Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3543

Jump Start # 3543

Colossians 3:12 “So, as those who had been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience.”

  Our verse today displays the “Big Four” of the character of a child of God. Compassion. Kindness. Gentleness. Patience. These four are linked together and one leads to the other. They begin with compassion. That’s within us. That’s how we see and feel about others. We sing the hymn, “Does Jesus care?” That’s about compassion. But from compassion on the inside, comes kindness on the outside. One is kind because one is compassionate. Without the compassion on the inside, there won’t be any kindness on the outside. Then follows gentleness. Kindness and gentleness go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to have one without the other. Kindness and gentleness are how we treat others. Then, bringing up the end is patience. When our patience runs thin, we tend to snap at others. Suddenly, gentleness and kindness have gone. Patience is a necessary ingredient to keep our spirits where they ought to be.

  These times certainly need these “Big Four.” Politicians angrily shout and scream at each other. People are losing it in restaurants and fast food places. Patience isn’t something you find very often along America’s highways.

  Leading the way with these “Big Four,” is compassion. One can’t really teach gentleness until a person first gets compassion. Without compassion, kindness will never happen. And, as that hymn, “Does Jesus care,” is sung, more appropriately one needs to ask, “Do I care?” Until I care, I won’t pray. Until I care, I won’t serve. Until I care, I won’t be patient, gentle or kind.

  Jesus illustrated compassion. His heart was moved by plight of others. He helped the hurting. He brought life to the broken. He went to Samaria. He went to the home of a tax collector. But one of the ways Jesus showed compassion, and such a simple thing, was by touch. Jesus touched others.

· Mt 8:3 “And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am will; be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

· Mt 8:15 “And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and waited on Him.”

· Mt 9:25 “But when the crowd had been put out, He entered and took her by the hand; and the girl arose.”

· Mt 9:29 “Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘Be it done to you according to your faith.’”

· Mt 14:31 “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

· Mt 17:7 “And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’”

· Mt 19:13 “Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.”

· Luke 7:14 “And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise!’”

· Revelation 1:17 “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.”

  The touch of Jesus. Why did He do that? He could have healed from a distance? Why touch?

  First, a touch is going out of your way. It shows warmth, compassion and love. This is why hugs and handshakes mean so much. A look in the eyes and a great hug speaks without words. It says, “I’m here.” It says, “I care.” It says, “I love you.” Jesus touched.

  We must realize that within our fellowship, there are many that wonder if anyone cares. There are those who believe that they could drop out of sight and no one would ever miss them. They feel alone in a church building filled with people. What they need is compassion. They need to know, even though they are struggling and still working on so many things, they are loved. The key is compassion.

  In the prodigal story, Luke records, “…his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” The father ran because he first felt compassion. The father demonstrated that compassion with an embrace and a kiss. We don’t find the father asking thirty questions about where you have been. We don’t find the father giving a lecture. In fact, as the text flows, the father never says a word to the prodigal. He speaks to the servants. He speaks to the older son. But to the prodigal, no words. Just a hug and a kiss. That’s all that was necessary.

  Fellowship isn’t a cold, indifferent membership like to some club. It’s hugs. It’s kisses. It’s compassion. It’s gentleness. It’s kindness.

  Second, to touch, as Jesus did, means one has to be in the same location and next to a person. A text is nice. A phone call helps. But nothing beats your presence. This is why stopping by the funeral home is a must. This is why dropping by a house with some warm soup and cookies is so important. It speaks volumes. Hallmark Cards once had a slogan, “When you care enough to send the best.” The best isn’t a Hallmark card. The best is yourself. Jesus came. Jesus touched.

  Praying for others is essential. But how many know that you ever prayed for them?

  Third, Jesus showed compassion by doing things for others. It is easy to hide behind the offer, “If you need anything let me know,” realizing that most will never let you know. Few will ask for help. Pride. Not wanting to bother others. Being private. Many reasons, but the need remains. You and I can’t heal as Jesus did. But we can go to the grocery store. We can mow the yard. We can drive someone to the doctor’s office. “Let me know if I can help you.” They won’t. You must offer. You must say, “Let me drive you to the doctor’s office.” “I’m coming over tomorrow to get the sticks out of your yard.”

  Jesus came. Jesus touched. Jesus made a difference. It all begins with compassion.