Compassion is the Call
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3, NIV) Our country has been living through days and weeks full of heartbreak. We have seen life-altering events take place that have left people both speechless and driven to speak out. It has been a very difficult time for many families and individuals to wrap our heads around these horrifying events and the actions needed to prevent them from happening again. I am not writing this to air out my political views or voice my personal feelings. Quite honestly, that is irrelevant compared to the fact that God so badly wants to show us all His comfort and love in times such as these. That is what I want to share with you today because we all desperately need this revelation in one way or another.
To give you a better understanding of who exactly God is; He is not a politician, He isn’t a Republican or a Democrat, He is not evil and He is not heartless. God is King of ALL kings and the Lord of ALL lords. God's heart breaks in our suffering and His love can cover a multitude of sins. God is here with you and with me, ready to comfort, to speak truth, and to spread love, which is the one thing our world and country needs most. God literally is the love He so desperately wants to give us and is stronger than anything in this world. Nothing can come against it. In our key verse, we see how God’s apostle, Paul, commands us to live a life fully empowered by God's will. He reminds us of the extreme importance of being humble, gentle, patient, and loving one another. Speaking for myself here, I know I haven’t come even remotely close to mastering any of these, but I know how vital they are. So first I want to talk about love. See, this love that God wants us to share with one another isn’t any model of love this world wants us to buy into. It isn’t fake or self-seeking. It is pure and it is God Himself. God calls us to try and model the love He has shown for us to everyone we know. Notice I said “know,” and not “everyone we like.” That means the love God wants us to model is a love that keeps no record of wrongs, that always puts their brother first, and is a love that would lay down their life for another. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” (NIV) I know this verse is probably very familiar for many of you, but right now I ask you to not take it for face value. Really allow your mind to marinate in all those verses say and you will see how amazing and selfless that type of love is. This is the love of a rescuer, not a fighter. This is the type of love we need. This is the type of love we need to be spreading. I may fall short of this capacity to love daily, but all the same, this is the only type of love that will fulfill us. In Jesus, we see the importance of loving others and all their potential because that is what He did with us when He died for us. That is what He does everyday when we mess up. Each passing face you see is important and no matter what, they deserve love and affection and kindness. Just like me and you, they are humans with needs that have possibly never been met. Just a simple compliment can change the course of someone’s day, or telling someone that you have been praying for them can give them strength for the week ahead. All in all, you never know what battle someone is facing, and this type of love, the one God so desperately wants to show us, is perfect and can heal any broken heart or discouraged soul. One of the stories that has always stuck out to me from the Bible is the story of Jesus and the prostitute. This woman was shunned by her community because she had multiple husbands. Eventually, the men in her community were ready to stone her to death and the way that Jesus steps in and stands in the gap for her is so beautiful. In John 8:7-9 says “They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.” (NIV) This is what kindness to its fullest extent looks like: putting your comfortability and self interest on the line for another person. It is genuinely caring what someone has to say and sacrificing your desires for others. True kindness comes from an understanding and caring heart. It doesn't judge a book by its cover and makes it a goal daily to walk in the shoes of others. Isn’t this something you want to identify yourself with? Don’t you want others to describe your heart this way, full of compassion and comfort? This type of love and kindness that Jesus demonstrates to us day in and day out is the type of love this world is thirsting for. Jesus didn't give negativity any of his time, instead he choose to love others purely. We tend to look for answers in the wrong places, yet the solution is simple. The answer is Jesus. He is the only thing that can complete you and me. He is the only one who can heal a broken heart, a broken friendship, a broken nation, and a broken world. Don’t keep this love to yourself anymore. It is our mission. It is our hope. It is our purpose. Let’s live it out. Psalm 34:18 (NIV) says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) Live - Hillsong United
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