Serving with Compassion – Week of June 19, 2023

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35-36

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the work or home to-do list? Sometimes just the thought of what needs to get done can be exhausting! When we are worn out like this, and stretched too thin, we feel like we don’t have the energy to give anyone anymore of ourselves.

After Jesus walked through several towns, teaching and healing, he had put in a long day! He must have been tired. And yet, “when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them”. Jesus saw their need for physical care, but more importantly, he saw their need for a Savior. They would be “like sheep without a shepherd”, lost in their own sin and looking for a remedy in all the wrong places.

We, too, wander as if we do not have a shepherd. We look in all the wrong places for a remedy for our sin. Sometimes we turn to money, vacations, and other worldly treasures. We think “If only I get a few home projects done, or get a new car, or update the wardrobe, then I will feel complete.” Sometimes we think, “I’ll just help out my community more. That will make me feel better and maybe make up for the mean things I sometimes say and do to people”. But none of these will fix our big problem of sin. Only Jesus, who died on the cross and came back to life, is the remedy for our sin. Only through Jesus do we have a clean heart and mind. Only through Jesus can we go to heaven.

How thankful we can be that Jesus showed compassion to us and others! Jesus was an example to the disciples, who would continue Jesus’ work after he died. And Jesus is the example for us. Jesus wants us to have compassion on others, to show others the truth in his Word.

Jesus knows our weaknesses and will give us the strength to have compassion on others, even when we are tired and over scheduled. We can pray to Jesus, asking for opportunities to make connections with others that need to see his compassion. This work is a privilege! May we daily turn our eyes to Jesus and his Word, thankful for the compassion he showed us and everyone through his life, death and resurrection.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for showing compassion when you came to earth to live and die for me. Help me to remember to turn to you for strength when I am weak. Help me to show compassion to others around me that need to hear about your love and forgiveness. Amen.

A Question to Consider:
When we are overwhelmed or tired, we sometimes need to recharge by resting or working on a hobby. But God also wants us to recharge by turning to him. What tools, resources, blessings, and people has God placed in your life that can remind you that God is your source of strength and comfort?

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Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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