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February 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

Gracious and Compassionate



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Aren’t you glad we serve a God who is “gracious and compassionate” (Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 116:5; 145:8)? May we reflect His grace and compassion in all things! As the Lord Jesus looked upon the masses, had compassion for them, and then did something loving in response (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34), may we also look upon the broken and helpless of our world and be moved to action.

Think on this: Norman Cousins points out that the amount of cash lost each year in the United States amounts to about $75 per capita – money that has fallen out of pockets, is misplaced, and so forth. The total average annual income for most of the human occupants of this planet comes to about $69 per person. Thus, the average American loses more money each year than almost anyone else earns. There is something frustratingly itchy about these stats. We feel like scratching but don’t quite know where to find the bite. What do we do about unwanted distinctions? Do we celebrate the discovery that we have the biggest garbage bin in town? Do we congratulate ourselves on the fact that the drip from our leaky faucet in one day represents more water than the average Asian family in a drought-stricken area will drink in a month? Whatever one does or does not do about these jabbing statistics, one thing is clear… The notion that we simply have to take the world as it is doesn’t relieve the itch. So, what do we do? Perhaps we had better go on scratching – at least until we find the bite.

J. K. Warrick writes: “Today, we have about eleven hundred compassionate ministry centers around the country. On the one hand, we celebrate that evidence of the expanded practice of compassion in our churches. On the other hand, we really should have over twenty-nine thousand compassionate ministry centers, because every church should be a center of compassionate ministry and evangelism. In every community where there’s a Nazarene church, there ought to be the heart of compassion, because you cannot separate the call to holy living from the call to get involved in the world in which we live… Compassion is a lifestyle. It is not something that we do; it’s who we are. If the heart of a holy God has filled us with holy love, then it’s not simply to love him, but it is to allow him to love a broken world through us.”

Let us pray together: Loving Father, keep me from being an ineffective, ordinary Christian; challenge me to be among those who are ready to fling their lives away for Jesus Christ, to be utterly careless of what happens to me in order that He may be glorified. I pray in His name. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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