Colossians 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; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. God chose us. He has made us fit to stand before Him by making us holy. He has loved us with the kind of love that only God can love us, His agape love. And He expects us to clothe ourselves so we are fit to be His representatives here on earth. He wants us to put on certain things. And as we saw yesterday, that “put on” doesn’t just mean putting a hat on or a shirt or jacket. It means becoming the part that the robes He provides for us mean us to be, the way a man “becomes” a judge when he puts on his official robes of office. The idea of marinating food comes to mind. We place the steak or joint or roast into the marinade so it can soak in the flavor. We put on God’s armor, His character qualities, His gifts of the Spirit, and soak up the flavor, so to speak. So the first things we are to “put on”, to marinate ourselves in, are a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. The King James Version translates the Greek as bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Remember how Jesus said that we say what we are? Matthew 12 34 …for the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. So we need to put on a “heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”. We need to saturate our lives in a marinade of “mercies, kindness, humbleness, meekness, longsuffering”. That way what we speak, what we do, will come out of the good treasure of our hearts. Now, that compassion. Let’s think about that for a little, try to get a handle of what this is that we are supposed to saturate our lives with. The Greeks figured our emotions reside in the gut. The Greek word translated “heart” or “bowels” is the word from which we get “spleen”. We talk about having a “gut reaction”, or a “feeling in my gut”. The Greek word for “compassion” or “mercies” means “pity, mercy; bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion”. God uses both terms together here so it could say we are to have compassion to the very depths of our guts. I think God describes some of that in Psalm 103: 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Paul describes his ongoing compassion for the people in the churches where he had worked, and how he worked with those people. Paul and those with him considered these people as if they were their own children. Check out 1 Thessalonians 2: 7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. …10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; 11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, Do you remember how Jesus looked out on the people of Israel? It says in Matthew 9 36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus had that gut-wrenching feeling of compassion for the people because they had no real leadership. They had nobody to teach them; they had no one to care for them. The priests, scribes, and Pharisees were all concerned with their own self righteousness and keeping up the right image. We get that today, in the dog-eat-dog world of cutthroat business. Mark 10 describes another encounter Jesus had with someone. The guy came up to Him asking about how he could get eternal life. Jesus’ response: 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him,... Remember what Jesus said to the disciples outside Sychar in John 4? It was a Samaritan city, and the Jews hated the Samaritans. He saw the men coming out and said 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Jesus was saying that God’s compassion extends far beyond just working with people we can easily like. Jesus had compassion on that woman at the well, then on the people of Samaria. He had compassion on all those he healed. Compassion drove Jesus to take care of the physical practical needs of those people when He fed the four thousand out in the middle of nowhere in Matthew 14. 32 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.” His "compassion" is the same term, the same compassion we need to put on. He had compassion on that woman caught in adultery in John 8. He said 11 “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” He didn’t let her off scot free. He gave her an assignment: to stop sinning. She was to change her lifestyle. We need to look out at the world, at the people around us, with Jesus’ eyes. Look past their outside appearance to see their real needs. We need to develop the same heart of compassion for those around us that God has for us.