Category: <span>thoughts by Doug Lim</span>


“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Getting back to the daily grind was a challenge after a long weekend. I am usually tired and not in a great mood. But I made a point of being nice throughout the day. I welcomed people back, fetched coffee, and thanked those who held the elevator door open for me. And when I arrived home after my tough first day back, I even tried to radiate niceness when I greeted my wife, the kids, and Jasper, the dog.

However, God wants us to be more than just a nice person. He wants us to be kind and compassionate. There is a difference.

Without kindness and a sense of compassion, God knows we can become cold toward our brothers and sisters’ cries for help. Numbness invades our hearts, making it hard to hear and care for our hurting neighbors, and even difficult for us to notice the loving voice of God.

To save lost souls adrift from our Savior, we need to be more than just another nice Christian, more than a voice of passing pleasantries. We need to be more like Jesus Christ, who revealed his love of neighbor through acts of kindness and compassion. He reached out to the ill and disabled, he offered mercy and forgiveness, and he comforted those who mourned and grieved.

Our Father in heaven wants us to be images of his Son — because there is no limit to the kindness Jesus has shown each of us. How then can we put an arbitrary limit on kindness when it comes to others?

Lord, help me to develop the patience I need to be kinder. Even with all the frustrations and irritations surrounding us nowadays, I know with a heart open to your abundance of grace, we can all be more compassionate and kind to each other. Amen.

By Doug Lim
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Extending Grace to Others

Love is Patient and Kind – a story of a man on a bus

Be Patient

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Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  Revelation 3:20

One Saturday morning, the solicitors were back in our neighborhood again, persistent as ever. They rang the doorbell, knocked, shouted out a series of hellos, and waited for me to answer the door.

I had too much to do that day. I did not want to be bothered, so I ignored the knocks. I knew they would eventually move on if I just waited.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, often stands at our front door, knocks, and waits for an answer. Yes, his gentle thumps can be hard to hear at times, but he makes it our choice to either swing open the door or ignore him.

Sometimes Jesus’ quiet knocks come by way of our brothers and sisters who are homeless, suffering, and alone. They are seeking help from you and me. When we reach out to them, we answer his knock and allow him, and those he places in our lives, to enter the door to our hearts — the selfless heart that God placed in us when we received Jesus into our lives.

We cannot close our ears to Christ’s steady knocks and think he will give up. He never will. Jesus wants us to welcome him in with hearts hungering to spend time with him. And when we invite him into our hearts, our Savior will open heaven’s door to us, the one that someday leads to our journey home.

Lord, I am often too focused on my to-do list. Help me from blocking out your knocks. Instead, let your gentle and persistent knocks at the door of my heart be a valuable reminder to stop and pay attention to you. Amen

By Doug Lim
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How to be Saved

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But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  John 14:26

It was time for my annual self-evaluation. The past year was busier than usual, but busyness does not always translate into more successes. First, I identified the achievements that pushed me closer toward my goals. The accomplishments certainly boosted my confidence.

The second phase involved looking at areas I needed to improve, which often included eating better, getting more exercise, and reducing stress. It also meant confronting the areas I’d failed. Sadly, I discovered a few mistakes that set me back.

But God does not want us so obsessed with health goals and crushed by failure that we overlook his grace and mercy. We need to listen more to the Spirit of God, seeking his guidance, strength, and comfort — especially when tempted to shove through life’s trials without the help of the Holy Spirit.

When we first accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit entered our hearts and made himself accessible. But for the Spirit to help us, we must activate him through faith and trust. If we are not alert or discount the Holy Spirit’s value, we quash his effectiveness to assist us.

Tapping into the power of the Spirit will help us cope with the struggles in our lives. Through the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, we experience the power of God’s love. It’s the glue that binds us to his truth, goodness, and righteousness — which are just the qualities we need to achieve a better outcome on our next self-evaluation.

Father, thank you for sending your Spirit, who guides me in all things and reminds me of your boundless love. I still forget to trust your Spirit at times, so please keep me from barging ahead without first seeking your Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Doug Lim
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How to get access to the ‘Holy Spirit’

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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:38

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about the security of my family.

During uncertain times, my need for extra security rises. I store up more worldly goods and spend more time trying to figure out ways to protect my loved ones. I wonder if I am doing enough to keep them healthy and safe — and whether my plans will bear fruit for my children in the future.

However, true disciples of Christ recognize that attempting to create security on our own has its limitations. For the highest security comes from God through the loving care we provide to his people, our neighbors. As the old saying goes, “The more we give, the more we receive.” There is more of God’s reassuring grace in our lives when we choose to sacrifice for others as Christ indeed sacrificed for us.

In Luke 6, we are reminded that, based on our generosity to God and those in need, Christ promises to help us by pouring out a good measure into our laps. Performing good deeds for our neighbors is part and parcel to our discipleship. And to the extent we fulfill this call, God will generously provide us with the spiritual abundance and the divine safety net we seek.

It is the way Jesus lived as he journeyed from one community to another, caring for the sick, feeding the poor, and comforting lost souls. So it should be with our lives as disciples—where we are inspired to serve others by the depth of God’s care and love for us.

Lord, I am grateful for your outpouring of reassuring grace during those times when I feel most vulnerable. As disciples, give us the grace to fulfill our roles that we freely provide your people with the support they need in times of uncertainty and vulnerability. Amen.

By Doug Lim
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Heart Fully Committed to Him

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:11

My son invited a friend over for dinner a while back. I could see why he considered him a good friend. He was friendly, polite, and considerate. I learned something about his struggles and hardships. Our son pointed out he was talented and full of potential.

But I noticed a hint of negativity as I talked to him more. He grumbled about his school, his work, and even his friendships. I tried to inject some hope and encouragement into the conversation, but he didn’t feel like listening.

God doesn’t want us listening to the voice of doom that often bounces around in our heads and says things like, “I just don’t have the talent, education, or drive to make it.” In 1 Thessalonians, Apostle Paul tells us to build each other up.

Jesus is our example of how to boost others up and offer hope. He certainly wants us to exhibit these traits in our lives. He’s always ready to give us a dose of encouragement, offer us a new beginning, and tell us he remembers our sins no more and gives us all the resources we need to obey him each day.

As followers of Christ, we should make every effort to build confidence in others and serve as a source of encouragement by reminding them of who they are in Christ. We all need reassurance and for someone to pick us up. Let us work to prevent the echoes of doom from blocking out the gentle voices of those who care, and especially our Lord’s reassuring voice of hope and possibilities.

Lord, I am grateful for your outpouring of grace and loving encouragement. Let us be a sign of this gift we have received from you that we offer those around us the hope and support they need in times of disappointment and despair. Amen.

By Doug Lim
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19 Ways to Encourage Others

Four Ways to Pray for Friends and Family

I Like to be Encouraged


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“He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.” Ezekiel 47:5

Trying something we have never done before can terrify us,

whether it is our first bike ride without training wheels, our first drive on the highway with Mom, or our first speech in front of a room of strangers.

After I learned how to swim, it took me a while before I gathered up the courage to take my first plunge into the deep end of the pool. I was sure I would flail around and then sink like a rock.

God’s purpose often puts us into deep waters.

He calls us to move from the safety of the kiddie end of the pool and head toward the deep end. If we choose to paddle only in waist-deep water, we miss the chance to witness his grace and power at work.

His best work is revealed in the deep recesses of life.

It is God’s way to get us ready for the next chapter in our walk with his Son, Jesus Christ. God does not put us in deep waters simply to see us go down but to deepen our faith and grow our trust.

Do we trust that God will not let us drown?

Believing in his protection and care for each and every one of us, we can have the power to swim through the choppy waters of life. When we do, we’ll emerge on the other side with a new-found strength — a new perspective and a new spiritual lesson on how to stay afloat when we find ourselves in the depths of life’s struggles.

Father, I often ignore your nudges to try something new and unexpected. Please give me the courage to embrace the circumstances you place me in. Do not let fear prevent me from taking a step forward. Amen.

By Doug Lim
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