What is the Remnant?February 25, 2021
God’s Eternal PlanMarch 2, 2021
One of the most acclaimed passages for the Hebrews is found in Exodus:
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7
God has been referred to as The Compassionate by millions of Jews and Muslims for centuries; and indeed, The Lord God Almighty is highly concerned, gracious, slow to anger. He has enough love for the world, for He maintains love to thousands, forgiving the repentant, while maintaining justice and punishment for sin.
Like Father – like Son…Jesus, no doubt, was well aware of Moses’ teaching of his Father, for he was truly compassionate. The New Testament has manifold passages that say that Jesus had empathy on the crowds.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” Matthew 15:32
Jesus was popular and surrounded by crowds of people everywhere, and instead of recoiling or distancing himself, he behaved quite the opposite…note that Jesus embraced the crowd and its needs. But Jesus did not see just the crowds, he addressed the individual. Jesus started the day in prayer  and then prayed as he healed the sick. He was calling upon The Compassionate Father to look down on this one poor, destitute person, and Jesus knew that God would tenderly heal the needy.
Compassion is first extended at home, then to the brethren and then to the poor. Giving and extending what we have to the poor is God’s delight. “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” Proverbs 19:17 Christ spent time with the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, for the poor in spirit are in all walks of life.
Jesus was genuinely concerned. With patience and calmness, he first encouraged all men and women everywhere to repent and turn to God The Father. Jesus, as the Great Shepherd, led all the crowds to the green pastures. Jesus had empathy for their sin, sickness and spiritual illnesses. He had a special place in his heart for the sheep who were lost. He had obviously spent time studying the Ancient Scriptures, as well as the behavior of men, for when Christ observed the population, he perceived way beyond what the average human would, as he could see into the soul. When the average person is confronted with extreme illnesses, mental illnesses, demonic possession and disfigured bodies, they instinctively shudder and then withdraw. Naturally, the sick and ailing seem repugnant to them. Churches pay staff to go visit the sick in the hospital so that they do not have to do it, right? Unaccustomed to and unfamiliar with the disadvantaged, even the thought of it causes, at first, shock, then a queasy feeling, then nausea. The leper was put outside the camp and reviled. “Unclean, unclean” – they were required to call out if they ever dared venture into town. But amazingly…Jesus was not put off, but compassionate. He did not recoil but reached out without flinching. How is this possible?
Jesus did not stare at the sores of the sick or the appearance of the poor but rather at the cure – he did not see the symptoms of the sick but saw the cause. Jesus Christ, our Savior who represented the heart of The Father, saw not their plight but rather their potential. Jesus did not judge the indulgence, but rather he saw their deep hunger. He did not get mad because they surrounded him and pressed in on him, because he considered their history and knew they had been rejected, ignored and deserted.
So without turning away from the lepers…he fed them, then he healed them…he touched them.
If you are a “doctor” for Christ, you must come close enough to the patient to examine their need. It is no different in spiritual diseases. You must get close to the needy and then you will see that people are hungry for God and they are hungry for Love.
In Galatians, Paul said, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 What this means is we are living out love for God first and man second when we carry a burden. Nothing brings greater joy than carrying a burden for someone else. You are moved when you hear of someone’s pain or a need that you can meet that brings such a feeling of relief to a brother or sister – like a nurse in a hospital, a mother feeding her baby, a husband comforting his wife – the Church working as a whole to carry each other’s burdens as we walk together on this glorious path to Heaven. What a mental picture…as beautiful as Heaven. All it takes is love, and God has the love you need so that you want to reach out and carry the loads of others.
Love begets Love, and hate births hate in others. True compassion will beget compassion, no matter what it is faced with. Do not be surprised in this day and age that when you show compassion, the recipient is skeptical if they have been emotionally or physically hurt or beaten – it is hard to believe that anyone really cares at first. But with prayer and love, you can break thru the icy, protective barrier and prove that you are different, indeed, the genuine article. 
God separates good from evil…and in the end, He will gather the impatient, intolerant, judgmental, self-absorbed spirits and will separate them from the outgoing, precious, adoring, caring, empathetic, giving spirits. May we show God’s compassion, mercy and love to everyone we have the privilege to come in contact with. The only way to do that is to lay down our lives for each other, not to judge, only having the full measure of kindheartedness compared to Christ himself. I can see Christ listening, caring, taking time with each needy person. He cared if they could see or not see; he cared if someone was blind, sick, needy, hurting, lonely, possessed. Jesus cared.
Are you Christ-like…do you even care? Could you go beyond care to compassion? We are to follow Christ…we are to be compassionate. “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.'” Zechariah 7:9 If Christians would only live like Jesus Christ who lived and breathed benevolence from morning till he fell in bed at night, the religious world would want to convert to such a religion, leaving behind a Sunday morning religion followed by a week of indifference. I want to be clear…there is great evidence that Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul were discriminant with their time and attention…they spent time with and healed those who had the heart to repent, who were reaching out to Christ and God…not the self-absorbed, god-less who were their own gods and had no room for True Religion or Jesus Christ in their hearts.
Golden Rule: Do Unto Others
The most virtuous goals in life are righteousness, justice, love and compassion; and they are essential in order to be married, betrothed or connected to God forever. The Scriptures back up that The Lord God Almighty’s name is almost synonymous with compassion.
This is reiterated in James 5:11b: “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” If we are to be God-like/Christ-like, full is the operative word here. What are you full of…apathy, callousness, unconcern?
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36
“…because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:13
Notice that justice is mercy and compassion – and the antonym of mercy is judgment. Mercy and compassion are interconnected. Judgmentalness causes separation that is harsh and cruel and is from the devil, much like the separation of divorce is harsh and cruel – a dark cloud that blocks the sunshine of Love from the Heavens.
Unity looks for all the possible connecting roads. There are always two ways to see things, and perhaps many more than two. Have you walked a mile in someone else’s shoes before you tried to judge them? Could one mile even give you the full picture of what someone else has gone thru or has on their mind, or the worries, fears or burdens they have on their shoulders…the stress they are going thru?
Think about what you would want…are you endeared to your tattletale child who sits in judgment of his siblings, or do you not feel closer to the Prodigal Son who comes home? We love the repentant Prodigal Son over the jealous, divisive, reclusive party-pooper. So why do people continue to judge…it is because it is their sick way to replace the insecure feelings with a super-human feeling. People who judge do not see God’s big picture of the Kingdom of Love. They do not see the higher laws – but rather the lowly, base, substandard existence. Jealous, religious pharisees brought down the system before Jesus came to restore it. There are sins of the temperament – anger, moodiness, pride, haughtiness – and while straining out the gnat, they were swallowing the camel of the things God hates  …divorce, violence, judgmentalness and condemnation, all spirits which will not make it to Heaven. What allows the voices of judgment that are not flesh and blood but are from satan?  It is pride and if not repented of, it will eventually allow a sea of dark judgment into your heart that drives everyone away. Christ and the Apostles lived and taught unity. When the Apostle Paul saw that the Christians in Corinth had made some mistakes, he did not abandon them nor divide them, but rather wrote the well-known books/letters of First and Second Corinthians and redirected them. When he saw the members of the Corinthian Church take sides and divide on which leader to follow, he unified them under Christ. 
God extended this mercy to the adulterous nation of Israel in Hosea, saying…”I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.” Hosea 2:19 We have been given so much, and if you could just see your own self for what you really are, you would have God’s tenderheartedness, His caring passion for every human who has ever walked the Earth. As time goes on, you will be able to look past the exterior and see the soul and just pray to be worthy to even be used by God to extend His empathetic concern into their empty vessel. Give compassion to the Earth in the small things…and you will possibly get it all back from the Heavens! The Golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them do to you. How we all want and need thoughtful, caring, empathy and concern. The Golden Rule is the most important lesson in life, if you learn nothing else!
 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
 I would like to stop here for one moment to acknowledge the fact that most humans have experienced their share of pain and rejection but there are those who are self-absorbed and consider themselves more victimized by the world than others. What they need and expect are two different things. People who build it up in their minds expect for others to cater to them and use their history to gain sympathy, but what they need is to forget themselves and help others – that is the cure.
 Matthew 23:23-24
 Ephesians 6:12
 I Corinthians 1:10-17