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“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”

Acts 16:25

Cornerhouse, Riga, The Kgb, Trip, Building, Cell

We sing songs in our worship services quite often about how worship can change a situation, and we proclaim and believe that worship can set us free. This story in Acts is a perfect example of that. Paul and Silas had been severely flogged. They were stripped, beaten and publicly humiliated, then thrown into a dark and cold prison cell. Their feet were then fastened in stocks, and thus began a very uncertain future for these two men.

After all of this though, their immediate reaction is to sing praise. I’m sure most of us have never experienced anything remotely close to what they endured, but we have all had our fair share of turmoil and despair. We have all been at one time in our lives enslaved to sin and defeated by our situations and circumstances. What is our first reaction though to trouble?

When they sang it not only loosed their shackles,  but every other prisoner in that cell block was delivered as well. People are always listening to what comes off our lips. Will they hear praise to our God, or negativity and complaining? Will our reaction to devastation trigger a hunger for God in their lives, or will it cause them to question Him?

Because of grace, we are able to sing in even the most difficult of trials. If we consciously choose to make praise and worship our priority today, our situations will change, and those around us will take notice.

Lord, I am so thankful that I have the ability to change my current situation. By lifting you higher, my problems will become smaller. I declare victory today, as I exalt Your name.

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14

We have been looking at the attributes that Jesus manifested while here on earth, and how we can express those same qualities so that others will see Jesus in us.

As we read the stories of Jesus while He was on earth, His compassion is so evident.  He healed the sick, raised the dead, restored sight to the blind, and even met the needs of a crowd of hungry people.  He In one place, it says He healed all who came to Him.  He treated everyone alike.

As followers of the Lord Jesus, we must show compassion to others.  We will meet up with people who are hurting, people who need comfort, and those who are searching for answers to life’s problems.  This world is full of hurting people, and they should be able to look to us for help.  We may not have the resources to help all of them but must extend a helping hand to those we can.  There are so many ways that we can do this through local food banks, disaster relief funds, etc. We cannot out give God, and when we help someone with our finances or resources, the Lord always generously gives back to us, not always in material things but in blessings in other ways.

Sometimes the best way we can show compassion to someone who is hurting, is just to listen to their problems, and pray with them.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you have shown us what compassion is like, help us to demonstrate it to those we encounter who need to know that you care.

Devotion by Anne Johnston