Summary: Compassion is the heart of God and it requires us to do something...anything!
If you use any or all of this message--would you be willing to fire off a quick email to:firstname.lastname@example.org? I would like to have an idea of how often my sermons are actually being preached to strengthen the Body of Christ. Thanks!
Compassion Does Something!
Pastor Jerry C. Vargo
A. How many of you realize that without the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ, you would not be sitting here today?
B. It is because of His mercy that we are not consumed.
B. I’m thankful that the scriptures say…
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” - Psalm 103:8
C. He has proven to us that he loves us more than we will ever know. Even in our sin & darkness...His compassion broke through and did something.
A. Turn to Luke 10:25-37.
It seems to me that America (with the 9/11 tragedy) is like an intensive care unit. Indeed all of the freedom loving people of the earth seem to be living in an ICU. You see, the ICU room in a hospital is different than anywhere on the face of the earth. It is there that people can’t seem to do enough for each other. No one is rude. The distinctions of race and class melt away. Each person pulls together for everyone else. The world changes in an ICU waiting room.
Why? Because freedom-loving people know that loving someone else is what life is really all about.
Today, as we look at God’s word…view your circumstances as if you are in an ICU waiting room. Who needs compassion in your life right now?
If we lived our lives as people who were in an ICU waiting room…maybe more compassion would flow.
B. Compassion does something. Using this passage in Luke 10, let me point out four principles concerning compassion:
1. Compassion can be lacking even in good religious people.
A. Note that first of all the lawyer wanted to justify himself in verse 29. We can assume that he was a religious man because he quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 in verse 27.
B. I get the impression that this lawyer with his superior intelligence didn’t really want to help his neighbor. But true disciples understand that Compassion does something!
C. I want you to also note that a Priest and a Levite, both noted for their religious piety…just “passed by on the other side.” Now, notice that they both “saw him.” (vs.31, 32). Church… Compassion does something!
D. Compassion doesn’t “pass by on the other side.” What would have happened to the handicap person on the 82nd floor of the WTC who was carried down by some heroic individual?
E. Church, our religion doesn’t make us compassionate. Compassion must be cultivated. And it is cultivated when it does something! You say, “I just don’t know what to do.” DO SOMETHING!
Transition: This leads me to my second point…
2. Compassion means involvement.
A. Take a look at verse 33 again. Notice three things about this Samaritan (whom the Jews hated):
1. He was on a journey. This speaks of me of the inconvenience of showing compassion. The need for compassion always manifests itself when we are on a mission or very busy. Is that true for you?
2. He came upon him. Or stumbled upon him. You don’t have to look very far to find a need.
3. He felt compassion. Somehow, he identified with the man. The man could have been a Jewish man. He could have been his enemy. But moved with compassion…He did something!
I’ll never forget the time I stumbled upon a sailor who was getting ready to jump off a bridge. I shared with him that God loved him and that his life had purpose. I quickly grabbed him and pulled him to safety. A few weeks later I got the news that he had surrendered his life to Christ. Compassion does something…!
I love the story of a fifth-grade class at Lake Elementary School in Oceanside, California, that had fourteen boys who had no hair. Only one, however, had no choice in the matter. Ian O’Gorman, was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, and all his hair was falling out... so he had his head shaved. But then 13 of his classmates shaved their heads, so Ian wouldn’t feel out of place.
Ten-year-old Kyle Hanslik started it all. He talked to some other boys, and before long they all trekked to the barbershop. "The last thing he would want is to not fit in," said Kyle. "We just wanted to make him feel better."
Ian’s father, Shawn, choked back tears as he talked about what the boys had done. He said simply, "It’s hard to put words to." "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” - Galatians 6:2.