Sunday, July 11, 2010

Love and Compassion

Compassion (Brotha DC)

32Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, I have pity and sympathy and am deeply moved for the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and they have nothing [at all left] to eat; and I am not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint or become exhausted on the way.
33And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated and desert place?
34And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish.
35And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground,
36He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
37And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven [large provision] baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over.
38Those who ate were 4,000 men, not including the women and the children.
Matthew 15:32-38 [AMP]

Jesus was often moved with compassion. Even when His own needs were waiting to be met, His compassion caused Him to first minister to others and ignore His own need for rest... for food... even for water (see John 4:4-42 where He ministered to the woman at the well).

To quote Keith Green... “I want to... I need to... be more like Jesus.”

I remember a pastor who would conduct a three-hour church service... criticize the parishioners for wanting to leave... and not even consider their physical needs by providing a meal or even refreshments.  Yet Jesus had pity and sympathy and deep compassion for the crowd.  The Lord has pity and compassion upon His children (see Psalm 103:13).

The crowd in Matthew 15 had followed Jesus for three days.  They had reached the point where their supply of food had been completely exhausted.  If they had left Jesus in that state, they could conceivably had passed out on the road from hunger.  Jesus took some fish and loaves and miraculously provided a feast for those people who clung to His word.  That is not just a cool Bible story... that is our example to follow!

Jesus not only focuses on the spiritual needs of His people... He is keenly aware of meeting our physical needs as well.  May we have His compassion active in our lives as we practice the love walk towards others.  May we have agape love that shows favor towards the unlovable.  Towards those who may not even return our love.  They may even return it with hate!

May we look for opportunities to bless others... and not selfishly look to have our own needs met.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
Matthew 6:33 [AMP]

When we do this, seeking first His kingdom and righteousness... then all other things will be freely added to us.  Why?  Because we will not simply consume those things for our selfish satisfaction.  Rather, we will use those things to be a blessing to others.  In this way, we will be fulfilling the covenant given to Abraham in Genesis 12:2 -- to be blessed and to be a blessing.

But if we do not have compassion, we will not be a blessing to anyone. We will be selfish and self-seeking... and will find that those things we do acquire will simply decay and be brought to naught:

You have sown much, but you have reaped little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages has earned them to put them in a bag with holes in it.
Haggai 1:6 [AMP]

Those who are selfish -- who even go so far as to rob, cheat and steal -- find that they never have enough. They can never be satisfied. Yet... when Jesus had compassion on the crowd and miraculously fed them... not only were all fed, but there were twelve baskets of leftovers that fed who knows how many people.

Set your calendars...

Keep your eyes out for a series of four podcasts at the Powerhouse Podcast Web Site (also available on iTunes) starting on August 1st that focus on seeking first God’s kingdom and His way of doing and being right. This is the key to receiving from God... not by idolatrous focus on our wants and needs, but by compassionate focus on the needs of others -- trusting by faith that God (our faithful and just Father) will supply our needs.

Walking in Love (Judypie)

New Testament believers have received a new commandment: love one another, for love springs from God, and he who loves his fellowman (this includes family members) is begotten of God and is coming progressively to know and understand Him (1 John 4:7). Walking in love is part of the transformation process; putting off the old nature (selfishness and self-centeredness) and putting on the new. You do not have the ability to force others to love you, but you have the ability to love others even as the Father loves you.

Father, the love you define in 1 Corinthians 13 is my greatest aim, and I ask also for the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives. I believe on the name of your Son Jesus Christ, and I am able to love others just as I love myself because you first loved me. God, you are love, and when I live in love, I am living in you and you live in me. As I walk in Your love, my love grows more perfect and complete. Thank you for loving me, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).
1 Corinthians 14:1 [AMP]

And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us.
1 John 3:23 [AMP]

16And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
17In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.
18There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
19We love Him, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:16-19 [AMP]

It is God’s intention that His people manifest love to one another, exhorting and encouraging each other. Let us hold fast to our confession of faith, and set aside the doctrines and traditions of men that divide and separate us. Determine to have the same love, and look out for not only our own interests, but also for the interests of others. Denominational walls are coming down, and we are reaching across the great divide to shake hands and learn from one another; we are not an island unto ourselves. By this shall all men know that we are His disciples, if we have love for one another.

In the name of Jesus, I pray for the Body of Christ. May our love flourish and I pray that we will love others appropriately. Help us to love one another sincerely and intelligently. May we live the life of a lover, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of; bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. Amen.

Click to read this scripture: Philippians 1

Father, I eagerly pursue and seek to acquire love [make it my aim, my great quest]. Also, I earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts). When I was a child, I talked like a child and I thought like a child. Now that I have become a grownup, I am done with childish ways and put them aside. My desire is to walk in love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for me, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Click to read these scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13; 14:1

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