Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13 - He Had Compassion on Them

Today's Reading: 
Jonah 1:1-4:11 
Mark 6:30-56 
Proverbs 25:21-26:2 
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Focus Verses:
Mark 6:31-34
 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

With the news of John's death and the relentless press of the crowds, Jesus decided to retreat to a solitary place with his disciples for rest. There was no escape. Everywhere Jesus went, the crowds anticipated his arrival and were waiting for him.

Instead of being completely upset with the crowds and telling them to leave him alone, Jesus had compassion on them. Jesus saw how desperate they were for guidance and truth. And so, instead of sending them away and guarding his own needs and agenda, Jesus began to teach them many things and sent his disciples to find food for them. When only a small amount of food was found, Jesus multiplied that food and fed the crowd.

Response and Action:
Jesus' love and compassion for others is compelling. I am thankful that he sees our needs and extends his grace and provision, putting our interests and well-being above his own. I will give God thanks for the grace upon grace I receive from Christ. I will follow Jesus' example and look beyond my own interests to the interests of others. Like Jesus, I want to have compassion and care for others who may interrupt my plans. I want to be willing to serve the needs of others, even if it means upsetting my schedule and delaying the fulfillment of my own needs.

O Father, thank you for Jesus who although he existed in the very form of God did not regard that equality as something to be grasped, but emptied himself for us. Thank you for the sacrifices Christ Jesus has made for us and for our salvation. Help me to follow him and, strengthened by his Spirit, to be ready and willing to empty myself and make sacrifices for others. Give me compassion and mercy for others. Through Christ, I pray. Amen. 

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Psalm 103:13-14
 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World
by Allen M. Wakabayashi

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