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Sympathy says: “You poor thing! I wish I could help.”
Compassion says: “You poor thing! Let me help.”
– Curry Blake, General Overseer, John G. Lake Ministries
I heard in one of Blake’s teachings that sympathy is a soul-level emotion while compassion is a spirit-level ‘emotion’. When you pray for someone to whom you are emotionally very attached and get sentimental while praying, you are actually doing them a disfavour. That’s because you are not giving them your best prayer which comes from your spirit – the compassion-driven prayer. Jesus was driven by compassion. He could not have been emotionally attached to anyone (from what we read in the Bible) except of course his parents and a few others. So the prayer (or commands) that came out from him were spirit-level – the best that he had to offer:
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” – Mark 8:2
Jesus himself says here that he had compassion on the people. What happened later? He went ahead and fed the multitudes (“You poor thing! Let me help.”).
And of course, we know what success rate Jesus demonstrated with his compassion – 100%!
Sympathy or Compassion – what do you have?
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“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7
I remember those who led me to the Lord Jesus Christ. I got saved through a website www.demonbuster.com. Although I do not agree with some of their teachings on spiritual warfare, God used that website to plant the seed of His Word in me. I was hungry so I ate up that seed and by His grace and through the power of His Spirit, the seed is bearing fruit.
There have been several others who have led me along the Way. Heb 13:7 exhorts us to imitate their faith. Praise God for the solid faith of that uncle (I will keep all the names anonymous) who had lost an eye and has been on dialysis for the last few years. The devil has not succeeded in shaking his faith in God, despite the afflictions. Recently, this uncle’s doctor asked him to give a speech to about 60-70 people in the hospital where he regularly goes for dialysis. Uncle got up and shared the Gospel with them. Looks like he has decided to glorify the LORD come what may! By all means, physical fitness is necessary and you should aim for it/preserve it; but what good is it if you are not fit enough to preach the Gospel? This uncle truly gives God a ‘Sacrifice of Praise’.
There is another brother who has interceded for me quite a lot. He has seen countless miracles as a result of his faith in the Living God. His church’s managing committee once asked him whether he had a first class pass to commute in Mumbai’s suburban trains. He said he didn’t. They asked him to get one, but he refused. He said “the money that pays for my pass is the blood of the saints – they work hard and live out the Word of God. I cannot squander their hard-earned money to commute in comfort.” He often goes on house visitations in various parts of Mumbai. Mumbai is one of the largest and most populous cities in the world with a reasonably good but grossly inadequate mass transport system. A local train that is supposed to carry only 1,200 commuters carries 5,000! And to travel this way in 35 degrees Celsius with 80% relative humidity – not an easy task. But this soldier of God chooses the narrow, thorny road as Jesus his Master and Leader is with him wherever he goes (Joshua 1:9). He lives out the verse “I can do all things through Jesus who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
My local pastor graduated from Bible College at Baltimore, Maryland. He prayed about God’s call on his life and felt the Spirit tell him He wanted him to come back to India – God had a job for him here. He confirmed this with his pastor who prayed about it and felt the same. My pastor has now completed almost 20 years of ministry in India. It’s not easy – he’s been put in prison once for preaching the Gospel (though Christian evangelism is perfectly legal in India) – in the same Indian state where an Australian missionary was martyred many years ago. He’s had a tough job. Life would probably have been much less challenging had he stayed in the comforts of the US. But thanks be to God that he brought him back to India, as our church now has almost two dozen branches all over India and about seven in Nepal!
Why do you think some people seem to be able to overcome all odds? It’s not only because they have faith in Jesus. It’s because they have the faith OF Jesus!
I thank God for exhorting me to imitate the faith of those who have led me spiritually in one way or another. My real Leader is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who leads me and guides me into all Truth. (John 16:13) Amen.
The famous evangelist Smith Wigglesworth, in a book, narrated the case of a sick woman who was bedridden for years. She told him that God had allowed the sickness to afflict her for His glory. Wigglesworth’s reply was something like:
“Yes, you should not sin. If you are healed but do not stop sinning (for example, a patient healed of lung cancer continuing to smoke cigarettes), your sickness will in all likelihood come back – because you did not repent (feel sorry + correct your behaviour) and thus did not break legal grounds for the devil to attack you again. As a matter of fact, your sickness can come back stronger than before and you would end up in a condition worse than before.” (Matthew 12:45)
It’s time we pulled down devil-erected or self-erected walls between God and us in the area of healing. If you need healing, allow God to heal you. (John 5:6) We know just how many people in this world are sick. Just imagine, if several thousand born again Christians are healed every year and in turn heal several millions of sick people through the power of the Name of Jesus, how many unsaved people would be brought into the Kingdom of God! The devil does not want to let that happen.
Phew! This series has seen 4-5 posts and I would like to thank my readers, especially on LinkedIn, for engaging in intelligent discussions (whether scripturally accurate, I’d rather not comment, because many of these contradicted each other). By God’s grace, the number of my readers is increasing. This means I will have to increase the frequency of my posts. As the Lord leads me, I will. Obedience is the key word here. Today it is healing – tomorrow it could be something else. Jesus’ command must be obeyed. The Word of God must be preached, taught and ministered under the presidency of the Holy Spirit. And God must be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. As my pastor sometimes says, “The Holy Spirit is already resident in your life. Now make Him President!”
Well that’s it for now. See you in the next post. Until then, God bless you and use you mightily as a blessing for His Kingdom and for His purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)” Galatians 3
The previous blog post “Does God Allow Sickness for His Glory?“ received a great response on LinkedIn. Some readers cited verses to argue that God lovingly (?) uses sickness to glorify Himself. Others cited verses to claim that God never allows sickness for His glory. At one point, it seemed to me like a game of tennis with aggressive and prolonged volleying from one end of the court to the other. So does it mean that the Bible contradicts itself? No! Not if you interpret it correctly.
One question that bothers people sometimes is this: “My friend is saved – her sins have been forgiven and she does not have any unconfessed sin in her life; then why did this sickness come upon her?” When I began this series of posts on healing, I said it was on healing. So in a sense, whether you are sick because you committed sins or you are sick even though you have no unconfessed sin in your life – it does not matter. Jesus did not command “they shall lay hands on the sick who have repented, and they shall recover.” He simply said “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:18)
Once you are healed – or during your healing – if you repent of your sins before God, the sickness loses legal grounds to be in you. But if you have not repented, the sickness can come back to you. But there it is – it can come back. This means it can go. So if a born again child of God commands in faith and with the authority he has, for healing to take place, the healing has to take place. In fact, Jesus did not even ask us to ‘pray’ for healing. He simply said we would lay hands on the sick and they would recover.
One more thing – those who fatalistically accept sickness saying it is God’s will for them to be sick; these people still go to the doctor to get treated. Why? If you do not want to tolerate the sickness physically, then why should your Father who formed your inward parts (Psalm 139:13) tolerate it? Wouldn’t He pull out all stops to ensure you got your healing? As I see it, it is basically a matter of indoctrination and sticking to your guns. But at all times Truth must stand. We children of God here on Earth, need to enforce God’s will (the Truth) here as it is in Heaven.
In the next post, we will discover why even sinners (saved and unsaved alike) can be healed even though they may have unconfessed sins in their life. Later, we will also see that the original promoter of sin was the devil – not God, Adam or Eve.
Praise the LORD!
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
Not convinced? Try this verse:
“If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Luke 12:28
“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” Luke 11:11
Would I allow sickness to come upon my son for my glory? I certainly would not. And mind you I am a normal human father, one who is not the Creator of this universe. Do you think our Heavenly Father, who has made all the mountains and the valleys, the seas and the fields, and the 100 billion galaxies; and most importantly the Father who gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for our sins – would such a loving and great God be glorified and be happy watching His creation – including His born again children – writhe in pain?
On December 30, 2009, I lost my cousin brother to leukaemia. The side effects of the chemotherapy – hair fall, weakness, galloping infection…do you think God rejoiced in his suffering? My uncle spent his fortune behind the treatment – 4 million Indian Rupees – close to US$ 85000 (which is quite a lot of money here in India). I don’t think my cousin’s suffering brought God any glory. You might ask, “What about John 9:3 and John 11:4?” Well, at that point of time, Jesus had not yet sacrificed his life. The event in that verse took place in between Isaiah 53:5 (“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”) and 1 Peter 2:24 (“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”). As you read this, Jesus has already died, been buried, been resurrected, presented his blood in Heaven before the Father, come back to Earth and ascended to Heaven. It is really finished! In fact, it is almost time for his return for the Rapture!
True, unsaved people cannot command sicknesses to go away as their sins are not yet forgiven. But we as believers can pray for them – in fact, we are commanded to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover – and thereby prove that what we preach is the Truth. The Old Testament says in Isaiah 54:17, that the heritage of the servants of the LORD is such that “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” Jesus said (in the New Testament – John 10:10) that “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” If no weapon formed against Old Testament saints would prosper, do you think God would allow anyone to form a weapon against New Covenant Christians and then allow it to prosper too – so that He would (?) be glorified…?
Well, I could possibly go on for many more pages. I will…but we will split these up into a few more posts. So do keep commenting. I can gain greater insight and do my bit so that the Body of Christ (of which I am a part) is built up and strengthened by the Word of God and by praise and worship that are done in Spirit and in Truth.
References to Jesus in the Qur’an! Learn more at: http://ow.ly/33iKg
Taxes, taxes everywhere, where shall I escape?
Abroad as an NRI, or on unlived landscape!
It’s not about whether to pay, but actually how much
And that’s why I need a bit help, from someone who’s in touch
Pillar to post with no income to boast, I ran many a mile
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Now I sit with my laptop, and merrily click and sway
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No need to repeat or know the law—it’s all programmed in there
Why not Sign up my dear friend, and file your Return all through?
You too shall sing, you too shall sway, and give me a big “Thank You!”
This is my first post on WordPress and I can already sense the ocean of opportunity that lies ahead of me and every WordPresso.
For all those who are Chrisitian or want to know more about Jesus, visit my other blog at http://ketanrindani.blogspot.com