Summary: Believe week 9 looks at Compassion
Believe 8 - Compassion
November 9, 2014
It’s hard to believe we’re in week 8 of Believe. We’re moving very quickly and I’m really liking the progression of the topics. After today, we only have 2 more weeks until we finish the first section of Believe.
To recap, and we’ll do this after week 10 as well. This is where we’ve been . . .
We believe in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Creator of the heavens and earth. We believe this great God is also a very personal God who desires to be in relationship with us. As a personal God, He sent His Son to the cross to die for us so that we could experience Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. And I believe the Bible is the true, written word of God.
I also trust that God calls me His dearly loved child and He has adopted me into His family. So, I am always His, chosen by God. As a believer in Jesus Christ, and a child of God, I seek to identify with a church, this one in fact. And God started the church so we could find community with one another, to encourage and help one another, because on our own, we are sinful people, which is why we needed a Savior, One who could redeem us from the penalty we deserve.
Instead, God offers us Grace, so we don’t receive the punishment we deserve. Not only do we not receive what we deserve, we receive God’s mercy - we receive what we don’t deserve.
So, with all that in mind, today we’re looking at compassion. God’s compassion and His call for you and I to demonstrate compassion to the world. I trust and believe God’s heart is full of compassion. The question for us is what about our hearts? How much compassion do we have and show?
God tells us He is compassionate and merciful. Those two words are used for compassion in the Bible. The NKJV and ESV refer to God as Merciful, while the NIV and others refer to God as Compassionate.
In Exodus 34, after Moses destroyed the first set of the Ten Commandments and was finishing with the second set, we read this ~
5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord.
6 And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished;
He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.
What a powerful passage for us to hold onto from God. Some of the power in this passage is the fact that this is not one person’s feelings at a given moment. This is a proclamation made by God for all humanity to hear. God wants us to know He is ~
Slow to anger
Abounds in Love
Abounds in Faithfulness
Forgives – Wickedness, rebellion and sins!
That’s great news folks! We should be falling on our faces as Moses did and worship God and give thanks for this precious and powerful gift.
Paul often reminded us to imitate him as he imitated Jesus. Let’s cut out the middle man, Paul, and imitate Christ. There is so much we can imitate, as it pertains to compassion, we read the following in the Gospels ~
1. Matthew 9:36: When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
2. Matthew 14:14: When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
3. Matthew 15:32: Jesus called his disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat.”
4. Matthew 20:34: Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him.
One thing comes through loud and clear from Scripture — Jesus had a compassionate heart. Jesus identified with the people who were the outcasts, the ones who were rejected by society. If you were sick, Jesus was attracted to you, and if you wanted healing, you needed to be attracted to Him. So, we see the Father and Son filled with compassion, we also see the Holy Spirit in that mode as well.
As Jesus is preparing the disciples for His death, He told them in John 14 ~
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.