Stories of God's Compassion & Grace

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2021-04-18
  • Understanding God’s compassion is vital for living an authentic Christian life.
  • It shines most brightly in the N.T. in Jesus, but there are some remarkable stories in the Old, demonstrating that God does not change.
  • Many of us have trouble receiving this compassion and grace, which makes it hard for us to show it to others, and to experience joy ourselves.
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Sermon Outline - Stories of God’s Compassion & Grace


To hear and take in stories of God’s compassion & grace
and be able to apply them to ourselves and others.

  • The O.T. is like a dimly lit room which is richly furnished
    It needs the light of the New Testament

Stages in God’s compassion and grace

  1. Gives it to those who need it/ask for it
  2. Brings them into his family
  3. Continuing relationship of compassion and grace

Stories of God’s Compassion & Grace

  1. Compassion & grace to those in need, especially those who cry for help
  2. Grace & forgiveness to everyone who asks for it
  3. Being a person of compassion & grace

1. Compassion & grace to those in need, especially those who cry for help

“Hannah’s Prayer”

Hannah's Prayer

Image source: “Arden”

Hannah’s prayer: 1 Samuel 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.

Hannah’s prayer: 1 Sam 2:1–8

  1. The bows of warriors are shattered, but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
  2. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
  3. 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’ 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
    • There seems to be a connection between Jesus healing people and having compassion because very often the text mentions this,
  • 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 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.
  • In the N.T. we have very clear parables like the Good Samaritan, but the same ideas are there in seed form in the old

Leviticus 19

  1. When a foreigner resides with you in your land,
    you must not oppress him.
  2. The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you;
    so you must love him as yourself,
    because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
    I am the LORD your God.

2. Grace & forgiveness to everyone who asks for it

2 Chronicles 33 —Manasseh

  1. Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
  2. He did evil in the sight of the LORD and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations whom the LORD drove out ahead of the Israelites.
  3. He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky and worshiped them.
  4. He built altars in the LORD’s temple, about which the LORD had said, “Jerusalem will be my permanent home.”
  5. In the two courtyards of the LORD’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky.
  6. He sacrificed his sons in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom and practiced divination, omen reading, and sorcery. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits and appointed magicians to supervise it. He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the LORD and angered him.
  7. He put an idolatrous image he had made in God’s temple…
  8. But Manasseh misled the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem so that they sinned more than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.
  9. The LORD confronted Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.
  10. So the LORD brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria. They seized Manasseh, put hooks in his nose, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon.
  11. In his pain Manasseh asked the LORD his God for mercy and truly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.
  12. When he prayed to the LORD, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his cry for mercy. The LORD brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh realized that the LORD is the true God.
  13. He removed the foreign gods and images from the LORD’s temple and all the altars he had built on the hill of the LORD’s temple and in Jerusalem; he threw them outside the city.
  14. He erected the altar of the LORD and offered on it peace offerings and thank offerings. He told the people of Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.

Jesus in John 3

  1. “For God so loved the world,
    that he gave his only Son,
    that whoever believes in him should not perish
    but have eternal life.

3. Being a person of compassion & grace

“City of David”

City of David

Image source: “Arden”

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.

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.

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
    • need to read the stories, esp of Jesus, and say “This is 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 (chesed). You did not abandon them,

Nehemiah 9 cont’d

  1. 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.
  2. “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.

Three reasons for receiving God’s compassion

  1. Our self-talk is out of alignment with what God is saying about us.
  2. People who don’t receive God’s compassion, rarely know how to give it to others
  3. We reduce our effectivness as Christians who are to reflect God to this world.


  1. Be compassionate and grace-filled to others
    • stepping out in dependence on God’s strength
  2. Enjoy God’s gentleness and kindness to you
    • especially in the way you talk to yourself

Updated on 2021-04-12 by Andrew Fountain