Reading 6 – Friday, December 9, 2015
Compassion to All
By Arnolfo Cortez, Philippines
Compassion: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Synonyms: Sympathy, empathy, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, charity.
Our heavenly Father alone is the source of compassion and mercy. ”He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” Psalm 111:4. “It is from the Father’s heart that the streams of divine compassion, manifest in Christ, flow out to the children of men.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 188.
“Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today, the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world.” –Our Father Cares, p. 203.
“His every word and act revealed divine compassion, and His unlikeness to the world provoked the bitterest hostility.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 576.
Reformers are compassionate
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Colossians 3:12. God’s people in this last generation need to have that warmth of spirit from heaven that prompts righteous action every day. Great compassion needs to be exercised toward souls who are ready to perish and will be lost unless they are warned. Think, brothers and sisters, of the countries with millions of people who have never heard the last message of mercy. Oh, that every member would have the compassion demonstrated by our Master and use his God-given means to reach those souls before the door of mercy closes forever.
“With hearts filled with sympathy and compassion, they are to minister to those in need of help, bringing to sinners a knowledge of the Saviour’s love. Such work calls for laborious effort, but it brings a rich reward. Those who engage in it with sincerity of purpose will see souls won to the Saviour, for the influence that attends the practical carrying out of the divine commission is irresistible.
“Not upon the ordained minister only rests the responsibility of going forth to fulfill this commission. Everyone who has received Christ is called to work for the salvation of his fellow men. ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.’ Revelation 22:17. The charge to give this invitation includes the entire church. Everyone who has heard the invitation is to echo the message from hill and valley, saying, ‘Come.’ ” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 109, 110.
While it is true that this is laborious effort, always remember that God will be with all who work for His glory. I experienced His intervention many times; He kept me safe in His Almighty arms when I was working in Malaysia and other countries of Asia.
In the family
Satan’s attacks against the family for the purpose of tearing down society are relentless, and he works twice as hard against Reformers, so we need to be on guard constantly to keep every family member safe. It is very sad to see that we have many broken households in the family of faith. Even within the ministerial circle, while the pastor is putting forth great efforts to connect souls with the church, Satan has succeeded in taking his children away from the church into perdition. We must make a fence around our families, and the best fence is involving them in active service.
“Rule your children with tenderness and compassion, remembering that ‘their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.’ If you desire the angels to do for your children the work given them of God, cooperate with them by doing your part.” –The Adventist Home, p. 193. “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for Jehovah hath comforted His people, and will have compassion upon His afflicted.” “And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.” “Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.” Isaiah 49:13; Jeremiah 12:15; 30:18.
“Parents are to make the religion of Christ attractive by their cheerfulness, their Christian courtesy, and their tender, compassionate sympathy; but they are to be firm in requiring respect and obedience. Right principles must be established in the mind of the child….
“Let the overseers of the church devise plans whereby young men and women may be trained to put to use their entrusted talents. Let the older members of the church seek to do earnest, compassionate work for the children and youth. Let ministers put to use all their ingenuity in devising plans whereby the younger members of the church may be led to cooperate with them in missionary work. But do not imagine that you can arouse their interest merely by preaching a long sermon at the missionary meeting. Plan ways whereby a live interest may be kindled. Let all have a part to act. Train the young to do what is appointed them, and from week to week let them bring their reports to the missionary meeting, telling what they have experienced and through the grace of Christ what success has been theirs.” –The Adventist Home, pp. 323, 487.
“For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9.
“Husbands should be careful, attentive, constant, faithful, and compassionate. They should manifest love and sympathy. If they fulfill the words of Christ, their love will not be of a base, earthly, sensual character that will lead to the destruction of their own bodies and bring upon their wives debility and disease. They will not indulge in the gratification of base passions, while ringing in the ears of their wives that they must be subject to the husband in everything. When the husband has the nobility of character, purity of heart, elevation of mind that every true Christian must possess, it will be made manifest in the marriage relation. If he has the mind of Christ, he will not be a destroyer of the body, but will be full of tender love, seeking to reach the highest standard in Christ.” –The Adventist Home, p. 125.
In the spiritual family and in favor of the poor
“Thus hath Jehovah of hosts spoken, saying, Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother.” “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Zechariah 7:9; Matthew 20:34. “With tender compassion should brother deal with brother. Delicately should he deal with feelings. It is the nicest and most important work that ever yet was done to touch the wrongs of another. With the deepest humility should a brother do this, considering his own weakness, lest he also should be tempted.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 166.
In our Christian families, let no one venture to say as did Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Let the sisters and brothers deal with the very wrong deeds and actions that cause displeasure and the frown of God and encourage one another in repentance so the heavenly visitants can stay with us, along with the presence of the most High God. “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” Mark 1:41.
Just as Jesus stretched out His hand to touch and help those in need around Him, so we are also to give a helping hand to those who are blind to the truth at this time so they will see, be led to repentance, and be saved.
“God places no value on outward display or boasting. Many who in this life are looked upon as superior to others will one day see that God values men according to their compassion and self-denial…. Those who follow the example of Him who went about doing good, who help and bless their fellow men, trying always to lift them up, are in God’s sight infinitely higher than the selfish ones who exalt themselves…. “The great heart of Infinite Love is drawn toward the sinner with boundless compassion…. He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw near to you with mercy and forgiveness.” –God’s Amazing Grace, pp. 67, 82.
Cornelius showed “the sincerity of his faith by compassion to the poor. He was known far and near for his beneficence, and His righteous life made him of good repute among both Jews and Gentiles. His influence was a blessing to all with whom he came in contact. The inspired record describes him as ‘a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.’ ” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 132, 133.
For the multitude with no shepherd
Every day people are going to their graves without hearing the message of salvation. It is high time that we wake up and do our work heartily; but we cannot do this sincerely without God’s compassion in our hearts, so we must pray and ask Him to give us this gift for the souls around us. What can we do to help the many wanderers in our localities, in the city, and in the country where we live? Are they not sheep without a shepherd? When will we arouse to work with deep interest to help save these souls? Brothers and sisters, we need the tender compassion of Jesus in our hearts to flow out to those around us.
“All around us are afflicted souls. Here and there, everywhere, we may find them. Let us search out these suffering ones and speak a word in season to comfort their hearts. Let us ever be channels through which shall flow the refreshing waters of compassion.” –Lift Him Up, p. 95.
“If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.” –The Faith I Live By,” p. 103. “And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and He began to teach them many things.” “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” Mark 6:34; 1 John 3:17.
When I meditate on these words of our Master, I realize the great claims that God has not only on our physical being but also on all that we have. The question for us is, Knowing all these things and the great need for the message of salvation to be preached, are we investing our time and money into this work? What a difference it would make, dear brothers and sisters, if you would make the decision to invest a portion of your money to open a country by sponsoring a minister to carry the glad tidings there! I am looking forward to the time when we are in the kingdom of heaven and someone comes, extends his hand, and says, “Thank you for your unselfish act in investing your money so that we could hear the message. You made it possible for a minister to share the message of salvation with us. Now I am eternally saved!” Oh, what a day that will be!
For all who suffer
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.” Luke 10:33. “To leave a suffering neighbor unrelieved is a breach of the law of God…. He who loves God will not only love his fellow men, but will regard with tender compassion the creatures which God has made…. We are to care for every case of suffering, and to look upon ourselves as God’s agents to relieve the needy to the very uttermost of our ability. We are to be laborers together with God. There are some who manifest great affection for their relatives, for their friends and favorites, who yet fail to be kind and considerate to those who need tender sympathy, who need kindness and love. With earnest heart, let us inquire, Who is my neighbor? Our neighbors are not merely our neighbors and special friends, are not simply those who belong to our church or who think as we do. Our neighbors are the whole human family. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are to give to the world an exhibition of what it means to carry out the law of God. We are to love God supremely and our neighbors as ourselves.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 52.
“The compassion and tenderness that He revealed toward those who had sinned, either willfully or through ignorance, should be an object lesson to all who seek to bring about reforms. The servants of God are to be as firm as a rock where right principles are involved; and yet, withal, they are to manifest sympathy and forbearance. Like Ezra, they are to teach transgressors the way of life by inculcating principles that are the foundation of all right doing.” –Lift Him Up, p. 165.
On those who have wronged us
In his efforts to destroy the influence of God’s people in these last days, Satan has brought great temptation to our brethren, and they have done great wrong even to God’s cause, which sometimes is hard to bear. Nevertheless,we need to have compassion on them also, because they are still our brethren who have been attacked by the enemy of souls. Let us heal every wound and restore peace and unity in our midst. And let us continue doing the work entrusted to us.
“Satan sometimes so influences minds as to destroy all feelings of mercy or compassion. The iron seems to enter the heart, and both the human and the divine disappear.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 594.
“Jesus has given us an example that we should follow in His steps, and manifest compassion and love and goodwill toward all. Let us cultivate a kind spirit, a spirit of forbearance, and tender, pitying love toward those, who, when under temptation, have done us grievous wrongs. If possible, let us heal these wounds, and close the door of temptation by removing every barrier the wrongdoer has erected between himself and us…. The Lord delights to bestow His blessings upon those who will honor Him, who will acknowledge His mercy, and show that they appreciate His love to them by manifesting the same gracious characteristic to those around them.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 144.
“The fact that we are under so great obligation to Christ places us under the most sacred obligation to those whom He died to redeem. We are to manifest toward them the same sympathy, the same tender compassion and unselfish love, which Christ has manifested toward us.
“He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God, we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.” – God’s Amazing Grace, p. 328. “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?” Matthew 18:33.
Final words of inspiration
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” Galatians 6:9, 10; Jude 20-23; Philippians 2:1-3; 1 Peter 3:8, 9.
May the grace and love of our compassionate Saviour melt our hearts so we may have His Spirit and the tenderness of the good Samaritan shown in his ministry to the suffering stranger on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. This is my wish and prayer. Amen!