Week Six of our devotional was written by Chet Marshall who is a long- time partner with MBF through the Langhorne Presbyterian Church and is also on the missions committee. We are honored that he was able to share with us more than once. With this being Holy week it is fitting that we have the opportunity to sit with God and talk about suffering. May you be especially blessed at this time, looking forward to the resurrection of our Lord.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
To have pity on a person does not require action. To participate with the sufferings of a person requires action. Jesus walks with us in our suffering.
We recently celebrated the 70th birthday of a wonderful Christian woman. But as the party went on it was clear we were not just celebrating her birthday, but also the person she is. When her father developed Alzheimers she showed compassion and unconditional love even when he became difficult. When he passed she and her husband built a new house with a separate living space for her mom and severely disabled brother— another act of compassion and unconditional love. She cared for her mom and sat with her for hours even when she was totally ravaged by dementia. After her mom’s passing, she continued the responsibility of caring for her disabled brother. She emulates Jesus when he commanded us to love one another. She displays true Christian compassion through her actions.
Do you just have pity or concern for someone, or do you take action and “suffer with” them? Has God given you the opportunity to understand the difference? During your quiet time as you focus on this hard subject, ask God to show you where you could act in compassion. Ask God to open your eyes in new ways to the people around you and how you can make a difference in their lives.
Heavenly Father, as we focus this week on the suffering Jesus had to endure so that we could know you more, please soften our hearts to the people who are suffering around us. We ask you to draw us deeper into mission and help us understand the importance of compassion. Thank you for your son. Amen.