Word Pictures

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.’” Matthew 22:1–2

Another extremely useful communication technique is the word picture, described by Gary Smalley and John Trent in their book The Language of Love. In one of their examples, a high school teacher and football coach named Jim came home each evening too tired to even talk to his wife, Susan, leaving her frustrated and angry. Finally, Susan told Jim a story about a man who went to breakfast with his fellow coaches. The man ate his favorite omelet, then gathered up some crumbs and put them in a bag. Then he went to lunch with more friends and ate a turkey tenderloin pie and a huge salad. Again, he put a few crumbs in a doggie bag to take with him. When he came home that night, he handed his wife and their two boys the little bags of leftovers.

“That’s the way I feel when you come home with nothing left to give,” Susan said. “All we get are leftovers. I’m waiting to enjoy a meal with you, hoping for time to talk and laugh and get to know you, longing to communicate with you the way you do every day with the guys. But all we get are doggie bags. Honey, don’t you see? We don’t need leftovers. We need you.”

Susan’s word picture brought tears to Jim’s eyes and led to positive changes in their marriage. You, too, may find that a graphic word picture is more effective at getting your mate’s attention than a torrent of hostile words.

Just between us…

  • Why are word pictures often effective?
  • Jesus often used word pictures to make a point (e.g., “I am the Good

Shepherd”). What word picture describes your feelings about us?

Lord, teach us to share our inner selves with our spouse. Remind us of the great value of this intimate exchange between married lovers. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Word picture illustration from The Language of Love by Gary Smalley and John Trent (Pomona, Calif.: Focus on the Family Publishing, 1988).

Fathers and Daughters

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

I ask that we love one another. 2 John 1:5

If you have a daughter, Dad, one of your primary tasks is to set the tone for her future relationships with men. If you are warm and nurturing, she’ll eventually look for a husband with similar qualities. If you communicate that she’s beautiful and feminine, she’ll be inclined to see herself that way. If you blend love and discipline in a way that conveys strength, your daughter will be more comfortable with a give-and-take marriage characterized by mutual respect. But if you reject your daughter, she’s likely to spend her life trying to find a man who can meet the needs you never fulfilled in her heart.

One wonderful way to build up your daughter is to take her on regular “dates,” which can begin even in the preschool years and extend to the teens. Let her help plan these outings. Then open doors for her, help her with her chair, and listen attentively when she speaks. Treat her with the same consideration and respect that Scripture prescribes for your wife (1 Peter 3:7). You’ll create a feeling of self-worth and begin to establish her standards for a husband, if she chooses to marry. We can’t imagine a better wedding present for a father to give his precious daughter.

Before you say good night…

How would you describe your relationship with your daughter?

What is your daughter’s current attitude toward men?

What can you do better to prepare your daughter for a successful marriage?

(father) Heavenly Father, I want my daughter(s) to know how much I love and value her. Let my every word and deed encourage her today and help shape her into the woman You want her to be. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Our Good Father – Today with Allen Jackson – February 2, 2020

Our Good Father

Ephesians 3:14-15

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

God chose to reveal Himself to human beings as Father. It was not accidental or arbitrary or the result of an ancient patriarchal culture that insisted upon it.  This fact is not politically correct and is not always embraced, even within Christianity. But it was God’s choice, and all fatherhood in the earth is based on this understanding. When we have a proper awareness of God as Father, it opens the door to understanding the whole story of Scripture and gives us insight into His role in our lives.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, may this be a season when I have a revelation of You as never before. Give me the strength and courage to face the challenges of my life with the truth of Your Word, for my desire is to honor You and live for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Crowned With Compassion: God’s Merciful & Mighty Move – God’s Love at Work – Week of February 2

Crowned With Compassion: God’s Merciful & Mighty Move 

By Margaret D. Mitchell

Psalm 140:6 MSG reveals our desperate cry: “Listen, God! Mercy!”

And Psalm 138:3 TPT assures us that “At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me! You strengthened me deep within my soul and breathed fresh courage into me.”

Friends, our urgent voice can move God’s heart to extend mercy to us straightaway (Ps. 140:6 TPT).

In His mercy, God keeps reviving us by His might (Ps. 138:7).

God’s Word says, “He is so rich in compassion and mercy” (Eph. 2:4) and extends it according to His will (Rom. 9:15).

We know that the crossover to deeper compassion begins at the cross, the place of intersection where we exchange our limitations for His more beautiful betrothal.

Yes, God betroths us in compassion, which moves us toward faithfulness to His covenant (Hos. 2:19–20).

As His redeemed, we are seated and baptized in mercy. We are established in victory. After repentance, we are positioned to receive His best profitability, and we are re-launched (established).

So, times of refreshing come after our repentance, after we turn away from our way and return to His (Acts 3:19-21).

Consider the prodigal son (Lk. 11-32).

Upon his turn from the pig pen to home, His father was compassionate—deeply moved in His inward parts—to restore him to grace and truth. This story illustrates our Heavenly Father’s compassionate love for us, where He leans toward us (Eph. 2:8) and even runs to us.

As we run to God, He runs to us.

Luke 15:20 TPT says, “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So, the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.

In Psalm 69:16 TPT King David echoes this same precept by saying, “Oh, Lord God, answer my prayers! I need to see your tender kindness, your grace, your compassion, and your constant love. Just let me see your face, and turn your heart toward me. Come running quickly to your servant. In this deep distress, come and answer my prayer.”

Friends, God literally “waits on high to have compassion on you” (Is. 30:18).

The moment we call out to Him, He answers.

God doesn’t leave us at dirty, guilty or ugly. He removes our sins. He redeems our “life from the pit and crowns” us “with love and compassion” (Ps. 103:4).

So, compassion is a crown.

God gives us beauty for the ashes we once endured, even if we caused them.

God is especially merciful toward the sins of our youth.

In Psalm 25:6, 11 TPT, King David prays, “Forgive my failures as a young man, and overlook the sins of my immaturity. Give me grace, Lord! Always look at me through your eyes of love—your forgiving eyes of mercy and compassion. When you think of me, see me as one you love and care for. How good you are to me! For the honor of your name, Lord, never count my sins, and forgive them all—lift their burden off of my life! Come closer to me now, Lord, for I need your mercy” (Ps. 25:16).

Matthew 11:28 TPT asks, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.”

In His Presence, God lifts heavy burdens off of us, pours out His blessings upon us and strengthens our soul (Ps. 138:3).

He transforms our lives as He brings us from darkness into His marvelous light.

Psalm 110:3 TPT assures us that “…in the brightness of your holy ones You will shine as an army rising from the womb of the dawn, anointed with the dew of your youth!”

This magnifies God and His Kingdom (Ps. 138:2).

Friends, God will fulfill the desires and dreams He put in us long ago, even ones we first knew were there in our teen years.

Psalm 126:4 TPT assures us, “Now, Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory! May streams of your refreshing flow over us until our dry hearts are drenched again.”

God knows just how to do it right. He remembers His promises and is faithful to fulfill them in His time and way.

So, it’s important to seek God, forgive ourselves and others, and receive His times of refreshing.

David intimately knew the life-restoration of God’s compassionate forgiveness.

Psalm 130:4 says, “But your forgiving love is what makes you so wonderful. No wonder you are loved and worshiped!”

David knew God’s compassion for his revival. He said, “By your mighty power I can walk through any devastation and you will keep me alive, reviving me…” (Ps. 138:7 TPT).

David knew God as His only hero-source for rescue, as the provider of the ransom price for God’s people (Ps. 25:15, 17, 21-22).

Jesus was filled with compassion at the sight of wandering sheep (Mk. 6:34). He was and is gentle to the ignorant (Heb. 5:2). He restrains wrath and shows mercy (Ps. 78:38). He is the balanced mediator, the light in the darkness who forgives sin when we repent (Titus 3:4-5).

With Him, there is only ultimate victory.

There is no pain in His tangible Presence.

With Him, there is no victimhood in compassion, because He dissolves pain and restores us from a place of victory.

As the author and the finisher, God offers us a full, complete healing experience beyond the pain of sin, trials, and testing to higher ground. So, He included the elements of breakthrough and completion in His great and tender compassion.

God desires to show us the pleasant part of John 10:10. The part that says, “I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!”

Beloved, we can experience a fresh start, a new beginning that will lead to exponential blessings for us and beyond us as we continue to lean into our compassionate God and follow His lead.

Psalm 126:5-6 TPT assure us, “Those who sow their tears as seeds will reap a harvest with joyful shouts of glee. They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow, but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!”

Pray with me if you will…

Lord, “I bow down before your divine presence and bring you my deepest worship as I experience your tender love and your living truth. For the promises of your word and the fame of your name have been magnified above all else!” (Ps.138:2). “May my voice move your heart to show me mercy” (Ps. 140:6).

I lay down every idol of unforgiveness toward myself and others. I choose to put Your way above my own. I invite You to rid me of any and all hindrances to Your great and tender mercy and compassion. If there is any wrongdoing in me that I need to repent of, please reveal it to me, so that times of refreshing may come to me. “Enrich my soul” in You, Lord, and “refresh my heart” in You (Ph.1:20).

Thank You that Your “Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just” (Ps. 112:4 GNT). Thank You that “At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me! You strengthened me deep within my soul and breathed fresh courage into me” (Ps. 138:3).

Thank You for Your work of compassion in me that makes me useable for service in kindness without cruelty (Ps. 139:5). Thank You for clothing me in Your compassion so I can show mercy toward others, as You have shown it toward me (Col. 3:12, Lk. 6:36). Thank You for finishing the work You have begun in me (Ps. 138:8). Thank You for crowning me with Your compassion.

Thank You for establishing (re-launching) me in greater blessings to be a blessing to Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.


Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God’s Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God’s greatest power source – the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret’s forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.

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