Mark 6:34 – And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
In my first Second Miler on the Ministry of Compassion, I spoke of the three major manifestations of the love of God; mercy, compassion, and grace. While our study will be primarily on compassion, so its place in the trinity of love’s manifestation will be clearer, let’s look at mercy and grace first. Then we’ll focus on compassion.
When we consider these three manifestations of God’s love, so we can recognize which of the three of which we are partaking, we need to recognize what is needful for them to be manifest. Each of these elements are marvelously powerful manifestations of the love of God, but each one is manifest in a different atmosphere. Mercy endures forever. We are told in Hebrews that if we come to the throne of grace, we “obtain mercy.” For the believer, that means all one has to do is come to the Lord, and mercy will be there for you. In Psalm 136, speaking of the manifestation of mercy to the children of Israel, we se that it was manifest for them again and again, in every situation they faced, and in many of those situations, the children of Israel were not always living as they ought to live, or operating at a high level of faith. And keep in mind, that in the Old Testament, no one was born again. That could not happen until after Jesus had been raised from the dead. And again, I will remind you that in Psalm 136, we are told again and again that “His mercy endures forever.” As long as there is God, there is mercy for anyone and everyone. The fact that sinners live and enjoy any life at all is the mercy (love) of God. It is not a matter of what one believes or deserves, but that the mercy (love) of God endures forever.
On the other end of the spectrum of the love of God is grace. I challenge you to examine the Scriptures closely, especially Hebrews 4:16. Any time anyone comes to the throne of God, mercy is extended; it is a given, for it endures forever. But look at the words as they relate to grace. There were read that we “find grace.” The indication that grace (the highest manifestation of love) is to be sought, searched for, or that one must “find” it. When we read the Old Testament, we read that men like Noah, Moses, and others “found grace” in the eyes of the Lord. In our next Second Miler, we will look again at grace in our study of compassion.
Manna for Today – Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 9:36; Matthew 14:14; Matthew 15:2; Matthew 20:34; Mark 1:41; Mark 5:19; Mark 8:2; Luke 7:13; Psalm 136; Hebrews 4:16