Saturday, August 14, 2021

Our Compassionate Savior

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“Seemlessly” is a word that has come into popular usage when contrasting issues come together and blend into one. Such a transition is said to be “seemless,” in the smoothness of the change-over.

This comes out today as Jesus deals with the Apostles and a sick young man. Jesus’ Godly compassion mixed with His frustration towards the Apostles gives insight into Jesus’ dual character: fully man, and fully God, in every aspect.

We can all relate to frustrations in life. The Godly will move past negative emotions, and get to the Godliness for which our Savior is noted. No one in this world is exempt from negative human emotions, but as Christian Believers, we are called to “overcome the world.”

Without faith, disappointment leads to frustration; which leads to emotional upset; which leads to anger, and if not caught in time, anger will lead to a destroyed relationship. Trust will be broken, heart-felt love will be undermined, and Satan will have won. We have all heard of marriages, families, and friendships broken apart this way. But this path begins with disappointment.

It is our own human self that sets the bar for relationships of every kind. Expectations must be communicated and agreed upon. If they are not communicated, then how are we to protect the relationship from unrealistic expectations, and the inevitable disappointments? It starts with faith, plain and simple, faith in Jesus Christ, to be precise. Faith sets the standard for “equal yoking,” and Godly expectations for friendships, business relationships, and marriage relationships.
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”Philemon 1:6 
Let Jesus be your guide, and your example. Emotional upset will come, but squelch it before it comes out of your mouth, destroying your witness to Jesus Christ, and those around you just see a hypocrite.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”Ephesians 4:29

Today's Audio Message:
Matthew 17:14-27 - "Our Compassionate Savior"

The point of this whole passage, in many ways, is a summary of the whole testimony of the people of God through all of history: that God moves powerfully when we believe. The power of faith.

In these next verses, we see a pleading father with a son that is demon possessed. We see the powerlessness of His disciples to heal him. We see the perversion of the faithless (disciples are symbolic of a whole generation of faithless people). Here we see the heart of Christ, the pain of His heart, and the disappointment that comes forth from His lips.

"O faithless and perverse generation." Can you sense His frustration? Here we see Jesus respond to the whole scene: the Lord confronts the perversion of the faithless generation, and He heals the child Himself.

The disciples have made a habit of faltering when difficulties arise. They had faith, but it was weak. They had a very difficult time handling what they didn’t have but knew they needed. Faith is the ability to trust God when there are no human resources around. It's one thing to say God can supply all your needs according to His riches in's another thing to pray and trust the Lord to deliver on His promise.

Whether the feeding of the 5,000. The storm on the sea; Peter walking on the sea afraid of the boisterous wind. When faith is tested it is easy to see how weak it really is at times. Here is another test of faith and another lesson and opportunity for His disciples to learn and grow.

The principle of the mustard seed is not that it’s this little seed. The principle of the mustard seed is that though it is a little seed, it grows.

Through it all we see the character of our Lord, His heart of compassion. His desire to heal and to save the lost. His patience to teach and prepare His disciples to minister to the needs of the people and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our salvation.  He is our help. He is our eternal hope.  

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