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God of compassion

By Corinne O'Brien
August 15, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

Nehemiah 9:22-10:39
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
Psalm 34:1-10
Proverbs 21:13

When I got ready to share about this piece of Scripture, I was actually learning about compassion at work (I call that a “God-shot”). The curriculum I was reading distinguished between being self-critical to self-compassionate, and how those two opposing ways of thinking are a process to shift from. Yet, there’s a big difference between having self-compassion, and the Creator of the universe having compassion on you!

This reminded me of the Lord God in Nehemiah 9:22-10:39, how He’s with us, in all the many changes and processes of life we go through. The writer reflects back to the history of Israel, living under God’s law, and how the people (much like myself) stray from the very Person that my soul is in dire need of. As we see all around us, the Israelites wandered from the Truth, and in God’s goodness, he reminds them of His faithfulness. It’s like I neglected the exact activity that’s the most healing for me; reading the Bible, reaching out to fellow believers, and spending time with my Heavenly Father.

Then the leaders in this passage reminded us of a crucial verse, “But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”-Nehemiah 9:17c. Why would I ever want to depart myself from Someone like this?

Paul knew this characteristic of God, in 1 Corinthians 9:19-10, he explains how in sharing the Gospel, he had compassion on his audience; “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”-1 Corinthians 9:22b. Good ol’ Paul also knew, that if he “did not have love, I gain nothing”-1 Corinthians 13:3.

As we seek God, we’ll be empowered and inspired to yield compassion to those around us by the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m so glad because I can’t muster this strength on my own, especially now, and I’m even more blessed to belong to a church that promotes truly posturing myself to receive God’s grace, and bestow it to others. If you’re feeling down, beaten, and tired today, my encouragement is to know that God’s compassion is real and near, as your next breath.

To memorize:

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

— Psalm 34: 6

Prayer to start with: God, I want to show compassion to your people today. Bring me someone who I can show extravagant love to - just like how you show me.