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by Milford Bowen

"O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:14-15). In this record David is calling on God for help and says that God is full of compassion.

Compassion is being tender and gentle. To have compassion one feels the hurts of another, and wants to alleviate it. An individual with compassion not only cares, but also wants to help; to do something to make the situation better.

God's Word says that He is full of compassion. "He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion" Psalm (111:4). "The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy" (Psalm 145:8). "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).

God's compassions fail not and are new every morning. How great is that? He cares and wants to help. If compassion is one of the attributes of our heavenly Father, then surely it's something we want to develop in our lives.

There are many examples of how Jesus Christ showed compassion as he walked among men on earth. In Matthew 9:35-38 there is a record about how Jesus went about teaching and preaching and healing. He was moved with compassion because the people were scattered as sheep without a shepherd. He asked the disciples to pray for the Lord to send forth laborers. He was concerned and he took action. Here the action was prayer.

At other times Jesus Christ was moved with compassion toward the multitude and he healed their sick. "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14).

"Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way" (Matthew 15:32).

With seven loaves and a few little fishes, Jesus fed a large number of people. Jesus realized they were hungry after following him and listening to him. He not only realized they were hungry he took care of that need and saw that they were fed. Mark 6:34-42 is another account of how he fed a multitude of people because of his great compassion for people.

The Bible tells of other people who showed great compassion. In Matthew 18 Peter asked Jesus how often we are to forgive someone who has wronged us. Jesus answered in verse 22: "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven"

Then following that is a record of a man who owed his master a lot of money. See verses 25-27: "But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt."

The servant asked his master to have patience with him and his master was moved with compassion. He saw how distressed the servant was and he did something to change that. He forgave the debt. The master took action.

The Samaritan of in one of Jesus? parables. Luke10:30-35 tells how he took care of a man who had fallen among thieves and was left by the roadside half dead."But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him" (Luke 10: 33-34). What a great example of compassion!

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing" (I Peter 3:8-9)

We are exhorted to show compassion and to love one another. We're called to do that and to inherit the blessing that follows. Let's be like him, Show compassion throughout this day. As you do, you will inherit a blessing as a result.

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