“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven”; (Matt. 5:14-16).
Christians are in this troubled world to make a difference. As lights in the world, we are called to reflect who Jesus was when He walked upon the earth.
Sent by His Father, Jesus went about doing good; (Acts 10:38), even for those outside the covenant. He came to bring heaven here on earth. His mission was to serve by giving light to those who resided in darkness. He gave sight to the blind, healing for the sick, and He fed the hungry. He gave hope to the hopeless. He testified of God’s goodness and showed others the way to eternal salvation, all for the glory of God.
Reaching people and ministering to them can make all the difference in the world. Coping with change can be traumatic, especially for the elderly. Some of them feel alone as if no one cares. There’s a fair amount of people who are just barely surviving the vicissitudes of life. No one knows how much another person may be hurting. We could be standing next to someone who is completely broken, and we won’t ever know that unless we take the time to care enough to ask, and in turn, be responsive by praying for them.
During early covid2020, I recall being at the market, and I felt in my spirit that I should speak with other patrons and ask them how they were doing. I was interested in knowing their mindset and their current position. I wanted to know if they were ok. My plan was to go down the aisles while shopping and speak to whoever was in the same aisle and then ask them how they are doing and if they had everyday necessities? I wasn’t sure if anyone would even take the time to converse with me because of the pandemic, but to my surprise, the responses were good! I was pleased to see the friendly smiles and the positive attitudes. I knew that God’s favor was on me that day, and it felt really good to minister this way.
Well, what connects us to hurting people? “God.” My Pastor and good friend, Elsa and I, met on social media. She was experiencing some health challenges, and she reached out to me via my Instagram page. After we talked, I was able to minister to her, and we prayed for healing through the power of the Holy Spirit. We spent time seeking God, and we expected to receive what we asked for. During this time, I had a great deal of compassion for her. My heart was heavy, so I continued to pray for her daily.
LET’S DEFINE SOME LOVE CONNECTION WORDS…
Empathy is the capacity to feel another person’s feelings, thoughts, or attitudes. Empathy gives us the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings and what they are experiencing from within the walls of their reference. The capacity to place oneself in another person’s position encompasses a broad range of emotions. True empathy is demonstrated by participation. Meaning we suffer with the person who is hurting. It’s living vicariously through that individual. You’re able to identify with their situation.
Can you think of an occasion when you’ve felt strongly about suffering for another person?
Sympathy means that you’re able to understand someone else’s suffering. It’s more cognitive in nature and keeps a certain distance. You have the wisdom to connect to their pain. While empathy means that you’re experiencing someone else’s feelings; it also requires a deeper emotional component of feelings connected to what the other person is feeling.
Jesus observed a widow about to bury her son, sensing her pain, Jesus’ heart overflowed with compassion; (Luke 7:11-16). Having lived a human life, our Lord is well able to empathize with our weaknesses; (Heb. 4:15).
Though both words are similar, however, they are different. Empathy has feelings that are relatable to what the other person feels. Sympathy means that you have deep feelings for something that has happened to a particular individual. You have concerns for them and feel sorrow for their mishap.
The Apostle Paul counseled Christians to have compassion for one another; and love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (1 Peter 3:8 NKJV).
Compassion leads you to help others. It prompts you to take action to relieve the suffering of another person.
Jesus was always sensitive to the plight of others. He had compassion for crowds of people. Matt. 9:35-36 reads, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowd, he had compassion because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
In the Book of Matthew, the Disciple describes another account of how Jesus had compassion for two blind men; (Matt. 20:30-34). Scripture tells us that two blind men were sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
Jesus stopped and called them and asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answered, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” this is the point I’m making… MOVED WITH COMPASSION, JESUS touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed Him [as His disciples].
The entirety and completeness of a Christian’s life hidden in Christ are manifested mostly by self-restraint. Patience, also known as “temperance,” requires self-control. It means a person has the ability to restrain themself. They also have the ability to reframe from fleshly desires.
Patience is a virtue (moral excellence) that reveals our faith in God’s timing, omnipotence, and love. Patience has endurance. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus demonstrated the highest level of patience endurance when he went to the cross. Our patience is developed and strengthened by resting in God’s perfect will and timing. Patience always preservers, meaning it keeps going and doesn’t quit. Obedience requires patience in waiting for God’s glory to be revealed. Align your will with God’s will and be patient.
WISDOM FROM ABOVE
Get wisdom, get understanding. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding. The amplified version reads: “The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]! And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]. Wisdom is supreme; it’s the principle thing; so acquire wisdom. And whatever you may acquire, gain understanding.
Wisdom is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to know the Holy Spirit’s mind to receive insight into how knowledge may best be applied to specific needs arising in the Body of Christ.
Wisdom knows when and how to wait. Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, just, and right. James 1:5 instructs anyone who lacks wisdom to ask God and He will generously give it.
THE GIFT OF LOVE
When we love from a genuine place within the heart, we see others through the eyes of Jesus. This place of authenticity is where we give without expecting something in return, and we able to share our God-given gifts with a pure heart solely bent on helping others.
Love never stops loving. Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to others. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in wrongdoings. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure and defeat, for it never gives up. (1 Cor. 13:4, 8, 9 TPT.)
Why can’t we love like God if we love Him? He loves us freely, whether we know Him or not. He loves us even when we don’t deserve it. “For, God so loved the world” means that God loves everybody. He loves us all unconditionally.
Lights of the World
Christians are beacons of light shining brightly for others to see. Love is the vehicle used to deliver the gospel message of “The Love of Jesus Christ.” Love is a gift that keeps giving. It opens the way to relationships that some people weren’t even looking for. A sweet smile, a caring heart, and a pair of loving arms can make a difference in someone’s life. Above all else, let love be the glorious prize for which you run your Christian race. Keep shining for Jesus because the world needs your light. It’s your time to shine!
Blessing to you!
*None of the pictures shown in this article belong to Jeanie Shepard Ministries.