Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- Never buy a car you can’t push.
Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
The second mouse gets the cheese.
When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
Save the earth…. It’s the only planet with chocolate!
“But what am I supposed to feel when I do something I am sorry for?” This is a good question and I believe there is an easy answer: regret.
It is natural to have regret when you have made a mistake or sinned against God or another person. We all make mistakes and it is certain that we all sin AND we should feel bad about it. This is why God gave us I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” To me, the guilty conscience comes from a deliberate failure to obey I John 1:9. On the other hand, regret means you are sorry and do not want to repeat the same action again. Guilt is an emotion that immobilizes you. This is why guilt serves no good purpose. It will not help you in any way. Guilt is a waste of time. You cannot change what has been done by feeling guilty about it.
Do you remember the story of David? He was so wracked by guilt that in Psalm 51 he suggests that it was affecting him physically. His bones ached within him. In other words, he was immobilized and he simply acknowledged to God what God already knew. David was liberated from that point forward. Sure, he had plenty of regret, but he was no longer paralyzed by guilt.
The past is just that… passed. Gone. Slipped away. Not to be repeated again. If you need to make restitution, do it. If you messed up, apologize. If you are forgiven your mistake by the offended, give thanks and move on. If you are not forgiven for the mistake you made, then move on anyway. Forgive yourself; learn from the experience. Act differently next time. God promises not only to forgive but to cleanse. That means that you are given freedom from your past. Don’t be chained by guilt!
V. The Tokens of Compassion
“And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” I John 3:19-21
A token or fruit of our compassion is assurance. Assurance is the peace that comes when one’s works have satisfied the Savior. It is good to know when one gives of himself and of his gifts, that he can possess a peace from insecurities and doubts. Many times these troubles will arise in life, but through compassion to others, God will drive them far away. When one shows his compassion, the heart no longer looks at self, but at others and in turn to Christ. This leaves a person with a “confidence (freedom of speech) toward God.” The writer of Hebrews says, “let us come boldly (confidently) to the throne of grace…”
“And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him. And by this we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit whom he hath given us.” I John 3:22-24
Another benefit of compassion is to see prayers answered. When someone is obedient to God, his life is in harmony with God. He desires the same thing for his life, as God desires for his life. So, the things he asks for will be according to God’s will. In verse 22, John gives the guarantee of answered prayer. It boils down to keeping God’s commandments and doing things pleasing in His sight. All, of which, transpires when one shows love toward another, preceded by believing on His name.
Are our prayers being answered as is evidenced by our love for the brethren?
IV. The Test of Compassion
“By this perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” I John 3:16
The first test of compassion focuses on the laying down of one’s life for his brother in Christ. When a person lays down his life, he is giving them himself. He will sacrifice his talents, time, desires, and even existence, if need be, to help a person in need. Since Jesus was willing to do this for every believer, it seems reasonable that this service be done with love to all those, who name the name of Christ.
“But whosoever hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have a need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” I John 3:17-18
The second test of compassion is the giving up of material possessions for those in need. A sign of a compassionate person is not the tears, the talk, or the sentiment; but the giving away of possessions that one holds so tightly. A scrooge is not characteristic of the Christian. Every church has a few of them, but it shows they have missed the mark concerning compassion. God expects all Christians to conserve and invest their money and possessions wisely.
But, He also expects the Christian’s liberality to shine forth since these material possessions are of the earth and are never carried to heaven after death. Therefore, the one who gives of himself and his possessions is showing he has passed the test of compassion.
Do I pass the compassion test?
III. The Testimony of Compassion
So what is the proof of a person’s compassion? What shows that a person has experienced a changed life or “have passed from death unto life?”
A. Eternal Life
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” I John 3:14
The testimony of eternal life lies in that statement, “we love the brethren.” A person, who has an abiding love for other believers, is testifying that he has received the gift of eternal life. This love is not just an emotional love. It involves the will, the intellect, as well as, the emotion. This means that a person will be able to love one, even when they are unlovely.
If it is just an emotional love, it will come and go. So, it must be cultivated in every area of our life. Someone has said, “We love our brother in Christ, not because he is lovable in himself, but because we know that he is our brother and because God has commanded that we love him.”
B. Eternal Death
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15
A person testifies of this compassion by the fact that he does not hate his brother. A person who hateth his brother shows he still remains in death. He is also classified as a murderer; even though he may never commit the act itself. One, who continually hates a person, is guilty of murder.
No murderer, of course, has a place in the family of God; so, he testifies by his hate that he loves darkness rather than light. This does not mean a person cannot be saved who is guilty of murder. It simply says that a person, who has made this a way of life, is signifying to the world and other Christians that he does not possess eternal life.
Are our relationships current? In our hearts do we “hate” another person?
II. The Trial of Compassion
I John 3:12-13 “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”
One must come to grips with the fact that when love is given it is not always received. Like Cain of old, who became jealous of his brother’s offering; so, many shall envy the love of Christians and desire to do away with them. The world will never love the Christian, who loves as Christ loved.
For, the Christian becomes a light to the world which reveals the worldly person’s deeds and them to be of an evil nature. The world is a child of the devil and their father was a “murderer from the beginning.” Jesus stated in John 15:18-19, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Thus, John concludes in verse 13, “Marvel not (do not be surprised, do not worry), my brethren, if the world hate (desires to do away with) you.”
I. The Truth of Compassion
I John 3:11 “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” John deals with a subject of great importance. The matter of loving one another is a truth which was he is directing to the readers of this letter. For, it reads, “heard from the beginning.” This refers to the beginning of their Christian experience. This massive truth was paramount in the Christian life. Without a love or compassion for one another, there remains a coldness and selfishness with God’s people.
Jesus stated in the Sermon on the Mount, that not only to love thy neighbor, but also love thy enemy. He goes on to say in verse 47 of Matthew six, “and if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?” Jesus felt that to love your brother was easy and an expected response even in the eyes of the world; but, to go on and love thy enemy was a greater sign of a person’s spirituality. So, this truth of compassion was a message heard before, but now needed to be acted upon.
Lord, help me to see others through the same lens as the Apostle John!
The Bible has a lot to say about the subject of compassion. Jesus spent most of his life talking about it and illustrating it in his life. Several scriptures bear testimony to the fact that Jesus had compassion on a multitude of people, individuals, and cities. Consider Matthew 9:36, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Also, Matthew 14:14, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” Or consider, Matthew 18:27 and 33, “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt… So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one of his brother their trespasses.” We could also look at Matthew 20:34 and Luke 7:13.
On different occasions He broke down and wept for the condition of man (Matthew 23:37 and John 11:35). Because He was able to know what was in man, it caused Jesus to be aware of man’s condition and his state in the sight of God. The foolishness and unconcern of man had broken the heart of Jesus many times. Is it any wonder, that this compassion lead him to the cross to die for all mankind?
John, who spent a great deal of time with Jesus, saw His compassion. He had seen the tears in Jesus’ eyes. He had felt the concern as the words fell from the mouth of Jesus. He watched his Lord in prayer and fasting. No wonder, the apostle could utter these tremendous words which are written in I John 3:11-24. John also had seen the great importance of loving one another. Although righteousness is a sign of a person’s genuine conversion, the fruit of that conversion is evidenced in the life of the person who is truly born into the family of God. Next we will consider the matter of compassion…