RELATED VERSE: THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
From the words of Jesus, this is compassion:
“A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the inn keeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you’ “ (Luke 10:30-35).
Children, do you see the difference in the hearts of these men who came upon the beaten man laying by the roadside? The priest and the Levite, supposedly God-fearing men, went to the extreme of passing on the other side of the road, literally avoiding a dying man! But the Samaritan, whose people happened to be despised by the Jews because of their mixed Gentile blood, did everything he could to give life back to him. Do you see, this compassionate Samaritan went out of his way to help a dying man, who, at this particular time period, was considered an “enemy”? And also, do you see it cost him time, and money, and energy? However, he was pleased to offer his help.
Sweet ones, I want you to know, there are so many people “out there” who are not only suffering physically, but are, more importantly, “dying” spiritually. I am praying you will be able to see and feel the pain and hurt of another person’s heart, so that you can help bind up their wounds through the love of Christ. Jesus expects this from you, you know. His last words in the story about the Good Samaritan were directed to all of us: “Go and do the same” (Luke 10:37) Heed this call, and open the eyes of your heart—see, with compassion, the hunger of the hungry, the sickness of the sickly, the hurt of the hurting, and the loneliness of the lonely. Then, have mercy on them just as your Heavenly Father had mercy on you.
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
- Read and discuss the story of the Good Samaritan.
- Ask your children if there is one specific person to whom they would like to show compassion.
- Pray for this person. Ask God, also, to show you what to do for him or her. When He answers, ACT. (Do not procrastinate!)
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are the God of great compassion, “(staying) near to the brokenhearted and (saving) those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Thank You for Your intimate love that can bind up the wounds of an aching soul. May my children see how You work and be awed by it. Then by Your Spirit, may they desire to have a heart full of compassion that mirrors Yours. May they never get so involved in their own selfish desires that they become oblivious to the needs (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) of hurting people around them. Forgive me for doing this very thing, dear Lord. Convict my heart, and my husband’s, to be a living example of how to show compassion to others—loving our neighbors (whoever they may be) as we love ourselves. Help us to be able to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
But more than looking at us, may they look to You, Lord Jesus, the greatest living example of compassion there ever was or will be! May my children be deeply touched by the way You gave endless mercy to those suffering around You while You walked on this earth—healing the sick, feeding the hungry, listening to the needy, and saving the lost. And the same compassion in Your eyes and the same love in Your touch that You gave then, is still poured out in abundance on Your children today. For You never change, and Your compassion never fails—it is new every morning. Thank You dear Jesus, for this truth! May my children fall at Your feet and find this endless mercy. Then, may they rise up, and extend this same compassion to all those around them who may be crushed in spirit.
Scripture references in letter:
Is. 61:1, Pr. 3:3-4; Ps. 41:1-3; Luke 6:36
Scripture references in prayer:
Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 12:15-16; Matt. 9:36-38; Matt. 11:4-5; Is. 30:18-19; Heb. 13:8; Lam. 3:21-25; Ps. 40:11; Col. 3:12-14; Matt. 25:36-40; Matt. 5:7