Tag Archives: Compassion

In My Right Mind

Philippians 2:5

” Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”

In the verses that follow this one, Paul explains to us how Jesus put our concerns before His own, how He gave His life for mine – let each look on the things of others.  We will be discussing that in the coming days.  I want to center here on this verse by itself.  I know it is important to keep things in context and I will do my best to keep it there, but there is so much packed in this little verse that I have to pick it out separate.

The mind of Christ.  Let’s look at His life here on this earth to get a glimpse of what this looks like.  He taught the people with love and compassion, doing His best to put ii together in simple stories the people could understand.  He spoke their language, not as some scholar or Master, even though He had all knowledge.  And the people flocked to hear Him because they knew t was coming from His heart – His words were spoken with conviction and authority.  I have seen preachers who did not speak with authority, and I have seen those who do, and there is a world of difference.

He healed all who He came in contact with.  Read through the 4 gospels. Every time it says the people came to Him to be healed, it also says He healed them all.  He was genuinely concerned with people, and it showed.  Over and over again, He put aside His own desire for some private time and ministered to the people instead.  Their needs superseded His own.

He took care of a band of men who followed Him and gave Him their lives.  They were totally devoted to Him, and He taught them the ways of the kingdom.  He gave Himself completely to them.  His life in many ways was not His own, but belonged to those who followed Him.  Common people, desiring to learn more about their God and His dealings with His people.

The mind of Christ is what I desire here on this earth.  I want to be the kind of minister who people look at and they know I genuinely care for them.  I want them to know I will do what I need to do to help them get through a hard time, to pray for them when they need prayer, to love them when they feel unloved.

The mind of Christ is not just about sacrifice.  It is also about humility and giving of oneself to others while I am able to.  It is possible to have that mind of Christ in us so that we can touch others for God’s glory

 

 

Oh, how I long to have the mind of Christ.  To not be motivated by anything but my love for my brothers and sisters, and even more my love for the lost.  Help me to be a light to the world, and salt to those who are seeking.  Help to show love and mercy to all I come in contact with.

I Am Too Selfish!

Philippians 2:4

” Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

I look at this verse and I sincerely have to ask myself if I am even capable of doing this?  I mean, after all, my day usually consumes me.  From the time I get up until I hit the bed at night, it’s a list of things that I have to get done to be successful. Putting aside the fact that right now I am not working because I am battling cancer, let’s look at a typical day.  Up at 5, morning devotions and prayer until 6:15, breakfast and chat with my wife before she goes to work until 7:15, paperwork to prepare for the day (hopefully done by 8), out the door making calls until returning home around 4, paperwork, fix supper, relax for the evening, bed by 9 hopefully.  Pretty full day.  How can I look after the things of others when my life is full of so many things?

First, Paul is not saying we should ignore the things that we have to do.  Notice he says look ALSO on the things of others.  It is necessary that we take care of our own business, or we are worse than an unbeliever (I Tim 5:8).  Our first obligation is always to our family.

Second, we have a calling to help those in need.  From what I have heard, it used to be that the church was where people went if they had need many years ago, not the government.  Parishioners would bring their tithe into the storehouse and if a need came up, the church would help with it.  If there was not enough, then people were asked to give more to meet the need.  But now the church has abdicated its role, and the government now takes money to help those in need.  I know the church still helps out at times, but not like they used to.

So now we get to our verse.  Look also to the things of others.  Keep in mind that you have brothers and sisters around you that are in this wdayorld just like you are.  Some are better off, some are worse off, some have the same blessings you do, some have less or more.  It doesn’t matter where they are on the social ladder – we are asked to look after them, to help where we can help, to rejoice when they rejoice, mourn with those that mourn (Rom 12:15)

Last Sunday brought a perfect example.  My wife and I were going to head to Iowa City for an early Monday appointment – about a three-hour drive.  My daughter called and said she wanted to get our granddaughter a cell phone for her birthday, so she was going to drop off our plan and start her own.  It would take us 45 minutes out of our way to do that, and my wife was more than willing (look unto the things of others).  I, on the other hand, was not.  I did not relish the idea of extra time for the trip down there.  So my wife decided to not go up there (again, putting my wishes before her own), and we got the whole thing taken care of anyway.  My wife is a master of this verse – I have a long way to go.

I must be more cognizant of the times I am up against a decision that should be made in light of Philippians 2:4. I think when I recognize the opportunity to fulfill this verse, I will do it more often.  Until then, pray for me please!

 

Lord, what you ask us to do in this verse is so hard on our human nature.   I thank you for the example my wife is to me in carrying this out – help me to learn to follow her example.  Help me to stop being so selfish, and to care more about others.  I need your compassion in a big way.  Help me start to change today.

We Must Be Merciful

Philippians 2:1

” If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,.

Having outlined the need to continue preaching the gospel in chapter 1, Paul now turns His attention to the reaction we should have once we have heard the gospel and accepted Christ.   We have to keep in mind that these Philippian converts were coming out of Hinduism and Buddhism for the most part, so they have to be taught what is now expected from a Christian point of view.

 

I remember when I first got saved.  I had traveled to my friend’s house in Iowa on vacation, and got saved the last day I was there.  Driving the 1,500 miles home was quite a trip – but not much different for me.  I still drank and smoked weed all the way home.  I knew something had happened to me that night before I left – I felt it.  But I did not know how or when I was supposed to change.  When I got home, I started watching the 700 club, and learned I was supposed to read my bible, so I did.  I knew I was supposed to go back to church, so I did.  Long haired hippie sitting on the back pew – many knew who I was because I went back to the church I grew up in.  Many people came up and greeted me, and it felt good.  I had been an outcast for years, and now people were shaking my hand.

Changes came slowly, but they came.  I became tamer, even though the drugs and drinking remained.  2 years later, God picked me up and moved me to Iowa to get married, leaving behind the bad stuff.

The thing is, there is consolation in Christ.  He walks with us and sees us through the difficult areas in our lives, wanting us to change, but knowing it has to come in pieces.  Some people are fortunate, and all that old baggage goes away at once.  But most have to shed these things a little bit at a time.  And Cist is there to console us, either Himself or through other believers.

And there is comfort of love.  While I was gaining in my Christian walk, the love those people showed me as single guy was amazing.   They really made me feel I was a part of the church, and welcomed me into some activities that were usually just for married folks.  It was a great comfort to me, and kept me wanting more of this Christianity.

There is fellowship of the spirit.  You can feel it anytime you run into another believer.  There seems to be a bond right away, and the conversation can get started easily.  Even as a new Christian, I could sense that Spirit n people.  And the mercy they showed me from the depth of their hearts was amazing.  They knew my past.  I was pretty well known around town as a trouble maker and druggie.  My mom had been the secretary of that church for years, and they knew what had happened to me.  I was the bad egg, yet they showed me mercy and accepted me back without question.

I am forever indebted to the First Congregational Church of West Boylston, Mass for their love and support those 2 years.  It was their love that has me where I am today – still serving Christ.

 

Lord, help me not to judge any new convert in Christ, but to love them as my church loved me.  I was far from perfect, and God had a lot of work to do with me.  But they took me in and loved me and showed me mercy, and that kept me going for you.  Help me display that same kind of love to those I might come in contact with who are just starting to walk with you.