In this past week’s sermon, we saw Jesus do the unthinkable. Instead of being disgusted and rejecting a contagious leper he was moved with compassion, reached out to the leper, touched him and healed him. As everyone else was probably shouting frantically for the leper to get away and shuffling back in disgust and fear, Jesus reached out.
In light of the phenomenal compassion of Jesus we see here, I want us all to ask ourselves the following question. How often do we see the need but our hearts remain unmoved and we fail to get involved? Scripture contains over four hundred passages admonishing us to care for the poor. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? It means that just like we want and work for the best for ourselves we should want and work for the best of others. So, when we see others needs we should want and work for their best as Jesus does.
Now let’s get practical. What are a few ways we can do this today? Here are three.
1.) When you see sin in others be so moved with compassion you seek to help them out of it. What do we typically do. We watch and complain, instead of seeking to help. What did Jesus do? He came to us and gave us the opportunity to turn from our sin and turn to righteousness through belief in Him. He gave us His life. He sent us the Holy Spirit. He gave us the hope of His return and eternal life. So, the next time you see someone in sin let that sin burden you to the degree that you seek to help that person out of their sin as Jesus did.
2.) Take 10 minutes today and list all the people you know who don’t know Christ. Look at that list and pray over it. Hell, is not an imaginary place made up by religious fanatics. It’s a real and eternal place. Read the following passage and be moved with compassion for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. Matt 25:41, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Matt 8:12, “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 2 Thess 1:6–9, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Rev. 20:10, 15, “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. . .. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rom. 2:8, “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Matt. 25:30, “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
3.) Send a message of encouragement. Today there is absolutely no excuse for a lack of compassionate encouragement. We can do it with a face to face conversation, text, email, letter, Facebook message, etc. There are so many venues it’s ridiculous. Think about a person you know is hurting, be moved with compassion, and encourage them with the power of loving words. My Grandpa couldn’t do a whole lot of things physically the last ten years of his life, but he utilized this opportunity and ten years after he was taken to heaven I still am holding on to his words of encouragement.