Think with me if you would.
Does there need to be a change in our nation and world? Does America need people who are willing to make a difference? Without getting into all the sins and problems of America; I think anyone reading this would agree America is in need of not only a change but a revival.
Can Jesus make a difference? Yes! Jesus not only made a difference in my life but we could go through testimony after testimony of lives Jesus has changed. From the drunk on the street to the hopeless drug addict, Jesus can change lives and make a difference. I think we can all agree together that Jesus makes the difference!
So then, if a difference needs to be made and we have the answer, Jesus, why does it seem we are not making the impact we should on our society?
Some would say that it is because we need to more like this world so that we can reach them. But this is certainly not the case as we have seen this method fail time and time again—how can you make a difference if you are not different? Others would say we need more programs. While there is not anything wrong with programs in and of themselves the truth is you can find a program for everything under the sun and yet it seems no difference is being made. Some would contend that we need nicer facilities or modern technology, but these things have not made a difference yet.
So then what is the missing link? If a difference needs to be made in our nation and we have the answer why are we losing ground and not making a difference? Jude1:22 tells us, “And of some have compassion, making a difference:” The ingredient missing in many churches and Christians today is compassion. We have let our eyes dry up and our hearts grow cold. We have become calloused to the state of not only our nation and world but also to the condition of men and women all around us who suffer without Christ only to one day die without Christ and suffer for eternity in hell.
In Mark chapter 6 you find Jesus and His disciples busy in the work of the ministry; in fact, they are so busy the Bible tells us they didn’t even have time to stop and eat. Multitudes were thronging Jesus to hear Him preach and to be healed. They were making a difference. The region was changed and affected by Jesus but as you read Mark 6:34 you find a verse that reveals the heart of Jesus and His compassion: “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”
1. Compassion sees beyond yourself
As you think through everything that has happened in Mark 6, you find the disciples and Jesus needing rest. They are heading in a boat to a desert place to get away from the multitude for a time of refreshing. Yet we find the multitude following them into this desert place. It is as Jesus is getting off the boat at their destination that He sees the multitudes. He is no doubt hungry and weary but as He looks on them, we see that He is moved with compassion and begins to care for their needs.
Compassion always looks beyond your needs and desires and sees the needs of those around you. Compassion goes out in the heat and in the cold to witness to the lost. Compassion will get you out of bed early to pray for a hurting loved one. Compassion will take your spare dollar and give it to someone in need. Compassion sees beyond yourself.
2. Compassion requires action
In Mark 6:34, Jesus could have easily sent the multitude away but His compassion required action. The Bible says He was “moved” with compassion; His compassion is what moved Him.
True compassion will require action; it will move you. Compassion will move you to pray for people. Compassion will drive you to do something about a situation. Compassion will hand out tracts and witness to the lost. Compassion will lead you to spend extra hours preparing for your Sunday school class. Compassion requires action.
3. Compassion brings moist eyes and a broken heart
As I read Mark 6:34, I can hear the broken heart in Jesus’ voice as He addresses the multitude. I can feel the deep love He has for these “sheep without a shepherd.” And although we do not read about His tears in this passage, you find them all through the gospels.
A heart of compassion will bring moist eyes and a soft heart for those around you. Psalms 126:5 and 6 tell us this: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” When was the last time you had compassion for someone to the point you shed tears for them? When was the last time you wept for our nation? We have let our eyes dry up and our hearts grow cold and hard. It’s time to start weeping again.
When we lose our compassion we will cease to make a difference!