As I went looking for our next devotional about dads, I found this one named “Love Slows Down” by Joël and Jonathan Malm. In a world where we see so much of a desire or need for instant gratification the topic of slowing down is interesting. In a world where everyone is busy and always on the go the topic of slowing down is intriguing. Today’s devotional draws us in with the statement “We were made from love, made for love, and are called to live in God’s love.” Today’s devotional is based on the book “Love Slows Down” by author Joël Malm. Looking to learn more about the book, it speaks to how packed it is with truth, guidance, and spiritual wisdom. This devotional will carry us through a week as it is a 7-day devotional. Its introduction shares how it will help us slow down and trade in anger, anxiety, and hurry for life with God’s love! I’m excited to get to see where we go.
Let’s check out our scriptures for today’s devotional:
‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ‘Proverbs 4:23
‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’Ephesians 4:32
God knows what we need even before we ask, so let’s be the dads who ask! Let’s be the dads that seek so that we can find it! Let’s be the dads who knock so that the doors will be opened! God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word will meet us right where we are at and speak to us the wisdom we have need to press in and press on, to get up and stand firm!
Let’s be dads who guard our hearts as we read in God’s Word! Let’s be the dads who continually make sure our hearts and our head align! Let’s be the dads who know to be true is what’s setting the direction of our hearts. Let’s be the dads who Focus On Jesus! Let’s be the dads who Identify The Lies That Surround Us! Let’s be the dads who Reject What Is Not True! Let’s be the dads who Remember Our Identity! Let’s be the dads who Continually Remind Ourself Of What’s True! Let’s be the dads who realize it’s not a one-and-done thing but rather something we do to continue to make sure our hearts are in a healthy state! Let’s be the dads who never forget that we are in a spiritual battle and as such will come under continuous attack and as such need to continue to guard our hearts because everything we do flows from it! Let’s be the dads who are vigilant and grab hold of the importance and urgency that comes from the message “Above all else” to guard our hearts for everything we do flows from it!
Let’s be the dads who are kind! Being kind is unnatural for us, everybody is challenged by it, and so it is something we need to decide and choose to do! Let’s be the dads who are staying connected to God so that He is able to produce the fruit of the Spirit of kindness in and through our lives! Let’s be the dads who are expressing kindness to other human beings for it is more important than rituals and sacrifices (Hosea 6:6; Matt 9:13; 12:7)! Let’s be the dads who “love kindness (Mic6:8)”! Let’s be the dads who are “exhibiting his kindness and mercy (Luke 6:35-36)”! Let’s be the dads who demonstrate kindness by acting and living “gently and considerately” imitating Jesus’ actions!
Let’s be the dads who are compassionate for we know that compassion “fuels acts of kindness and mercy“! Let’s be the dads who are “aroused within us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable” and show compassion! Let’s be the dads who act because of our desire to alleviate the suffering, and don’t allow something like geographical distances or lack of means to prevent us from acting upon our compassionate feelings! Let’s be the dads who are so interested in being God’s hands extended that we are willing to dig deeper and study God’s Word including what words in the Hebrew align to our English words like compassion which allows us to discover information like:
The Hebrew (hamal [חָמַל], rachuwm [רַחוּם]) and Greek (splanchnisomai [σπλαγχνίζομαι]) words sometimes translated as “compassion” also bear a broader meaning such as “to show pity, ” “to love, ” and “to show mercy.” Other near synonyms for compassion in English are “to be loved by, ” “to show concern for, ” “to be tenderhearted, ” and “to act kindly.”Compassion Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary (biblestudytools.com)
Let’s be the dads who look to mirror compassion as God shows it! Let’s be the dads who give compassion freely (Exod 33:19; Rom 9:15) and tenderly (Isa 49:15; Ho 11:8)!
Let’s be the dads who practice forgiveness just as Jesus forgave us! Let’s be the dads who follow God’s command to forgive others! We know from the Bible God’s forgiveness can be summarized like this:
- Forgiveness, according to the Bible, is correctly understood as God’s promise not to count our sins against us.
- Biblical forgiveness requires repentance on our part (turning away from our old life of sin) and faith in Jesus Christ.
- One condition for receiving forgiveness from God is our willingness to forgive other people.
- Human forgiveness is a reflection of our experience and understanding of God’s forgiveness.
- Love (not obligatory rule-following) is the motivation behind God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others.
Let’s be the dads who take seriously that God wants us to forgive others! Let’s be the dads who take seriously that when someone hurts us, we are under an obligation to God to forgive that person as Jesus commands in Matthew 6:14-15 where it says: ‘ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ‘ I remember as part of my story on forgiveness how after forgiving others God brought this scripture to mind in the statement “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” and how I started to ask God for forgiveness because He had been telling me to forgive for months at that point and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding came upon me and the sadness, anger, and bitter were taken away!
Today’s devotional has been provided by Joël and Jonathan Malm (http://joelmalm.com).
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me:
(check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
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Takeaways from Today’s Devotional:
“Let It Go“
- Let’s be the dads who are paying attention and giving to God the past because we know that if we don’t deal with and free ourselves from the past, it can trickle into our present and future and mess things up!
- Today’s devotional speaks to King Solomon’s words that we find in today’s scripture from Proverbs and shares how for us to have pure love we need to have a pure heart!
- Let’s be the dads who don’t allow things like “offense, betrayal, disappointment, or failure” “taint the pure waters of our hearts and leave us jaded and cynical“!
- Let’s be the dads who deal with things immediately rather than letting them stew, brew, and take root in our hearts because “the longer we hold on to the offenses, the more tainted the waters will be“!
- Let’s grab hold of what King Solomon said in Proverbs and “above all else, guard our hearts”!
- Let’s be the dads who choose to keep anything that could taint our hearts from being and staying pure!
- Today’s devotional shares about a trip into the wilderness and the importance to the team’s health was making sure the drinking water was clean and so being prepared they brought “a really expensive, top-of-the-line water purification filter” that “removes pretty much anything in the water that can harm you” and the need to not just do it once but repeat continuously just as on the trip “Every night the team sits around in a circle and we take turns pumping pure water for the next day.“
- Let’s be the dads who purify the content of our hearts daily!
- Let’s be the dads who filter what we allow into our hearts in order to keep out little offenses so that they can’t build up!
- Let’s be the dads who filter what we allow into our hearts in order to keep out little offenses so that they can’t “taint the clear, flowing streams of our hearts“!
- Let’s be the dads who forgive quickly for that is the filter that will help keep the flow from our hearts clean!
- Let’s be the dads who forgive quickly in order to clear out the hurt, the anger, and the bitterness!
- Let’s be the dads who can let it go!
- Let’s be the dads who are ready and willing to do the hard work of forgiving others who hurt us or mistreat us!
- Let’s be the dads who realize it is better for us to forgive than to allow the anger, bitterness, and frustration to take root and poison our lives!
- Let’s be the dads who daily decide to forgive when someone hurts us!
- Let’s be the dads who daily decide to forgive when someone mistreats us!
- Let’s be the dads who can release others from what they have done to us!
- If you start a debate with yourself about fairness or justice, consider if it was fair or just for Jesus to be crucified between two thieves after having been beaten, abused, and mocked.
- Let’s be the dads who take after Jesus’ example where “He forgave us before we even knew we needed it.“
- Let’s be the dads who are obedient to Jesus who asks us to do the same!
- As I learned in my story of forgiveness (just under 9min YouTube video), forgiveness is the key to freedom!
- Let’s grab hold of what today’s devotional has to say in its closing:
- “The good news is, forgiveness actually sets you free. It’s been said that forgiveness is letting the prisoner free and then realizing you were the one behind bars. Forgiveness helps you release anger and resentment. If you really want to live in God’s love, choose to let go of hurt and anger and open your hands to receive His grace to forgive.“