Stewardship of Compassion 2

Faith Church October 30, 2010

-  let’s do a quick review and get our subject of Stewardship this morning!

·       Stewardship = God- given responsibility with accountability!

“. . . We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards! 

The question is: ‘What kind of steward are you?’”

- Last week we started our NEW series on “The Stewardship of Compassion”

1.  Since we are on the topic of stewardship, let’s have a little practical application of accountability.

- If you are new, you are exempt from this little exercise

- if you weren’t here last week, well we may give you a bit of a hard time just for the fun of it

2.  We plan to have some ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONSeach week during the remainder of this series to help us grow

- and when we say ACCOUNTABILITY that should invoke a certain level of excitement, gratitude, discipleship, and growing to think and act more like Jesus Christ!

- our view of accountability should be that:

* Accountability is a tool of God for your holiness!

- nobody is really ‘comfortable’ with accountability – but it’s necessary

* A lack of accountability breeds mediocrity! (lukewarmness, ½ hearted effort)

- that’s part of the reason why God instructs us to . . .

·         Hebrews 10:24  And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.

stimulate” = to stir, sharpen, agitate

- this doesn’t grant you permission to intentionally agitate your brothers & sisters in Christ

> that what this whole lesson is about: COMPASSION – love for others

>  it’s not to ‘get your way’ or to ‘get even’ but to be a servant and help others to please God so they can give a good account!

* Remember PRINCIPLE #4:  God can call us into account at any time!

3.  Let’s consider some ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS: [SMALL GROUPS or OPEN DISCUSSION!]

#1:  Did you do your ABF homework this week? 

Homework (Last Week):

·         Memorize 4 Stewardship principles [Matthew 25]– QUOTE TO EACH OTHER

#1:  God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.

#2:  God Entrusts Me with Everything I Have.

#3:  I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or Diminish It.

#4:  God Can Call Me into Account at Any Time.

·         Further discuss and act on this lesson with a friend, your family, or Bible study group

·         Invite a friend next week

·         NEXT SUNDAY, BE READY TO GIVE ONE EXAMPLE OF SHOWING COMPASSION TO SOMEONE THIS WEEK

#2:  Did you take a step of growth in understanding and demonstrating compassion this past week?  If yes, how?

- can have a brief time of testimonies – time for one or two (1-2 min. each)

- can also ask for testimonies of people who would say “Hey, God revealed to me a time when I should have demonstrated compassion this week, but I failed.”

4.  Prayer Time:  I would like to ask [name] to PRAYto Godfor the following:

[Teacher Note:  Ask someone to pray specifically for these items listed, which incorporates what people say during accountability time. This can be a very powerful/unifying time]

·         Praise Him for the grace given to those who worked at growing in compassion this past week!

·         God’s help for (anyone who gave a testimony of failing) to receive boldness and grace to take a step of growth this next week.

·         God’s special presence and working in the lives of those in the class this morning as we seek to better understand “who those are that should receive compassion”

5.  Let’s “Take the Next Step with Joy” regarding our understanding and application of our Stewardship of Compassion,

·         Step #1: last week, was:  Defining Compassion

The active purposeful and emotional response on the part of God or one of His children to meet the physical and spiritual need of a broken and hopeless person who wants, or is willing, to receive help. 

·         Step #2:  this week, is: Defining the recipients of compassion.  

- we need to ask & answer the question: To whom should we be demonstrating compassion?

6.  Here’s list of the OPTIONS to answering that question:

1)    Every human being is to receive our compassion all the time at the highest level

2)    Believers are to demonstrate the compassion of Christ to only believers

3)    Believers are to demonstrate the compassion of Christ to only unbelievers

4)    We are to demonstrate the compassion of Christ to the person who “looks” like they need help.

5)    We are only able or obligated to demonstrate the compassion of Christ to a very select people in our lives…

7.  So, the important question is: “Who should be the recipient of compassion?”

- We are going to use the remainder of our time to do the following

1)    Look at a biblical answer to that question:  We will start with some O.T. passages, then build upon those by moving into the N.T.

2)    We will then recognize our connection with the recipients of compassion.

3)    We will spend some time praying for a proper response to God’s Word.

 

I.  The Recipient of Compassion Is Based on God’s Word.

- we don’t just make this up, read the comics, flip on the TV to Dr. Phil, or jump on YouTube for the most popular relief effort video

- we will begin by seeing how . . .  

A.  The Old Testament defines the recipients of compassion: 

- I’m reminded of what Paul wrote to the church at Rome regarding the O.T.

·         Romans 15:4For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

1.    Those connected with His covenant: Lot, the nephew of Abraham

·         Genesis 12:5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.

·         Genesis 19:16  But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.

- because Lot was with Abraham under the covenant (Gen.12 and 15) God showed compassion

2.    Those who are truly broken over their sin: Benjamin and brothers

·         Genesis 43:13- “Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man (Joseph); and may God Almighty  grant you compassion in the sight of the man (Joseph), so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I (Jacob) am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 

3.    Whoever the LORD chose

·         Exodus 33:19 Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”  And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”

4.    The poor

·         Exodus 15:7  (1- 15) “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother.”

·         Ps.72:12- 13 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save.

·         Proverbs 22:22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate; for the Lord will plead their case and take the life of those who rob them.

·         Daniel 4:27 ‘Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’

5.    Fatherless and weak

·         Psalm 146:9 The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.

·         KJV Isaiah 35:3Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

 

6.    Orphans

·         Zachariah 7:9- 10 Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’”

7.    Widows

·         Psalm 146:9 The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts  the way of the wicked.

8.    Aliens

·         Jeremiah 22:3 Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

9.    Brokenhearted

·         Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

·         Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted . . .

10.Oppressed

·         Psalm 10:17- 18 O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, you will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.

11.Wicked who repent

·         Jonah 3:10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

[NOTE:  If asked, “relented” = to be moved with pity or compassion; to be comforted]

- this is a pretty amazing list, isn’t it.

- well, there is more about the recipients in the NT:

B.  The New Testament defines the recipients of compassion:

1.    Distressed and with no shepherd

·         Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Q:  Are you a worker in the harvest or an OBSERVER(showing love in the Living Nativity!)

2.    Those who were hungry

·          Matthew 15:32 And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way."

3.    Sick

·         Matthew 14:14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

·         Mark 1:41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."

4.    Blind

·         Matthew 20:34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.

5.    Widow whose son had died

·         Luke 7:12- 13 Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.”

6.    For the prodigal son (daughter)

·         Luke 15:20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

·         Romans 9:15- 16  For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

7.    Believers who are suffering for the sake of Christ

·          Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

·         Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion.

8.    Poor 

·         Gal. 2:10 They only asked us to remember the poor-- the very thing I also was eager to do.

- now, let’s think about how we need to RESPOND to this list

Input: What would be some summary statements you would make about the recipients of compassion in scripture?

[various answers]

- think with me for a moment about the NATURE and CHARACTER of God who inspired all these verses . . . and commands us to respond in His way:

C.   The whole of Scripture

1.    God does not change.

·         Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

·         James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

2.    God’s defining of the recipients of compassion does not change.

·         Psalm 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

3.    God’s desire for His chosen people to worship Him and bring Him glory through practically loving other believers and loving those who are broken and in need of salvation has not changed.

·         James 5:11  The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. – and we are to be like Him!

- so let’s look a little closer at the condition of the recipients of compassion

II.  Recognize Your Connection with the Recipient of Compassion

- Believers, look in the mirror – we are exactly the kind of people God’s Word describes

* You possess elements of every aspect of the one who has received compassion

1)    Wicked – You were dead in your trespasses and sin, now you are redeemed!

·         Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.

2)    Fatherless  – You have been adopted!

·         Romans 8:15  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

3)    Alien – You have become a citizen of Heaven!

·         Philippians 3:20  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

4)    Poor – You have become rich (in Christ)!

·         2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

5)    Broken/Crushed – You became free from sin and healed!

·         Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well- being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

6)    Helpless and hopeless – You now have hope in the blood of Christ!

·         Romans 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

·         Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

7)    Empty and poor – You are now complete and rich in Christ Jesus!

·         Colossians 1:27 to whom  God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

III.  Pray for a God-honoring Response to What You Have Learned (for God to help you)

1.    Recognize your need for God’s compassion

2.    Demonstrate thankfulness for being a recipient of God’s compassion

3.    Preparation of your heart for next week’s lesson  - will talk about God’s INSTRUMENT of distributing His compassion.  

Conclusion: Homework for next week:

1)    Review four aspects of stewardship.

2)    Do # three and be ready to report back on how the week went

3)    Give 1 example of what you DID to SHOW compassion to someone!

Faith Church