Compassion

Ever had a bad day? Perhaps it would be a better question to ask when was the last bad day?

Even Jesus, had what we would call ‘bad days’ too. There is one in particular that is recorded in Matthew 14—He has just received the news that the person who understood him the best, his dear cousin, the prophet John the Baptist, had been murdered, just to fill a shallow promise by a lustful king.

Jesus, though he was God, was also human, with human emotions. When he received this tragic news he just wanted to get away from it all. “...He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself …" v13

We’ve all been in that place where the cares of this world come over us like a tidal wave and all we want to do is to get away and be alone with God.

But the people would not let him have this time of mourning. Jesus could have sent Peter or James out to tell the masses that he was taking the day off. But the Bible tells us how Jesus responded:

"When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick." v:14

Jesus shows his heart of God to people, by putting aside his hurt to help and heal others. We could leave it there, but guess what? We too are called to have that same compassion.

Even if we are experiencing feelings of hurt, betrayal, cynicism, selfishness, - even when we are ‘having a bad day’ - we need to display the heart of God by His Holy Spirit.

Today and this week, as we go through our day, let’s take some time to ask that God would give us a heart of compassion for others. Let’s pray that through this heart of compassion we would be moved to become a part of what God is doing to take the gospel to hurting people around our community, around our sphere of influence.

Pray that God’s love would be loosed in our hearts and that we would be moved with compassion — just as Jesus was — for sinners in need of a Savior. This is the heart of God. By His grace, may it also be our heart.

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Thoughtful Word: Think unselfishly. Give anonymously.

Paul writes: “Don’t be selfish: don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing. Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus.’ (Philippians 2:3-5 TLB). Becoming more unselfish begins with the decision to stop thinking about yourself so much and start looking for ways to help others. If you want to become more Christlike and unselfish, start doing these two things:

(1) Put yourself in situations where people have needs. Is that risky? Sure. You risk rejection. You risk being misunderstood. You risk making mistakes. But becoming unselfish requires putting yourself in a position where you can see a person’s need and so something about it. In other words, get involved!

(2) Give quietly or anonymously. Jesus said: ‘Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven...Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:1-4 NLT) It’s easier to give when you receive recognition than when no one knows about it. But those who give for recognition and applause have already received any reward they will get (see Matthew 6:3). There are spiritual, mental and emotional benefits that come to those who give anonymously. Try it. The fulfilment you’ll receive will encourage you to make it a lifestyle.

The Word for Today–Vision Christian Media

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