Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Godly Compassion Is An Action Not An Attitude

So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.’ For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” – Nehemiah 8:8-10

<Journal Entry 14 January 2011> As I spend time here [in Leogane, Haiti] I am reminded that God is – the Source of life, hope, joy, my salvation. Do I understand what that means? Perhaps not – not if I allow pettiness, pride and personal ambition to gain a foothold in my life.  It is possible to have the appearance of spirituality all the while my flesh is on the throne – Lord I want to serve You and You only! I see the unique ministry of New Missions. With the exception of the churches it builds and supports, what is done could be accomplished by the government were it solvent. It is easy to say “Let the government” But we must listen to the Lord and not men. God’s wisdom is foolishness to men. Lord – speak and I will listen!

Taking pictures is a way to capture what I see – but I must be careful that my motivation can be merely tourist curiosity and not compassion – no longer about our hearts going out to the people – but seeing them as something to be marveled at and then perhaps forgotten. Lord that we would not forget! Each person on this trip has their own motivation and understanding. Lord give us eyes to see – understanding and a heart to obey your revelation.  By himself – nothing will last – with the Lord, there is not limit. <End of Journal Entry>

As I watch the goings on in this country and around the world, it can be much like watching a movie. Like a voyeur – I can remain disconnected while I watch what other people do or suffer.  And then, not being personally involved, I move on to the next thing – forgetting what I just saw. The difference is that a movie is a fabrication – an illusion – meant to entertain. What is happening in this world is real – people struggling – suffering – and yet like a movie we may feel a pang of emotion but it does not motivate us to act – or even to care.

Then He [Jesus] will also say to those on the left hand [the Goats], ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” – Matthew 25:41-45

I am not suggesting that as a Christian you will be cursed into everlasting fire – like the Goats – we are saved by grace through faith and not of works (Ephesians 2) – but faith without works is dead (James 2). If I lack compassion and the actions birthed from that compassion (Galatians 6) for those less fortunate then there is not practical difference between me and someone who is bound for hell.  In Nehemiah 8, the people were told to share with those less fortunate – to care about someone other than themselves. They were brought to tears over the hearing of God’s Word. It pierced their hearts. Lord that Your Word would have the same effect on us!

Shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

No comments: