Passion and Compassion:
“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31).
What’s your purpose? In the above Scriptures, Jesus teaches us what should be the two things that consume our lives—passion and compassion. Passion speaks of our love for God: loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Compassion speaks of our love for our neighbours: loving one another as we love ourselves. Jesus says there are no greater commands than these! That tells me that it would be a good thing to understand these two commandments, and to seek to walk them out in our daily lives.
PASSION FOR GOD:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:9-14).
What does it mean to love God? We are commanded to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s a lot of love. And yet this is the first and greatest commandment of them all. Practically speaking, how do we love God in this way? How do we know if we have this kind of passion for God? Jesus gave us a clue when He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15). What does it mean to have a passion for God, to love Him? To love Him is to keep His commandments. If you have a passion for God, let that be expressed through obedience to His written word, and to what His Spirit is leading you to do every day.
COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE:
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18).
As Christians, we are commanded by God to have a compassion for people—to love people as much as we love ourselves. First John 4:7-8 tells us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Passion for God includes having compassion for people. You can’t say, “I love Jesus, but I hate people.” No! The Bible says if you really love God, then that love will be expressed in a very real and practical love and compassion for people.
The whole Christian life can be summed up with these two simple commands: passion for God, and compassion for people. Let us seek to become more and more perfected in the love walk: loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving our neighbour as ourselves.
Pastor Chris Jordan