Summary: Compassion is something we all need to develop. The world we live in can drain it out of us!
• MAC VIDEO0- NO PIZZA
• SLIDE #1
• Today we delve into another area in our WHAT DO I BELIEVE ABOUT… series; today we dive into the subject of compassion.
• Compassion is defined in the dictionary as, sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
• Wikipedia, which is not a source I usually rely upon for information says compassion is, “Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another.”
• Compassion is not simply a feeling, but it is a feeling that leads one to act.
• The bible uses the word in the New Testament in the context of “being moved from one’s inner parts.”
• In the Gospels, the word is always used to describe the attitude of Jesus and it characterizes the divine nature of His acts
• In a world that can be so harsh, there has always been a need for compassion.
• There is a great deal of cruelty in the world, the church needs to be a place that cares for not only people’s spiritual condition but also their physical condition.
• If I BELIEVE God is God - and He is personal.
• One can have a personal relationship with this eternal & personal God is through Salvation in offered through the blood of Jesus.
• I BELIEVE that the Bible is the Word of God as it declares it is & the historical evidence testifies that it is, THEN I can know that my identity does not have to be based on my sinful humanity but through salvation, I’m identified as a child of God, and now a member of HIS family called the Church.
• Since this is true, then the attitude of my heart should reflect the attitude of MY Fathers heart and His heart is filled with COMPASSION! The question before us today is - IS MINE?
• Can you imagine how you could change the world around you with a little compassion?
• Let’s look at how compassion has been displayed through the ages.
• Let’s begin with examining the fact that…
• SLIDE #2
I. God has displayed compassion toward humanity.
• When we look at how God with humanity since creation, we can see that God is driven my compassion.
• When Adam and Eve sinned, God did punish them; however, He did not dispose of them.
• When Cain killed his brother Abel, God showed compassion for Abel by not allowing him to be killed by other people.
• Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, the nation struggled with staying faithful to God.
• There were periods of faithfulness followed by times sin and rebellion.
• However, through it all, God’s love for Israel was always evident.
• God’s compassion toward the people was always present as He offered them relief from the misery they heaped upon themselves because of their rebellion.
• The book of Judges exemplified the vicious cycle the nation exhibited, one of SIN, SERVITUDE, SUPPLICATION, AND SALVATION. When the nation reached the point of repentance, God would send one of the Judges to free the people
• In the book of Nehemiah, we see how the nation of Israel understood God’s compassion toward them.
• In the book of Nehemiah, the nation was getting ready for a national day of repentance, the the third wave of the Israelites had returned from Babylonian captivity.
• The Levites' prayer is one of the longest in the Bible. It begins with a confession of God's greatness—his glorious name, his creative works, his covenant with Abraham, and his gift of the Promised Land to Israel.
• The prayer shows the influence of the Scripture reading of the recent weeks. It rehearsed how God brought Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, dividing the sea, leading them by fiery cloud.
• At Sinai he gave Israel his law including the holy Sabbath. Through the wilderness period God provided manna from heaven and water from a rock. Such is the record of God’s faithfulness to his people.
• Throughout the ninth chapter of the book, the Priests talk about God’s compassion toward the people.
• In verse 19, 27, 28, and 31 the word compassion is used.
• SLIDE #3
• Nehemiah 9:19 (HCSB) — 19 You did not abandon them in the wilderness because of Your great compassion. During the day the pillar of cloud never turned away from them, guiding them on their journey. And during the night the pillar of fire illuminated the way they should go.
• If there would have been a time to flame the Israelites, it would have been after God delivered them from Egypt! Whine, cry, rebellion, whine, cry rebellion, argh, that is enough for me to NOT show them compassion!