I am in a Man Church group at my church and our discussion this morning centered around having compassion. It is always interesting to me how we can qualify certain truths from scripture just by our own experiences. Realizing that our reaction to things doesn't have the right to kick out what the purity of God's Word shows. We are results-oriented people and to solve a problem we must come up with some answers. Answers require truth, and the only pure truth to anything is the truth we find in God's Word. In thinking about compassion scripture seems to lead us down a path to help us find a way to compassion. Life is a journey and in that journey, we make discoveries about how to do certain or be certain ways. It seems like "doing" and "being" really need to be qualified and defined.
James wrote this in his book in James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. To me, this says "know who you are" and then "don't forget who you are!" Knowing who we are will take us back to our initial experience of grace, and that brings us back to our place of being born-again. There is a result of this experience of grace and forgiveness. We are given tools through the Holy Spirit. Tools that change us at our core and tools we learn to use to continue growing in the Lord. Paul calls out to one of these tools and it is compassion. In Ephesians 4:32 Paul says 32 Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
As you see in the above verse, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are welcome bedfellows and their existence is conceived in those things being given to us by God in Christ. The realization that Paul has grouped these all together helps us see that the effect of each is "caused" by a deep understanding of what Christ has done for us. Thus, our salvation experience.
Jesus' passion for everything He was and everything He did is so evident that if we truly want to "be" like Jesus then it must start with His forgiveness. That forgiveness is the linchpin to all we are and all we will ever be. So we must never underestimate the power and effect this forgiveness has in our lives. God's grace is so impacting as to change the heart of man and through the Holy Spirit our lives take on a new form within this person God has created. There truly is a "cause and effect" in this relationship we have with God through Christ.
Here are some results, since we are result oriented, to help prime your pump to get that Holy living pouring out of you.
Result #1 - When we are born again, we live in freedom! 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Result #2 - We have confidence in the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:4 Such is the confidence we have toward God through Christ.5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves so as to consider anything as having come from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Result #3 - We remember daily who we are and seek to glorify God. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Result #4 - There is a natural fruit that comes from all of this. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Result #5 - We have a spiritual growth spurt and it is good! 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
I am not saying we have arrived, but we are on "The Way" which is what the early believers were known as before they were ever known as "Christians." We are on that same "way" and we will see growth in our walk. But pursue God with the passion He put in you and you will exude Compassion as a result. Then we will look Christ-like or Christian! 2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
The Pilgrimage Continues...