What is compassion? I want you to think about the meaning of compassion. I want you to think about what compassion is and what it means. I want you to know that compassion is the word which describes the all-encompassing virtues of the character of God. Compassion is the love of God in action.
How does having compassion cause a person to act?
How does not having compassion cause a person to act?
What does the Bible say?
WEBSTER: COMPASSION, n. 1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.
COMPASSION: SEC: NT:4697 splagchnizomai (splangkh-nid'-zom-ahee); middle voice from NT:4698; to have the bowels yearn, i.e. (figuratively) feel sympathy, to pity: KJV - have (be moved with) compassion.
Compassion is not superficial. It is a true heartfelt emotion and conviction which flows from the inward man to embrace and share the needs of others.
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 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.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Jesus loved the people and He saw their weaknesses and needs.
When you love someone and you see they have a need, compassion will cause you to earnestly desire to meet that need. A sanctified child of God will be willing to make sacrifices to meet the needs of others.
1 John 3:16-18
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
What is wrong in the family of God, if we see a brother or sister with a need and we are not moved with compassion to relieve their suffering; or to comfort them; or to encourage them? Who would you lay down your life for to save them from some great loss?
Is this desire to help just about spiritual things, or does it include helping them with this world’s goods? What does the above mentioned verse 17 say? Do you shut up your bowels of compassion?
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Compassion is love in action. Compassion is love with a burden, because it sees and feels the need.
Compassion causes you to be sympathetic to the needs of others. It makes you “others” conscious.
The congregations of the church of God have a responsibility to act with compassion. How are we as a congregation responding to the needs of people in our congregation?
- telephone calls, prayers, emails
- perhaps some financial assistance
- encouragement to others who go through physical or spiritual hardships
Are we conscious of their needs because we have compassion on others like Jesus did?
It takes the eyes of Christian love to see the needs of others and have compassion.
30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:
31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
This world is full of people with needs. The church is the body of Christ in this world.
The needs of this world sit at the doorstep of the church.
What can we do? What are we doing?
Do we have compassion on the multitude?
Are we doing all we can do? Is there a mission work we can do for the glory of God?
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Some people are where they are because they willfully chose to be in the condition they are in.
Others are where they are much because of circumstances forced upon them. When we see someone in a bad condition and wanting to change, we need to have compassion on them.
1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
No one can have compassion on a child like the parent of that child.
This compassion is sacrificial and devout.
This compassion is a natural God-ordained love for those to whom you are attached. A pastor has this parental compassion for the congregation.
I must exhort you to have compassion on others and do not disrespect their needs. Do not let your pleasure in being blessed cause you to disregard the needs of others.
Listen closely to this scripture:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I want you to notice that the Pharisee was so blessed and in such good condition, all he could think of was that he sure was glad that he was not as these other people. Could we be guilty of having the same attitude as this Pharisee?
“O, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men.”
“God has really been good to me.”
What are you doing for others? Do you have compassion on their needs?
This Pharisee did not have compassion. He did not have the love of God working in his heart.
1 Peter 3:8
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
We are all exhorted to possess this attitude and condition of heart.
This is not just the attitude of the leaders of the church. Peter said, “Be ye all of one mind.”
I want to encourage each one of you to be mindful of the need of compassion.
Ask yourself if you are manifesting this Christian virtue.
Obey the Holy Spirit and do what He tells you to do.
Can you truly be a child of God and not have compassion for the needs of others?
Examine yourself and know whether or not you truly are a child of God. If you have been born again, you will be like your heavenly Father!!!