Jesus looked at the city of Jerusalem and was moved. Not because of the crumbling buildings, the roads in disrepair, or the billboards that needed to be replaced. He was moved with compassion for the people. The people had drifted far from Him. They had chosen to follow other gods and turned their backs on the true and living God. Jesus saw Judaic society being devoured by the enemy, like a sheep without the protection of the shepherd. Compassion is not only being inspired or emotionally moved; godly compassion demands action. God had compassion so He did something – God became the man Christ Jesus – our Savior. God is into people, not things. God’s only creation that can be redeemed and spend eternity with Him is people.
“…have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22 ESV).
As God’s children, compassion is also something WE do. “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16 NIV). Can you imagine walking up to a hungry person and instead of figuring out how to feed him, you say, “Cheer up! Smile! And the whole world smiles with you!” Of course not. Mother Teresa said, “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”
God opens our spiritual eyes of compassion so that we are driven to act, having eternal impact on His only creation that will last forever – people.
Sometimes, though, we get distracted from God’s focus on people, and focus on our ideas and inventions. No amount of time spent perfecting those physical things can take the place of the greatest spiritual need that people have. We can become so enamored with our creations, we may lose sight of their continued impact. I personally know of MANY Christian schools, universities, and organizations that are either spiritually dead or no longer exist because at some point they continued to ignore signs that God was “leaving the building.” Why did they fail? Why couldn’t the leaders read the signs? In hindsight, it all becomes clear. They didn’t keep up with how people change over time. The kind of compassion Jesus wants for us is the kind that drives us to recognize needs and constantly impact people now. Compassion + action = real time impact.
In eternity, everything we now know will fade. Our ideas, our inventions, and our practices. In CEF, God has given us many tools to reach people. In time, even these things will fade. We must be careful to not trust the tool or our expertise in using it. Otherwise, we quench the Spirit of God by putting Him in a box. To God, people, and not things, remain the most important.
To get to the front of the cutting edge of reaching people, we must always allow God to breathe compassion and new life into what we do and how we do it! “…having compassion, making a difference.”
“Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth, show us your glory! And help us to keep You as Supreme. Keep us from trusting our yesterday or living in our blessed past. Clearly show us that Your heart is to connect and reach people, not sustain things. Help us to see the new things You want to do. Sharpen our skills to truly have compassion on and truly love people, and help them to know and love You. We want to follow and trust ONLY YOU. In Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN.”