OF JESUS CHRIST (CONT.)

                               TO GOD BE THE GLORY

As a Christian or follower of Jesus Christ, does it occur to you that most of the power and authority that He exercised during His Ministry flowed out of His love and compassion for His flocks, regardless of who they were? If we study the life of Jesus Christ we will note that the one prominent trait He displayed was His compassionate natural. Some of the prophecies about Him listed compassion as one of highest focus of His Ministry. “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt 8:17); “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth”.(Isa.42:3)  He was always ready to reach out from deep within to meet the physical and spiritual needs of His flocks. He was never too tire to heal a sick person, never too proud to visit the homes of the poor and lowly; to fellowship and defend the sinners as he quietly change their lives through love and compassion. He was never ashamed to cry when his friends were shedding tears, even if He was going to provide the solution the next minute. He spend His night in the homes of the condemn (causing the to repent and return what was stolen, without saying a word), He was ready to teach the rich and famous who came by night; listen and act upon the request of soldiers who oppress His people, weeping widows , the lepers and blind beggers.



 We can never be like Him if we do not have compassion for those we come into contact with ; regardless of their status, colour, location, sick physically or spiritually. It was also prophesized written about Him: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isa.40:11)  If we must follow His footsteps than we must be ready to feed those He give us ; gather them together regardless of who they are with love and compassion and bring them very close to us in order to benefit from the warmth of our arms and lead them to teach the younger generation this undying love and compassion. The name Christian is not an ordinary name or just another title to add to your C.V., but a name that must be earned every day of life. If you must be worthy of that name ; you must know how to walk in the foot prints of the Master.


Many times when I look at the pictures of relief operations around the world I see suffering people and someone trying to reach out to them; but I miss the look of love and compassion many times in the eyes of the relief workers. The question that comes to mind then is: are they doing it out of necessity; to impress others, as a means to provide jobs for themselves, for financial gains or because their hearts really goes out to those poor suffering ones. There is a great difference between reaching out in love or for some other reason. It is an established fact that those reaching out for different motives won’t care about the feelings of others as long as their priorities were met. Indeed many will release pitiful pictures and you will see them working but they won’t care if the products they are giving those in need are expired or not, will cause health problems in the future or not, etc. I read somewhere about relief workers trying to adduct children for selfish reasons. I have heard about peace keepers raping women and breaking up homes of those they went to defend. In all these cases their one interest was accomplishing their mission and yes they are heroes in the eyes of the world.


 This is where they true followers of Jesus Christ differs in their approach. Those truly walking in the footprints of Jesus Christ should always be ready to reach out to the victims as if they were the very ones victimized. Here is a very sad observation : How many times have you gone to a big revival or crusade and come home fed both physically and spiritually? How many times have you been to crusade planning meetings and you hear about how to reach out to the physical need of those walking from long distances to refresh themselves or find a resting place afterward if they are too tire to return at the expanses of those hosting the crusade ? In fact when shepherds are measuring the success of the crusade; they count numbers, the messages, the amount raised, healing that took place, but never what the people took home. Many of those who went to that crusade forget about the message even before the reach home and the rest after a month or so; so how did Christ teaching manage to remain in the lives of those He came across for life; like John Mark? The answer is simple; He had no selfish motive and He was moved by a force greater than any physical force you have ever seen which was capable of bridging great divides. Yes, He was move by compassion for His flocks.


“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.” “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way” (Matthew 9:36; 15:32) How many of you put your selves in the place of those you are teaching or preaching to on the radio, the satellite, the internet, in your churches or communities? How many care if they came to church hungry or sick as long as they drop their offering and tithes? You see friends; there is real power in compassion. It leaves a lasting impression and builds your faith to reach out from the very depths of your heart and the effects can produce what you might call miracles. What you did not know was that miracle was trigger out of the abundance of your compassion within your heart. If you must lead the flocks of God like Christ did; you can rest assure that you must have compassion on them. You might not have money or physical food at times but the love they see in your eyes and hear in your voice, feel through your action speaks louder than any sermon shouted down from your pulpit. One of the most talked about miracle of Jesus Christ in and out of our bible is the feeding of the multitude. How was this possible? The key to that mystery is simple; compassion.

You claim to care for your flocks but always want to throw someone out of your place of worship because you claimed that they are sinners. You threw that sister out of the church because you claimed she is a prostitute, drug addict, gossip , wearing provocative clothing or thief. Your church members are so holy that they cannot fellowship with this person or that person because of their wicked ways. Oh yes this brother or sister is so rude that they must be outcast, excommunicated from the church. I am not saying you must tolerate their bad ways but surely there are many out there because of your holier than thou nature ; when you could have reach out to them and save their lives , helping them to turn over a new page just by your love and compassion for them. You see Dear friend; compassion gives us a much clearer view of the situation these people find themselves in. We see the whys, how, when and where about there lives and find escape routes out of there because we put our selves in their shoes. Remember the first fruit Christ took to heaven was a thief and not a so-called holy person. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.”(Matt 18:11-13)


John 8:3-11 tells a story that has many lessons; but the greatest is the compassion of Jesus Christ that saves the life of a sinful woman both physically and spiritually. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”


 When ever I read this story I do not see the woman, neither those who brought her to Christ but I see the church today. I try to imagine what the Bishops, pastors, Doctors of Theology, so-called religious perfectionist would have done to her. They might have had a field day preaching on these types of people, maybe even call the press as they put her on sinners’ bench or even throw her out of the church warning their members not to have anything to do with her. Oh yes, but if you check carefully in their closets you will find a very dark skeleton they have been hiding for years. If Christ had resorted to this method I wonder what would have happened to that poor woman. She might have been stone to death like the many we throw out to the death of drugs, drinks, the streets etc. We see compassion at work here. Christ did not have to preach a long sermon to this woman but the message was clear and had a lasting impact on her for the rest of her life. He asked her about her accusers and than spoke one sentence to her. It was a testimony repeated for years that it is one of those stories that you can know was not told by a second or third party but by someone who witness the scene or someone it happened to. I believe it was a message told over and over by a repented sinner who became a famous disciple.


Look there is a great Heavenly mystery in reaching out with love and compassion. Most of those cases we see as hopeless are hopeless because we have not taken time out to release from the abundance of our hearts that true love and compassion that could solve them. We criticize them and outcast them and throw them out to the wolves; but if we had just reach out to them in love, compassion and understanding the weakness of the flesh and draw them closer to our bosom , a great miracle would have taken place in each of you lives. Compassion heals and most of those Christ healed was because of His compassionate nature and not for anything else. When they came to Him crying in pain he replied: “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”(Matt.8:3) You see the secret is transferring their plight to yourself; putting yourself in their case and understanding their pains and sorrows their likes and dislikes, their surroundings and what cause them to do the things they do. How else can you truly reach out to others if you do not have love in your lives? How can you touch their lives if you do not know/feel what they are going through? It is written: In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Is:63:9)

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2Cor.8:9)

Yes Dr Jesus healed the people because He was able to put Himself in their places and understand them. What about you? How do you relate to your flocks or those in need, physically or spiritually ill? Do you cast them out to the wolves? Do you just give them any waste to eat, leftovers after you have sorted through it; because they are in need of food etc and the publicity could do you some good or do you see them as your own parents, children or even yourself. Much of what I am telling you I know you know already but I speak about it so that your can examine your motives next time you decide to reach out in Jesus Name. If you must fully understand Him then it is necessary to walk as He did. He did not heal people because He wanted publicity but He had much publicity because of the extraordinary love and compassion flowing out of Him. It was never to exercise power but because of love. He opened the eyes of the blind because He had compassion on them and understood the pains they went through to make ends meet. It is written: “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.”(Matt. 20:34 “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (14:14) “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick He was moved deeply by their sufferings so He healed their sickness”.(Matt 8:16)

 He demonstrated His love and compassion by His display of power over Death; when He raise a few people back to life. It was not the fact that He wanted them to witness His grand power, for if this was the case He could have gone to any cemetery and call the dead back to life in front of crowds. We see Him demonstrate a superior emotion when He felt deep pity for the widow who lost her only son. He felt her pains and sadness and saw deep within her heart the hopelessness of living when the spring of her lifeline had been cut. “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” (Luke 7:13) In the case of the two sisters He wept in front of the crowd because of the deep love he had for His friends. He identified with the physically and share in their mourning; yet he knew He had the power to call Lazarus back to life. It is written; “And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.” (John 11:34-38)

In order to fully emulate our Master and be worthy of the name Christian; it is very necessaryto walk in His footsteps in all our interactions with others, regardless of who they are. It is sosad to say that these days our motives are so different when we relate to each other and thosein need of our love and compassion; that we are very far in many cases to experience fully thmystery of the secret our Teacher left with us. It is a key that makes the true shepherd different from the rest of the world. He took all that dirt and filth unto himself not complaining or boasting to others about what He did for them. I like to end this meal with a healthy advice I got from a devotional writer that I admire a whole lot. His name is Neil Anderson from Freedom in Christ Ministries.


Romans 15:7
Accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God

There are four concepts we deal with as parents in communicating with our children: authority, accountability, affirmation and acceptance. We usually line them up this way:

We exert our parental authority over them. We demand that they be accountable to us. When they respond to our authority and comply by being accountable, we affirm them. When they put together a positive track record of affirmative behaviors, we convey our love and acceptance.

The reason we have such difficulty communicating with our children is that we have it all backward. Look at God's approach to us as His children. At which end of the list does our heavenly Father start? He starts by expressing His love and acceptance (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Our children won't care how much we know until they know how much we care. Paul instructs us to "accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God" (Romans 15:7).

When your child shares something personal with you, what is he looking for initially? Not a lecture, not a list of rules he must obey, but acceptance and affirmation. "Tell me I'm all right," he begs. "Give me some love and hope."

When you know that you are unconditionally loved and accepted by God and affirmed in your identity as His child, you voluntarily submit to His authority and hold yourself accountable to Him. Similarly, when your child knows that you love him and accept him regardless of his failures, he will feel safe sharing his problems with you and responding to the direction you give. Children who know they are loved are free to be themselves, free to grow, and free to be the people God wants them to be.”



Apply this same method to your flocks; those you interact with everyday and you will notice a big difference. Are you really worthy of being identified as a Christian?




                      To Be Continued








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