The Power of Compassion

March 12, 2005

Introduction:
1.  Last week in our series, “A Contagious Christian” – we studied Choices Have Consequences
> there are only two places to go when you die: Heaven or Hell
• John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
- we understand that there are two sides to the ‘salvation coin’ – the side of Divine Election, and the side of the Free Will of Man
- our focus is on our responsibility to LIVE the Gospel and COMMUNICATE the Gospel—and in that sense, give everyone we know the opportunity to repent and believe the Gospel!
2. I hope that motivated you to think about reaching out to others and to DO something about it!
- when you really think about it – James 1:22-25 is a big part of what we’re trying to say:
• James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
- with those thoughts in mind:
Input:  Opportunities for outreach/evangelism? [pray for some of these as they are given]

3.  We need to remember something throughout this study:  [share the following quote]
Redemption is not just for our benefit or for our good. It has always been according to God's purpose and for His glory. We cannot treat salvation as a party where we are the honored guest. It is a celebration for a King to which we have been graciously (and amazingly) invited. What we celebrate is not just our invitation; we celebrate Him, and we demonstrate our thanks by helping other come to know serve, and celebrate Him as well. It is His party. He is the guest of honor. All that we say and do should reflect a desire to be a part of what He is doing, to bring Him in some way the glory that is His due.  – Paul Trip, War of Words, p. 163
4.  Remember: 
1) Outreach & evangelism is an issue of the heart – it’s more about what’s going on in your heart than it is methodology and techniques (those vary with the culture)
2) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think/believe about God
 His love demonstrated on the cross, the power of the resurrection, His authority as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
3) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think about people
 Do people really matter to you – or is life about you and your comfort zone?
 Are you willing endure the fear of man for the praise of God?
 Do you view people from the OUTWARD PERSPECTIVE [what they look like or their ‘life situation’ – like being in jail or even homeless] or the INNER MAN – i.e. all are sinners and come short of the glory of God?
5.  This week’s study expands on that very issue: Do you really love people?
- I’m not saying do you think you love them OR are you suppose to love them . . . but rather DO you love them? And, what are you DOING to demonstrate that?
- John says it well when he wrote:
• 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
6.  A couple of weeks ago we studied: Our Highest Priority – what is that highest priority?
[Answer:  Loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength]
- Jesus said this was the greatest commandment – what was the 2nd greatest?
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”
- Jesus went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40)
[READ Luke 10:30-37 – explain what happened as you go – remember, the Samaritan were the hybrid-Jews, and the Jews/Samaritans hated each other—that’s what’s significant about this passage, it was a Samaritan that stopped and helped the guy!]
Quote: 
When action-oriented compassion is absent, it’s a tell-tale sign that something’s spiritually amiss.  Whether the problem is with the organization or the individual, uncaring Christianity does not attract inquirers into its fold.  But a clear and consistent demonstration of Christ-like love is a powerful magnet that pulls people toward Him. Becoming a Contagious Christian, p. 67
- this is similar to James 1:27:
• James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
- this was not something that just came up in the New Testament:
• Deuteronomy 15:11 "For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'


I.  Consider Your Personal Compassion Quotient. [cf. the book, p. 69]


*  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.  Where are you be in your obedience. . . :
 To the 2nd greatest commandment?
 To modeling James 1:27? 
 To living like the Samaritan in Luke 10?
- put yourself in the place of the Samaritan – what would you have done? . . . really?
*  Question that usually goes through the mind of the person receiving the act of compassion:  “Why would anyone do something like this for me?”
Point:  They should be asking that question of Faith Baptist Church, of our ABF, of your family, and of you individually!
* Question: What standard are you going to use to measure that quotient?
- I’d suggest one – the most loving person who ever lived:  Jesus
Input: What examples does the Word give us about Jesus showing compassion on the needy?
[various answers:  healing the sick, blind, raising the dead, water into wine, feeding 5000]
- you might say, I can’t do that – no you can’t, but you can do what Jesus said in Matthew
• Matthew 25:40 ". . . Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
* Apply this to the following:
 visiting those in JAIL [Sam Garner oversees our Jail Ministry] –
 what about serving at LIFE CARE SERVICES
 HABITAT for HUMANITY
 TRINITY MISSION
 What about reaching out to SINGLE MOMS and being part of a mentoring ministry to the sons/daughters of these moms
* Apply this to reaching out to NEW people who walk into the doors of our church!
* IMPORTANT: Explain how we are going to see more of this in the days ahead –
e.g. the series “Questions That Deserve an Answer” – inviting people and expecting them to come – being friendly to when they do come!
Q:  What needs to change in your thinking (inner man) that would lead to you being more conformed to the image of Christ in this area of demonstrating love to others?


II.  The Powerful Impact of SACRIFICE


Input: How would you respond to the following statement?
“Sacrifice, motivated by genuine love and concern, is extremely difficult to discount.”
[Give the illustration on p. 82-83 – Mittelberg giving the flowers to the elderly lady who’s husband had been dead for a long time; 10 years later, she still remembers it]
* Three sacrificial gifts that communicate your love for people:
A.  The Sacrifice of TIME
Example:  Jesus and Zacchaeus – Luke 19 – review the details
Key: Jesus gave him time – he stopped what was going on and gave His full attention to one person!
An unhealthy pace of life may be destructive in a dozen different ways, but this one is for sure:  It will suppress your compassion quotient.  You don’t have the time or emotional energy to tune in to people who are in need.  Somewhere deep down you want to, but you feel like you can’t afford to do anything about it. – p. 74
Input: What are some ways we can use time to communicate our love for an unsaved person?
Idea:  Try scheduling a lunch or breakfast with a lost person in your sphere of influence!
Note: Jesus ate with the publicans and sinners –why don’t we do that?
>  fear, or maybe a lack of love for that person
B.  The Sacrifice of RESOURCES
[refer to the illustration on p. 87-88 – Powerful example]
- I want to thank our church for their generosity – e.g. Deacon’s Fund offering – generous with missionaries, etc.
- the next sentence . . . ‘but we need to GROW” don’t we!
ANNOUNCEMENT: Doc & Leona Smith have been asked by ABWE to go to Thailand and help the pastors there be in a better position to counsel/disciple the tsunami victims!  We are asking our church to be very generous (over & above your regular tithes) and let’s send them
 EXPENSES:  $3,000 for travel/insurance
 Everything OVER the $3,000 raised goes to RESOURCES – books, pamphlets, to take with them to help people understand how God can help them through this situation – “Christ and Your Problems” (an explanation of 1 Corinthians 10:13)
- think about why we’re building the Community Center – another opportunity to share our resources!\
- but what are YOU doing to share YOUR resources
Point:  *  Many confuse an evangelist church with being evangelistic!
Q: What’s wrong with that?
[explain the PERSONAL responsibility – can’t hide behind our corporate efforts – e.g. advertising for the Passion Play vs. YOU, PERSONALLY giving out a number of invitations to your neighbors, coworkers, etc.
C.  The Sacrifice of a GODLY LIFE
i.e. living the message that we proclaim – not yackity, yacking – but being a DOER of the Word
- modeling the love of Christ
- God just didn’t say, “I love the world” –  John 3:16 keeps going . . .  that He gave His only begotten son . . . – that’s SACRIFICE!
Input: Does our culture have a reason to think that Christianity is not genuine (the real thing)?
[yes – what examples?}
The question is, are you willing to prove them wrong by making the sacrifice of living a consistent, high-integrity, Christian life, not just for a season, but for the long haul? – p. 90
A Contagious Christian
The Power of Compassion – Luke 10

Introduction:


Redemption is not just for our benefit or for our good. It has always been according to God's purpose and for His glory. We cannot treat salvation as a party where we are the honored guest. It is a celebration for a King to which we have been graciously (and amazingly) invited. What we celebrate is not just our invitation; we celebrate Him, and we demonstrate our thanks by helping others come to know, serve, and celebrate Him as well. It is His party. He is the guest of honor. All that we say and do should reflect a desire to be a part of what He is doing, to bring Him in some way the glory that is His due.  – Paul Trip, War of Words, p. 163
Remember: 
1) Outreach & evangelism is an issue of the heart
2) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think/believe about God
3) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think about people
When action-oriented compassion is absent, it’s a tell-tale sign that something’s spiritually amiss.  Whether the problem is with the organization or the individual, uncaring Christianity does not attract inquirers into its fold.  But a clear and consistent demonstration of Christ-like love is a powerful magnet that pulls people toward Him.  – Becoming a Contagious Christian, p. 67

I.  Consider Your ___________ ______________ ______________
*  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10: __________
*  Question that usually goes through the mind of the person receiving the act of compassion:  “Why would anyone do something like this for me?”

Input: What examples does the Word give us about Jesus showing compassion on the needy?

 

* Applications:


Q:  What needs to change in your thinking (inner man) that would lead to you being more conformed to the image of Christ in this area of demonstrating love to others?
II.  The Powerful Impact of Sacrifice
Input: How would you respond to the following statement?
“Sacrifice, motivated by genuine love and concern, is extremely difficult to discount.”

A.  The Sacrifice of _____________
Example: 

An unhealthy pace of life may be destructive in a dozen different ways, but this one is for sure:  It will suppress your compassion quotient.  You don’t have the time or emotional energy to tune in to people who are in need.  Somewhere deep down you want to, but you feel like you can’t afford to do anything about it. – p. 74

Input: What are some ways we can use time to communicate our love for an unsaved person?

 

B.  The Sacrifice of ________________
* Many confuse an evangelist church with being evangelistic!

 

C.  The Sacrifice of a __________ __________
Input: Does our culture have a reason to think that Christianity if not genuine (the real thing)?

 


The question is, are you willing to prove them wrong by making the sacrifice of living a consistent, high-integrity, Christian life, not just for a season, but for the long haul?

A Contagious Christian
The Power of Compassion – Luke 10

Introduction:
• John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
• James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
Input:  Opportunities for outreach & evangelism?
Redemption is not just for our benefit or for our good. It has always been according to God's purpose and for His glory. We cannot treat salvation as a party where we are the honored guest. It is a celebration for a King to which we have been graciously (and amazingly) invited. What we celebrate is not just our invitation; we celebrate Him, and we demonstrate our thanks by helping others come to know, serve, and celebrate Him as well. It is His party. He is the guest of honor. All that we say and do should reflect a desire to be a part of what He is doing, to bring Him in some way the glory that is His due.  – Paul Trip, War of Words, p. 163
Remember: 
1) Outreach & evangelism is an issue of the heart
2) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think/believe about God
3) Outreach & evangelism is a revelation of what you think about people
• 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
When action-oriented compassion is absent, it’s a tell-tale sign that something’s spiritually amiss.  Whether the problem is with the organization or the individual, uncaring Christianity does not attract inquirers into its fold.  But a clear and consistent demonstration of Christ-like love is a powerful magnet that pulls people toward Him. Becoming a Contagious Christian, p. 67
• James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
• Deuteronomy 15:11 "For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'


I.  Consider Your Personal Compassion Quotient. [cf. the book, p. 69]
*  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.
*  Question that usually goes through the mind of the person receiving the act of compassion:  “Why would anyone do something like this for me?”
Input: What examples does the Word give us about Jesus showing compassion on the needy?
• Matthew 25:40 ". . . Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
* Applications:
Q:  What needs to change in your thinking (inner man) that would lead to you being more conformed to the image of Christ in this area of demonstrating love to others?
II.  The Powerful Impact of Sacrifice


Input: How would you respond to the following statement?
“Sacrifice, motivated by genuine love and concern, is extremely difficult to discount.”
A.  The Sacrifice of TIME
Example:  Jesus and Zacchaeus – Luke 19
An unhealthy pace of life may be destructive in a dozen different ways, but this one is for sure:  It will suppress your compassion quotient.  You don’t have the time or emotional energy to tune in to people who are in need.  Somewhere deep down you want to, but you feel like you can’t afford to do anything about it. – p. 74
Input: What are some ways we can use time to communicate our love for an unsaved person?
B.  The Sacrifice of RESOURCES
* Many confuse an evangelist church with being evangelistic!
C.  The Sacrifice of a GODLY LIFE
Input: Does our culture have a reason to think that Christianity if not genuine (the real thing)?
The question is, are you willing to prove them wrong by making the sacrifice of living a consistent, high-integrity, Christian life, not just for a season, but for the long haul?