January 16
Miracles of compassion
Matthew 9:18-31, 35-36

KEY VERSE: When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

Jesus cared about people. To describe the Christ of the gospels we would be compelled to use the word "compassionate." Indeed it is the Savior's compassion for hurting people that attracts us to him.

To be his disciples, we must go and do as he did. We must continue what he started: teaching, preaching, healing. We must not be content to tell people what we believe; we must show them that our beliefs constrain us to put love in action.

Unchurched people will have little interest in what we believe until they see evidence of our genuine compassion for them. We can demonstrate our caring by reaching out to people at the point of their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Does our community need a shelter for the homeless? Rather than give them a bus ticket to another town, we can work together with other Christians to build a shelter for those who have no place to sleep.

Does our community need a soup kitchen? Instead of giving people a few cans of soup, we can generate a willingness among Christians to organize and operate a soup kitchen for those who may not own a can opener.

Are there people, especially children, in our community who go to bed hungry at night for a lack of food? We can support the nearby Food Bank and help open an outlet where needy people can secure basic staple food supplies.

Our church works with the East Alabama Food Bank to provide free food to elderly people in our community. Some 300 bags of food are made available every month to people who would otherwise be hungry.

Are there people in our community who, having lost their jobs, are unable to pay their utility bills? Are there people, who because of illness, are unable to work? We can show the love of Christ by offering a helping hand.

Are there people in our community who need counseling to help them survive their physical, emotional, and financial problems? We can find a way to make such counseling available in the name of Christ, and not simply depend upon the state or the federal government to offer assistance that has no reference to God.

Is helping the poor easy? Absolutely not. Will some people "rip you off," asking for help behind a smoke screen of lies? Definitely. Should we then stop helping the poor because some of them are liars?

Not if we intend to be servants of Jesus Christ! Somehow, if we love Christ, we will find a way to show His compassion to the helpless and hurting people who are all around us.

How are you helping?

If you are not helping now, talk to your pastor and enlist his support in developing some kind of ministry to the poor. Then look for Christ to appear in the midst of your ministry!