Stewardship of Compassion 3

Faith Church November 7, 2010

 

Introduction:

-  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.  Time for our quick, accountability check-up

- 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.  What did we say was to be the attitude and purpose of our quick accountability check-up?

- an attitude of excitement and gratitude, but also because…

* 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 “stimulate” = to stir, sharpen, agitate one another to love and good deeds

3. So, here are some questions to stimulate everyone to better stewardship of compassion:

[SMALL GROUPS or OPEN DISCUSSION!]

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

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

Homework (Last Week):

  • Review four aspects of stewardship [Matthew 25]– QUOTE #1 – #4 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.

  • Pray for a God-honoring Response to What You Have Learned
  • Give 1 example of what you DID to SHOW compassion to someone!

4.  As we looked up many passages about the Recipients of the Compassion of God (God the Father and God the Son), one of the lessons of last week is

-  No matter what a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, race, economic, political, cultural status or bent was, God chose to demonstrate His compassion.

      -a recipient of compassion is a recipient of compassion – a point of commonality.   

  • 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.”

5.  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 classthis morning as we seek to “best respond as recipients of God’s compassion”.  

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

  • Step #1:  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:  last week, is: Defining the recipients of compassion.  

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

Input:  How would you answer that question based on what we learned last week?

-As a result of last week, and looking at our definition, I think we can sum it up by saying two things:

1)  Every human being is in need of God’s compassion. 

2)  God demonstrates compassion on those who want, or are willing, to receive help in their condition of spiritual and or physical brokenness and hopelessness.

Q:  Did you see some people that needed to be shown God’s compassion this week?

6.  We are not just talking about the spiritual condition of brokenness that means a person without Christ, we are also talking about the person who may be here this morning that says:

  • I am broken spiritually because I have been struggling with addiction
  • I am/have been broken spiritually because I continue to blow it by getting mad at my kids or the people at work….

-….because I have become lazy and complacent toward loving people, and or God

-….because I have an ill loved one, or a loved one that is no longer with us on earth, and I’m struggling to process this trial in a way that is pleasing to God

-    you may even say, “Look, I am so broken and messed up; I am just here to be encouraged by what God can do with someone else, cause I know He can’t fix me…”

7.  Well, I have bad news and good news

>  bad news for you personally is – you are wrong (time to repent)

>  good news for you personally is – you are wrong (Compassion of God is available for you too)

      -if the Apostle Paul said

  • I Timothy 1:15-17 …Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost (chief) of all.  Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

“mercy” = kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

8.  If Paul, a persecutor of the church, can become one of God’s children, then become a leader in the church…

> I’m sure we are totally accurate in saying God won’t have any trouble demonstrating His compassion and mercy on you too….

9. With those all in place, we are going to focus this morning on taking the next step in our Stewardship of compassion…

  • Step #3:  How should a recipient of God’s compassion respond?

-We have defined compassion and the recipients of compassion, now we are going to

*  We’re going to spend the remainder of our time studying 3 Ways a Recipient of God’s Compassion Should Respond.

 -Let’s think of God’s compassion as a gift this morning

>  kind of like Christmas or a birthday type situation

>  the person giving the gift does not have to give it, but he or she chooses to…

Point:  God does not have to show compassion, but he chooses too. 

- So let’s think about what we do with a gift

>  What are 3 ways we should respond to the gift of God’s compassion that has been demonstrated to us as one’s who were poor, broken, helpless, and hopeless spiritually, and probably in many other ways too. 

-  You have just been given the gift (of God’s compassion), now what

  I.  Humbly Receive the Gift!

- You have probably seen kids that see the gift at their birthday and say: (or maybe you said it!)

  •  “I don’t need this…”
  •  “This is not as good as the other gift it got”
  • Sometimes you hear “I don’t like it.  Can I exchange it?”

-truth be known there are probably many adults that think it, they just don’t say it, hu?

-last week our study of Scripture demonstrated that the majority of those who received God’s compassion had humbly requested it…so you must….

A.  Admit you need help (to receive this gift)

- Pride can discontinue your receiving the compassion of God and leave you bitter

- One of the themes of the Bible is

  • Matthew 23:12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”
  • James 4:6 God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
  • Psalm 10:17 O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart,  You will incline Your ear

-in order for someone to hear your cry for help, you must first admit your need and give a cry for help – to God and to others.

 -responding to the gift of God’s compassion also means you…

B.  Thank God through prayer and a have an attitude of gratitude  

-  I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, if I received a gift from someone and did not say thank you….that gift was taken from me and given right back to the one who gave it to me

-  do you thank God on a regular basis (means more than thanksgiving and on Sunday) for His demonstration of compassion on your life

  • Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father

C.  Regularly examine and utilize the gift

-  The gifts you get that you recognize their value. . .

  • you look at those more because they grasp your attention, don’t we?
  • we use them more!

-  If you get a gift that is helpful to you

> isn’t it amazing how quickly we can forget what someone has done for us?

  • the person who brings you a meal when you got home from the hospital,
  • the person who helped you repair your car in a desperate pinch
  • the Savior who died for your sins and your heavenly Father who had Jesus “crushed”, as Isaiah says, for your iniquities (sin)

Input:  Why do we do the Lord’s table? 

  • I Corinthians 11:24-26 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

-  We do the Lord’s Table to remember the death of Christ which paid the penalty for my sin and to respond by proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes!

-  notice the word “proclaim

-the second way a recipient of God’s compassion should respond is to…

II.  Enthusiastically Talk About the Gift!

-when you experience something incredibly awesome and moving, don’t you want to share it…

A.  Be transparent

-  tell people what grabs your heart

-  why is it we love sharing sports, major world events, and talk about tragedy as a distant event to prove a point, but we hesitate to be transparent about how our hearts long to demonstrate compassion on the broken, hurting, and needy spiritually and physically.

  • Luke 19:40-41 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it,

- In being transparent you also want your message to….

B.  Be clear

-  you want people to know you are talking about God’s compassion, not some feeling focused whatever, or

-  some dual message song deal – that could be talking about God or eating a cupcake, yet the song really is not clear 

-clearly tell the message of God’s compassion in your life

  • Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

-tell people about the pit God brought you out of through Christ

C.  Be persuasive

-  it’s amazing how much we will talk about a new product, tool, machine, tv, etc.

-  It’s been said “a good product sells itself”

-  people talk about it, then other people want it, people talk each other into things

  • 2 Corinthians 5 :11  Therefore (in light of preparing for judgment for believers in v.10), knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.

Q:  Are you talking about the Compassion of God in your life in such a way that people want it . . . (i.e. they want what you have?

-that brings us to the third way you need respond to God’s compassion in your life…

III.  Actively Give the Gift of Compassion

Q:  Have you ever had someone do something for you, and it came out of nowhere?

>  Like pay your bill in a restaurant, and you didn’t even know until you went to pay the bill and the cashier says – “it’s already been paid for” (AWESOME WORDS!)

-  Only one thing more exciting than that….

>  Being the one who pays the bill in the restaurant without the people knowing

-  God did not demonstrate His compassion in the Scriptures so we could shed a tear or two and say “Wow! Jesus was moved to help people”  then walk away

- Let’s read a couple examples in God’s word & note three simple steps to actively giving the gift

- One is a parable with the point of who is your neighbor

  • Luke 10:33  “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

- Notice what happened in the life of Christ regarding compassion

  • Mark 1:40-42 And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
  • Matthew 14:14-16 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”

A.  Watch and listen for those who are in need of God’s compassion!

-people are in need all over the place

-everywhere Jesus went he saw and heard people with great needs

-ok, so the man could heal – He was God in the flesh

-so, you can tell people about “the Healer” and introduce people to Him

-step two:

B.  Make demonstrating compassion part of what guides you in your day!

Q:  Are the genuine needs of others an interruption to your day or do they guide your day?

> What were they for Jesus?

-  There is a balance:

>  Compassion as a ‘guide’ does not mean we totally ignore work because we are out finding people who need the Compassion of Christ demonstrated to them so we neglect our responsibilities on the job. . . est. (We are NOT saying that!)

-but, what I am saying is….

C.  Do something when you see the need(s) of those around you!

  • 1 John 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

-  Jesus found ways to meet people’s needs

-  Jesus met needs with gentleness, not with an attitude of angst, impatience, or pride

-  He touched people (ok, so we can’t heal.  God doesn’t want you to heal.

-  He wants you to demonstrate compassion and introduce the person to “the Healer”

NOTICE:  One thing Jesus did not do….He did not just hand out money!

Q:  Is there a place for helping people financially – for sure, but money is not THE ANSWER, Jesus is! 

Conclusion: Homework (for next week):

  1. Tell someone else 4 principles of stewardship and where they are found.
  2. Talk and give God’s compassion to at least one person this week. 
  3. Return next week ready to share one time you gave God’s compassion to another person.  

Faith Church