Having Compassion

Jude 1:22 Of some have compassion, making a difference:

There are many in this world who are trapped in sin. Some have been ignorantly led to sin and as a result, made mistakes that now enslave them. Some sadly, because of personal sin, and poor decision-making, have caused themselves to be caught. Some have intentionally gone the way of sin, done the wrong and as a result, are under the cloud of darkness and distress. No matter what the approach or the method of enslavement, they are now enslaved and caught. The apostle Jude admonishes Christians to help, to reach out and to save these because, without help, they will not be able to free themselves from the spiritual whirlpool they have found themselves in.

How are we commanded to do so? By having compassion. These are taken in their sin, not willfully, but through having some weakness and difficulty in life. Now they are enslaved and trapped. Compassion, not sharp words and rebuke, is the best approach for such people. Mercy and grace need to be extended; kindness needs to be done for such individuals that they might see the light of the Word and the love of Christ and be drawn back to the Saviour whom they have left. What does it mean to have compassion?

Firstly compassion is seeing people in their need:

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 9:36

The Lord Jesus, full of compassion, never failed to be moved when He saw people in need. We are all needy people, but it requires a compassionate and spiritual individual to perceive the need of people around him. Many people around us have burdens and needs. As a believer in the Lord, we are not to be indifferent to the cries of people – we need to be like the Lord Jesus, having compassion on them.

Secondly, compassion is doing what we can to help them in their need.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1 John 3:17

The apostle John says that if we possess the things of this world and see a brother having a need, then we cannot say that we have the love of GOD in us if we do not respond to help. Compassion is active. It meets needs and helps whenever it can. God’s compassion moved Him to move from Heaven to reach and save us. He came to our need and, in compassion, He hung on the cross so that we can be saved, for that was our need.

Thirdly, compassion does make a difference.

The admonition in Jude tells us that, for some, compassion will open their eyes to their need. A word of compassion, an act of kindness and a tone of mercy can be used greatly by God to help an individual back to Him when he has sinned and is depressed, guilty, and discouraged over it. It will make a difference.

Many in Singapore hurt, and hurt badly. The church is to be the spiritual hospital to help those hurting to come to Christ, nurse them back to health and then to bring them up and to help them be strong in Christ that they might follow Him and help others to Him as well.

Evangelist-Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church

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