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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Heart of Compassion

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Jeff Hegstrom
Tuesday's Devotional from ONE 2013
When you woke up this morning and started getting ready for the day, you had to look in your suitcase and make a decision… “What am I going to wear today?” (unless your mom actually labeled your clothes for you : )  Every day when you wake up, you also have a spiritual choice to make of what you are going to put on.

Colossians 3:12 – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy  and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,  kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “

Is this day going to be about ME or will it be about OTHERS?  Is my life going to be centered around my wants and my needs or will I look outward to see where God is, what He is doing and join Him in ministry.

What does it mean to “clothe yourself with compassion?”

To the greatest of your ability, draw a picture below of that which best represents your understanding of COMPASSION.

Matthew 20:30-34 – As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

What did you discover through Jesus' example of compassion? 

How did the crowd respond to the two blind men?

How did Jesus respond?

This week at” ONE”, as you serve the homeless, the widows, human trafficking, Vacation Bible School  and each other, God is going to give you opportunities to stop, reach out and minister to others with a heart of compassion, through your attitude, or your actions of serving, giving, loving, showing kindness and even forgiving. What will be your response?
Use these three simple responses as God gives you the opportunity to minister with a heart of compassion. (M.A.P.)

1. Make yourself available for God to use. Ministry begins in YOU with a heart of COMPASSION:  The crowd rebuked the two blind men when they cried out to Jesus, but Jesus was moved with compassion and stopped to speak with them.  When you see an opportunity to respond with compassion; Stop, be available, listen to their story and show them you care.

2. Ask; “How can I pray for you?”  Jesus asked the two blind men,  “What do you want me to do for you?”  God has given you a divine opportunity to speak into their lives, so ask if you could pray for them.  If they agree, just ask; “How can I pray for you?”  

3. Pray according to the Spirit.  Step out in faith and let the Holy Spirit lead you in your prayer.  God will lead you and give you the right words to pray.  He wants to use your heart of compassion to bring hope, and help others take one step closer to knowing and trusting Him!

This morning, you have a spiritual choice to make of what you are going to put on.  The choice is yours, so how will you respond? 

Will you take a moment right now to write a short prayer to God and tell Him how will you clothe yourself today? 

The dictionary defines compassion as: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”

What are some other words you might use for COMPASSION?

If you really want to know what COMPASSION is all about, and how having a heart of compassion impacts lives… We have to look at the true source and ultimate example of COMPASSION… God’s Word. 

Take a few minutes to look up the following verses in the Bible.  What do these verses teach you about God’s COMPASSION for you?

Psalms 116:5 -  Lamentations 3:22-23 -  James 5:11

What surprised you most?

What gave you encouragement and comfort?

Over and over in the Gospels, Jesus models and shows us what it means to live a life of COMPASSION.  Take a minute to read this account in Matthew 20 of Jesus' compassion for others.  

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