Scripture reading for March 12: Luke 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20
Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15 “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”
Jesus encountered a funeral procession with the body of a young man who had recently died and followed by the mother and a crowd of mourners. Luke says Jesus was moved by compassion to speak to the mother, telling her not to weep. He then came and touched the bier where the body lay and spoke to the young man, telling him to arise. The young man immediately sat up and began to speak! The love of Jesus moved Him to speak comfort and life in the face of hopeless grief and death.
Faith Confession: Lord Jesus, thank You for filling me with Your great love and compassion through the Holy Spirit. Help me to allow You to use me to speak life into places of fear and death. Action step: As God directs, speak life to someone you know who is in fear or despair.
Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”
Scripture reading for September 10th: Proverbs 12-14, Colossians 3
Key Scriptures: Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Learning and living go together in our walk with Jesus Christ. As we follow Jesus, His example is to guide our conduct and His Holy Spirit is to fill us with the fruit of His Holy character. We are one with Christ and other believers in one body, His Church!
Proverbs 14:2-3 “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises Him. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”
Prayer: Lord, clothe me today with Your Holy Spirit and Christ’s character so that I might reflect Your goodness to the people You love and died for. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 9th: Leviticus 12-15, Mark 2
Key Scriptures: Mark 2:15-17 “And as He reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus chose to invite sinners to have fellowship with Him. He ate with them and even invited Matthew, a despised tax collector, to follow Him. The religious leaders questioned how Jesus could be willing to be with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ and Jesus spoke plainly to them. He had come to minister to those who were in need of healing, not those who did not need it. God taught His people in the Old Testament to minister to the unclean, lepers, and bring restoration.
Leviticus 14:1-3 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of the leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds. . . “
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for caring for the sinner and the hurting. May your compassion fill my heart today to bring healing, encouragement and hope. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 19th: Genesis 50, Exodus 1-2, Matthew 15
Key Scriptures: Matthew 15: 32-34 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have had nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
Jesus was filled with compassion for the crowd that had listened to Him for three days. He shared His compassion with His disciples and got their input. In the natural, they had very few resources in the wilderness where Jesus had led them. Jesus asked them what they did have. Miracles happen when we offer what we have to God and allow Him to bless it! God saw the suffering of the Israelites and was filled with compassion, sharing His concern with Moses, had a plan of action to answer their need and prayers.
Exodus 2:24 “And God heard their (the Israelites) groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your heart of compassion for hurting and lost people. Give me a sensitivity to Your compassion flowing in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jonah 3-4, Micah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Jonah 4:4-5, 10 “On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. . . . When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”
Jonah had vowed to preach whatever message God gave him for the wicked city of Nineveh. He began a walk across the huge city that would take three full days announcing God’s plan to judge them in just 40 days. This brought holy fear and faith to the whole wicked city and they repented! When God saw their faith and deeds of repentance, He had compassion on them! He would much rather save people than bring judgment. What an awesome God of compassion we serve!
God’s great compassion: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
Scripture reading for June 8th: Psalm 39-42
Key Scriptures: Psalm 41:1-3 “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.”
David knew that God cared for the weak and needy. All who know God will have concern for the hurting. God rewards those who share His heart by promising them protection and deliverance in their own times of sickness, trouble and weakness! We reap what we sow from a God who is faithful and caring!
Thankful for a caring God: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2nd Corinthians 1:3-5)
Scripture reading for February 10th: Mark 1
Key Scriptures: Mark 1:40-42 “A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy was cured.”
Leprosy is a disease of the skin that causes the skin to crust with sores and ooze body fluids. It was contagious and people with the disease had to separate themselves to keep from infecting others. Any Israelite who touched a leper would be considered “unclean.”
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was humbly approached by a man with leprosy. This man fell to his knees and begged the Master to be willing to heal him. Mark records that Jesus was filled with compassion for this hurting man who was suffering from the disease and its lonely consequences. Compassion is love that deeply touches the heart and moves a person to take action to minister to the one that is hurting. You might call it love on steroids! Jesus reached out His hand, and touched the man. He told him that it was His will to heal and at Jesus’ command, the leprosy left immediately!
Observation for over-comers: As believers, through empowerment by the Holy Spirit, we have a river of Christ’s love and compassion flowing in our hearts. God is willing and we have authority and compassion waiting to be released for hurting people! “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, . . ..” (Proverbs 15:4)
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Matthew 23
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Matthew 23:37-38 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.'”
Over the ages of time, the Bible records many times where God tried to warn and protect His people from coming disaster and judgment. Many times they were stubborn and unwilling to listen, wanting to go their own way. They sometimes killed or mistreated the messengers that God sent to them. In New Testament times, they would kill the Son of God, Jesus Christ and similarly mistreat His disciples.
Over-comers must always welcome Jesus’ direction and protection. They must welcome the messengers of God and be a willing bearer of the good news themselves! They must walk in awareness that not all will receive the good news and that persecution may come.
Observations for over-comers: Jesus longs to gather and protect His people! He would rather show mercy than judge! “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:7-8)
Scripture reading for March 24th: Luke 15
Jesus loved to tell stories that had practical basis in everyday life but spoke to the spiritual life of individuals as well. We call these ‘parables’. Luke 15 contains three ‘lost and found’ parables that Jesus used to respond to the religious leaders who mocked Him for spending time eating with ‘sinners’.
The first story Jesus told was about a shepherd with 100 sheep. One sheep was lost, so the shepherd left the 99 and searched until he found the lost sheep. He carried the sheep back and called his friends for a celebration! “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who don’t need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
The next story involved a woman who had ten silver coins and lost one in her house. She searches for the lost coin until it is located and calls her neighbors for a celebration! “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
The last story involved a man with two sons. The younger son asked his father for his share of the inheritance and left home to end up wasting the money. The older son stayed home and worked. When all was lost, the younger son repented and decided to return to his father and ask for mercy. The father saw the boy coming, and was filled with compassion and ran to meet him. His son confessed his sin and asked for mercy. The father restored the boy and called for a feast. “For this son of mine was dead and is now alive again; he was lost and now is found.” (Luke 15:24)
Scripture reading for January 23rd: Matthew 15:29-39, Psalm 17:8-15, Proverbs 4:10-17
Compassion ministries are making a comeback in many evangelical churches. Many churches are visiting the sick and helpless, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and clothing those who are needy. These ministries have their source in the heart of Jesus Christ, Himself. Jesus was known for His compassion on hurting and hungry people. Compassion might be defined as love in action. We demonstrate true love by acting in faith to meet needs as God directs!
“Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet: and He healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, and the lame walking and blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” (Matthew 15:30-31) Jesus showed compassion and great love by healing all who came to Him. The miracles were drawing crowds of people that all needed the message of repentance! His heart’s desire was to see them made whole so He also preached the good news of the kingdom, calling them to repent. The result was worship of God!
“Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people: they have already been with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’ “ (Matthew 15:32) The heart of Jesus is clear here in His words and following actions. He was concerned about their need for food to sustain them on their journey. He cared for them enough to do something. He asked what was available: 7 loaves of bread and a few fish. He took this and blessed it and broke it, giving it to the disciples to distribute. When all the people had eaten, seven baskets full of bread were collected! This crowd was numbered at 4000 men plus the women and children!
Compassion for the hungry and hurting is the heart of God! His greater compassion is for the souls of the lost and their eternal salvation. Compassion ministries must always be coupled with preaching the gospel of faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sins. It’s the reason Jesus came and the mission that He gave His disciples and us! (Luke 19:10) (Matthew 28:18-20)