There are a few essentials of discipleship, it seems to me: teachability and passion, to name two. Today, I want to talk about compassion.

Around here (where we’re in the process of merging two congregations), we are asking the question, "How will this look different?" One way I think we must look different is that we must be people whose compassion and love for people leads us beyond these four walls to reach people where they are!

Come or Go?
Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be too much (if anything) in Scripture calling on people to "come" to us or come to church. The emphasis, rather, is on the people of God "going" to the hurting and unreached people! There is no record of Jesus ever telling lost people to go to church. Instead, Jesus sends his disciples out on missions of love and mercy to minister to spiritually lost and empty people!

1 Corinthians 13 is often called the "love chapter." If you’ve been to a wedding, chances are you’ve heard it. However, the author, Paul, isn’t talking about marriage, specifically; he’s actually talking about life in the context of the church. This section is sandwiched in between two chapters that deal specifically with life in the church. It’s a great reminder that we must love people in everything we do!

Today, I want to talk about loving others in two parts: loving one another (in the church) and loving our neighbors (out there).

Love one another
The Apostle John has some great words to say about how we ought to love one another. Read these selected readings from 1 John.

Love your neighbors
Jesus, as he often did, once told a story to communicate how we should treat our "neighbors." Read Luke 10.25-37.

"If we are the body"  (Casting Crowns)

If we are the body
Why arent His arms reaching
Why arent His hands healing
Why arent His words teaching
And if we are the body
Why arent His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

So, who will you reach out to this week? In what ways can you express your love for a family member, a friend, a neighbor, and/or a co-worker?

O God, thank you for your love for us shown to us through Jesus Christ. Help us to love one another in ways that please and honor you. Help us also to love our "neighbors," people with whom we come in contact in the world. Help us to reach out to people who especially need to know and experience your love — the hurting, the oppressed, the sick, and the poor. May the way we treat others honor you! Amen.

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