Put on a heart of compassion    - by Bobby McDonald
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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Col 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”

One time the disciples were walking with Jesus after being rejected by a group of Samaritans and the disciples asked Him, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’" (Luke 9:54-56 NASB)
Here the disciples had contempt for unbelievers and ungodly people.  Surprisingly, Jesus said that the source of their contempt was not the Holy Spirit, but from the devil – “you do not know what kind of spirit you are of.”

Satan is the one who has the desire to see people destroyed, not God.  Many times it's tempting to play into the devil's spirit thinking that we are "fighting for Jesus."  Sometimes I've seen this type of spirit in myself and ignorantly given into this contempt.  Sometimes like the disciples, I’ve felt that God would have been pleased to see certain people destroyed.  People who have done wicked things toward God or toward me, or people who put down Christianity.  This desire to see unbelievers destroyed is not the attitude of God, that’s the attitude of a demon.  God is compassionate and patient, even with His enemies.  And thankfully He is because after all, we were once His enemies! (Romans 5:10)
Paul must have known that there’s this natural tendency in our flesh to hate people, especially our enemies or people who are laboring against us or against the Lord.  For example, the government.  There are politicians who create and approve of terrible ungodly laws and try to push Christianity out of the country.  There’s no shortage of ‘Christians’ who hate them and would like to see them destroyed!  But that’s not the heart of God, it’s the spirit of the devil.  That’s why Paul urged Timothy to pray for all people, even heathen rulers of the government!  Because God is a compassionate God who desires for them to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Like our merciful Father in Heaven, we must ‘put on a heart of compassion’.  Let’s not have a zeal to fight the unbelievers, fight the government, fight the atheists, fight the world.  Let’s be zealous to fight the sin within ourselves!  People with that kind of godly zeal are very rare.