HomeWord - Sept. 13, 2006

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Everyone Can Be an Agent of Compassion 
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

“’Which of these three was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” Luke 10:36-37     


Recently, I took my truck to the shop to have its 3000-mile oil change.  As most of us do, I sat and waited for the service to be completed.  While I was waiting, I decided to spend some time thumbing through a few of the magazines that were sitting in the lobby.  I picked up a Time magazine sitting on the top of the magazine pile.  Little did I know that my casual wait would become a meaningful time when God would challenge me on the level of compassion that I was demonstrating in my life.  As I was paging through the magazine, there was a major photographic section on the AIDS epidemic in Africa and how it was affecting thousands upon thousands of families and children.  Pictures of countless orphans were spread across the pages.  It was a great reminder that we live in a world where pain and suffering are all too common. While I was reading, I sensed God speaking to my heart, saying, “How can you help make a difference?” I offered up a quick prayer asking God to give me wisdom.

 

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the writer instructs his readers to love your neighbor as yourself. Obviously, those words also became a central part to what Jesus taught. In fact, “love them as yourself.” This kind of “love” the Bible speaks of is best translated “help”—such as expending energy, giving assistance, doing something. When the Bible talks about loving people, it does not primarily refer to feelings. Essentially, it means to help them.  From a scriptural point of view, the primary measure of our compassion is measured by our actions.

 

The good news is that we all have the capacity to be an agent of compassion. Whether you have an abundance of financial resources or not, whether you are a real high profile person or quiet and shy, whether you are young or old, it doesn’t matter. We all can be used to extend the compassion of God.

 

The goal then, is for we who are Christ-followers to continually be looking for ways to demonstrate love to others by incorporating compassion into our lifestyles.  We shouldn’t excuse ourselves from striving for this goal by thinking, “my church is doing it,” or “my denomination is doing it.” Compassion is a trait God desperately wants us to personally live out in our own lives day in and day out.  There’s plenty of need all around us. Today, pray that God will give each of us His wisdom to know how to be people of compassion!        

To comment on today's devotional, click here .


       

GOING DEEPER:

1. How would you measure the level of compassion in your life?   

2. How might God want you to demonstrate compassion today?

FURTHER READING:

Matthew 25:31ff; Luke 10:25-37; James 1:19-27


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