In January, I had the privilege of rolling out our annual theme for the second time since becoming the Pastor of BRBC. Late last summer, God began to work on my heart as to the direction for 2016, and I thought long and hard on how to Biblically lead our church to do what God has called us to do. On Vision Sunday 2016, we rolled out the theme, “Consumed with Compassion.”
In Matthew 9, we find Jesus’s day filled with meeting the needs of others. He was healing, teaching, and ministering to broken people. Obviously, this is a wonderful pattern for Christians to find themselves involved in as well! We ought to be busy doing all of the things we see Jesus doing in His earthly ministry.
I find it interesting that it was not until after this that we see the word “compassion” mentioned. We read verse 39, “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.”
Christ was busy meeting their physical needs, but it was the recognition of their spiritual needs that consumed Him with compassion.
Why did Jesus have compassion? Compassion was a response to their hopelessness. The Bible says “they fainted.” If this world has ever reflected that same condition, it is today! Satan has ripped apart families and homes, Christians and churches, young and old.
Isaiah 1:5 says it this way, “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”
And again in Isaiah 40:30, the Bible says, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:”
Christ also had compassion in response to their lack of direction. Because they had been defeated by sin, they were “scattered.”
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
This is what happens when people are weakened by sin, and it is what happens when the devil tells us that things can ever be right in our lives again. This is what happens when sorrow breaks our hearts and wounds our spirit. This is what happens when people are spiritually starved because they have lost hope in God and faith in their fellow man.
When we get discouraged, we lose our way. We have no vision, no direction, and no spiritual appetite.
Does this sound familiar? I speak with people all the time who fit this description. They are hurting, and they need compassion!
So, what is compassion? Compassion is an inward yearning to help another individual. It is caring so much that you feel compelled to take action. Compassion is the most spiritual response a Christian can have when confronted with a need.
No one modeled compassion any better than our Savior. Will you join us in 2016 in showing compassion to the lost, the hopeless, and with those who have no vision of a victorious life? Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Let’s show compassion, and in doing so reflect Christ in our lives!