Oct 28, 2009


But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. (Mat 9:36)

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (Mat 14:14)

Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. (Mat 15:32)

So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. (Mat 20:34)

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. (Mar 1:41)

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. (Luk 7:13)

Compassion: A deep awareness and the feeling of the suffering or distress of another, coupled with a pity often including the desire to alleviate it.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of compassion when He walked the shores of Galilee. He still is, as He walks amongst His Church. I have not been able to fully understand or sense this trait of His. It is like grasping the air. We know, that having been birthed in His new image, given new hearts of flesh in place of our stony hearts, we really ought to have at least an inkling of His pulse beat and His passions. After all, do we not belong to His House, and do we not have the same Father; like father like son? Like our First Brother?

With the multitudes, three things moved Him and recorded in this order; their wanderings about without a shepherd, their need for healing, and strangely their need for basic food! In the first, I would wonder, since I can not exactly ‘feel’ the compassion for the people’s distress; was it their wandering or was it that there was no shepherd? Or was it both? Why does my heart not twitch like Him to know this distress in its magnitude? In the second, we know of those who live with dire need of healing, both physical and spiritual. My heart can sense their pain but I am unable to alleviate in any ‘real’ terms. We may offer prayer and supplication, and continue to struggle with the adequacy of our faith. The last premise of food is startling, given the apostles’ responses to the Lord when He made known His compassion. They complained, argued and disputed with the Lord Himself. They were probably tired and their own hunger pangs could well have shrouded their priorities. The issues of availability, costs, and the sheer number of mouths to feed merely made their representations more reasonable in their own eyes. They submitted that there was little that they could do! Even they, who lived and walked with the Master and had left all to follow Him, could not understand or share His deep compassion.

With the individuals, there are again three scenarios. They included the blind given sight, the leper being healed and cleansed, and the widow given back her dead son. There is a resonance in the first two, but the third is again off the main. The Lord was moved, so much by the woman’s loss and grief, that He would summon Himself to bring her son back, even from the dead. Oh how we lag in the throbbings and workings of His heart; that we can comprehend and emulate the empathy He possessed for the masses and the downcast, that He would condescend Himself, even as the Son of God, to be so agonized and resolved to apply and immerse Himself in other’s plight, to do something about it.

He has set us an example; how to live, how to walk, and how to love. He has taught us the meaning of submitting to His Father’s will.

Lord, that You will strengthen our minds, and then our hearts, to keep in step with You and faithfully bear Your Name. Teach us Your meaning of compassion.

God bless.


Oct 20, 2009


Mercy: The compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency premised on a disposition to be kind and forgiving. Something for which to be thankful; the alleviation of distress by the provision of relief.

“I remember that early morning; the crowd was gathering, well before, to hear the great Teacher teach in the temple. He taught as no one had, with a power and authority that few could dismiss. So they all came, with anticipation to listen to this man, teach the Law of Moses. Not long after there was a commotion pouring a crowd into the courtyard. There in the midst of the temple, they cast down a woman caught in the very act of adultery. The Pharisees and Scribes challenged the Master for His disposal, questioning if the mandated penalty of death by stoning be warranted. It did seem strange somewhat that they were making such enquiry; was one greater than Moses or the Law, present? Were they not guilty of sponsoring one greater than the LORD? And if the woman had in fact been caught in the very act, why was her lover not summarily presented as well? Did not the Law curse, often on penalty of death, any who would not obey its dictates? The temple hushed.

The Teacher did not immediately answer, but they pressed Him urgently, as if they were more intent on entrapping a stoning for a different person for different reason. The Teacher stooped, and started writing on the sands. It was too far to see what he was about. They railed, and then He said “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." The tension in the air was palpable. They had come, and with vigor picked up stones, ready to dispatch, I am not sure who, that morning.

The woman lay on the ground; a pitiable rag-doll. With scattered hair, trembling with eyes in trepidation, she watched the crowd looking for who or what, I know not. Who was this woman? Was she a victim of circumstance? Of convenience? Was she indulgent, promiscuous, weak, passionate or deceived by sacrifice and love even? She was accused of adultery, not harlotry. It was out of love that she did what she did; only love for whom or what, I could not decipher. She lay there, despised, discarded, deserted, denigrated, desecrated, disillusioned, disappointed, denied, despondent, destitute, dehumanized and deceived. Could she have imagined her indignity, and slander, when she would be pelted till dead, for this, in recompense and exchange for her body and soul?

The silence was then punctuated by thuds; of stones dropping from the hands of men and women as they departed one by one. The Teacher continued His writing without comment till they had all gone. When there no-one left, the woman got up and stood before the Teacher. "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" He asked. She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

I guess I learnt the meaning of mercy that morning. Clemency from compassion for one cast down by so many and perhaps, even by the thing, called love.

I learnt, mercy for me, the other day. The setting was not quite so reverent. They had finally succeeded in casting Him out of the city, and strung Him on a cross. He received no mercy, not from men, not even from God. But as I looked into His eyes, I thought I heard Him say “ I hang condemned on this tree because only I can, for thee”.

And when He died,
A hardened centurion would confess,
As others round him, beat their breasts;
“Truly this Man was the Son of God”,
But still not enough, to be his Lord.
Still, He hung and died on that accursed tree,
Because only he could, bear away my sin, not me.
And though I will not walk away,
And in weakness I will always stray,
Still I am persuaded;
Before the day I came to be,
There was already,
Rest and mercy provided me. ”

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- (Eph 2:4-5)

God bless.

Oct 12, 2009


And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. (Mar 10:17-18)

What do people mean when they describe another as “good”? A good person is; a decent person? a moral person? an ethical person? a truthful person? a reliable person? A just person? a compassionate person? the listing can go on. But that ‘good’ person may not be good to me! I may not be the subject or recipient of his goodness. As ‘good’ as he may be, he may not wish to extend his goodness to me for whatever reason. He simply does not have to.

What more if I was covertly his enemy, how about, if I worked against all his designs and thumbed my nose at him. What if I hold myself, free of any of his precepts or even refuse subscription to his idea of ‘goodness’. And if I would ridicule and mock his naivety if not stupidity and regard him to be a fool. What if I walked on my ‘one-way street’; goodness for me? yes. Good to any and every? No way. And what if we asserted that it is our right and our entitlement to received only uninterrupted blessings just so that we can go on our own ways! Anyone seen "Thank-you" notes by the ways?

Yet we go to bed every night, not knowing if we would wake up from our sleep. Whilst we are asleep, the entire universe is held together by His word. All our bodily functions continue uninterrupted, maintained and sustained at His goodness. All creation subsists, at His goodness.

The sun rises and the rains fall. The grass grows and animals feed. The air is renewed; new life is spawned every second. The planets spin and have been spinning for millenniums? but hold their place in the heavens. All creation waits at His hand. He does not favor only the pious or the moral or the deserving. There is no partiality in Him. Whoever we consider, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the damned, all receive from His hands, every moment of their days, in this life, His goodness from moment to moment.

It would be timely for us to spend some thought reflecting on the goodness of the LORD. Perhaps we may be blessed with a more succinct appreciation of what it properly means to be good. Maybe we would then understand why the Lord said, that there is none good but God alone. Perhaps then, we will rethink to describe ourselves as being ‘good’.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

May His goodness draw, our hearts closer to Him ,who gave His life, to show us His love, while we were still sinners. No one is good except God alone.

God bless.


Oct 6, 2009


And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, (Heb 9:27)

There is a subject of truth that we like to avoid. It is uncomfortable and disconcerting. To some, it is politically incorrect , if not downright offensive. The painful fact remains; that all mankind, imagined ‘saved’ or otherwise, will still be subject to judgment. We may escape damnation by His mercy, but we will still be called, to give account for the lives, the every days we have been blessed with.

It would be wise to reflect frequently on this, from the days of our youth, to avoid the day when we would regret, with advancing years and receding hairlines, the days left to remedy a lamentable, blotched and mottled service record before the Son, who we would meet the next time as Judge of His Kingdom. This Judge is not biased, and can not be bribed in any fashion. To think that we could submit or contort our reports, to Him who redeemed us, to be our Lord, by His own blood, for the works He had ordained us to do? Perhaps we are all due for healthy dose of Peter’s experience, when he looked into His Master’s eyes after his vocal betrayal. It is doubtful that we are all keen and ready to meet our Maker.

It is convenient to regard our salvation as an ‘open and shut’ matter. Many procure it as an insurance policy, safeguarding a passport and passage to heaven; the only premium being playing church every now and then. It is a tedious task to mark out who is ‘saved’. Jesus Christ died to save the whole world; is the whole world saved? The LORD is merciful and kind, not wishing that any should perish; do none perish? Confess Him Lord with your mouth and call on His Name, and one will be saved; ‘Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven.’ There is no dispute to the existence of tares and goats in the midst of His church. There is no dispute to the wide and narrow ways. There will be many who will claim on that day ‘Lord, did we not’. There will be many who have gotten lost, stayed lost and never wished to return; shipwrecked, turned and stopped from following the Lord. There will be heap loads of regret, weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We have been redeemed for good works. Faith without works is dead. To follow Him is evidenced by daily keeping in step with Him, hearing where His voice leads and continue following. Prepared to meet the Lord requires on-going preparation and readiness. Preparation postponed is still a state of unpreparedness. In His service means exactly that; not an on-off convenient compliment given with sporadic reluctance. Taking up one’s cross is a life-long commitment; it is foolish not to count the cost, even more foolish, should we decide to lay it down some place further down the road.

Hell is a sure place. It’s descript should propel our sense of self-preservation to seek escape. The fear of pain and suffering is an innate God-given survival instinct, even when we have not yet learnt to love Him. It is not conceivable that a man would simply resign himself to contemplate an eternity of pain and suffering, but many do bury their heads in the sand on this tumultuous issue. We must make our salvation sure, worked out in fear and trembling.

It is already fearsome to stand before our Maker, worse still unprepared. Except for the merciful relief of sins confessed, repented, restitution made where possible, sin forgiven, and covered by His blood and far removed to the deepest, we will know the true meaning and full extent of nakedness before the LORD, in the assembly, in the congregation and before the whole world..Some would welcome the bearing of stripes over the baring of unmitigated truth. All creation shall know of our triviality or travesty of sin in word, action, thought, heart, soul, mind and strength. We have not yet even delved on our faithfulness to Him ,whom we call Lord. We really do not mean what we say, often. We run the gauntlet bearing known baggage of sin, careless to the fact that we make ourselves, the subject of His divine justice, either now or in the hereafter, and seemingly unafraid of losing His graces. We do not keep good account of the gifts and the life that He has given us. It is easy to misappropriate or misuse them at times. We forget that our lives and the gifts were given for the edification and building of His Church. The blessing of oneself is praiseworthy but ancillary.

May we be careful about our salvation and with our lives. May we not fall into the hands of a fearsome God, a consuming fire; except that the consumption is for an eternity. May we be mindful that there is really no place to hide, except under His shadow.May we never be the recipients of these words forewarned by Judge to come;

But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'(Luk 13:27)

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Mat 25:41)

God bless.