Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“(She) who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty – Whose power no foe can withstand!”
Psalms 91: 1
“In God the blessed man and woman finds the love that welcomes. There is the sunny place. There care is loosed and toil forgotten. There is the joyous freedom, the happy calm, the rest, the renewing of our strength – at home with God.”
Mark Guy Pearse
Today’s Study Text:
“And when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.”
Matthew 14: 13, 14
“Moved With Compassion”
“Helping others means our ears and our eyes are open.”
H. Norman Wright
What does the word “compassion” mean to me in practical ways”
Have I ever felt the compassionate hand of Jesus move in my life?
In what ways can I show heaven’s compassion to those around me?
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9: 36
“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.”
Henry Ward Beecher
“God’s compassion is not something abstract or indefinite, but a concrete, specific gesture in which God reaches out to us.”
Donald McNeill, Douglas Morrison,
And Henri Nouwen
Just a little time away. A few moments of solace. But as Jesus began to walk toward the desert region, he noticed he was being followed. Since Matthew tells us that Jesus “departed thence by ship into a desert place,” we can surmise that at least some of those who followed Him were following in ships or boats, as well. Once on shore, the “followers” soon turned into what Matthew refers to as, “a great multitude.” Not exactly what time away for rest and relaxation looks like.
But it is in Jesus’ response that we clearly see the implementation of heaven’s plan to reach out, to seek out, and to save those who were lost. I love the words of the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody who noted, “The Son of God passed by the mansions and went down into a manger, that He might sympathize with the lowly.” I’d like to add that when Christ Jesus became Immanuel, “God with us,” it didn’t mean that it was God looking at your pain and mine. Or God observing from afar the rocky path you are attempting to walk. No! It meant that as Jesus walked through the towns and villages of Judea, being touched and pressed about by the needs of the people around Him, He felt what they felt. This is why the Greek word which is used by Matthew to define the word “compassion” is so meaningful, for in our study text today, the Greek word, splangkhnidzomahee, a long word indeed, means to have your bowels yearn. This type of compassion isn’t a feeling that comes on from afar. It is a gut-wrenching emotion that moves someone to action. This isn’t a feeling that motivates someone to say, “I’ll get someone to help you.” Instead, this is an active word and the individual described as “feeling this compassion” is the one who says, “I am here to help you.”
Recently, I read a passage penned by Walter C. Sutton that is really a modern prayer which lays out for me a wonderful example of how Jesus’ compassion wasn’t an aloof pity, but rather a hands-on love that reached out and touched:
“Every day I drive the city streets, isolated from others by my speed, my air conditioning, and my radio. Each workday I sit in my office, buffered from people and sights and sounds that might distract me from my work. Every evening I see horrible things on the news that are promptly smothered in commercials and silly sitcoms. It’s easy to lose any sense of concern, to feel compassion only as a fleeting twinge, to accept no responsibility for lives that are only a view from my car window or a picture on my TV screen. Help me, O God. Save my soul from drowning in comfort, efficiency, entertainment, and isolation.”
When I first read these words, I remember thinking. What if Jesus had conducted His life like I have so many times. In the past, I would scurry about, going from place-to-place, appointment-to-appointment with the attitude, “Full speed ahead. Don’t stop for anyone or anything.”
I believe we can all relate to a life where we really don’t want to be interrupted because of the unexpected, but obviously, in Jesus’ life, the unexpected became a routine opportunity – call it a heavenly moment – a time for Him to show repeatedly that His insides are turned in knots for us. His gut is struck with our needs and His heart bleeds with our pain.
I love how Matthew Henry reminds us of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah who wrote in Lamentations 3: 22,23 that our heavenly Father’s compassions fail not. They are being poured out without end. They are fresh every day. A permanent supply. This is why the Bible tells us that when Jesus came to earth, He too, was moved with compassion. And immediately He acted to relieve the suffering. To let us know He gets it – because He feels it too.
In the words of Carter Heyward may we today invite Christ’s compassionate love into our lives. May we not just speak words of kindness, but act compassionately as well.
“Tender God, touch us.
Be touched by us;
Make us lovers of humanity,
Compassionate friends of all creation.
Gracious God, hear us into speech;
Speak us into acting;
And through us, recreate the world.”
“True compassion must flow from a river of gratitude that swells its bank with thankfulness over sins forgiven, hope restored, and wounds healed.”
Kim Moore and Pam Mellskog
A Patchwork Heart
Give Me Someone
when I am famished,
give me someone who needs food;
when I am thirsty,
send me someone who needs water;
when I am cold,
send me someone to warm;
when I am hurting,
send me someone to console;
when my cross becomes heavy,
give me another’s cross to share;
when I am poor,
lead someone needy to me;
when I have no time,
give me someone to help for a moment;
when I am humiliated,
give me someone to praise;
when I am discouraged,
send me someone to encourage;
when I need another’s understanding,
give me someone who needs mine;
when I need somebody to take care of me,
send me someone to care for;
when I think of myself,
turn my thoughts toward another.”
Japan, twentieth century
Translated by Mary-Theresa McCarthy
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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