“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36, NLT).
“Leap into 2016. It is your year of personal faith” continued our pastor yesterday. Last week we looked at the “L” in “leap” representing the fact that we we are to “live uncertain” and walk by faith. This is not a haphazard walk, but one that is determined to trust in Him. This morning we look at the “E”. Our pastor stated that this letter represents “evangelism”, and that we are called to share our faith with those that need Jesus as their Savior.
We are all sinners, and not one of us can forgive ourselves. Not one of us is perfect, and will never be. We all need the grace of Jesus Christ to reach into the darkness of our hurting hearts and set us free from sin's terror and destruction. Those who have accepted Him as Lord of their lives, and allowed Him to set them free have a love and a message to share with those who haven't. It is one of unconditional love and grace, and that gospel message offered with compassion and purpose has the power to change another person's life. This is evangelism. It is love. It is compassion. It is grace, and it is treating everyone with the truth that they are special to Jesus Christ. He died not only for us, but for the next person. His love flows continually through this world of despair and heartache if we are willing to share the love that has set us free.
Jesus' compassion for the world took Him to the cross. He loved us so much He gave His life for us. We must be compassionate because Jesus was compassionate. There is no greater compassionate grace than that someone gives His life for another. When we disregard the love of that costly grace, we make that grace cheap. We make what was given freely out of unconditional love cheap and meaningless. When we don't share what He has done for us, we treat His love as if it has little meaning in our lives. What we really love is where our heart really is. If our hearts are really His, we will share His heart with others needing His grace and forgiveness. Yes, compassion will make us do something for others. It will make us share His love which has changed our own hearts.
If we love with His compassion and make the effort to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will realize something that is so true. Love and caring attracts those who are hurting. His love flowing through us draws others to Him. If we pray for those He sends into our lives, we learn to treat them no differently from anyone else. Jesus didn't treat them any differently. We don't judge them. We don't ever manipulate, because manipulation focuses on what we want instead of what Jesus has to offer. We live our faith honestly and motivate others to consider His grace which has set us free to love and care and have compassion. When we live His love and offer it clearly with compassion and grace, another person can experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ setting his own heart free.
Make an effort to share the gift of grace that Jesus has brought into your heart. Look for opportunities to share your faith, and allow the compassion which claimed your heart to flow into a hurting soul. Be persistent with His love. He persisted for you. Be diligent to seek His heart and His guidance to share with another. He was diligent in His pursuit of you. “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,” Isaiah wrote, “I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame” (Isaiah 50:7, NLT). Be determined to love with His love. Be determined to share what He has done in your own heart so another may experience His love that saves and also sets him free to love. What you hide cannot be real. It cannot be your life message if you don't live it. If you share His love, you will not walk in shame. When you offer His love that was freely given for you to another, His grace flows and His power moves in ways you can never even imagine.