Faithlife Sermons

A Compassionate Church

Authentic, Compassionate, Humble, and Generous  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:49
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Intro

Two weeks ago I presented 4 values or traits or characteristics of Christ’s Church. Jesus modeled these 4 values, he taught them, and he calls his church to demonstrate them. These 4 values, are just 4 of many.
There are many more Godly traits demonstrated and taught by Jesus. Jesus called His church to model many other values, these are just 4 that we are looking at now. These values are not more important, or complete we simply are looking at four. These Four.
Jesus Calls His Church to be
Authentic
Compassionate
Humble
Generous
Authentic means not hypocritical. It means genuine. Last week we talked about an Authentic Thanksgiving. Authentic means corresponding to the original, so we were searching for our actions, in this case thanksgiving, corresponds to a heart is truly grateful. In order to be genuinely thankful we have to understand who we are, in relation to who God is. Think of it this way, in order to correspond to the original we have to know who the original is.
Today we are going to build off that idea, and talk about another value, compassion. These first two values can be thought of as heart conditions. The last two are the actions that flow out of them. If you are authentic with who you are , and who God is, and if your heart is compassionate, you will begin to act with humility and generosity. Before we begin our look at compassion, let me pray.
Prayer

Intro Slide

Matthew 9:36 NIV
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
How do we see the crowds? Foolish? How could they stand out in the cold, and all the traffic just to see a parade? Greedy? Look at all those people pushing and shoving to save some money at black Friday sales. Jealous? Man those people are so lucky to be able to see such a great football game.
The crowds Jesus encountered were not different. The crowd was greedy after Jesus fed the multitude, they followed him. The crowd was at other times greedy when they pressed in on Him for healing. At other times the crowd acted jealously when some saw him and others did not so a man climbed a tree. It wasn’t that the crowd was any different in Jesus’ day, they were the same greedy, jealous, and foolish people we have today, it is just that Jesus had a different heart.
When Jesus saw them he had a heart of compassion for them. Compassion means to have sympathy on them, to suffer with someone. Too often it is tempting for us to look at the crowd, or the world, or the people outside of our church, and see their sins, rather than see them as lost. Jesus had compassion, and saw them as a sheep without a shepherd, he was suffering alongside of them, he had pity on them.
He did this because
God is compassionate
This is how God is described in our first scripture lesson this morning. In the book of Exodus chapter 33, verse 19, the Lord says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Let’s take a look at the whole story leading up to that verse. God had just given Moses plans for the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is the temporary temple. The “Temple in a tent”, it you will. It is the place God lives. Right in the middle of the camp. It hasn’t been built yet, but Moses has the instruction. The plan is that the Israelites will build the tabernacle God will dwell there among them, and then travel with them through the desert, until they get to the promised land.
The problem is, that Moses is taking a long time coming down from the mountain. They haven’t heard from Him. God isn’t showing up. All is silent. God you brought us here, now what type of a deal.
Exodus 32:1 NIV
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
They leave God, for gods of the world, because they can’t see God, he doesn’t appear to be showing up and they don’t know what is going to happen to them. But a god they can see is a little more comforting. You know the story, they make one out of gold.
God gets angry with them. Moses smashes the tablets, there is a plague, and people die. Then God tells Moses to go on ahead to the promised land., but becasue God is angry, he is not going to go with them.
Exodus 33:3 NIV
Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
Moses pitched a tent outside of the camp, some distance away from the sin taking place in the camp, and went there to plead with God to go with Him. That is where we pick up the story today.
Exodus 33:12–14 NIV
Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Moses is praying to the Lord and he says that the Lord has not said which people will go with Moses. The Lord hasn’t been clear to Moses. Moses says to the Lord, you have not let me know who will go. Which people will not go, which will go. Who are the sinners that will stay behind. And he pleads for the nation he says remember God, before you meet out your justice and wrath, this nation is your people.
It seems the Lord relents a bit, the Lord says, My presence will go with you.
That concerns Moses again and he says Lord, your Presence needs to Go with US, not just me.
Exodus 33:15 NIV
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.
And Moses appeals to God making himself known to the rest of the world.
Exodus 33:15–16 NIV
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
That prayer is an appeal to the Lord, and the Lord relents, and decides that he will go with Moses, and the People.
Exodus 33:17 NIV
And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
The people sinned, violating the covenant that God had with them. They did not hold up there end of the agreement, so God was not going to honor his part of the agreement, but Moses pleaded with God, and he decided to go with them.
Because of this Moses asked the Lord one more thing. He wanted the Lord to show Him that he was keeping with the agreement. It was a re-signing of the broken covenant.
Exodus 33:18 NIV
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
It is like Moses is asking the Lord for some proof. I believe Lord, help me in my unbelief, Lord show me your glory.
But this raises some questions. Is this a God who goes back on his word? Does God just look the other way with sin? Why did some people get punished, now others get to with the Lord?
Exodus 33:19 NIV
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
And God answers. He causes his goodness to pass in front of Moses. A part of his goodness, is his mercy, and his compassion. That is a part of who he is.
This idea of God’s compassion, and mercy stretches through scripture.
Exodus 34:6–7 NIV
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
and
Lamentations 3:22–23 NIV
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
And
Micah 7:18–19 NIV
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Let me point out one more thing from the Exodus passage. It is back in verse 14.
Exodus 33:12–14 NIV
Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Moses is struggling with God not telling Moses everything.
You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Moses is asking God to be a little more specific, and Moses then asks if you are pleased with me teach me your ways. The lord could have told Moses what he needed to know right there. Moses has been writing down the law chapter after chapter, Ex 19, 20 ,21, 22, 23 you get the idea all the way up to chapter 32. All the details of the tabernacle the sacrifices the priests. It is being written down. SO here Moses perhaps has his pen and paper out, and says Lord teach me your ways, and God says, you want to learn my ways? Here it is my Presence will go with you.
You want to learn my ways Moses? Here it is My Presence will go with you because I am a God of mercy and compassion.
Matthew 1:23 NIV
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Jesus is compassionate
Jesus is Immanuel, Jesus is God with us. And Jesus is compassionate
Mark 6:34 NIV
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
In Matthew chapter 14, verse 14
Matthew 14:14 NIV
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
He healed their sick. In Matthew 15 Jesus had compassion and fed them.
Matthew 15:32 NIV
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
In Matthew 20, Jesus healed the blind
Matthew 20:34 NIV
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
And the verse I started with
Matthew 9:36 NIV
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus saw the crowd was without him they needed the good shepherd, and they didn’t all have the shepherd. SO he called his disciples to do something.
Matthew 9:37–38 NIV
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
To send workers to the harvest field. To send people to preach the gospel to those that do not know Jesus Christ as their shepherd.
The ultimate display of God’s mercy and his compassion is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When God teaches us his ways, when God shows us his glory, When God’s presence is among us, his compassion and mercy is displayed in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ. That Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead three days later, so that when we repent of our sins and believe in Him, we come into fellowship with Him. Then His presence dwells with us by the Holy Spirit.
God’s Presence with us
The Holy Spirit
His Presence is with us! His Presence goes with us! We have the Holy Spirit with us. Then when we live with the Holy Spirit with us, we begin to exhibit the characteristics of God in us.
Do you see that. It is by believing the gospel, that that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and transforms our hearts so that we begin to exhibit God’s characteristics in our lives.
Now that you have that picture, in your mind, now we can turn to Colossians 3.12, and we can see more fully what Paul was getting at.
Colossians 3:12 NIV
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Therefore, because of the gospel we are God’s Chosen people, we have been shown mercy, and compassion, by the God who is mercy and compassion. Now, Paul writes clothe yourselves with those same traits, compassion.
So now, when we look back at our crowds of people.
Crowd Slide
With the Holy Spirit living in us, we don’t see those scenes the same way anymore. Now we look at those scenes clothed with compassion. We see people as sheep without a shepherd. We see that the fields are ripe for harvest, and we pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers into the fields.
But without that Gospel, to bring us into fellowship, with God, and without the gospel we don’t have the Holy Spirit to dwell with us, so we cannot clothe ourselves with compassion, and kindness and humility, and patience.
Now there is one other point, actually it is more of a warning. As we walk with the Holy Spirit we can clothe ourselves with compassion, but we have to continue to walk with the Spirit.
Colossians 3:1 NIV
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
We have to continue to set our hearts on things above. We cannot be concerned with the earthly.
Colossians 3:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
If we don’t stay walking with the Holy Spirit we will not be clothe ourselves with compassion. If our minds are set on this world, sin is right around the corner. That is why Paul warns us to put to death those earthly things.
Colossians 3:5 NIV
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
The more we are connected with the things of this earth, the less we are connected with the Holy Spirit and the further we will be from being able to show compassion.
Our ability to show these Godly traits to the world is dependent upon how willing we are to continue our walk with God.
We will have to spend time with God daily, in prayer and devotions. We will have to read our Bibles and be in fellowship with other believers. Walking with the Spirit and having compassion, can be hard work.
Because God is compassionate, Jesus is compassionate, and He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell with us as His Presence so that we can be a Compassionate Church.
In Jesus Name
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