I’m thankful for friends like Greg Surratt from Seacoast Church. As he addressed the OneHope team, Pastor Greg encouraged us in our season. Here are the three main takeaways from his talk. I hope it encourages you today.
This year is going to bring blessings because that’s who God is. (Matthew 6:33)
This year will bring challenges because that’s who the enemy is (John 16:33)
Some of our biggest blessings will come from our biggest challenges.
As I was processing the message, I couldn’t help but think of someone I knew who would have a very difficult time receiving those truths. This person felt like they had done too much…that perhaps Jesus couldn’t love them anymore. After Pastor Greg preached, I was compelled to remind my team that God extends grace, and His love never fades. Grace itself implies that it is undeserved.
Pastor Greg and I were discussing his talk later, and he reminded me of a passage in Luke. Jesus was moved to compassion, a quality Pastor Greg said I exemplified with my team that day.
Luke 7:12-15 (MEV) The Raising of the Widow’s Son
12 When He came near the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the coffin, and those who carried it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 He who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother.
Jesus didn’t ask about the mother’s beliefs, social status, or background. He was simply moved to compassion and met her need by healing her son. Jesus led with compassion and the rest followed. At the end of the day, that must be the position of the Church, and it personally convicts me to say I want that to be my response too.
Earlier this year, I chose my 2021 banner word as compassion. To me, that means being mindful and thoughtful of others, exercising empathy by putting myself into their condition, considering their needs and desires above my own, intentionally being present with my emotions, and responding in selfless love.
To respond more like Jesus.
In what ways can you extend compassion to those around you?