Andrew Fountain - Stories of God's Compassion and Grace


Full sermon notes - Stories of God’s Compassion & Grace

God’s Compassion & Grace

  1. Compassion & grace to everyone
    • especially those in need
    • and particularly those who cry for help
  2. Compassion & grace in bringing us into his family
  3. Continuing relationship of compassion and grace

“Hannah’s Prayer”

Image source: Arden

  • Her story
    • Two wives
    • She had no children (in that culture...)
    • She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.

Hannah’s prayer: 1 Sam 2:1–8

  1. “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.…
  2. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
  3. The bows of warriors are shattered, but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
  4. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
  5. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour…
  • Jesus exemplified this compassion:

Jesus’ compassion

  • When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt 9:36
  • When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matt 14:14
  • Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Matt 15:32

Matthew 20

  1. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  2. The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  3. And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
  4. They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
  5. And Jesus in compassion touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

Luke 7

  1. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.
  2. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
  3. Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
  4. And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
  • God’s very nature is to have compassion—be like that!
    • gentleness and tenderness
    • If someone were to describe you, would they use those words:
    • compassionate, merciful, gentle, tender, kind

How should we respond to this?

  • We should be like God in this way
    • Jas 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
    • Why is it hard for us to think of God as compassionate?
    • It almost seems like a weakness to be soft-hearted!
    • In some cultures it is. Some views of “being a man” are about being tough-hearted
  • Some people preach grace, but:
    • They are so strong on Grace, that you had better not disagree with them
    • You’ll get attacked and condemned if you don’t preach grace like they do!

2. Grace in bringing us into his family

God’s Compassion & Grace

  1. Compassion & grace to everyone
    • especially those in need
    • and particularly those who cry for help
  2. Compassion & grace in bringing us into his family
  3. Continuing relationship of compassion and grace

“Jacob’s Dream”

Image source: José de Ribera

  • Jacob (when his father “made a will” he deceived him)
  • Gen 28:15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,
    and will bring you back to this land.
    For I will not leave you
    until I have done what I have promised you.”
  • Then later his descendents go down to Egypt, a nation is born, but it is in slavery and without hope and about to be destroyed

Ezekiel 16:1–16

  1. …This is what the sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem:…
  2. As for your birth, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; you were certainly not rubbed down with salt, nor wrapped with blankets.
  3. No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; you were thrown out into the open field because you were detested on the day you were born.
  4. ” ‘I passed by you and saw you kicking around helplessly in your blood. I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!”
  5. I made you plentiful like sprouts in a field; you grew tall and came of age so that you could wear jewelry.…
  6. ” ‘Then I saw you again and noticed that you had reached the age for love. I spread my cloak over you and covered your nakedness. I swore a solemn oath to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you, declares the sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
  7. ” ‘Then I bathed you in water, washed the blood off you, and anointed you with fragrant oil.
  8. I dressed you in embroidered clothing and put fine leather sandals on your feet. I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.
  9. I adorned you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.
  10. I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.
  11. You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery. You ate the finest flour, honey, and olive oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained the position of royalty.

Version: NET

  • But once again, Jesus is the full revelation of God’s compassionate love
    • John 3:16

Jesus: Matthew 11

  1. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  2. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  3. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

How should we respond to this?

  • How do I come to Jesus?
    • Admit that you need his forgiveness, you need his help, you can’t do it yourself
    • Trust yourself to his leadership for your life. Surrender control to him, trusting that he will give you life

3. A continuing relationship of compassion and grace

God’s Compassion & Grace

  1. Compassion & grace to everyone
    • especially those in need
    • and particularly those who cry for help
  2. Compassion & grace in bringing us into his family
  3. Continuing relationship of compassion and grace

“City of David”

Image source: Anita363

  • David’s sin

Psalm 51

  1. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!…
  2. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…
  3. Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  4. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
  5. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
  • And God did!

Psalm 116

  1. I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
  2. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
  3. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of the grave laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
  4. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
  5. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

Psalm 118

  1. Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
  2. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

How should we respond to this?

Our Response

  • Many Christians live under a “harsh” God
  • Our experience of authority is that it is not kind and gentle
  • Most of us need a huge change in our view of God
  • He is like the father in the parable of the “lost son”

Nehemiah 9

  1. They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled…. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them,
  2. even when they made a cast image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up from Egypt,’ or when they committed atrocious blasphemies.
  3. “Due to your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. The pillar of cloud did not stop guiding them in the path by day, nor did the pillar of fire stop illuminating for them by night the path on which they should travel.
  • Back to prev slide:
  • There are consequences to sin, but God is ready to hear you any time
    • We feel he is angry with us, but we need to remember these stories of his compassion
  1. Be compassionate and grace-filled to others
  2. Enjoy God’s gentleness and kindness to you.

Updated on 2013-07-22 by Andrew Fountain