TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, December 12, 2017:
A feeling of deep sympathy; sorrow for someone struck by misfortune accompanied by a desire to alleviate suffering.
For He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them. Isaiah 49:10.
But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity. Psalm 78:38.
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved to compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless. Matthew 9:36.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Not too many people really understand what it means to have compassion for others. We are living in what we call the “ME” generation because people are concerned only about self. It saddens us to be watching the late news at night and to hear reports that someone was in an accident and they left the scene before the police arrived. Even more heartbreaking are the reports of children being bullied by their peers to the point they have committed suicide because of it. In our world today, few people show any concern or genuine compassion for others.
When Jesus was on this earth He was very concerned about others. He gave us a standard to live by concerning showing compassion to others. Jesus didn’t just feel sorry for those in need but He took action to meet their need. In Matthew 9:36 (above), we read, He went from city to city and synagogue to synagogue seeing the masses of people “He was moved to compassion and compassion moved Jesus to action.”
In the previous verse it says he healed, “every disease and affliction.” Throughout His time on earth Jesus demonstrated that compassion is not just feeling sorry for someone struck by misfortune but also having a desire to alleviate suffering and then doing something to help.
Jesus gives us an example in Mark 2:1-12 where four men brought a paralytic to Him. These four men saw that their friend was in a helpless condition and their compassion moved them to take action. These men carried their friend to see Jesus. When they got to the house and they saw there was no way they could get near Jesus because of the crowd inside and outside of the house. So they carried him to the roof and made an opening in the roof and lowered him down before Jesus. These four men went “the extra mile’ to show their compassion.
When Jesus saw the faith of these men and the physical need as well as the spiritual need of the helpless man, Jesus compassion moved Jesus to act. Jesus told him that his sins were forgiven and then healed the man and told him to get up and walk. These men showed genuine compassion for their friend. What they did to get their friend to Jesus took time and considerable effort on their part. It cost them something.
God’s compassion for us surpasses all human understanding. He knew our need for salvation from the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It was because of His great compassion for us that He sent His only Son to die on the cross paying the penalty for our sins. It is because of the compassion of Jesus for us that He was willing to pay such a heavy cost to give us salvation.
True compassion leads to taking action. In Luke chapter 10, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. A man was beaten by thieves and left to die on the side of the road. Two men came across him and each one of them walked on by showing no compassion. When the Samaritan came upon him he stopped and helped this man and out of his compassion acted to save his life.
All around us today are many people who are in situations that should move anyone to compassion. There are people living in the worst of poverty, families losing their houses because they cannot pay the rent and single mothers without food for their children. There are many losing their jobs and families divided because of drugs and other evil practices. There are people suffering from illnesses, people who are handicapped and unable to care for themselves. There are so many who need to be shown compassion but there are so very few who show it. Jesus calls all of us to love one another and show compassion just as he has shown compassion to us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 8:32.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Give me today a compassionate heart. May I be alert to seeing the needs of others around me. Help my family to be alert to the needs of others and develop in them a strong desire to show compassion to the hurting and hungry people in our world. Help me not only to feel compassion but to be moved to action to show my compassion to others.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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