January 13 - Compassion is More Than Religion

Devotional Scripture: Matthew 9:36-38

Central Thought: Being a Christian requires that we become vessels of compassion to those in need.

    The people during Jesus' time on earth did not lack religious leaders. In fact, it could be argued that they had more than they knew what to do with. But they did lack leaders who felt compassion for them. That ability to see the need for compassion, and then feel compassion, was the biggest difference between the religious leaders and Jesus, the Great Shepherd.

    While the religious leaders of the day must have seemed like a hopeless cause, Jesus passed on some life-changing shepherding responsibilities to His disciples. He advised them to pray that more workers would be raised up. In addition, I believe He wanted each disciple to search his own heart and find a worker for the harvest within. Jesus saw the needs and did something about them. The smug religious leaders did neither.

    What will you do? Jesus' words in this passage offer three suggestions for today. First, we should pray to see others through the Father's eyes. Second, we should pray for workers in today's ripe missionary fields. Third, we should become one of the workers Jesus called for. There is enough of God's compassion to spread to people all around the world, but He needs more people to take that compassion to them. Will you become a vessel of compassion to those in need?

Devotional Prayer: Dear God, never let me get so busy that I fail to show your love to those in need.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 28:1-29:35; Matthew 9:18-38; Psalms 11:1-7; Proverbs 3:11-12