November 17, 2013

Compassion, Empathy, and Grace

In my very first post, I posted a picture of our new couple's devotional Bible that Grandma Judy got us for our wedding.
It is a daily devotional, and we try to read it everyday. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but for the most part, we are actively reading it.
We do miss going to church and listening to a sermon though in person. 
Thankfully, technology has helped with that.
We like to listen to Matt Chandler on his church's podcast - The Village Church.
If you haven't heard of him, I suggest you look him up.
My wonderful sister and brother-in-law hosted a Bible study at their house two summers ago, and we did one of Matt Chandler's Bible studies - that was the first time we were introduced to him.

This morning, Joshua and I listened to one of his older pod casts titled "Delightful Disciple".
It really rang true with us.

If we are honest, Joshua and I are "rediscovering" Jesus - especially me.
My past is not a clean one, and sometimes it is really hard to overcome my guilt of those "lost" years.
But only by the grace of God am I able to.

That is why I wanted to share my thoughts about today's message.
Matt Chandler today talked about hypocrisy. 
But the great thing - hypocrites are welcome in God's Kingdom.
Everyone has hypocritical tendencies.
We are not perfect. We can try to be perfect and everyday we can get closer to perfection. 
No one is clean enough for God.
But we are one death away of being perfect. 
Let that sink in.
Christ's perfection carries our imperfections.
God is most glorified in not saving the pretty people.
God doesn't want the "perfects" - He wants the people that are sinners. I find my greatest comfort in that truth.
All hypocrites under God are being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

That's why the unbelievers should have the greatest hope - because even if you don't believe in him - he believes in you. He will work inside you, until you break.
And for us believers, we have to walk with grace, compassion, and empathy
beside unbelievers until God opens up their hearts and their eyes.

But the kicker, our hearts have to show grace, compassion, and empathy. Not just our actions.
Like Matt Chandler said, "no one who matters will be fooled."
In other words, God knows when we are acting. He is not fooled.

The main thing I got from his sermon today, and I hope this resonates with all of you - 
when we are a mess, that's the cross.
God doesn't care if we are perfect - God's steadfast love for us overcomes our messes. 
That's the reason Jesus died for us on the cross. God wants us and loves us - no matter what.
There is sin in the world.
We can be in the world, but don't be of the world.

So, don't walk in judgement - walk in lack of judgement.
Walk with compassion, grace, and empathy in your hearts.
Everyday, Joshua and I try to do this.

Also, if you haven't, look up and listen to Matt Chandler. You won't be disappointed.
But I will save you some time: Click on this to listen to his podcast I just talked about.


  1. Thomas and I love Matt Chandler too! He's got some good books out there.
    Glad that you and Josh are doing well up in Alaska!

  2. Matt Candler is really good! I love you Emily! I'm proud of you!!