Compassion

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Acts 11:27-30

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (Gal. 2:10 NIV)

Christianity is more than just knowing the right teachings; it is also living according to those teachings. Word and deed go hand-in-hand to make up the Christian faith.

From the very beginning the followers of Christ sought to show compassion for one another, especially for the poor and the needy. In Acts 11 a famine had hit the land of Judea, and believers were suffering. So Saul and Barnabas and others in Antioch organized a fundraising effort to help these needy Christians; Saul himself was one of those chosen to deliver the aid.

Paul never lost this intense longing to help the needy and the suffering. Later in his life he organized a massive fund-raising effort in his Gentile churches to aid fellow believers in Jerusalem again.

God has not given us our wealth just to hoard or spend on ourselves. He has given it to us to share with those who do not have enough to meet their daily needs (read 1 Tim. 6:17-19). Already as a Jew Saul knew the importance of giving alms for the poor; that message he carried over into his life as a Christian, and that still stands as our responsibility today.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, make me a generous giver. I have a tendency to want to build up my own kingdom; help me instead to build up your kingdom. Amen.