Community

Compassionate Community – Time for Compassion

By Karen Polich

Who are you looking out for?

Pastor Michael Cook completed his sermon series, Compassionate Community, with five reminders. (Listen here.) Galatians 6:1-10

For most of us, we can’t easily take on much more. Margin? We just don’t have it in our busy lives. Compassion compels us to make room. When we lift the burdens of someone else’s life, we take that weight onto our shoulders. Are we willing to take on a little more and “carry each other’s burdens”?

Everybody should be looking out for somebody.

Five Compassion Reminders

  1. Centrality True compassion comes from a way of life. It is foundational to the Christian faith and can’t just happen on the fringe. Mark 10:45
  2. Priority Compassion can’t come from leftovers in life. We have to make it a priority as we meet the challenges of our day. We should set our standard of living after we set our standard of giving. 1 Timothy 6:18
  3. Family We give special people in our lives special priority. A compassionate community lets the world know how important it is to care for others, no matter who they are. Galatians 6:10
  4. Opportunity Our abilities intersect with the needs of others. We see it and step in to help. We should pray that God would make us specialists in identifying the burdens of others. Galatians 6:10
  5. Longevity We rarely reap the harvest in the season of sowing. We need to be in it for the long haul, adopting a lifestyle of compassion. Sometimes it can get hard, but consistency matters. What if the benefit comes more to us than the person we are helping? Galatians 6:9

Along the road of compassion will come heartache. Those we help may bring pain. It isn’t about us. It’s about extending ourselves for others. There will also be those who bring joy as we watch them heal. God calls us to a life of compassion.

It’s time for compassion! Who are you looking out for?

Compassionate Community – The Compassion Formula

By Karen Polich

Want to live out true biblical compassion?

Listen here to Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series Compassionate Community. Sunday he shared the compassion formula for becoming a true compassionate community. John 13:33-35 

Experiencing + Extending = Exhibiting

The formula seems simple, but is more than a linear equation. “Experiencing” is the key. Without truly experiencing God’s love and mercy, it becomes difficult to extend or exhibit compassion.

God’s love for us is not contingent upon our obedience to Him.

Pastor Michael Cook described four components of “experiencing”.

  1. God accepts us. For many believers, God’s love is a concept, not something they experience. God loves us in this very moment. He loved us six months ago, ten years ago, at birth and even before we were a thought to anyone on this earth. Romans 5:8, Romans 8:1
  2. God serves our needs. He takes care of our needs. Big, small, messy, simple needs are all covered by God. He cares for our spiritual and physical needs. Hebrews 7:26, Philippians 4:19
  3. God comforts our hearts. In those dark moments of heartbreak, God comforts us. Psalm 119:76
  4. God commits His presence. He will not leave us. God is there in all things. Romans 8:35-39

Once we have experienced God’s love and forgiveness, extending that to others happens naturally. Compassion will flow from our lives and be exhibited clearly for all to see. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Living out this formula is magnetic. True biblical compassion creates a life of impact.

 

No Needy People Here

By Ty Haguewood

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.   Acts 4:32-35

There was not a needy person among them. Let me say that in my terms, “No needy people here.”

Imagine a church that

  • sees a need and does everything possible to meet it without hesitation or guilt
  • does absolutely everything in its power to meet people where they are, showing them the love of Jesus Christ
  • responds anytime its people are hurting
  • is truly of one heart and one soul.

Please don’t think I am saying we are not that church. I am only attempting to show the power a compassionate community can have when it unites together to meet each other’s needs and the needs of our community.

Look at the community of Albuquerque and the surrounding area. People seem to be walking through such difficult times, often united only by tragedy. In the midst of that, I see a community of believers that have a hope that sets the worst of people free. I see a fellowship of believers made new by the blood of Jesus, a people united by grace.

Earlier this week Pastor Michael M. Cook challenged us to look out for others because of the One who first looked out for us. Some people will take those words as a simple sermon point or cool quote. I want to challenge us to really examine the way God looked out for us first.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

While you and I were still sinners; CHRIST DIED FOR US. This life-changing news changes everything!

When we understand the reality of the resurrection, that Jesus has completely forgiven and redeemed us, we cannot remain the same. When you experience His grace, it is easy to extend grace to others.

Let us be a people that extend that grace. Let’s

  • strive to love without measure
  • devote our lives to the ministry of reconciliation
  • work together to become a compassionate community.

You are loved. You are redeemed. You are His. Go share this great news!

Then we can truly say, “NO NEEDY PEOPLE HERE.”

 

We Are… An Authentic Community

By Karen Polich

Acts 2:42-46 They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had a need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series We Are… continued with a focus on what it means to be an authentic community. Called to chase after God’s standard, we should seek to invest in the lives of those around us.

Togetherness is more than simply hanging out. Committed to learning together and sharing, an authentic biblical community grows together. Life is done together. It is more than time spent together in corporate worship on Sundays. The ups and downs, the joys the sorrows are all shared.

Four results of a true biblical community.
1. God makes His presence known. People can see the difference. It is an opportunity to be part of something special.
2. Needs are met. We all have challenges, but God is working in our challenges. He is mending, repairing and reconciling hearts in the midst of brokenness.
3. Joy returns. Enthusiasm is unmistakable. Others can see it and want to be a part of the joy. (John 20:19)
4. Lives are changed. The purpose of everything done at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is to add to lives. It is not about adding to numbers. A life saturated in Christ will overflow.

It’s easy to share our lives when good things are happening. Sometimes, though, there is more bad than good. Pain can come from many sources, even those close to us.

Our hurts and wounds are meant to be healed. It might be the hurt came from trusted people in a church. Our expectations will never be fully met until we reach authentic perfection in heaven. Knowing this doesn’t fix the hurt, but could it be that choosing to forgive will have an impact that is life altering?

Willingness to take people where they are and love them is the beginning of an authentic community. Pour your life into others and see what God will do.

Listen to Pastor Michael Cook via podcast here. Learn more about the core values of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church here.