Capacity for CompassionJune 2, 2017
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36
1. FOLLOW THE SHEPHERD. When Jesus saw the crowds, He wasn’t moved with disdain but with compassion. He went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Because God has poured out His love in our hearts, we actually have a capacity for compassion. Like our Shepherd, we are made to be carriers of this type of love. Take time to listen to what God is saying to you: repent quickly and forgive quickly.
But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1
2. A MORE EXCELLENT WAY. Love is a force. Thankfully, God’s kind of love is not feeling-based, but we walk it out by faith. It’s not always easy to walk in love, and that’s why we must continually appreciate and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
3. RECHARGE IN GOD’S PRESENCE. Jesus would leave the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14). We can have that same divine flow of compassion toward others. But if you’re feeling compassion fatigue, Jesus invites you to come into His presence and rest and recharge (Mark 6:31). Jesus never changes and He has all the strength, compassion, and energy you need to have an impact greater than you dreamed possible.
DAILY CONFESSION (Based on Colossians 3:12-16):
I put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. I bear with others and forgive everyone. I put on love which is the perfect bond of unity. I let the peace of Christ rule in my heart and I am thankful! I let the word of Christ richly dwell with in me with all wisdom.
Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it.
Copyright © 2017 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. “Compassion.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright © 2017 by Houghton.