Bonded through Compassion

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;
    your renown endures through all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
    for it is time to show favor to her;
    the appointed time has come.

  • Psalm 102:12-13

Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

  • Psalm 126:5-6

“The testimony of the true follower of Christ might well be something like this: The world’s pleasures and the world’s treasures henceforth have no appeal for me. I reckon myself crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. But the multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope. If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellowmen. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam’s sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam’s tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God’s heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.
“And thus and thus will I do as God enables me. Amen.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Next Chapter after the Last

Rev. Tozer suggests this “might” be a testimony of a true believer.  I have never heard one anywhere close to this.  The use of the pronoun “I” seems overdone with few references to “God” and “Christ” – “I” more than a dozen, “God” twice, “Christ” once and Jesus none.

But the sentiment is one of a total surrender to God’s will.  The struggling Christian is one who struggles with letting go every vestige of this world.  After all, we live in this world.  We need cash to survive.  Many of us have a family with wants and desires.  Letting go of everything is noble, but possibly not too practical.  I have that desire, but I still have the burden of stuff that I find hard to simply dump into a garbage bag.

But the desire to lead everyone that we meet to salvation?  We should all have that desire.  Now, hitting people over the head with the Bible may have been acceptable when Rev. Tozer wrote this editorial, turned into a book decades after his death.  These days you have to be more subtle, making it seem that the other person led into the conversation.

But whether you are providing a meal or talking to them about Jesus, our compassion, that burning desire to show God’s love, is the thing that the others will remember about you.  And when all that you talk about is Jesus, not mentioning “I” a dozen times and forgetting to mention “Jesus” once, they will remember Jesus as well.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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