Thursday, October 14, 2010
In our service on Sunday, I read Matthew 9:35-38 during one of our corporate times of prayer. Every time I read verse 36 and see these words: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" I am instantly convicted because of my lack of compassion at times. If we were all honest, we would say that there are certain times and certain people with whom displaying compassion is difficult. When people are mean to us (like the kid who kicked my shin in kindergarten - but I'm not bitter!) compassion typically is not our first response. In other times, we may see a situation but not be moved with compassion to act. Here's the great news of the Gospel, it's not up to you to conjure up compassion from within. The good news of the Gospel is that as we are united with Christ, it is His compassion that flows through us. As our lives are focused on him and yielded to Him, His fruit will be produced in us. For instance, the next time you find a lack of compassion in your heart for a person who has treated you awful, then meditate on the cross. As you meditate on the cross, listen very intently as the crowd cries "Crucify." Listen to the crowd as their screams escalate "His blood be on us and on our children." Listen as their voices prevail with the cry "Release to us Barabbas." Then listen most to what Jesus says, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do." As we meditate on the cross constantly we will love others rightly. Then as His compassion is produced in you and through you, He also is the One who receives the glory! Your compassion = your glory and it being more about you than the other person. Christ's compassion = the gospel life produced from the inside out with Christ's glory above all. Father, please produce your compassion in us, especially for those we are least inclined to love.