, however, balanced his hard words with loving words; words of encouragement. It is the same word used when Jesus comforted the family of Lazarus. It is the word "hekostan," and it means the "tender, compassionate, restorative empathy given to one who is struggling, burdened, or heartbroken."

Paul knew that in a very harsh world it's easy for someone when they hear a negative word, to become discouraged. He was quick to add words of encouragement, quick to play the role of a cheerleader and stress that he believed in them and anticipated that the best would be expressed by and through them.

Paul is a great example for us in terms of dealing with people. May we love others enough to say the strong words, but care enough for them to speak the encouraging words as well.

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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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Get on the list here.

I'm a Former Legalist. And so Are You.

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We are all former legalists... Rom 5 says "the whole world is shut up under the law."

I've been seeing something happening lately that I'd like to talk about.

Mainly, I'm noticing that as some people find freedom and life in the grace of God, they become very cynical and mean to the 'legalists' or 'religionists'. I'm noticing such people almost boasting how they cannot stand such people or their teaching. That they cannot even bear to listen to such teaching, that they would rather not go to church at all rather than sit under such teaching.

Isn't that amazing, when religious and legalistic is exactly what we used to be before finding the New Covenant? Why are we not going back into the legalistic cesspool we came out of to rescue those who are still stuck in there?

Though I understand the zeal, I do not understand the lack of compassion. Jesus, though rejected by the legalistic world never stopped presenting Himself to them, and no Pharisee was ever afraid to go into His presence. How are we going to win the legalistic world if we do not spend time with them?

 We should be so secure in our position, that we can sit under any teaching without it "making us sick." We must remember that many of these dear people who are legalists, do in fact name Jesus as their Lord and Savior, making them our brothers and sisters in Christ. They may be misguided. They may be no small source of discomfort for those of us who are free.

We should be so free that we can sit under their teaching and not have it ruin our day. Paul said, "I become all things to all men that I may win some." The grace of God was never intended to make us isolate and insulate ourselves from the world of religious men and women. That is what the Jews did and in doing so they failed to reach the world with the light that they had been given.

We who secure in our true identity and grounded in our freedom should be able to live in the camp of the religious without their dogma and behavior causing us unrest.

Now that, my friend, is true freedom.

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Our Created Design To Love

"By   this   the world will know that we are His disciples, in that  we love one another. "

"By this the world will know that we are His disciples, in that we love one another."

The word "REPETITION" is to a teacher, what the word "LOCATION" is to a realtor. The real estate mantra is "Location! Location! Location!" The teaching mantra is "Repetition! Repetition! Repetition!"

Well, in I Cor 13:3, Paul repeated three times that without love we are nothing.
HE MADE THIS PERSONAL!

Note, he did not say that what we do is nothing. We can do some pretty incredible things but without love, even though we do great things, we personally remain "nothings..."

Why, that is a hard pill to swallow? Reminds me of old Nicodemus in John 3.... "you mean I must go back to the womb, you mean that everything I did counts for nothing?"

The answer lies in the created design. If we buy a drill but it doesn't drill, it is useless as a drill, EVEN THOUGH we can use it as a screwdriver, a hammer, or as a decoration. The fact remains it is useless according to its design.

Now, we can understand we were designed to be the image bearers of God.

That we were designed to experience and express the love of God.
THAT IS OUR SUPREME PURPOSE for our existence.

But even though we might preach a great sermon, speak in tongues, prophecy, give away all we have, or offer our lives in martyrdom.... if we do those things without loving people, we are failing to fulfill the purpose for which we were created!

At that point, WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING!

"By this the world will know that we are His disciples, in that we love one another."

How did Jesus do what He did?

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How was Jesus able to do what he did? He walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead? How was He able to do that?

Do not gloss over that question. It is a very important one because we are called to live the way He lived. Oh, not that we are to walk on water and raise the dead, but certainly in the other things He did like having compassion on the neglected outcast, loving His enemies, and being kind to others. How did He do that?

Most people answer because "He was God!" That, my friends, is a horrible answer. Think about it. If He was able to love the unlovely, and love His enemies because He was God, that means we are NEVER going to be able to live the way He lived - because He is God and we are not!

The real answer? He was able to what He did
because He lived constantly dependent on His Father.

John 6:57 says "I live out of, or from (Greek = ek) the Father. That is why Jesus said in John 5 "I can do nothing without the Father. That is why in John 14 Jesus said the works He did were really the works of the Father. 

  • When Jesus walked on the water, it was the Father walking on the water through Him.
  • When Jesus fed the 5,000 it was the Father feeding them through Him.
  • When Jesus loved the unlovely and His enemies, it was the Father loving them through Him.

Now, this is GOOD NEWS! Because Jesus also said in John 6, that just as He lives out of, or from the Father, now we, in turn, are to live "out of, or from (greek = ek) Him. 

We can live as He lived, loving the unlovely, loving our enemies, being kind and compassionate as we trust HIm to live His life through us. Fascinating, but just as Jesus said He can do nothing without the Father (John 5), He also said without Him we can do nothing (John 15). 

Listen, we do NOT imitate Jesus behavior. All that will offer others is cheap, human counterfeit. We imitate His method. Just as He lived dependently on HIs Father, so we are to live dependently on Him. This is how we will live as He lived. GLORY!

On Compassion, and Becoming Conformed to Christ's Image

One of the most profound and glorious revelations in the New Testament is the promise of God that we are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we are in the process now, as Paul said he was being changed into that image day by day.

At first glance, that sounds so glorious and wonderful, and surely it will be in its end product. I do not think though, that we have really understood the full impact of what that means this side of heaven. Isa 53 tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Now that does not sound like an image i want to be conformed to. I really don't think you are all that excited about that prospect either. But let's think about this for a minute.

We live in a dark and desperate world, where people are wounded and broken. They are in great need for someone who "gets them", someone who will step into their life with genuine compassion and hope. The one thing they DO NOT NEED is curt , Christian cliche. This I believe, was the driving force behind the incredible impact of Jesus life and ministry. He had compassion, because He personally knew the sorrow and grief that this world can bring to a human being. When you trace the word compassion through the Gospels, you will see that it was the motivating factor behind many of His miracles. (... and when He saw them, He had compassion on them)... Compassion is a very powerful word, in fact it not just a word, but an action. Compassion not only means that you feel for someone, but that you feel for someone enough to do something about it!

It has been my observation, that there are far too few people who are willing to be conformed to this particular aspect of the image of Jesus. But those who do, have the potential to have a dramatically powerful influence in this world, because the need is so great.