The great evangelist D.L. Moody told the story of his conversion this way:
“When I was in Boston I used to attend a Sunday school class. One day I recollect my teacher came around behind the counter of the shop I was at work in, and put his hand upon my shoulder, and talked to me about Christ and my soul. I had not felt that I had a soul till then.
“I said to myself, ‘This is a very strange thing. Here is a man who never saw me till lately, and he is weeping over my sins, and I never shed a tear about them.’
“But I understand it now, and know what it is to have a passion for men’s souls and weep over their sins. I don’t remember what he said, but I can still feel the power of that man’s hand on my shoulder tonight.”
The concern and tears of a godly teacher – his compassion – resulted in the conversion of a man who saw a million souls saved in his evangelistic campaigns.
Former Congressman J.C. Watts from Oklahoma said, “Compassion can’t be measured in dollars and cents. It does come with a price tag, but that price tag isn’t the amount of money spent. The price tag is love.”
Jesus had great compassion! Matthew 9:35-38 declares, Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
David Wilkerson explained it this way: “Compassion is not just pity or sympathy. It is more than being moved to tears or stirred up emotionally. Compassion means pity and mercy accompanied by a desire to help change things. True compassion moves us to do something! ... What did Jesus do? He didn’t just talk. His heart was stirred at what He saw and He had a consuming desire to change things. The feelings of pity and sympathy He felt moved Him to action.” Jesus did not just talk about our need. He did something about it. He was first moved with compassion and then He was moved to take action.
Dr. Paul Chappell, pastor and author, observed: “…the ultimate example of this love is found in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. He willingly came ‘to give his life a ransom for many’ (Matthew 20:28). This is a different kind of love from the kind our world knows today. Most of what is called love would more properly be called attraction, and in many cases simply lust. This kind of self-focused behavior is far short of what God has in mind.” Jesus calls us to love others with Agape love – the giving, self-sacrificing kind of love.
Do you have compassion for those who are far from Jesus? Those who are hurting and broken? Those who are “harassed and helpless”? May we reach out to wounded people with the compassion and loving-kindness Jesus has for them!
This Sunday, October 17, we will continue our series, “Freely Give!” by considering the breathtaking gift of Compassion. Please join us in the building at 10:35am for worship. If you cannot join us in person, please join us online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Search: Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Search: Honolulu Assembly of God). A link will be posted later here to our website (honoluluag.org).
Coming Up: Sign up this Sunday for a fun day of Canoe Paddling with Fred To’omata on Sand Island on Saturday, October 23, from 9am-1pm. Pastor Ron Peer will lead a Drive-Thru Prayer Day in the church parking lot on Saturday, November 6, starting at 1pm. Please join in that day to pray for people in need.
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!