Tuesday, 20 May 2014

BE COMPASSIONATE (1)

TEXT:  MATTHEW 15:32-37
 32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “a32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” 35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied.
Compassion is the feeling of empathy for others. It is the emotion that you feel in response to suffering of others, that motivates a desire to help (Wikipedia). When Jesus was going about his ministry, he did not just only preach to the people, but he ministered to their needs in one way or the other. He was able to do this because he was able to empathise, he put himself in their shoes and he was able to feel their pains. Your preaching goes a long way in achieving its purpose when you are compassionate; your message holds water when you are not only ready to preach the gospel but when you are ready to live the gospel (doing what you preach). The text shows how loving Jesus was to the people that were following him. He was not only ready to feed them spiritually, but physically. The lesson here is that as a leader in the church, you should be concerned about the physical and spiritual state of your members. Jesus had interest in what was going on with those that were following him, many preachers of the gospel these days are not in any way like Jesus, they want their church to be filled with members, they want people to follow them, they want people to be part of their ministry, but they are not ready to be part of the people’s life. Whatever any member of the congregation is going through is none of their business. All they want is large congregation with large amount of tithe and offering.



The church is supposed to be a place of comfort and solace for believers, but this is not so any more. Some pastors cannot even come down to the level of their congregation! They are not approachable; they don’t relate with their members, they don’t know what is going on in their lives and families, because they don’t create time to talk to their members. Tell me, how can such pastor give comfort, solace and encouragement to his members? Or is it when you preach comfort and solace from the pulpit? The scripture admonished us to be an example of believer in words and in action (1 Timothy 4:12). Preaching word of comfort from the pulpit is not enough, you need to show what you preach to people by doing it, you need to have compassion for your congregation; feel their pain, minister to their needs, render help when necessary. Your good deeds to your congregation would win more souls to Christ than “anointed” sermon without backing it up with action. Let your priority be on spiritual, physical, emotional and material wellbeing of your congregation rather than placing priority on acquiring private jets, mansions and so on at the expense of your congregation. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?…” (James 2:14-16). If you want to win people to Christ, you need to be able to convince them with your goodwill. Render help when needed, don’t leave everything to “Divine provision.” Make the move to help and let God take over, Jesus was willing to help though he had small food that won’t be enough for the multitude, but he showed his concern and when God saw his compassion for them, He intervened by multiplying the food. Do your part in meeting the need of your congregation and leave the rest to God to perfect.