Exercise Compassion

Exercise Compassion

To reflect Christ is to do more for people than preach to them. The Lord Jesus did not just talk about helping those who came to Him. He actually helped them. James put it bluntly: “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:20). Missionaries do more than send letters and gifts overseas. They go themselves! I am sure the mere presence of a missionary from the West living in some corner of the world witnesses as powerfully as anything he says; and, of course, missionaries do much more. They feed the starving, care for the sick, and operate schools.

When John was in prison, he had to be absolutely sure that Jesus was the Christ. He had a message sent: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:3). Jesus told the messengers to look and tell John what they saw: “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matt. 11:5). Jesus knew that John was familiar with the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. The Master was sure that telling John that these prophecies were being fulfilled would assure John of His identity as Messiah and bring comfort to His imprisoned friend.

We read in Mark 1:41 that Jesus was moved with compassion as He healed the leper. In one act, we catch a glimpse of the great love God has for all men and the reason the Son was sent from heaven to show His love in action (John 3:16). Missionary work can be described as one long exercise in compassion. In fact, it is impossible to be a Christian and have no interest in other people or desire to help them.

It is written that God is “not willing that any should perish” (II Pet. 3:9). When the Spirit of God enters us at our rebirth, one sure sign of His presence within is the compassion we feel towards others.

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