Chapter 8: The Relevance of Compassion

This blog was originally posted on Aug. 22.

  In Sunday’s sermon (Aug. 21), Dr. Randy Wallace, pastor of FBC Killeen, preached on “Who Cares?” from Matthew 16:15-19. Without compassion we as a church are not relevant to those who pass by. He quoted our youth minister Matt Cornelius, who had said last year at D-Now, “God doesn’t need you. You need God.”

    What is interesting about that is that it is true God doesn’t need us in order to show God’s compassion. But the fact that he does use us may be is even more profound! He doesn’t NEED us, but He chooses us to be His instruments of compassion.

    As we prepare for BELIEVE, we will see in week 8, Oct 30, that our LifeGroups are the mobilization, organization and functioning of the church in action. When we do OCLOC (Our Church Loves Our Community) at our Trunk or Treat on Monday, Oct. 31, we are proving our relevance to our community by reaching out and being a blessing of God to our community.

    One final nugget from Sunday’s sermon: Randy asked, “If you neighbor walked into the church, would you be surprised to see him/her?” But also, based on how you have shown compassion to your community, my question would also be, “Would your neighbor be surprised to see you?”

    The following devotional is from Zondervan for BELIEVE.

KEY QUESTION: What is my responsibility to other people?

    Compassion literally means “suffer with.” God calls us to come alongside of people who are suffering and suffer with them so they are not alone. It doesn’t mean we can fix the problem, but it does mean we can enter into their pain. Before we act on or practice this belief, we must believe it is God’s call on the life of all Christ followers. When we believe this in our heart, we will show compassion to all people, especially to those in need.

    Throughout history God has graciously shown compassion for his people, with the ultimate demonstration being the sacrifice of his only Son, Jesus Christ. Because the only just response to the sins of humankind was death, our just God, according to his righteousness, issued the death penalty on us. Then, out of his grand compassion, he offered Jesus as a “substitutionary atonement” — that is, Jesus took humanity’s place. Through this one act God demonstrated his complete compassion without budging an inch on his complete justice. We who are guilty are made just by the sacrifice of the only person who was completely righteous.

    Jesus: Model of Compassion – Read Luke 10:25-37.

KEY VERSE

    Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3–4)

KEY IDEA
    I believe God calls all Christians to show compassion to people in need.

KEY APPLICATION: What difference does this make in the way I live?
    If we choose to show compassion to people as God does, then ...
•             we will change our priorities and how we use our time
•             we are set free to give, because we trust God for our needs
•             people who have been forgotten by society will be cared for and restored
•             we will truly reach our neighborhoods and our cities
•             the Spirit of Christ will be alive and well in our lives

    The oft-quoted phrase “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” will come to life. As people see how much we care and ask us what we know, we may respond with, “It’s not what we know, but who we know. His name is Jesus, and he would love to meet you.”


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