“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
Hardness of heart can be toward God or man. We can shut up our bowels of compassion when we see another in need and conclude it’s their own fault to have gotten themselves into their predicament.
Mercy flows from compassion. When our heart is full of compassion we are moved to help the needy, to love the unlovely, to be gracious to the unworthy.
Compassion gives us feet. Jesus paints us a picture of God, being so full of compassion for His erring children, that He runs toward us when we make any movement toward Him.
Many people are not sure about God. They don’t know where they stand in relation to Him. They’re not sure He will receive them based upon who they are and what they’ve done. Tell them He is a God of compassion and if they will draw near to Him, He will be moved, and run toward them. Through His Son, He will be merciful, He will be gracious, He will receive them, no matter how unworthy or far off they have been.