Guest speaker Jon Talbert illustrates what Godly compassion looks like in our lives.
It’s good to be here. I love the energy here. Do you think it waned a little bit? No, it just keeps getting bigger and better. I don’t know what’s planned for lunch, but I’m excited because that’s following the energy here. Terry and I became friends a couple of years back and have a ton in common. Sheryl, thank you for being here. You guys are like the celebrity pastoral couple, the People Magazines best looking pastoral couple of the year. I met Terry and his daughter at a YWAM event. We sat across the table from one another and a connection began. I call it a divine intersection where God has you meet folks. I don’t know why, I just know that. The why comes later. I just try to be faithful in that and a friendship ensued where I feel like I have a brother. A brother so much like twins. There are so many things that we have in common. We are both about the same age, just a couple of months apart, and have a legacy of pastors in our family. My father’s a minister in Southern California and married for over 30 years. We’ve been married for over 30 years. He has daughters and I have daughters. They help us look cool. That’s a really good thing. I have grandkids and you guys are on deck. Sometime down the road, you’ll have grandkids. It’ll be pretty awesome. I shared this in the Easter service.
In the tech startup culture and in venture capital, they choose a mythical animal to represent a statistical rarity of successful startup ventures and businesses. They call it the unicorn. The unicorn is that elusive animal that is rarely seen. That’s a unicorn because it’s so successful. It’s stayed the course and made it. I would submit that in the faith community, a pastor who’s remained faithful to his ministry, marriage, the calling of Jesus, and His life, faithful to the myth of the gospel and the metropolitan city, such as San Francisco, would be a pastoral unicorn. Sounds funny, but that would be a great title. If you wanted to give him a title, he’s our unicorn pastor. From my view, where I see the bay area, it’s very few that have stayed the course as long as he has. You guys are privileged. It’s awesome. So, Terry, it’s fantastic to be in your church and it’s an honor to speak here as this is the fourth time. Thank you for inviting me. I want to pray, and we will read Psalm 145. I’ll take us through that passage in just a moment. Let’s pray and ask the Lord to open up our eyes, to see this passage.
Father, we commit our service and time to you that we’ve set apart this day. We didn’t call the meeting, you did. We just showed up and come with your scriptures. We ask for it to do what it has done for thousands of years, which is move us, shape us, change our thought process, and open our eyes to see things about you about this world. To see things about ourselves and how we’re to live in order to honor and bless you. Father use your scriptures today, as you have so many ways. Use it in a unique way, make our hearts open to it in Christ’s name, we pray, amen.
Psalm 145, “I exalt you my God, the king and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day. I will honor your name forever and ever. Yahweh is great and highly praised. His greatness is unsearchable. One generation will declare Your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts. I will speak of your splendor and your glorious majesty and Your wonderful works. They will proclaim the power of your awe-inspiring acts. I will declare your greatness. They will give testimony of your great goodness and will joyfully sing of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate. He’s slow to anger. His great and faithful love. The Lord is good to everyone in His compassion rest on all that He has made. All that you have made will thank you, Lord. The godly will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom and declare your might. Informing all people of your mighty acts and the glorious slender of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Your rule is for all generations. The Lord is faithful in all His words and gracious in all His actions. The Lord helps all who fall. He raises up all who are oppressed. All eyes look to you and you give them their food in proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
The passage goes on, but there’s so much of this overwhelming sense. This tidal wave, if you will, but this passage becomes the crown jewel of David’s praise to God where he celebrates this overwhelming aspect of God’s goodness, compassion, provision, and how he sustains all things. The Lord is good to everyone. He has compassion for all that He has made. When you put this in perspective and think of His goodness, the perspective of goodness spans from God’s redeeming our lives. Healing us from sickness or walking us through a broken season, all the way to the very simple. Sunshine, rain, waking up, or your next breath. From the macro to the micro. The very personal acts of goodness towards you or the general acts of goodness towards everyone. This Psalm puts it in perspective because it speaks of you sustaining everything. Not just God’s people, all people. You are good to everyone, not just God’s people, all people, all things.
He says this where he says, “I will speak of Your splendor and glorious majesty. Your wonderful works proclaim the power of Your awe-inspiring acts. I’ll give testimony of Your great goodness.” Testimony of his own life of what’s happened before him, and what will happen. When you put this into perspective, you begin to see something greater than yourself. Thus praise, honor, and exaltation begin to make more sense. You don’t think about your next breath until you can’t breathe. Like when we play a game with our kids when we go through a tunnel or something like that. We play this game where we hold our breath till we get to the other side of the tunnel. I think about halfway through, “Why’d I play this game?” This is a stupid game, but I always do it.
Even though I’m driving by myself, I hold my breath and be passed out. “What happened?” “He held his breath and he crashed,” but I hold my breath. You’re not thinking about your next breath until you don’t have one. All of a sudden you think, “No, thank God.” That’s that sustaining peace that God has provided each, not day, moment. All of a sudden you think, “Thank God.” When you’ve experienced compassion expressed towards you, you are compelled to speak of it. When someone does something that is just God’s expression, compassion, and blessing to you, you want to express that to others. It’s compassion for me. This is why when they ask me about Psalms, I pick this Psalm. It’s compassion, justice, and goodness. Getting a clear comprehension of that brought me back to the roots of my faith and grounded me in the calling of God in my life. I had a major significant disconnect of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus until I got connected to a component of compassion.
Then I began to really understand it. Let me just give you a little bit of my faith journey. I was raised in a Christian home. My father’s a Baptist minister of a very conservative church. I grew up in this home. My folks are wonderful folks that did their best to raise us, my brother, sister, and me. I was the youngest of three. We had a set of rules. We were the Pastor’s kids. You go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Does anybody else have that? You should be in my therapy group because we had a lot of church. We were only allowed to hang out with Christian kids, listen to Christian music, and watch Christian TV. Do you know how bad Christian TV is? It’s bad.
My mom had a set of rules upon which we were to live our lives. She called them the nine nasties. These are the things that we don’t do because we’re Christian. We don’t drink, smoke, or chew. As a little kid, I didn’t even get or know what that meant. My brother said, “I don’t know, just swallow. It doesn’t make sense.” “We don’t chew, who chews?” I don’t get it. We weren’t allowed to go to the movies. We weren’t allowed to go to dances, play cards or take drugs. That’s the only one that made sense. We weren’t allowed to go cruising. You know when you’re eight, I’m on my big wheel. I don’t know. We weren’t allowed to hang out with girls that did those things, because we’re Christian. I remember struggling with that. As I got older, my friends at school would say, “Hey, there’s a dance coming. Are you going to go to the dance? We’re all going to dance.” I would say, “No, I’m a Christian.” I remember arguing with my father saying, “Dad, why can’t we go to the dance? Everybody’s going to dance and I can’t go. Why can’t we go to the dance?” My dad would say in a very Baptist, whatever you think Baptist tone sounds like, “Son, dancing stimulates the lust of the flesh.” I would say, “We know. That’s why we like it.” Just being honest with my father. So I couldn’t go to the dances.
I had friends that would like to see the movies. I couldn’t go to the movies. I remember arguing with my dad over the very first movie I saw. I wasn’t allowed to go to the movies until I was 18. I snuck out when I was 17. The first movie I saw was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Can you imagine? That balls rolling down. Man, I’ve been missing everything. It was such an epic movie.During the movie, I was just mad at my parents. I’ve been missing all kinds of good stuff. Look how awesome this is. I remember arguing with my father as a kid saying, “Why can’t we go to the movies?” My friends are asking, “Are you going to the movies?” “No, because I’m a Christian.”
My dad would say, “Son, what if you’re in the theater and Jesus returns? What happens then?” I thought, “We won’t get to see the rest of the movie, that I know.” So I grew up with this tension of these are the things that we don’t do because we’re Christian. We’re Christian, so we don’t do this stuff. That was my equation of a Christian. Christian, you don’t do. I remember our dog very specifically. We had a family dog, her name was Sugar. I remember while I was sitting in the dining room or the family room watching Christian TV or something stupid, the dog comes wandering in and sits down. It popped in my head. Sugar is a Christian. She has to be. She doesn’t drink. She doesn’t smoke. She doesn’t play cards. There are dogs that do because I’ve seen this picture of dogs doing all of those things.
It is a very carnal picture, just horrible. Smoking and cards, drinking, just sinning carnality right there. My dogs are never hanging out with that dog. Just no way. It’s funny actually. I realized here is the light that went on for me. “If my dog can be a Christian, what am I doing? If this is what it means?” I had a significant disconnect from my faith that said, “Is this what it’s about?” I began to walk away because it had to be more than that, or I didn’t really care. As I went off to university, I still went to church. I still connected, but I wasn’t as engaged as I thought. I remember struggling through this very thing. I remember reading one time about this passage where Jesus had washed the disciple’s feet in John chapter 13.
At the very beginning, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. Somebody didn’t show up for work that day. So Jesus took that person’s job, which is the worst job you can have. The feet probably smelled bad. Jesus washes their feet taking on this form and role of a servant. Later on in this passage, where Jesus says, “A new command I give to you, to love one another as I have loved you. So you too should love one another. As I’ve loved you, as I’ve just demonstrated how works, you should love one another. By this, all men will know that you’re my disciples.”
All of a sudden it clicked for me. Something was different. I remember in our college group at the church, there was a lady that worked there. She had a list of people’s names that were in our community right there that were in need. There was a single mom and her four kids. The list gave the name, ages, address, phone number, and the situation. She said, “These people aren’t going to eat tonight if somebody doesn’t step in and help them.” There was a list of names of people that were struggling. It affected me. It intuitively affected me. It thought, “This isn’t right.” So I took the list and I took it back to my dorm. I showed it to the guys and we said, “We got to do something.” We took all the money we had, I mean everything, and said, “Okay, let’s go buy some groceries.” You know college guys buying groceries is not always a good thing. We thought, “They have kids, let’s get them nutritious stuff like pop tarts and fruit loops and some bananas and stuff.” So we’re just buying groceries that we thought would be good for them, college guys. We bought a bunch of things. We had about five families. We were going to drop off groceries.We had them all in the back of the car. There were four of us in the car. We’re driving to the house late at night. We drove up to the house, sneaked out of the car, took the groceries, and sneaked up to the doorstep. We set them on the doorstep and ran away.
We got in the car. One of the rules is you get in the car and you had to peel out like you did something wrong. It’s a drive-by blessing, “Hey, got you.” But something exciting was, “Whoa, that felt awesome.” You have this adrenaline thinking, “Whoa, that felt right.” We did that, dropped it off at all these houses. Then we went back to our dorm room, got on a phone, blocked the line, and called the number. “Mrs. Johnson.” “Yes.” “There’s food on your doorstep. This is God.” Boom, we’d hang up the phone. We were in the dorm saying, “Oh my gosh, that was so fun.” Nothing was better than doing compassion in a creative, innovative, heartfelt, anonymous, super kooky way, that made us go. “Yes.” It caused something to come alive inside of me that says compassion is God’s connection to the world because there’s so much need. There is so much brokenness that God’s people can connect to them through compassion, service, and justice. It became the center point of my life. I said, “I want to reconnect to faith,” because being a Christian isn’t about what I don’t do. It’s about how I continually live and love like Jesus. The caliber of love that they’ll know that I’m a disciple, by how I love. Then it was a big reconnect.
The passage in verses eight and nine is really the center point and the whole passage is built around it. “The Lord is gracious in His compassion. He’s slow to anger. He’s great and faithful love. The Lord is good to everyone. His compassion rest on all that He has made.” When I read this higher passage, there are four things that stand out to me. First, there’s this wow factor that’s connected to compassion. A wow factor. There’s something that jumps out. Starting with verses one and two, he says, “I exalt you. I praise your name. I honor and praise your name.” There’s a, “Ah,” It just jumps out anytime a name is mentioned. We sing all these songs about the name of Jesus and the name of God. Names represent the character. Anytime they’re talking about a name, they’re talking about a character. It’s the character of God.
For example, if I say the name Steph Curry, what do you think? Do you think of the things that represent his character? He can shoot three points really well. He’s a good ball handler. He makes his teammates look good. When you say his name, his character comes with it. When you say the name of Jesus, you say the name of God, and we talk about, “I just blessed the name. I praise the name. I exalt the name.” It’s basically saying, “I honor and praise your character because God is consistently compassionate and loving.” That’s the whole connection to name. The second thing I see is an indiscriminate distribution of compassion. In verse nine, where he says, “The Lord is good to everyone and compassion rest on all that He has made.” God spun the world into existence. He doesn’t only care for the ones that show up to church on Sunday morning. You realize He sustains all things. His compassion is good to everyone. He causes the sun to rise and fall on the just and unjust because that’s how good His compassion is. It’s significant.
Third, universal acknowledgment towards compassion jumps out to me. This universal acknowledgement, where he says in verse 10, “All you have made will thank you. The godly will praise you.” All you have made, all things acknowledge God, all things do this. Universal acknowledgment. So, to give an example. A headline says, “School building collapses, but all the children are safe.” What do people say? “Thank God.” I’ve had pagan and atheist friends say, “Thank God.” I’m thinking, “Really?” Because it’s something intuitive. It’s universal. Where those of faith see the same story and think, “Oh man, praise God.” It’s the same. That passage is so clear to me. “All that you’ve made will thank you for the sustaining, the compassion, and the goodness that exists in the world.”
There’s this universal acknowledgment towards something deeply embedded in every living, breathing person that when you see compassion happen, it emotionally moves you. Or when you see an opportunity to show compassion, it physically compels you because we’re made in the image of God. God, it’s good. We have that DNA in us. The fourth thing is where we’ll go deep a little bit. It is what I call a kingdom advancement that happens through compassion. A kingdom advancement because He continues in the passage starting i n verse11. He says, “They speak of your glory and your kingdom. It’s an everlasting kingdom for all generations.” He goes on to say in 14, 15, and 16, “He helps all who fall. He raises up the oppressed. He gives food and he satisfies every living thing.” Birds of the air, this is God doing this.
What fascinates and inspires me more than anything else is a follower of Jesus is the connection of God’s character and compassion. It expressed to us how the value of compassion is imputed upon me. The DNA, how it’s modeled in an indiscriminate way to live out to all He’s made. This is David talking, now we’re into this timeframe where God is talking to us. Today, compassion, goodness, generosity, justice, service, kindness, and random acts of blessing become a massive tidal wave of the extension of God and His kingdom. That’s how He does it. That’s how God is extending His kingdom through you and through compassion. Psalm 145 lays out this groundwork. Let me walk you through the New Testament passages and Jesus’ explanation of this. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good deeds, your kindness, your service, your justice, your random acts of blessing. They too glorify your Father in heaven.”
Second Corinthians 5:20 says, “We’re Christ ambassadors.” Do you know what an ambassador is? An ambassador represents that country. He speaks for the king or the president of that country. You are Christ’s ambassador of the kingdom in your world. It’s as though God were making His appeal through you, to be reconciled to Him. You are His spokesperson. Ephesians 2:10, one of my favorite verses, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,” for service, compassion, justice, and random act of kindness, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God has laid out the system of things for you to walk in and compassion becomes this massive tidal wave to express His kingdom. Psalm 145 isn’t just a celebration of what God has done in the past. It’s a blueprint. It’s a blueprint of how God’s people are to live in the present and through compassion, to actively engage in a community with the love of Christ inside of us and thus call people to that same journey we’re on. That’s what Psalm 145 is about. The DNA of compassion comes from God Himself. It’s given to us as His followers.
Here are four universal truths that I’ve found or observed about compassion. I’m going to walk you through going in from His kingdom. I believe God calls us to advance His kingdom. The first one is that compassion becomes contagious. Compassion becomes contagious. This is a universal truth. This is something that I’ve observed as I’ve leaned into this a little bit. It is a contagious thing. If we’re to build God’s kingdom, watch how compassion becomes viral. At our church, we had some men that approached me and said, “Hey, we want to do a compassion project for some of the people in our community. Single moms and widows. Oil changes, because they’re probably not thinking about it and we want to do that for them. Wouldn’t that be great?” I say, “Sure, that sounds awesome.” We arranged for it. It was coming up a couple of weeks down the road near our church. Right next to our church is a car wash. We’d ask if we can use their parking lot for some of the stuff as they bring their cars in. I talked to the manager and he said, “Hey Jon, while they’re waiting, can we wash the car for them for free?” I say, “Sure, it’s awesome.” He goes and talks to the manager of the WheelWorks next door where they have bays and they lift the cars up and all the mechanics. Then he said, “Hey, while they’re doing that, why don’t they come in? Instead of doing an oil change, we can do light tuneups and all this other stuff if the cars need help.” So they come and talk to me, “Can we do that?”
“Sure. That’s great.” These two guys go on a rampage. They go across to O’Reilly Auto Parts and talk to the manager. The manager decides that he’s going to donate all the oil and parts and things. They ask me, “Do you think we could do that?” I’m said, “It saves us money. So yeah, sure.” Then they all go across the street to the AAA, asked the manager and he says, “Hey, we’ll wave all the fees for them for a year so they can have AAA service.” “Can we do that?” “Sure.” Back across the street is a See’s Candy. I’m not making this up. There’s a See’s Candy which these gentlemen frequent quite often. They talked to the manager and they said, “We want to donate chocolates to these ladies. Can we do that?” You know what I said, “I need to check it, make sure it’s safe. Bring me some samples, but sure.”
It just kept going on and on. Right behind See’s Candy is a nail salon. I don’t know what you ladies do in those nail salons, but you seem to like it. Getting pedicures, manicures, and all that stuff. So while they’re waiting for their cars to be serviced, the ladies are in there just getting pampered to death. All these things happen. All my guys were doing was an oil change. We sucked. We’re thought, “So all we do is oil. They’re doing everything else. They don’t even go to our church.” But compassion became this viral expression where these ladies are saying, “This is Christmas. This is the best day of my life.” People coming and filling up their cars with gas and everything. It was an unbelievable thing. When something happens, it entices others to be part of serving. When God’s people are serving the community, it connects you to something that connects people that aren’t connected to Jesus, to something greater than themselves. Compassion becomes contagious.
Second, compassion is always off-balance. There’s a point to that. I love how in different times of Jesus’ day, compassion was off. Here are 5,000 people that are hungry. What does Jesus have? He has two fish and five loaves of bread. That’s enough for about 10 fish sandwiches. That’s a massive deficit. It’s always better if the needs are greater than the resources because it creates this miraculous space for God to show up. If he had 5,000 people and 5,000 sandwiches. It’s just a distribution issue. There’s no miracle there. It’s just food service. But the miracle comes when it’s the delta of, “I don’t have what I need.” This is how God forces us to see this miraculous dependency upon Him, His character, and His name to show up. First Corinthians says, “God chooses the foolish things and the weak things and the lowly things of the world and the things that are not to nullify the things that are.” Why? We don’t boast. We boast in Him. There’s a point to it being imbalanced. There’s a point to it being off-kilter.
Third, compassion disrupts the status quo, compassion disrupts status quo. There’s something about this that it’s most often my status quo, my rights, my agendas, my ways, my preferences, or my schedule. Compassion bumps that a little bit. It always seems to bump into the schedule. I know you guys have these here. In San Jose, one of my favorite stores to go to is Costco. Some of you’re thinking, “Do you do a Costco run?” That’s what we call it, we’re doing a Costco run. Costco is that great place where you can get 11 gallons of milk and a Kayak right there at the same store. You can do the food samplers and watch the big-screen TVs. Dinner and movie for the whole family. Fantastic. So we go to Costco. I’ve got a family of six and we use a cart and a flat. When we get in line, I have a cart in a flat. It’s hard as I’m watching other lines go by, I’m thinking, “Why is our line going so slow? What’s going on?” I can’t navigate a cart and a flat over to another line. So, “I’m stuck.” All I can think of is I have someplace to go. I finally get up to the front and the cashier is a girl named Natalie. I realize it’s her first day and she’s slow.
I see her, I say, “How’s it going?” She says, “It’s my first day.” I say, “We know.” Something inside of me said, “It’s not your agenda. It’s not your schedule. It’s mine.” It’s God’s. So I said to her, “Hey, you’re doing a great job. Just keep it up.” She says, “Really?” My wife says, “Really?” One of those things, right. I said, “Yeah.” I looked at my wife and said, “You know what? From here on out, every time we come to Costco, we get in Natalie’s line.” My wife’s said, “You realize she’s slow?” I said, “Yeah, but it’s perfect because it gives us a chance when we get up to the front.” By the time we get to the front, I’m like, “I don’t care how slow. Y’all can wait because I waited my turn right here. I’m going to hang out with Natalie.” We get to know her a little bit. That was 17 years ago. Every time we come to Costco, we get in Natalie’s line. We’d look for Natalie’s line and it was always the longest. It wasn’t hard to fight. We get in her line, come up, and ask “How’s it going?” and we talked about different things. She found out about her family and we just hug. We were having a moment. She knew I was a pastor at church. One time I got in line, she sees me, she waves and she goes like this “Bing.” She got engaged. She’s so happy.
I get in front. She asked me, “I got engaged and we’re going to get married. Would you help us get married? Would you do our ceremony?” I said, “Of course. Not right here, but of course.” So, a year later, we continue to see her line and work out some stuff. I remember getting in line one time and I saw her. She had a really sad face. I finally get up there. I asked, “What’s happening? What’s going on?” She said, “Well, my mother-in-law to be doesn’t want you to do the ceremony.” I asked, “Why?” She said, “She doesn’t want to pastor from Costco to perform the ceremony.” I said, “I don’t work here. I’m a real, from Kirkland Seminary. This is where I went to a seminary, Kirkland. Kirkland Church. You already know there is Kirkland, right?” I eventually did her wedding. She invited her whole family, 20 people to the Christmas service. They sat in the front. She thought it was Christmas Eve Mass. I said, “Sure, come to mass.” The story is still being told; we still get in our line, but it disrupted my agenda. My time, my way. God had opened up something. There’s never a time for compassion. It’s always disruptive of your schedule and you have to allow it to disrupt. If you change your mindset, if you go to a restaurant and you get bad service, don’t take it as bad service. Take it as an opportunity.
God has opened up the door. What if you get bad service and you give a ridiculously huge tip. You ask, “Why? No.” You’ve got this window and it changes. The kingdom stuff flips upside down. This last one is very important. Compassion brings Jesus to the center. Compassion brings Jesus to the center. Jesus’ teachings brings out this major point about connecting to compassion. When Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink.” People say, “When did that happen?” Jesus answers and centers it. Jesus is the center in the heart of compassion where he says, “Whenever you did the least of these, you did it on to me.” Meaning you missed it. Because Mother Teresa says, “In the face of the poor, you see Jesus.” Jesus is at the center of this. He’s always at the center of compassion.
We were doing a project out where we were serving some families. We were actually doing extreme makeover-type Pennington stuff where we would literally almost knock the whole house down and rebuild this house. We’re doing it in an under-resourced neighborhood, in San Jose. We were there and doing one of the projects. Everything was going perfect with the foremen, all our volunteers, thousands of people doing all this stuff, new lawn, new plumbing, and everything. The house was legit. The last thing you do when you do a house makeover is to paint it. That’s the last thing that didn’t work out that day. All of a sudden we’re down to the wire. We’re about ready to do that whole move the bus thing and no paint.
“Move that bus.” “Oh, that looks terrible.” It would’ve been that and spoiled the whole thing. I asked, “Where’re our painters?” I remember the foreman calling me saying “We don’t have painters.” I said, “Man, we got to pray. We just need Jesus to show up.” We were praying, “God, we just need you to show up on this. We don’t have painters.” There was a construction site nearby, someone doing some commercial buildings, and some painters were there, they saw us. They came over and said, “We’ve been watching what you guys are doing. Are you guys are going to paint the house?” We said, “We lost our painters.” They said, “We would paint it for you.” I said, “Oh my gosh, seriously.” So they came and volunteered their hours and everything else.They painted the whole house for us. It was unbelievable and way better than we would’ve done.
After the end, when we were all hanging out and celebrating, the painters are there and we took a little love offering for them to bless them. I said, “I’m a little embarrassed. I don’t even know your names.” One guy’s name is Moses. You can’t make this up. This is real. It’s unbelievable. The second guy’s name is Israel. “Really? Your name is Israel?” Moses is in Israel. The third guy’s name is Jesus. Now he goes by Jesus, but it’s spelled the exact same way. So I’m sticking with Jesus and the foreman calls him. We’re talking to people and we said, “People were praying for us. Jesus showed up.” “Oh, that’s great because we were praying.” “No, like he’s right here. He’s a short little Hispanic guy in the Alviso area and he’s here. Jesus showed up.” We were dying because when does that happen? Its shows the humor of God to remind us He is in the center of this.
Compassion isn’t just about doing something good. The world does all kinds of compassion. That’s good. It’s just not great. What’s great is when Jesus is in the center because if we take it all the way back to Psalm 145, it becomes worship. It becomes this deep connection to exalt and praise God. Praise God for His goodness to all and doing good through me as your ambassador. That’s the difference between good compassion and heroic. God-centered Christ in the middle of compassion that changes lives. That’s what He’s calling us to do. That’s why I was excited about teaching this today. As a church, you walk into your workplace, neighborhood, and sphere of influence. The next person you meet may be the barista where you order your coffee. If your eyes are open, then your workmanship created in Christ Jesus for these opportunities to live are born. Love like Jesus so people know you’re my disciple. It’s how you love one another.
It’s a game changer. It changes the city. It changes your trajectory. It changes the kingdom if you live this way. So here’s my challenge for you for one week. I’m going to ask you to do this. I asked all three services the same thing. I ask that in the morning for one week, this is your prayer. It’s very simple. You wake up and pray this prayer. Wake up. It’s, “God, fill me with your spirit. Fill me with your spirit. Give me the mind of Christ, give me the eyes to see, give me the hands that will serve, and give me the mouth that will bless.” That simple. Wake up, in the morning, “God fill me with your spirit. Give me the mind of Christ, the eyes that will see, the hands that will serve, the mouth that will bless.” Then watch how your day goes. If God’s pleading with and relentlessly pursuing mankind, then compassion becomes a vehicle, you’ve emptied yourself and said, “Fill me with your spirit. Give me the good mind of Christ. Let me be ready.” Just see how your week goes. All of a sudden it’s a game-changer. Now you’re not living for yourself, you’re living for the kingdom. You’re living and you are an ambassador of the king.
Will you join me in prayer? “Father, thank you for the chance to be at such an awesome, epic church like Cornerstone. Thank you for the work that you’re doing here on campus, the other campus, the individual lives of every person here, and those that couldn’t be here today. That you are extending your kingdom in the realm of everyone’s workplace, sacred space, or whatever they do. That you’re extending your kingdom through compassion and we have changed our mind. Will you disrupt our lives, our status quo, to be that conduit of change to bring Jesus to a community that so desperately needs Him. We thank you. In Christ’s name. Amen.”