“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:” I Peter 3:8
Has there ever been a time in your life when your children have caused you worry? Maybe they were not home when they were supposed to be, and anxiety caused you to imagine all the terrible things that might have happened to them. Then they showed up and your first reaction was to give them a good scolding for putting you into such a situation. But you were so filled with relief that they were safe, that you put your arms around them and let them feel your love.
Can you imagine the state this young man was in as he made his way back to his home? He had been working with the pigs and had no chance to clean up or change his clothes. But the father had been thinking of him the whole time he had been gone. I am sure that every day he looked down the road to see if the son was returning. When he saw him coming, he ran to meet him. He didn’t care about the condition of his clothes, or the smell of them. All he cared about was that his son was safe. That’s a picture of compassion. His first thought was to give him new clothes and feed him.
Where would you and I be if the Lord had not shown compassion to us? No matter whether you were a “good” person in your own eyes and hadn’t really got involved in deep sin, or whether you had gone to the depths, the Lord treated us all the same way. He took us in His arms and showed us His love. He took away the old robes and clothed us in His righteousness and bade us feast at his table.
The Lord knows that one of our deepest needs is that we have compassion on others. There is a world out there that is hurting. We must be looking for ways that we can help them, whether it be spiritual or material. As God has blessed us, then we pass that blessing along to others whenever we can.
Compassion does not come easy. It is human nature for us to see the faults and failures in people. But we are not their judge. We must constantly be asking the Lord to give us a compassionate spirit towards others.
Let’s look again at Philippians 4:19:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you know our deepest needs and that you have promised to supply them all. We ask you for a spirit of compassion that we may reach out to a hurting world.
Devotion by Anne Johnston