What Does Compassion Feel Like?
By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk. com
Pictures of life jackets covering the ground came to my mind when my family started talking about a movie about the Syrian refugee crisis. As we watched, my daughter went through a gamete of emotions, imagining what it must have been like for the young girls featured in the movie. They were swimmers, just like her. They had a family and a home they had to flee. When other people hurt, we often hurt, too. Especially when those people are close to us or we relate to them on a specific level or shared experience. The closer the proximity, the more acute the empathy and compassion we feel for them. It’s a pit of the stomach feeling. A gut feeling. An emotion that brings forth physical symptoms.
Jesus was compassionate to the people He met while He walked the earth. Particularly for His apostles and for those who followed and listened to His teachings and asked for healing. The verse above prefaced the miracle made famous by the loaves and fish. Jesus already had compassion for the people and followed through in His care for them by making sure they had enough to eat, too. “But we only have five loaves of bread and two fish!” His disciples pointed out to Jesus. (Matthew 14:17 NLT) The apostle Mark records today’s verse this way:
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Mark 6:34 NLT
There were many other times recorded in Scripture when Jesus had compassion enough to perform miracles. When asked by a leaper if Jesus was willing to heal him, the apostle Mark recorded His response: “Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be healed!’ (Mark 1:41 NLT)
When a funeral procession crossed Jesus’ path, and He learned a boy, a widow’s only son, had died, he had compassion on the grieving mother enough to raise her boy from the dead! “When the Lord saw her,” Luke wrote, “his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ He said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. ‘Young man,’ he said, ‘I tell you get up.’ Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” (Luke 7:11-15 NLT)
Compassion is compelling! It is love in action. The movement of our heart is connected to the will of our minds and the physical reaction to our bodies. We are propelled into action by the compassion we have for each other. Life within the love of Christ Jesus makes us especially sensitive to others when we are willing. Willing to listen, pray, give of our time and treasure, and support one another selflessly.
Get the Power to Go after Your Goals
By Rick Warren, Crosswalk.com
“We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (Proverbs 16:9 The Message)
Proverbs 16:9 says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (The Message).
You get to plan the way you want to live, but only God gives you the power and energy to actually experience transformation. Why? Because God provides the three things you must have to reach your goal and change your life.
1. You need God’s Spirit to empower you.
You need God’s help to make changes you can’t make on your own. It’s not based on willpower. It’s based on God’s power. It’s not based on trying. It’s based on trusting.
Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘You will not succeed by your own strength or by your own power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful” (NCV).
2. You need God’s Word to guide you.
The Bible is the owner’s manual for life. The more you read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it, the more successful and fulfilled you’re going to be in life.
When Joshua was given the great dream of taking over the Promised Land—a goal that would take him the rest of his life—God spoke these words to him: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8 NASB).
3. You need God’s people to support you.
You will not be able to reach your goals on your own. It takes a team to fulfill a dream!
A crowd can’t support you, but a small group can. The people in your small group know when you’re sick, when you’re having a tough time, when you need a break. You can share your goals and successes and failures, and they will rejoice with you and encourage you to keep going. You’re going to need that when you make the right kind of goals and pursue them wholeheartedly.
Streams in the Desert – December 29
- 2022 29 Dec
“Arise… for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and are ye still? Be not slothful to go, and enter to possess the land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth” (Judges 18:9-10).
“The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions” (Obadiah 17).
“The upright shall have good things in possession.”
We need to have appropriating faith in regard to God’s promises. We must make God’s Word our own personal possession. A child was asked once what appropriating faith was, and the answer was, “It is taking a pencil and underscoring all the me’s and mine’s and my’s in the Bible.”
Take any word you please that He has spoken and say, “That word is my word.” Put your finger on this promise and say, “It is mine.” How much of the Word has been endorsed and receipted and said “It is done.” How many promises can you subscribe and say, “Fulfilled to me.”
“Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that I have is thine.” Don’t let your inheritance go by default.
“When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.”