sermons about compassion

06 The Exchange

06 The Exchange

Romans 1:26-32, 2:1-4



Ancient Cliff Notes

A Great Sandwich

A Great Sandwich

We often overlook the fact that sandwiched between the two most informative passages we get on "the gifts of the Spirit" is the most far reaching, famous passage about love in the entire Bible. This is intentional. 

Faith that Can't Sit Still

Faith that Can't Sit Still

Pastor Kevin, lead pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, MI, gives a powerful message about faith. 

three: compassion

three: compassion

Compassion sees the world through the eyes of others, and it is stirred to action by what it sees. It can not sit by while injustice is done around it. 


Paint the World with Love

Paint the World with Love

The world is watching how the church will continue to respond to the issue of racism that is so evident in our world today. 

#4 Loving our Neighbors

series: Neighbor(ing)

title: Loving Our Neighbors

teacher(s): Jacob & Dawn Bender

date: March 19, 2017

scriptures: Luke 10:30-37, Acts 2:42-47, Galatians 2:6, Galatians 2:9-10, James 1:27, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Isaiah 32:8

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#3 Seeing Our Neighbor

series: Neighbor(ing)

title: Seeing Our Neighbor

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: March 5, 2017

scriptures: John 8:3-11, Genesis 2:9, Genesis 3:4-5, Genesis 3:17, Genesis 3:22-33, Psalm 106:23, Ezekiel 22:30, Revelation 22:1-4

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#6 Indifference

series: Thawing

title: indifference

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: February 12, 2017

scriptures: Revelation 3:14-20, Ezekiel 16:49, Matthew 25:45-46, Luke 16, Deuteronomy 27:19, Ephesians 6, 1 John 3:18

Jesus says to the church in Laodicea - "would that you be hot or cold... but because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!" -Revelation 3:15-16.

 Most of us growing up being taught: You should be one or the other… and we associate hot or cold as being GOOD or BAD… and the teaching is typically that being lukewarm means you are somewhere in the middle of good and bad... and with THAT framework we hear Jesus saying: you are lukewarm and because of that I will spit you out of my mouth! and That leaves people thinking that Jesus would rather a person flat out deny him… not serve him at all, than to serve him, we could say: “half heartedly” - but what does that even mean? 

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Church Bells still ring in Brooklyn

title: Church bells still ring in Brooklyn

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: December 25, 2016

scripture: Ephesians 2:19-22

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The Reconciliation Table

Courage Church 12 Year Anniversary Service

title: The Reconciliation Table

date: October 9, 2016

teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Psalm 23, Genesis 31, Luke 15:22-24, Luke 14 (The Great Banquet).

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is not this the fast I choose?

title: Is not this the fast I choose?

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: September 11, 2016

scriptures: Isaiah 58:1-12, Hebrew 4:15-16, Matthew 25, Jeremiah 29, 

This message was given on the 15 year anniversary of September 11.

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#18 Two Trees

series: Red Letter City

title: Two Trees

date: August 14, 2016

teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: Matthew 7:15-23, Jeremiah 17:5-8, Jeremiah 22:16, Matthew 23:13, Joh 14:6

#10 Giving

series: Red Letter City

title: Giving

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: June 19, 2016

scriptures: Matthew 6:1-4, John 5:44, Matthew 23, Romans 2:16, 1 Samuel 16:7, Isaiah 57:15, Jeremiah 22:16, Philippians 3:10, 1 John 4:6-7, 

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#5 Culminating at Grace

Series: The Narrative of Grace

Title: Culminating at Grace

Teacher: Jacob Bender

Date: December 13, 2015

scriptures: Matthew 1:16-15, Matthew 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:27, Matthew 18:20, Leviticus 25:1-7, Leviticus 25:5, 2 Chronicles 36:18-21, 1 Peter 2:5, Galatians 6:2.

Q: is everyone’s sabbath year the same? So if I start working in 2003, and you start in 2005, is my sabbath year 2010, yours 2012 or both in 2010?

A: You can read about it in Leviticus 25, but essentially what Happened was God said to the Israelites “when you come into the land I have given you… The land shall keep a sabbath.” So the way I have always understood it (I am not 100 percent though) is that from the time they all arrived, together, the cycle began.

How that applies to you today may vary… For me the primary takeaway from the sabbath year is, “do you trust God, truly? With everything?”

Simple, but in the new covenant, that is how I personally apply it.

Q: Do you think that Luke’s genealogy pertains to Mary & not Joseph? It would resolve some apparent contradictions between Matthew and Luke’s genealogies, but wouldn’t that also mean that Jesus was physically of the line of David through Mary?

That’s a great question, one that I wish I had mentioned in the sermon, and one that we don’t know for certain the answer to. It would make sense that the genealogy would belong to Mary because they are the same until we get to King David, and then the genealogy in Matthew continues through David’s son Solomon (the King) and Luke’s genealogy continues through David’s son Nathan. However, it is hard to say for sure because even Luke’s genealogy begins by saying (Luke 3:23) Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son the Heli… Luke’s genealogy is listed in the more traditional way, only listing the Father and son, and actually takes it all the way back to Adam.

The other question that arises in Luke comes from Luke 2:4-5, when it says that Joseph goes to Galilee to register, because HE was of the house and lineage of David. It said that he went to be registered with Mary, who he was engaged to, who was pregnant, and it was during that trip that she gave birth to Jesus. The way this is written seems to emphasis that he needed to be registered, not her, and that she was marrying into the family.

Matthew in general follows the story of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of Joseph, while Luke takes it more from Mary’s perspective, also adding more weight to the possibility that the genealogy in Luke belongs to Mary. (ie – in Luke, we read about Mary’s encounter with her cousin, Elizabeth, about John the baptist leaping in Elizabeths womb when he is in the presence of the Christ living in a pregnant Mary. It also records Mary’s song the magnificat, and the angel of the Lord visits Mary in Lukes account, where Matthew records when the angel visited Joseph, and the battle that Joseph had internally to keep Mary as his wife after everything that had happened. Romans 1:3 also says that Jesus descended from David “according to the flesh” which many also use as evidence that Mary was also a descendant.

In this message, I should have made this more clear, because it is very possible that Mary was also of the line of David, but we know without a doubt that Joseph was, and because this study is on the genealogy in Matthew, we tried to look at it from the perspective of whom Matthew was writing to. Matthew was written to the Jews, to win the Jews to Jesus, and he knew that in that culture, if the Father, adopted or not, was not of the family line, they would never have accepted him as the savior.

So at the end of the day, Mary needed Joseph to not leave her alone on Christmas, and the Jews needed Joseph to accept Mary if they were going to accept Jesus. It can be said with certainty that Joseph was of the family line of David, and in the case that the genealogy in Luke does belong to Mary, it would reconcile some complicated issues between the two genealogies and would have fulfilled the prophecies with or without Joseph but it would not change the fact that to the Jewish culture whom Matthew was writing to win to Christ, Joseph was a key to this story.

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#3 Women of the Narrative

series: the narrative of grace

title: women of the narrative

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: November 29, 2015

scripture: Matthew 1:3, Hebrews 11:31, James 1:27, Hosea 4:14, Romans 12:19, Genesis 38, 

A lot of people talk about Justice. It is something that is very close to the heart of God, but I think that a lot of people talk about it, without even knowing what it is that they are talking about.

I have, in recent months answered questions about what I believe the church should be, and what I believe is important, by talking about Justice. And often when I start talking about that, people get a bit uncomfortable. They are not quite sure how to respond to me, because they don’t understand what I am talking about. They think I mean vengeance.

It is very easy to confuse the two. Vengeance, in Hebrew is the word “naqam” which essentially just means vengeance, – Holmans Bible Dictionary tells it slightly differently when it defines it as “to avenge” or “to be punished”

The idea is to get back at someone… to make them hurt more than you hurt because what they did to you hurt.

It is an anti-gospel that many of us at times have adopted when we allow our emotions or our politics to shape our convictions rather than the truth found in the word of God.

But if you were to ask me, “What is important to you?” and I were to answer “Vengeance” – run. Any pastor who would say that, get as far away from them as you can.

Vengeance is a poison.

The bible says we must never, ever take vengeance. It says vengeance is the Lords (Romans 12:19) but it says that we must seek and defend Justice. Isaiah 1:17 says “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

The word Justice in Hebrew is the word tsadaq

it literally means “to have a just cause, OR to be in the right, or WHAT IS RIGHT…”

Justice is the right thing to do.

Thats the definition. The right thing to do.


My entire life growing up was always about abstaining. What am I not doing? Am I pure? Do I lust? Do I sin? and there is absolutely no justifying sin, there is no justifying what Tamar did, or what Rahab did, or what David and the wife of Uriah did… There is no justifying sex in any context outside of a marriage, there is no justifying doing any of those things, but I have found, for me,  in all my efforts to not do things, I didn’t do much of anything for other people, at all. 

In my little “mission” of staying away from the sinful things I got so caught up in that, that I didn’t notice people who were hurting.

I always noticed people when they were sinning.

I was really good at that. I always knew when people were doing what they weren’t supposed to be doing.

But I didn’t notice the stranger.

I didn’t think about the stranger. I thought about my friends. I didn’t entertain angels. I entertained my friends! I entertained people who knew me and had something to offer me, and who made me feel comfortable.

and though those things are all great, if your life is limited to only that, then that is not the right thing.

You know, the bible is full of stories of people who did the wrong thing. Paul talked about it constantly. He said he always did what he didn’t want to do…

King David and the wife of Uriah, they did the wrong thing. And an affair lead to a cover-up, and then lead to murder. But even King David’s mess of a life culminated at grace. It culminated at God looking at him and saying “That is a man after my own heart…. a man who does ALL that I say”

Every instance of people doing the wrong thing all throughout the bible is met with grace.

Because the entire gospel of Jesus Christ is that:

We are people who do the wrong thing.

Yet the bible speaks over and over of a God who is extremely gracious to people who do the wrong thing.

But it seems that He is far less gracious toward the people who do NOT do the right thing (JUSTICE).

The people who ignore justice, when it is right in front of them. The harshest judgments are set aside for them. James 4:17 puts it mildly when it says that “for him who knows what he ought to do, to not do it is a sin.” And Matthew 25 speaks of the harshest judgments going to the ones who ignore injustice.

Yet we focus on the sin part.

#7 Goodness

Date: August 16, 2015
Series: The Fruit of the Spirit
Title: Goodness
Teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: Ezekiel 22:30, Genesis 1:3-4, Genesis 1:27, Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 2:9, Genesis 3:5, Genesis 6:9, Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3, Exodus 32, Genesis 6:17-18, Genesis 18:22-33, 1 Peter 2:20-22, John 8


I like to think of goodness as integrity, but with a little more punch. Typically when I think of integrity, one of the main words that comes to my mind is the word consistency. The person that you are in your home when nobody is around and nobody can see, is the same person that we see. You don’t put on a new self for the sake of the public.

But goodness adds on to that in several ways. Goodness is consistently doing the right thing, not just the same thing. It is doing the right thing when you are by yourself, and doing the right thing when you are in public. But it goes even beyond and strikes an even deeper core.

It is doing the right thing whether it is what is best for you, or it its not. Its making the right decision even when its not what you want, and even when it may have a negative affect on your life.

Goodness, as Paul uses it when he is listing the Fruit of the Spirit, is the Greek word agothosune and it means “Uprightness of Heart and Life.” Your noble heart is matched identically by your noble way of life.

As simple as this may sound as you read it in a few short sentences, there is a lot to this concept, and I encourage you to join us as we journey through it in our series “Fruit of the Spirit”

#6 Kindness

Series: The Fruit of the Spirit
Title: Kindness
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: August 9, 2015

scriptures: Luke 10:25-37, Hebrews 10:24, Isaiah 32:8, Matthew 5:42, Romans 7:10, Matthew 7:22, 1 Chronicles 23:28-32, John 11:1-44, Matthew 9:35-38, Matthew 15:32, Ephesians 4:32, Romans 2:4, Romans 5:1

#1 ... you will know them by their fruits

Series: The Fruit of the Spirit
Title: … and you will know them by their fruits
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: July 5, 2015
Key Scriptures: Jeremiah 17:5-8, Matthew 7:17-18, Ezekiel 16:49, Jeremiah 22:16, Galatians 5:16-21, John 7:37-39

“And you will know them by their fruits.”

More and more, things in our culture are moving away from God.

But it seems to me that more often than not, when I see the way that Christians respond to the changes taking place in society, they put more effort into condemning other peoples actions than they do producing fruit of their own. And that is what this whole series is about. “What should my life look like, in this world?” What should the fruit of a person be like, knowing that their kingdom is not of this world?

Christians need to stop expecting non-Christians to act like Christians, and use that effort to produce fruit that leads none Christians to become Christians. And those things are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.