Saving Faith-Part 3

Saving Faith Part 3
Having a Heart of Compassion

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,  Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Psalms 86:15 (NKJV)

We are doing a devotional series titled, Saving Faith.  We learned, when a person makes a profession of faith in Christ, their lives are changed and they become a new creation.  Even though they will still be tempted by the enemy to sin, they will have a new desire to know Jesus and to follow Him.  This in turn will produce what is biblically known as "Good fruit", or "Works" (See Matt. 7:17-19).  We cannot be saved by our works (Eph. 2:8-9), but works should be evident in every life truly saved in Christ (James 2:14-20).

 In Part 2 of this devotional series, we began to look at 3-characteristics of a dead faith.  The first two characteristics were: 

1.  A dead Faith is marked by an empty confession (James 2:14).

2.  A dead Faith is marked by a false compassion (James 2:15-17).

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:15-17 (NKJV)

So we can see James making his next point here about a dead faith by giving an illustration of a professed believer demonstrating words of compassion without it resulting in the act of compassion.  We need to guard against this type of false compassion ourselves.

There are those who can watch a movie and be in tears because of the tragedy of a character - someone gets sick, dies or something horrible happens to them.  I hear people talking about these fictional characters as if they are real people - they can get so sad about a role these characters play and lose perspective of reality.  And yet, when their neighbor or a co-worker experience the same things as these fictional characters, they may never shed a tear.

In the Book of Acts we can see the proper behavior and heart of a true convert of Jesus as those who believed, sold their possessions when they saw others in need, and then provided for them (Acts 2:44-45).

Jesus was abundantly clear on our having True Compassion as well.

 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'  "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?   When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'  "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:" ...Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'" Matthew 25:31-41, 45 (NKJV)

Jesus has told us, when we help fellow believers we are serving Him, and if we choose not to serve Him then we have forsaken Him (Matt. 25:31-41, 45).  If we are true disciples (sheep) of Jesus (Our Shepherd), then we will have a true compassion to help others in need - we will follow Him and His ways. (John 10:27, Eph 5:1)

Hey Christian, we need to be compassionate to the needs of others.  Seek the Lord to lead and guide you in how you should respond to their needs.  We can be confident in God's supply to continually fund our giving to those in need as well.  

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. Proverbs 19:17 (NKJV)

May God be given all the glory for every good deed we do.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures with regard to our true compassion?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is your compassion for others followed by the fruit of good deeds towards their needs?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord when you see someone in need and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  He will guide you in all truth.  If you must error, then do so in grace and in giving - God will not punish a heart that truly cares and desires to show love.

Father, Thank You for Your abundant mercy, grace and compassion for me.  Thank You for showing me Your love by the things You have done for me and given me.  Help me to distribute those gifts and to share them with those in need.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000