Tim Keller | May 29, 2011
In some cultures or social locations, God isn’t seen as compassionate enough, because he allows terrible things to happen. In other cultures, he is seen as too compassionate and forgiving to people who have done terrible things. To fully understand the compassion of God, we have to look at what the Bible says about it. At the end of this famous story of Jonah, the word “compassion” shows up three times — what does it tell us about the compassion of God? This sermon will look at the compassion of God under three headings: 1) What is the compassion of God? 2) What is the compassion of Jesus? 3) What is the compassion of you and me?
Looking at Jonah’s frustration with God’s kindness to Nineveh, we can understand more about God’s love. Everyone views God’s love differently, often due to their upbringing and culture. By studying what the Bible says about God’s love, Jesus’s kindness, and how they should influence us, we can see things more clearly.
1. What is God’s love?
God’s love is shown through Him choosing to deeply care about us and be affected by what happens to us. He feels for our spiritual struggles, choosing to help instead of judge. Moreover, His love is forgiving, ready to pardon even those not fully committed to Him.
2. What is Jesus Christ’s love?
God’s love is most evident in Jesus Christ who, unlike Jonah, wanted to save humanity, even if it meant suffering greatly on the cross. This love is about choosing to deeply care for us, being concerned for our pain, and being ready to forgive. We each need to think about and understand this amazing love in our own lives.
3. What is our love?
God’s kindness and love should guide us, helping us to care more about others and our communities. Saying sorry and promising to do better are important, as they show we understand God’s forgiveness and help us avoid making the same mistakes. When we face challenges in trying to find salvation, we must show kindness and love, praying for help to be more like God and Jesus.
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