When Jesus saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
In our daily life, we are surrounded by multitudes who also are as sheep without a shepherd. Most are under the influence, usually bad, of a society that rejects God, or at best, they do not acknowledge the power that is in God, to live a holy life not swayed by the world's influences. What should our reaction be when we associate with most people we meet? What was Christ's reaction to those He came in contact with? What is the nature of God as revealed in Scripture?
The Bible says that the LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8) It is because of the LORD'S mercies that we are not all consumed, because His compassion's fail not. They are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22,23)
Time after time with Israel and Judah, God turned and had compassion; He subdued their iniquities and cast all of their sins into the depths of the sea. (Michah 7:19) But God, being full of compassion forgave them of their iniquity and did not destroy them. Many times He turned His anger away and did not stir up all of His wrath. (Psalm 78:38)
Does His compassion give us liberty to sin? God forbid! Believers must guard their hearts with utmost vigilance. Even when ministering to others who are in sin we are warned to not fall into the trap of that sin. But, in our effort to reach those who are in darkness we must try to emulate the One who saved us.
We should strive to be full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy, along with truth. (Psalm 86:15) The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8 and Psalm 86:15)
Over the years the very thing I would criticize others of I would often fall victim to, or have to fight for my spiritual life to resist what I had just been critical of. I could not understand error in others; but soon, I would fall prey of the same temptation. I feel God was trying to teach me something in the area of compassion, not criticism. It is as if God were telling me that I did not have a full understanding of the bondage they were under. It is easy to rant and rail at others who are in error instead of interceding for them and, with care, compassion, and love try to lead them to the only One who can save them and rescue them from their bondage(s) and sin. God forgive me for my error of the past. May I never repeat it. I did not have the full counsel of God on the matter and I will learn the process until the day I take my last breath. I try to grow daily in the graces and knowledge of God and His ways.
I have been, and still am very concerned about the spiritual condition of local church's and what is passed off as representing Christ. We are not the first to go through this. 2 Chronicles 36:14,15 give an excellent example of the situation we find ourselves in -
" All of the Chief Priests and the people transgressed very much after the abominations of the heathen. They polluted the house of the LORD which was hallow in Jerusalem. The LORD God of their fathers sent His messengers because He had compassion on His people and His dwelling place." The word compassion used here means that He had pity on them and wished to spare them.
An excellent New Testament example of this is given in Matthew 20:34. Two blind men who tried to follow Christ were pushed aside and quietened by the crowd. They continued to cry out for healing. Jesus, having compassion upon them, touched their eyes and they received their sight. Multitudes today have their eyes blinded by greed, lust, addiction and affiliations or places of worship that are in error. As God shakes the earth and heavens (spiritual things) in these last days we must be ready with hearts of compassion and understanding to lead the blind to Christ; not hinder them in their search. Even the desire to come to God for healing comes from God. If He did not move upon the heart, our efforts are in vain.
If we do not have hearts full of compassion and mercy and intercession, who will? As the God shakes everything that can be shaken, both heaven and earth, there will be multitudes waiting in the balance between an eternity with God or an eternity as tormented, lost souls. "When Jesus came out, saw many people, He was moved with compassion toward them...." (Mark 6:34)
We are admonished as Believers to be of one mind, having compassion one for the other, loving the brethren, being pitiful (humble) courteous and not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but instead to give blessings; knowing that we are called that we should ourselves inherit a blessing.
I want to become more and more like Christ with each passing day. The Bible says that because iniquity will abound, the love of many will wax cold. In a society that is on a fast track toward judgment, our love for the lost should increase, not decrease.
The Apostle Paul so loved his fellow Jews and desired their acceptance of Christ so badly that he was willing to be accursed himself so that, if possible, they would come to the knowledge of the truth.
Can we say the same?
LORD, in judgment, remember mercy. Great is Thy faithfulness.