Pastor's Blog
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November 2, 2016, 7:56 AM

Compassionate Living

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May the God of all compassion (2 Cor. 1:3) fill you with compassion. May the love that moved Christ to the cross overwhelm your heart today. May this same love flow out of you and impact a needy world.

In Scripture we are implored to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32) and to “clothe yourselves with compassion” (Col. 3:12), but what exactly does compassionate ministry look like in action? Frederick Buechner has tried to describe it in this way, “Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” Thus, to be compassionate is to walk a mile in another’s shoes. It is to see a need and then be moved in our guts to do something about it. This was the incarnational ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Savior looks with compassion on his people. He could not rest satisfied with the few who had heard his call and followed. He shrank from the idea of forming an exclusive little club. Unlike many religious leaders, he had no desire to withdraw his disciples from the vulgar crowd and initiate them into the monastic life, hidden away from the masses. As Bonhoeffer states, “He had come, he had worked and suffered for the sake of all his people.” He loved and ministered to all and subsequently sent his followers to go out and do the same (John 21:15).

Norman Cousins writes: “Compassion is not quantitative. Certainly it is true that behind every human being who cries out for help there may be a million or more equally entitled to attention. But this is the poorest of all reasons for not helping the person whose cries you hear. Where, then, does one begin or stop? How do you choose? How to determine which one of a million sounds surrounding you is more deserving than the rest? Do not concern yourself in such speculations. You will never know; you will never need to know. Reach out and take hold of the one who happens to be nearest. If you are never able to help or save another, at least you will have saved one.”

I invite you to pray the following prayer with me: Loving Father, teach me to love and care for those that need you today. Those who are passed over and do not feel love unless I love them for you. May Christ’s love for others be felt through me today. In your name and by your power I pray these things. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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