INL October 12, 2007  

SOUNDING OUT:
Compassion

   Compassion is an important key to being led by God’s power. Compassion is defined as: “A sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress, together with a desire to alleviate it.” If we are compassionate we are not only aware of others’ distresses, but we will also have that burning desire to help. Our hearts will yearn to do something to alleviate or relieve their distress.

  Our God is a compassionate God, and there are many records in God’s Word that tell us of His compassion toward men. When we were born again we received God’s spirit, and in that “package” was God’s compassion. We need to manifest it like we do the love of God.

Psalm 145:8,9:
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

  You and I are part of His works. Jesus Christ manifested God’s compassion and the gospels contain numerous examples of His compassion being manifested towards God’s people. The compassion of God will move us outside ourselves to serve and help others. Compassion changes our focus from self to others, as we consider, “What can I do to help?”

  When God sees our desire to help, God will be there with us to help. Often times we want to help, but do not know what to do. That is where God can come in. If one really steps forward and gets involved in helping others, it will be life changing.

  Matthew 14 describes Jesus’ reaction to the horrible news of John the Baptist’s death. John was not only a great prophet, but he was also Jesus’ cousin. When Jesus heard of the execution of John, he departed by ship to a desert place, a place of solitude where he could have private time to grieve and be with his trusted disciples. Jesus was a man. He had feelings like you and I, and he did not feel like ministering to others. He just wanted time for himself to heal his heart.

Matthew 14:13,14:
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

  The world does not stop when tragedy happens in your life. The greatest way to heal up is to reach out and help. “Moved with compassion” means “to feel the bowels yearn; to have compassion; to pity.” You have a deep, yearning, desire to relieve others of their pain or suffering. Compassionate people are givers, even at times when it is not most convenient. They are also the receivers of God’s revelation manifestations, because God knows those who will hear His voice and act, even in difficult times.

Matthew 14:15-21:
And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

  These healings and miracles were the result of Jesus coming forth and looking upon the people with compassion. He was moved within to serve even at a personally difficult time in his life.

Matthew 14:23:
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

  He was “moved with compassion toward them….” Toward indicates that motion was applied. Jesus did not just take one or two steps forward, but reached out and touched them; he healed them. He utilized the manifestations of word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith, miracles, and gifts of healing to minister healing and deliverance as well as meet the need for daily bread.

  “Forgiveness” is another great key to maintaining the compassion, which opens the door to revelation. If we are not forgiving others, then we will not be conscious of the needs of others. We will only be focused on our own hurts, our own problems, and we will be blinded to the needs of others.

  If you desire to be Led by God’s Power, and you are carrying unforgiveness in your heart towards someone or something that happened, get rid of it!

II Corinthians 2:5-7: [NIV]
If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent -- not to put it too severely.
6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.
7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

  An unforgiving spirit is a compassion killer.

II Corinthians 2:11:
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

  The context of this verse is unforgiveness, not being forgiving of others. The result of this is that Satan makes prey of you, and you become disadvantaged. He steals your life, your compassion, and God’s revelation gets shut down to you.

  Look at the forgiveness Jesus, our example, had. He was nailed to a cross, beaten beyond recognition, humiliated before Israel, spit upon, and betrayed by one of his own. What was his reply? “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do….” Stephen, also, cried out just before he was stoned, “…Lord, lay not this sin to their charge….”

  Jesus and Stephen were both forgiving and compassionate to the very end of their lives. There was no screaming for justice and revenge, only words of forgiveness and concern for the lives of those that wronged them. How many times have we wronged others? How many times have we wronged God? When you put that in perspective, forgiving others becomes very easy.

  Jesus Christ received more word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits than any man alive. Where did Jesus spend the bulk of his time? What triggered the need for his receiving revelation from God? He was involved in other people’s lives by serving them. He was on a mission from God. We are on a mission, too!

Luke 2:49:
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

John 9:4:

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

II Corinthians 5:20:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Matthew 9:35:

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

 Jesus was among or with the people! Where are we? If you want a deeper relationship with God and Christ, get out there, among the people.

  God is God, and He can talk to anyone He wants to. You do not have to be a graduate of any particular bible class or be a big leader in church. God looks on the heart of a man or woman, boy or girl. Your heart should be one of compassion and forgiveness, one that seeks God and desires to serve Him in the depths of your soul.

  If we seek God… If we will read and study His Word… If we will pray to Him in our understanding, and expect to hear from Him… If we will be conscious of what is going on around us, then we will soon learn to recognize His still small voice. We will see what He wants us to see. We should meditate on His Word because it gets us used to thinking His thoughts. We want to learn to think the thoughts of God!

Matthew 9:36-38:
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
  God’s call to serve is a LIFETIME calling, full of blessings and reward. In Matthew 10:2 Jesus Christ said that “the harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few.” That means the ones in the harvest need to work! The manifestations of holy spirit are tools for the harvest. The ground is plowed and fertile. The seed of God’s Word gets planted. As the plants begin to grow and bloom, the manifestations cultivate the seed for growth and maturity. Finally it is harvest time, and God is rewarded with the fruits of His harvest. God looks for men and women with compassionate and faithful hearts, and He calls them to the labor of His harvest.