Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings--Are You Sufficiently Compassionate? (part 2)

 "Are You Sufficiently Compassionate?"

By Pastor Doug Stauffer
Faith Independent Baptist Church
Journalist for Bay Life Newspaper
January 2023--Article 39 (2023-01-039)


A person's actions demonstrate compassion or the lack thereof. Five times, the Bible uses the phrase "moved with compassion." Four of these five references refer to Christ's compassion toward others. They reveal that genuine compassion always moves people to do something for others. In Mark chapter 6, the disciples wanted to send the crowd away hungry, but Christ refused their plea. He would not send them away empty and leave His presence still in need.

In this one example, Christ's compassion fed thousands when others would have sent them away faint and hungry. The Lord not only fed thousands with two small fishes and five loaves of bread but also produced a miraculous amount of leftovers.

The Lord expects His followers to demonstrate the same compassion that He has for His creation. Perhaps, the best biblical example of this type of human compassion is the Samaritan mentioned in Luke chapter 10. The story begins with a man taking a journey to Jericho. On his way, evil men robbed and wounded him. As he struggled for his life, lying on the ground, a priest passed by him. The priest saw the man but passed on the other side. A Levite came and acted the same way.

Then a Samaritan approached the man in need. Unlike the others, this man stopped and helped the injured man. He bound up the man’s wounds, placed him on his beast and took him to an inn. He paid for the room at the inn and offered to pay any additional expenses. Imagine how this type of approach would revolutionize the world.

Another of the familiar parables of the Lord closely associates compassion with forgiveness. A father had two sons. One stayed home with his family and worked the land, while the other son decided to leave and travel the world. Before leaving, he asked for his inheritance and foolishly wasted it. Afterward, he found himself in the middle of a famine broke and starving. At this point, he would have willingly eaten the swine's slop.

Finally, he decided to return home even if it meant that he would become a servant rather than remaining a son. As he neared the old homestead, his father spotted him. His dad wasted no time but ran to meet and embrace him. The father welcomed the repentant son back into his home with a renewed relationship.

The Bible associates love with action and speaks of the believer's love for other believers, relating it to the Lord's crucifixion. If a Christian knows and recognizes the love of God, it will drastically affect his relationships with others. He cannot mimic the world’s actions because the love of God has formed compassion within his heart.

This matter of compassion is so vital to the Lord that He provided believers with a scenario to help judge one's level of compassion. The book of First John says that if a brother has a need, and another brother can help him with his need, yet refuses, he lacks compassion. Therefore, one's deeds, not simply one's words alone, demonstrate true and abiding love!

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17 ).

(Excerpt from “Daily Strength” Devotional, volume 1 of 4, week 2 by the author) 

 Read the newspaper (page 25)

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