Acts 2:41-47(HCSB)41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.43 Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.
We are on Part 6 of the purpose of the Church, Part 6 deals with Compassion.
Acts 2:44-45 (HCSB) 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need.
The word compassion means: (1) a deep awareness and sympathy of the sufferings of another. It also has a second definition: (2) the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.
In addition to having the sorrow that is felt for the suffering of others, it is a willingness and an urge to assist them. The word actually means to do something about feeling sorry, to be affected by their situation. It is to enter into one’s sorrow and pain. When we feel true compassion, we will be moved inwardly. Having empathy; to have one’s heart reach out toward the needs of others. To be compassionate, to pity; to be kindhearted. It means to be tenderhearted; to be sensitive and affectionate, to be moved with tender feelings over the pain and sufferings of others.
This compassion will stand ready to assist the one who is sorrowing. Paul preached that God is the source of all the believer’s ability for showing true compassion. In Colossians. 3:12-13(HCSB) Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, exemplified all of the Father’s attributes, including His compassion. When Jesus saw His friends weeping at the grave of Lazarus, He felt compassion for them and wept alongside them John 11:33-35(HCSB)33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved. 34 “Where have you put him?” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.”35 Jesus wept. Moved with compassion for the suffering of others, Jesus healed the large crowds who came to Him.
Matthew 14:14(HCSB)14 As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick, as well as individuals who sought His healing Mark 1:40-41(HCSB)40 Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.”. When He saw the large crowds as sheep without a shepherd, His compassion led Him to teach them the things the false shepherds of Israel had abandoned. The priests and scribes were proud and corrupt; they despised the common people and neglected them, but Jesus had compassion on them, and He taught and loved them.
When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus responded that it is to love God with all our heart, mind and strength. But He added that the second commandment : ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”
Matthew 22:34-40(HCSB)34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
The Pharisee had asked Him which single command of God is the greatest, but Jesus provided two, stating not only what we are to do, but also how to do it. To love our neighbor as ourselves is the natural result of our loving devotion toward God.
1 John 3:16-18(HCSB) 16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?18 Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.
Originally made in His image, man is to exemplify God’s traits, including compassion. The Bible is clear that compassion is an attribute of God and of God’s people as well.
There has been so much mercy that God has had upon us. The one thing we need do is to show mercy unto others. Kindness and compassion should overflow our hearts for the poor, aged, lost, lonely, wayward, hungry, empty, orphaned, diseased, hungry, unclothed and hurting. The list could go on and on, of course. The important point for us to see is that the believer no longer has a right to overlook the needy of the world.
What happens in most Church circles is that we tend to get a “CLUB” mentality. If they aren’t like us, dress like us, talk like us, do the things we do, then they aren’t and cannot be a part of us. We then move out of “being the church” by making the people we are supposed to be loving and compassionate towards, our enemies, and we build up these walls and make them outcasts. WE don’t do any outreaches because that brings in people who are not like us. We start to judge the world, because they act like, well the world. We must not be so offended with the things people of this world do that we make this same people our enemy. Our enemy is the one who controls the world and its passions not the people. Our job is to reconcile people with God, by teaching, preaching, showing compassion, and love. Love is not being tolerant of sin and tolerant of the world’s behaviors but teaching them about Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to change them.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (HCSB)17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
We are to be Ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country. Sent to a foreign land, the ambassador’s role is to reflect the official position of the sovereign body that gave him authority. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul likens his own calling to that of an ambassador, and he urges all Christians to consider themselves ambassadors for Christ. When Ambassadors got to foreign soil they REPRESENT the SOVEREIGN body that sent them, they DO NOT represent the land they are in.
Christians are God’s ambassadors in that they have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” 1 Thessalonians 2:4(HCSB)4 Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. When we speak to men to gain their approval we are no longer Ambassadors, we are now “men pleasers” and we lose our mission to spread the gospel and to teach reconciliation. As we go through this world, we represent another Kingdom John 18:36(HCSB)36 “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.”, and it is our responsibility to reflect the “official position” of heaven. We are in this world, but not of it
John 17:14(HCSB)I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 15 I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19 I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth..
Acts 1:8(HCSB)8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must take the message of our King to the people in our family/neighborhood/city(Jerusalem) in our State/country(Judea and Samaria) and then to the “ends of the earth” discipling men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God. We are all missionaries. And, we are all regular Christians who are filled with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to declare and live out the gospel wherever we go.
James 1:27(HCSB)Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Everyone like to practice religion but not everyone practices true religion, showing compassion. and being unstained from this world.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:17(HCSB)Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.Now he is a new man. The garment of compassion should be a part of the clothing of a new man. The clothing of compassion should always be worn by the believer. The believer should reach out and try to help others through their suffering. Compassion is the seat of man’s affections. Of all human emotions, compassion is the deepest movement of emotions. It is moved within the deepest part of a person’s being
There is also the compassion of humans told of in the Scriptures. In Matthew 18:27 we read of human compassion being shown. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (HCSB) Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, 9 not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing. The world that we live in desperately needs COMPASSION. It is a world of tremendous suffering.
James 2:15-19(HCSB)15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
James the little brother of Jesus is saying you can say that you believe but the evidence of your belief is in good works! He contrast it by telling people that who are just believing without “good Works” are like the demons but even less because at lest the demons shudder!
Titus 3:14(HCSB)14 And our people must also learn to devote themselves to good works for cases of urgent need, so that they will not be unfruitful.
I can state that I am a brain surgeon all I want but unless I can actually operate on a brain then I am nothing more than a poser, a liar, a fraud, a fake. This is the context of these passages, your works of compassion 5will prove that you are a believer!
There are so many people who suffer and keep on suffering never having their needs met. Which causes many in the world to become hardened to others’ sufferings. Many hoard and build up assets when they could be sacrificing and reaching out so that they can meet the world’s needs. This should not be said of the believer. It does not mean that believers should be without the necessities of life. All believers need to have compassion when they see the sufferings of others. Compassion is to be felt by believers to the point they are moved to act. These actions will include sacrificing and reaching out to meet others’ needs.
Notice how compassion will not leave any room for selfishness. True compassion will have a person deny himself so he can help others in their needs and sufferings. As people assist others, they are drawn together. People being united can be done by compassion – when a person shows a feeling for another and sacrifices – reaching out to help each other. A great bond is formed between the believer and the ones that he ministers to.
True Compassion is a result of the poured out life that has been devoted to God and attached to His interests. The trials and tribulations we endure give us the strength and character to be of better use in the lives of others. Because we have been through it, we can help lead them through it, too. It will also make us more confident of our Lord and His working within and through us.
Compassion is not bringing our own needs, ideas, sympathies, or agendas–no matter how needed and good-to a situation. Rather, it is identifying with others, allowing God’s ideas and interests to take us beyond ourselves to the situations of others, and helping to bring them closer to Christ. We are to seek His intervention, but not demand that God fulfill that need. We are to bring ourselves closer to Him and experience His presence and preeminence.
Compassion also gives us the ability to feel genuine empathy and concern for those who suffer distressing physical, mental, or emotional problems, to tolerate it, and even serve them cheerfully. We are to reflect Christ’s love, seeking to alleviate their sufferings as well as motivate others to help. This is a prime aspect of the Spiritual Gift of Mercy; however, not having that gift is no reason or excuse to not act on it
1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 (HCSB)12 Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.
There is a distinction made here that we are to “to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work” and then he exhorts the brothers to “warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone” Showing us that even though some of us are teachers and leaders Compassion is everyone’s job.