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The Word For Today

Don't Lose Your Compassionate Edge (3)

'...We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses...' Hebrews 4:15 NKJV

Dr Joseph Parker told his theology students, 'Preach to the suffering and you will never lack a congregation. There is a broken heart in every pew.' Don't lose your compassionate edge, because you can't heal a broken heart unless you can first empathise with it. The Bible says, 'We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses.' When you lose touch with people, you lose your touch when it comes to ministering to them.
Jesus went looking for the leper, the loser, the lonely, the lost and the lowest in society. And He was comfortable around them. Are you? Serving others is actually good for your health. A survey conducted at 44 major universities reveals that giving protects your overall health twice as much as an aspirin protects your heart against disease. Dr Stephen Post, who conducted the survey, says, 'Giving is the most potent force on the planet and will protect your whole life.' The benefits of compassion to your physical health are so strong that if compassion wasn't free, pharmaceutical companies would herald the discovery of a stupendous new drug called 'give back' instead of Prozac.' We give for different reasons: to get an income tax deduction; to make a good impression and have people think well of us; or because we're put under pressure. You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.
Your time, talent and treasure are to be shared with others. When you refuse, you're neither happy, holy nor healthy.

SoulFood: 1 Tim 1-3, Luke 8:40-56, Ps 1, Pro 19:9-11

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Don't Lose Your Compassionate Edge (2)

'...Faith...if it does not have works, is dead.' James 2:17 NKJV

Mother Teresa said, 'The biggest disease today isn't leprosy or cancer. It's the feeling of being uncared for, unwanted - of being deserted and alone.' As a result, she spent her life rescuing sick babies and giving dignity to the dying. Asked why she did it, she replied, 'Because Jesus did.' What a great answer! When simultaneous disasters hit different countries around the world, humanitarian organisations say we suffer from 'donor fatigue'. Let's add one more: 'compassion failure.' Philosopher Miguel de Unamuno wrote, 'Warmth, warmth, more warmth! For we are dying of cold and not of darkness. It is not the night that kills, but the frost.'
Think about this: of the 1,189 chapters in the Bible, 250 contain the words of the prophets. That's roughly 21 percent. Half of what they say denounces sin and the other half condemns those who see human suffering and do nothing about it. Yet events that horrified those same prophets take place in our world every day, and we're immune to them. Like wearing a watch, you get used to it and after a while you don't even notice it. But the prophets noticed! They never became desensitised to sin - or human suffering. And you mustn't either.
You say, 'But my main focus at the moment is on building up my faith.' That's a good thing; but never forget that 'Faith by itself, if it does not have works [of compassion], is dead.'

SoulFood: Hab 1-3, Luke 8:26-39, Ps 65, Pro 19:5-8

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Don't Lose Your Compassionate Edge (1)

'...When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them...' Matthew 9:36

Christ's concern for a hurting world revealed itself in two ways: condemnation towards those who took advantage of others and compassion towards those who couldn't help themselves. One time He took a whip and threw the money changers out of the temple; another time He healed the sick and fed the hungry.
There's a lesson here: you can become complacent and say, 'I know there's trouble in the world. It's regrettable. But as long as it doesn't touch me personally, I'd prefer not to think about it. Cheating goes on every day in business and politics. That's just the way things are.' Like the priest and the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan, you 'pass by on the other side' (Luke 10:30-36). The sad fact is that even churches that faithfully preach the Word and win souls (two all-important missions) fail in this area. Why? Because they're afraid of being identified with those who promote a 'social gospel'. But the opposite should concern us! 'If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity...how can the love of God be in him?...Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth' (1 John 3:17-18 NIV).
What moves you? Success in business? Building a great family? Excelling in ministry? Those are worthy goals, but if you want to know what moved Christ, read this: 'When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion.' So don't lose your compassionate edge.

SoulFood: Nah 1-3, Luke 8:16-25, Ps 14, Pro 19:1-4

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