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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, April 3, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Have you ever felt that no one cared what happened to you? Through prayer we can pull out of our tailspin and be reminded that God cares for us deeply.
A prayer when overwhelmed and desperate; when we feel cornered by our enemies, only God can keep us safe. (NLT)
Psalm 142:1-7 – I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. For I am overwhelmed, and you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you treat me kindly.”
Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. – Isaiah 1:17 (NRSV)
Genie Stoker (Arizona) titled her story “TO THE RESCUE;” here is Genie’s story:
“I remember a troubling incident from my childhood. Hearing a great ruckus of chirping on the lawn, I discovered that a flock of sparrows had surrounded an albino sparrow. Ferociously, they pecked at the unusual bird, screeching and hemming him in. The birds on the edge of the group flapped about – waiting their turn to attack – as the albino crouched, helpless. I ran clapping my hands and yelling, ‘Stop that!’ The other sparrows flew away, twittering among themselves. The albino hesitated for a moment, dazed and injured, then flew to the nearest bush.
“That experience made an impression on me because I had witnessed bullying in school. Back then, adults often shrugged off rude words or aggressive behavior as ‘kids just being kids.’ But these days, people take seriously the hurtful words and actions that can affect children for a lifetime. Jesus calls us not to be bystanders when others are being mistreated but instead to be active in making our world kinder. The psalmist cried to God when others made him suffer. Today, we can help answer cries like his as we follow God’s call to prevent cruelty and display compassion.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When someone is being mistreated, God calls me into action.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your love. May we have the courage to share it with others – especially those who are in harm’s way. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO ENCOURAGE COMPASSION IN CHILDREN
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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