10 Mar 2017

Are You Compassionate? by Nathaniel Outcalt

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People in need don’t always ask for help. That may seem strange but it’s often true. Sometimes people are ashamed to ask for help. At other times people may not be sure how to ask. Even worse, maybe they don’t ask because they believe they already know the answer they’re going to receive from you. Are you willing to help others? Are you compassionate?

One of the wonderful characteristics of God is His great compassion. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” God is full of compassion. Mercy and pity convey the same idea. God loves us and wants to help us. As Christians we need to show God’s compassion in our daily lives.

Compassion is seeing a need and doing something about it. Seven times in the Bible “saw” and “compassion” are mentioned together in the same verse. We need to realize this important connection. We must see the needs all around us and be moved with compassion to help others.

The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10 demonstrates this fundamental truth. As you may recall, Jesus tells this parable to a lawyer who knew the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” However, the lawyer who knew the commands of God, like many today, sought to justify himself for his failure to follow God’s law.

Many today see needs and don’t offer to help in any way or make excuses as to why they can’t help. They are just like the priest and Levite who passed by without offering assistance to the weary, wounded traveler. However, when the Samaritan saw him, he had compassion (Luke 10:33). He went on to do everything he could to meet the robbed, wounded man’s needs. In this case the person in need literally couldn’t ask for help but his problems were readily apparent.

In the end even the lawyer who tested Jesus could not miss the point of the story. He saw clearly that the one who showed mercy and compassion was the one who understood God’s love and acted like a neighbor (Luke 10:36-37). Do you understand God’s love? If so, then you’ll begin to see people in need, have compassion and take the time to help them.

“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34 (NKJV)

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