1 John 3
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
As I prepare to bring this passage to the church so much has come to light. The life of Christ was a life of compassion. Whenever Jesus had compassion on someone or on a group of people, He did something about it. Even though Jesus never handed out money and never built anyone a house, He reached into His very spirit, the core of who He was, and cared for people at the level of their need. When Jesus would act on His compassion, people would marvel.
John takes time to let us know that when we open our hearts of compassion we are acting like children of God. His sons and daughters, in caring for people, act like their Father.
So much of compassion today is defined by caring for the poor of this world. Yet compassion is needed at every level of society. Jesus cared for rich and poor alike. So much of compassion today is demonstrated by improving someone’s temporary life. The compassion of Christ culminated at the Cross where He gave His life so that we through His act of compassion could live forever. We won’t know until eternity, but how many people in the early church in Jerusalem were people whom Jesus healed, fed, or cast a demon out of? After the resurrection when the Gospel of Christ was preached, those who had met Christ in this life got to know Christ in His eternal life.
We today, when compassion grows within us, should care for both the eternal and the temporal needs. Acts of compassion are not solicited nor can they be repaid yet neither can they be withheld. For when the Spirit of God moves within us to care for one of His sheep, His people, we have no other work to do but to act on that compassion. Consider today, how many compassion stories have you been a part of? What person or situation might God be leading you to that needs your compassion and action? We, who are children of God, cannot withhold our lives from caring for others. We are His children.
This morning at 11:45 JIBC will be opening the church up for Friday Christian prayer. We have invited the Christian community to participate at this time. Every Friday, the businesses in Indonesia close for an hour and a half so their workers can go to prayer. It was brought to our attention that the Christians should have a place to go for their prayer also. Today is the beginning of our Friday Christian prayers. May God be honored as His people gather to pray to Him.
We are praying for Sunday that God will use His word to change hearts. We are baptizing three this Sunday, including the young man I asked you to pray for. Praise God for these dedicated to following Christ with us.
Have a great day in the Lord,