Saturday, November 26, 2011

A reconditioned heart

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 9:18-39

TO CHEW ON: "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." Matthew 9:36.

Jesus' reaction to the multitudes that gathered around Him is worth noting. He appeared not to be intimidated by the size of the crowds or their energy-sapping needs. Neither was He absorbed with Himself—His effect on the crowds or His success. He wasn't annoyed at how individuals from those crowds interrupted His day. We've just seen him handle one such interruption. Enroute to the house of the ruler whose daughter had just died, He stopped to talk to the woman with the twelve-year bleeding problem after she touched the hem of His robe and was healed.

In fact, on reading Matthew 9:35-38, it seems that making Himself available to the people was what His ministry was all about. And what He saw in the crowds awoke a deep sympathy and love in Him. A sidebar article in my Bible comments on this and suggests how we can become more like Him:

"Truest compassion is only found in the nature of God, because only God knows the full depth of an individual's pain, need, or suffering. Jesus is seen in the essence of His feeling human weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) fully sensing the ravaged condition of human brokenness.

Christ-likeness calls us to learn Jesus' heart of compassion, a depth of sensitivity that can be worked in us through the Holy Spirit reconditioning our hearts to be able to sense the pain of human bondage, and to weep with those who weep (Hebrews 13:3; Romans 12:15)" - Fuchsia Pickett, "Compassion," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1306 (emphasis added).

I sure need such heart reconditioning that sees beyond my plans and agendas to realize the actual outworking of God's compassion for people through me!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I love Your tenderheartedness to people. The way You wept over the death of a friend and over a city  gives me a glimpse into God's love for us humans. Please grow Your compassion in me. Amen.

MORE: Not whiners but athletes

"May God not find the whine in us any more, but may He find us full of spiritual pluck and athleticism, ready to face anything He brings. We have to exercise ourselves in order that the Son of God may be manifested in our mortal flesh. God never has museums. The only aim of the life is that the Son of God may be manifested, and all dictation to God vanishes. Our Lord never dictated to His Father, and we are not here to dictate to God; we are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. When we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured out wine to feed and nourish others" - Oswald Chambers, May 15th reading, My Utmost for His Highest.

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