@stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online, by Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong, is a book about how to infuse God’s heartbeat into social networks. This post is part of the @stickyJesus Blog Tour of Light. You can follow @stickyJesus on Twitter, Facebook, or learn more about the book at www.stickyJesus.com
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. – Ephesians 5:8
Do you remember what your life was like before you knew Christ? Do you remember the hours, days, and years you bumped around in the dark before He adopted you as a child of Light? Being Light to a broken planet requires you to daily re-connect to that unmerited moment when God came crashing in and redeemed your wreckage.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy for another person so strong it compels you to alleviate the person’s suffering. Jesus put a human face on God’s compassion everywhere he went. It was compassion that healed the sick, raised the dead, and withheld wrath from those who betrayed Him.
For a criminal hanging on a Golgotha cross next to Jesus, compassion came just in time. As Jesus hung beaten, bloodied, and dying on the cross, two hardened criminals hung on crosses on each side of him. One mocked him while the other confessed his wreckage and called Jesus “Lord.”
‘. . . for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man [Jesus] has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’ – Luke 23:39-43
Surprisingly, this condemned man demonstrated greater faith than many of Jesus’ own followers. As a result, a life swarming with sin was the first to be redeemed by the blood Jesus spilled that very day.
His was a Rubik’s cube of reasoning.
How can we get our minds around that kind of compassion? Didn’t Jesus have his own pain to think about? He was bludgeoned repeatedly and slowly suffocating. He was crying out to God for mercy. And, what if the man had committed some horrific crime?
“It’s alright,” you can almost hear Jesus assure heaven as he chased his last few breaths, “the crook’s with me.”
In Luke 23:33-34 Jesus shows mind-boggling compassion when he forgives and prays for those hammering nails into His hands and feet. And, enduring the cross, Jesus showed His greatest act of compassion for all of mankind.
How can we conjure up God-sized compassion and be Light to the lost when we can’t even let go of a grudge against a relative or forgive our spouse for an ancient offense?
We can’t. That is, we can’t if we’re really serious about being children of Light. It’s a higher calling; one that won’t bow to religion or man’s take on redemption. Jesus extends compassion to the needy, love to the unlovable, and grace to repeat offenders.
If you are running low on compassion this Christmas, get to the root of your lack quickly (preferably before the crowd shows up). Do things differently this time.
Revisit the moment God poured fresh, cool, extravagant compassion into the potholes of your life. Where were you when Christ tore the veil of your wayward heart once and for all? Was it so long ago? Ask Him to take you back to the scene of the rescue. Ask Him to resuscitate your heart.
Think of a person you know who is in need of your compassion. What keeps you from being compassionate to them? Make a list if you must. Then surrender that list to the King of compassion. He won’t condemn you. You see, His compassion for you is inexhaustible. He’s proven that.
Post/Tweet this today:
Surrender your wreckage to Christ. His compassion for you is inexhaustible. His mercies are new every morning. #LiveSticky
My question for you:
Jude vs. 22 says and of some have compassion, making a difference. Are you part of the few that will make a difference with the compassion that is illuminating your heart? Will you shine brightly for others while reflecting the light of HIS love? Will you have the courage to be this compassionate light?
Remember, it only takes a spark to get a fire going!
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