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Saving Faith – Part 3
10/12/2016

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. In Part 2 of this devotional series, we began to look at three characteristics of a dead faith. Our first characteristic was:

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

So let’s take a look at the second characteristic of a dead faith.

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 — perhaps 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 experiences 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 they provided for them (Acts 2:44-45). Jesus was also 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).

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

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?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to seek the Lord when you see others in need and be faithful to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He will guide you in all truth. If you error, then let it be in grace, love, and in giving—God will not punish a heart that truly cares and desires to show love.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your abundant mercy, grace and compassion for each of us. Thank You for showing Your love by the things You have done for me and have provided for my family and I. Help me to distribute those gifts and to share them with those in need. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
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