Look around most cities today and it doesn't take long to find the disadvantaged. Sometimes we look the other way, not wanting to be bothered by the nagging feeling that urges us to do something. God loves us all the same from the richest millionaire to the poorest child. Follow Gods example and show compassion to someone todaysomeone you may have ignored in the past.
Throughout the book of Exodus, astounding encounters between Moses and God are recorded. In one particular encounter, God grants Moses request to see His presence. As God passes by Moses He declares that He is compassionate and full of grace. Here are 40 days of scriptures and reflective thoughts on the Biblical compassion of God and Jesus. Like Moses, ask God to reveal His compassion as you read. This could be life changing.
This year our community Lenten reading is taken from the Youversion Bible App and is called "The Compassionate Heart of Jesus". If you haven't downloaded the app, we would highly recommend doing so, as interacting with the reading plan is enhanced with the app. We will have each reading here on the blog as well. The readings will begin on Ash Wednesday and conclude on Easter Sunday (all Sundays besides Easter are excluded). We believe interacting with others as we read the Word is the best way to learn, so please comment on the blog, discuss in small groups or with friends, and be praying for the whole of our community as we journey with Jesus this Easter season.
Sad movies can release a well of emotions in people. We feel compassion for the characters in the movie who are enduring difficulties. Jesus was moved in the same way when He saw a widow grieving the loss of her only son. He raised the boy from the dead and erased a mother's sorrow. Gods love is so vast, we only understand a portion of it. Meditate on the vastness of His love for you this week.
Have you ever been part of an unfair situation? Why did that person get a break, you never do. The truth is that Gods compassion extends to everyone, even if we think its undeserved. His compassion and mercy shown to us is unfair. Due to the guilt of sin, we deserve harsh treatment, but Gods compassion spares us that wrath. When you see someone getting a break, rejoice with them, knowing God loves them as much as He does you.
Jesus was often hounded by throngs of people seeking His healing touch. In some cases, the people stayed with Him for days, going without food in order to encounter the Christ. In one case, moved with compassion, Jesus supplied their physical needs, turning twelve loaves of bread and two fish into enough for multitudes. God loves us, even when we feel He doesnt. Meditate on the good things He has done for you. How does this truth change your thinking about God?
The New Testament scripture often uses a Greek word Splagchnizomai for Jesus being moved with compassion, which means to feel sympathy or pity from deep within your gut or bowels. Jesus feels sympathy for a woman caught in adultery. He forgives her, telling her to begin a new life, free from the past. God's compassion is extended to us today. Let's walk away from the sin that condemns us and start a new day, a new way with Jesus.
People attend or join local churches for various reasons. Paul and his team weren't hanging with the Thessalonian Church just to preach and teach. They were sharing their entire lives; working and toiling so as not to be burden. This is the way of compassion and love in the Church, finding what can we give rather than just receive. Ask Jesus for this same love and compassion so we can contribute to and not just take from our church involvement. Let's get involved.
1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
The half-brother of Jesus must have been struck by the way Jesus could teach and get people to listen. But James seemed more influenced by how Jesus would "do" his religion. James was a stickler for "doing" or living out our faith. Instead of listening to a sermon on helping widows and orphans, James advocated getting out in the streets and providing these services. Jesus preached to 5000 and then fed them. Get the picture? Let the compassion of Christ move us to action.