Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3
Compassion. Something I have always struggled with. I tend to be preoccupied with me, my stuff, my things, and my issues. It is like wearing blinders because as I go through my daily life, sometimes I don’t even notice the struggles others are going through around me. I have considered this and purposefully plan to be intentionally more aware of others that are hurting around me. Recently, I came across an individual holding a sign that said, “homeless and hungry”. I asked the LORD (in my heart) if this is a place I should be giving into. (I have a tendency to be skeptical and sometimes see these occasions as a scam or even self-inflicted problems that many bring on themselves). I felt like God’s Spirit prompted me to give so in obedience I did. Generally, I like to give with a scripture or word to encourage, but this time the giving was for me. I could say nothing because the instant that he took the money from me, compassion hit my heart. I was overwhelmed with the pain and suffering of this hurting individual. No matter if self-inflicted or if there was a scam in his heart, he was lost and in a trap, deceived and didn’t even know it. Like all of us once were, he was lost and alone, far from God. No matter what the intention of his heart was at that moment, he was still loved by God. So loved that God sent His very own precious Son to die for this person and pay the penalty for all his sin.
Today’s scripture is about Jesus and the compassion He had for a leper. His compassion produced healing in this man because healing was his immediate need. However, like those we often come across today, this man not only needed healing, he needed a Savior, too. By giving to those in need, we may be helping with an immediate need, but if we give purposefully and with the message of love and salvation, we can also be pointing them toward the salvation they so greatly need.
Today I want to encourage you to intentionally become more compassionate. Ask the LORD to make you more aware of the hurting and lost ones around you. Purpose ahead of time a gift amount and words of encouragement. Lastly, ask the LORD to lead you to those who are ready to receive His love and be ready to be obedient when He shows you who to reach out to. You can be the one who changes someone’s eternity.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 8:1-4
1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.
2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”