My hope is that Living Hope will continue to grow in our capacity to show and give compassion to those who need it the most. The world is a spiritual warzone. All around us we are seeing the casualties of this battle. There are families that are falling apart, lives crumbling, hearts giving up, and minds giving in because of the constant onslaught of darkness and evil.
Our Lord has a heart of compassion. We can see it in the way He treated the poor, the sick, and the outcasts. We can also hear it in how He described Jerusalem in Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Jesus had great compassion on this people. Yes, they had killed the prophets. Yes, they had stoned those whom He had sent. They were not willing to listen to the Word of God. They had rejected the One who loved them the most. Their treason came with grave consequences. They would be overcome and decimated. And yet, Jesus calls out in compassion telling them of His heart’s desire and what He would do for them, if they would only be willing.
Like never before, the people of our city need that same compassion. All around us are people struggling to make it through the day. Life is filled with uncertainty, vanity, and an unyielding complexity. Confidence has been lost in long-standing authorities like government, religion, and economic entities. There is so much doubt and hopelessness.
Like never before, the people of our city need to know there is Good News. We have a Gospel. God has come. He has not abandoned us to this sinful planet or to the Evil One who hates us so very much. God has provided the means of Rescue. Jesus has conquered both the punishment and power of sin. Through His death on the cross, Jesus has ransomed all who will believe. Through His resurrection from the grave, Jesus has set free His people to live a life in and under His divine living power.
There are so few who know this fact personally. Some, who were once acquainted with the way of God, have left the path and, with it, the hope and peace that only a life that follows Jesus can know. Some have only heard rumors and negative hype about the God of the Bible and His intentions and purpose. The last thing these people that God loves so much need is to be patronized, ignored, put down, or pushed away. These divine image bearers that have the responsibility to give an account for their one and only life and then face an eternal judgment, they need compassion. Grace has come and grace is what they need.
Who will show them compassion? Who will make time for that neighbor, for that person at work or school, or for that person at the gym or ball team? Who will show them what hope is? Who will introduce these immortal beings to the Living Hope that will not spoil or fade?
The church that will show this compassion is the church that God will bless. My hope is that we will be that church. My hope is that we will live hopeful and be helpful and do whatever is necessary to introduce people with broken lives to the God who can forgive and heal so that they are free to pursue and recover God’s Design.
Over the next few weeks, I will be teaching on how Hope is Inspirational. This will be a perfect time for you to share with those who are not walking with God the hope you have and introduce them to our family of faith, during a Sunday morning time of worship. Please show this compassion. Make this investment. Do the work of making disciples, as Jesus commanded us to in Matthew 28:19–20. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”