Each sermon is published in large print for use in preaching, and for easy reading by several people gathered around the computer monitor.
IT’S ALL RIGHT TO BE COMPASSIONATE
A SERMON DELIVERED AT
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS
FESTIVAL OF YOUTH CHOIRS
2 April 1989
By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
9 The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O LORD,
And Thy godly ones shall bless Thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom,
And talk of Thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Thy mighty acts,
And the glory of the majesty of Thy kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Thy dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The LORD sustains all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to Thee,
And Thou dost give them their food in due time.
16 Thou dost open Thy hand,
And dost satisfy the desire of every living thing.
5 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.'
We are told in the Hebrew or Old Testament in Deuteronomy 6:5 and in Leviticus 19:18 that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
And part of loving God is to love all that He created, for God said that it was good. (Genesis 1)
So, what is good to God should also be good for us, and we should care about it.
We should care about each other, which includes every other human being.
We should care about all the animals, and not just our family companions.
We should care about the trees and the plants.
We should care about all of the earth, and do everything we can to protect it.
We should not desire to hurt or abuse anyone or anything.
And as we just heard in Psalm 145:9,
9. The Lord is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
If we are mean to someone or to an animal in any way, we hurt God's feelings, for He cares and loves us all.
And when we hurt and destroy the things that God has made, we also hurt God, for He lovingly created everything.
For everything and everyone speaks of God's glory and praise.
Maybe it doesn't speak with words as we speak, but just because God made it, it declares His praise.
How do I know?
Because this is my Father's world.
Hymn: This Is My Father's World
Isn't it nice to listen to the wind blow through the trees?
And doesn't it bring joy to your heart to hear the birds sing?
Haven't we enjoyed listening to a cat purr as we stroke it gently?
Isn't it nice to hear someone tell us that they love us?
And in the winter, doesn't everything take on a wonderland appearance when it is covered with fresh snow?
Isn't there a little excitement as we see spring coming along, and the trees begin to bud, and the flowers bloom?
But what if none of this was there?
Wouldn't you feel badly?
Wouldn't life be boring?
All over the world we (the human race) are still hurting each other by the millions, the animals by the billions, and ruining the environment.
We do many bad things.
Like that ship captain who was drunk and caused all that oil to spill off the coast of Alaska, that is killing many birds and other animals and making everything ugly.
God loves all those birds.
And God loves that ship captain, too, and is very sad at the way he neglected his duty.
He doesn't like what he did, but God still loves him and wants him to be truly sorry for what he did, never to get drunk again, and to turn to God with all of his heart and soul and might (everything he has).
Let us resolve to do what is right, and to pray that others would do the same.
God is still the Ruler of all heaven and earth, but the battle against the enemy is not yet won.
When things aren't right, let us resolve to call upon the Lord.
Hymn: I Will Call Upon The Lord
Instead of arguing and fighting with each other, we should call upon the Lord.
He will save us from our enemies.
See, at times we also may have been someone's enemy, and God helped us to change, and he also forgave us when we said we were sorry and truly meant it.
So, when we pray to God for people who are mean to us, that He would help them understand what they are doing and change from their bad ways, God will hear our prayers and protect us and give us peace in our hearts; and He will also reach out to the people we are praying for.
It’s all right to truly love each other.
It’s all right to feel compassion for each other and for all the animals, and to be compassionate.