MATTHEW 24:12 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Nov 14-21)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Scripturally, there is a balance in the Church between teaching, learning, discernment, discipleship etc. and good works, acts of service, fellowship, acts of love, etc. Imbalance is bad. A church that focuses too much on good works at the expense of Scriptural devotion, for example, loses its foundation in Christ and discernment in His Word. Some modern churches go so far as to neglect the 1st Commandment (to love the God above all things) in place of of the 2nd Commandment (to love your neighbor as yourself). This turns churches into "community service centers," which don't know God's Word. On the other end, a church that focuses entirely on teaching and discernment can neglect the love we are supposed to live through Christ to our Brothers and Sisters and to the lost.
Unfortunately, regardless of your Godly knowledge and understanding, if you don't have love you become apathetic. Apathy robs the heart from churches. Apathy is a “lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern” (Google Dictionary). If you are apathetic towards people, you lack interest in their lives, lack enthusiasm for who they are and what they are up to, and you lack concern for what is happening in their lives. In complete opposition to apathy, we are told to be compassionate towards others in God's Word. Compassion is to have “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Sympathy is “1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune. 2. understanding between people; common feeling. Support in the form of shared feelings or opinions.” As Believers, we are to have understanding for one another and our situations. More than all this, we are told to love our Brothers and Sisters in the Church. Love in the New Testament is often the Greek word "agape," which is “love, benevolence, good will, esteem; plural: love-feasts. A slightly different wording of this definition is that love is “affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast - (feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love” (Strongs Concordance). A feast of charity or love was a provisional fellowship between all the Brothers and Sisters in the Church. Goodwill is “friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitudes” to others.
In the Church, Jesus is our example - the Head of the Church - and He not only taught, instructed, and disciple people, but also had compassion for their simple needs, including illness, injury, and even hunger. Like Jesus, are we aware of our Brothers and Sisters? Do we see them? Are we compassionate enough to be concerned after their lives and have interest in them, enthusiasm for their interests, and concern for their welfare? Or are we apathetic?
May we be compassionate and not apathetic towards our Brothers and Sisters in good works, fellowship, and acts of service - at the same time, may we be discerning through God's Word and intent on growing in our knowledge and personal relationship with God. Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
LIVE IN COMPASSION AND NOT APATHY
“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).
“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:2-4).
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13).
“And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, ‘I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way’” (Matthew 15:32).
“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34).
“I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat” (Mark 8:2).
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:1-3).
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
“Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, And for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:37-40).
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works’” (James 2:14-18).
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).
GROW IN KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND HIS WORD
“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14).
“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you” (1 Corinthians 1:4-6).
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17).
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).
“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9).
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
“But in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true” (2 Corinthians 6:4-8).
“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints” (Colossians 1:25-26).