Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

Show Mercy and Be Compassionate with One Another

by Dick Wulf | Course Two

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In showing mercy and delivering compassion to fellow believers who are terribly disadvantaged by physical or emotional damage, we become more focused on getting our own spirits ready for heaven.

By helping those who struggle with debilitating conditions – first with their basic needs – and then going beyond the veil of physical life to show them their opportunities to develop their spirits, we will get in closer touch with the need to develop our own spirits. If we then pay more attention to letting God change our spirits to be more like Jesus, we will be able to take in more of heaven when we get there.

Jesus used mercy and compassion with regard to the physical world to open understanding to the spiritual world. On one occasion, after teaching them spiritual truth for many hours, He fed thousands of people to meet their physical hunger. The next day they followed Him for more food. He essentially said to them, “Don’t you get it? Life is all about spiritual food.”

They failed to recognize that gains in the spirit are the end game. We fail to understand this also. God’s blessings in the material world are far less valuable than the blessings in our spirits.

In showing mercy and compassion up close and personal with our brothers and sisters in the faith who are helpless in some critical way, we have the possibility of discovering that what counts is the maturity of our spirits, that which deep down inside us is who we truly are.

While there are many conditions in others that require mercy and compassion, I will focus on those with serious physical problems. Just keep in mind that there are many more situations that God wants us to address with mercy and compassion.

We can powerfully prepare for heaven by being merciful and compassionate to incapacitated Christians in any way that we can. But, we must help them see their condition as an opportunity to focus on preparing their spirits for heaven and not to just wait to get there and be physically or mentally whole again.

To be sure, restoration of their bodies and minds is truly something wonderful for all of us to be looking forward to. We have this assurance from the Bible in 1 Cor 15:43: “The bodies we have now embarrass us, for they become sick and die; but they will be full of glory when we come back to life again. Yes, they are weak, dying bodies now, but when we live again they will be full of strength.”

However, there is more for our disabled Christian friends and relatives for right now – something that can be extremely exciting and help with their discouragement. While they are waiting for heaven to get back what they have lost, there is much more important work they can do now. They can develop their spirits. The condition of their spirits will impact their lives forever.

Think of the hope we can all have, but especially those who need our mercy and compassion, when we read this from 2 Cor 4:16-18: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Hopefully, if we pass this news on to those who need our mercy and compassion, we ourselves will wake up to our own urgency to focus on the growth of our spirits into the image of Jesus Christ.

It is so important that in showing mercy and compassion to those who are handicapped we deal with their opportunity to spend more time than we can on getting their spirits ready for heaven. To illustrate this, let me read a lengthy portion of one of the vignettes from the expanded material you can read at If you have gone there, you have seen that each of the 65 Togethers has six small stories to help us understand. That is 390 vignettes to help us grasp obedience to the Scriptures that tell us what God wants us to do when we get together as Christians.

So, here is the story, a bit long but shortened from what you will read at
Sadie has a friend named Andrea who is wheelchair bound and will never be able to swim, hike and do the physical things she could until this disease took over her body in her 30’s.
Andrea has been strong for about as long as she can hold up. She expressed to Sadie her dismay in asking one day, “If God loves me, why has he given me this incurable disease?” Sadie had been troubled by the same question ever since her good friend came down with multiple sclerosis.

Soon afterward, Sadie said to Andrea, “You are such a cherished friend. I want you to be open to what I am about to say. The Lord has revealed to me an explanation why He has allowed Satan to take your physical health. And, if you will pray about this, it may just be that you are in a special place, not a terrible life.

“Certainly, you will have a special standing in eternity because you are so afflicted by the destruction of Satan. We read in the book of the Revelation that martyrs appear in heaven dressed in white and are greatly honored. You will most likely have a similar status. Yet, that doesn’t make today any easier. But what God has revealed to me may not only lighten your load, but, hopefully fill you with great joy and some satisfaction with your situation.

“The first thing the Lord showed me was in Romans 8:29 which says that our most important purpose in this life before death is to be conformed by God into the image of Jesus. No other thing in life is very important next to this transformation to Christlikeness. All the physical things I can do are small next to what we both can do, which is to be transformed more and more into the nature of our Savior.

“What I have been seeing lately is that most of our transformation into the image of Jesus is to be changed in our spirits. When we die, we will only have spiritual bodies until God creates a new heaven and earth and gives us new physical bodies. I look so forward when in heaven you and I can swim at the beach like we used to do. We will be able to do it forever. Yet, I am aware that you in your spirit will enjoy swimming so much more than I will ever be able. For a few years now I will enjoy swimming when you cannot. But, when we swim in heaven you will be so ecstatic at again being able to do so, that I will have only a fraction of the joy in swimming that you will feel for years without end. With that heavenly perspective, which of us is better off now? Might it be you?

“To understand what I have been hearing in my spirit, with my mind catching up slowly, is that it is our spirits that count. Deep inside of us is the core of who we are. And that is our spirit, descended from that first breath God gave to Adam. This is who we are. When the Bible says we are created anew in Christ Jesus, it is not talking about our physical body. When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, any sores we had remained to heal in the natural way. It was our spirit that was finally made to live in life rather than in death.

“So, let’s think differently about your condition that makes both you and I so sad at times. You have a way to face this life from the perspective of heaven while I am often too grounded to this earthly life. Even if you have energy for only a few hours a day, you usually have more time to work on improving your spirit in preparation for heaven than I do.

“So, while I am taking my kids to soccer games or doing so many of the things you cannot, I will not be letting the Holy Spirit help me look past sins and irritating behavior of some new type of person. By the time I grow my spirit to bear with a Christian who has cheated on her husband, you will have done that long before and be working on not judging some additional type of disagreeable person 25 people types ahead of me. You will have the stronger, more capable spirit with which to enter heaven. And, I will have only a ski trip.

“Do you think you can find joy in the condition you are in by knowing that you can still do the things that count eternally? I hope you can. And, because you will be so far ahead of me, I hope you will help me along so that I can enter heaven with many more abilities in my spirit for having known you as my close friend.”

When Sadie stopped talking, both women had tears in their eyes.
We will not need to show mercy and compassion to others in heaven. There will be no pain, no disability, no mental illness, no tragedies. The absence of incapacitation is just why our joy will be increased to the extent that we allowed ourselves to show mercy and compassion and deal with misery so up close and personal before we died.

Even now, when I am with people who have no pain, I am happier than others because one of my very best friends is in continual pain. When I am with him, I want so much for him not to be struggling and incapacitated from so much of life he used to enjoy. And, I hope so much that he is handling his limited life by reaching further into spiritual life. The emotional sadness I experience when with him is surprisingly worth it and not something to be avoided. It will add joy to my eternal experience in heaven.

Everything about Jesus was merciful. He personified compassion. Isn’t the opportunity exciting to be made by the Holy Spirit more like the most merciful, most compassionate human Who every lived?

Jesus took on limitations to His life so He could give time and energy to minister to the most needy. We, too, can do likewise and make ourselves available to those who are in need of merciful compassion. Although this might begin with kindness, merciful compassion goes quite a bit further.

Desperate need was what Jesus responded to with mercy and compassion. It was mercy because it was freely given, not owed or a duty that had to be performed. It was compassion because it truly helped the helpless.

So, while most of the recipients of our love need something less than mercy and compassion, to grow to be like Jesus we must take advantage of those times in our lives when our paths intersect with those helpless to do anything about the plight in which they find themselves. Since for most of us these opportunities don’t come very often, when they do, we want to pounce on the chance to show merciful compassion. Something unique in our spirits can change to be like Jesus in His mercy and compassion only by such opportunities.

If we are fortunate enough to have the chance to have in our lives someone who is infirm, we want to show them compassion. If they cannot get to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, do we realize how fortunate we are to drop whatever we wanted to do and retrieve that medicine for them? If they are homebound and very lonely, will we take the opportunity to grow ourselves more like Jesus and visit them? It is just compassion if we consider it as something we should do or a recreational activity to get us out of the house. But, it is merciful compassion if we do it just because they need it, – even more so if it is an inconvenience.

Yet, there are situations where we are obligated and the need is beyond what we alone can supply. Merciful compassion is required for a relative or very close friend. These opportunities really stretch our spirits into conformity with Christ’s spirit. An elderly parent may need personal attention and compassion that requires extraordinary love from his or her adult children. But, when that parent is caught in the grips of dementia or Alzheimer disease and the need is to listen to the same stories over and over again or continually answer the same question within minutes because it has been forgotten, the patience and time required really is a sacrifice of mercy. Such difficult mercy changes us, after which we are never again so little like Jesus in our spirits as we were before.

In many cases, one of us alone cannot meet the need of another who is seriously disabled. We need to work together to help with many practical needs such as shopping for food and clothing, cleaning house, helping with the needs of children in the home, to name a few of the more obvious. Working together, a few Christian friends, a Christian family, or a Christian married couple can carry the complicated burdens and give the necessary heartfelt mercy and compassion.

After those needs are satisfied we can address the spiritual aspect of life with these seriously impaired believers. We can try to open up their lives so that they do not feel less able than us with regard to what matters most.

Perhaps we can seek out people who need merciful help and compassion. Let’s show mercy and compassion and explain to the disabled that they have time to develop their spirits – and that is no small thing. In showing mercy and compassion, let’s develop our own spirits through all of the Togethers as we pursue faith together.

Reflection & Group Tools

Be generous with mercy and compassion, especially to the physically and mentally incapacitated and victims of violence.

Luke 6:35-36; Eph 4:32; Col 3:12; James 2:13

Prayer to Embrace this Together

Compassionate Lord Who has shown us such mercy, I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits to show mercy to and be compassionate with believers struggling with debilitating conditions, whether related to basic needs or physical and emotional damage. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit for all of us to give You more glory through showing mercy and compassion that includes helping others see their opportunities, no matter their situation, to develop their spirits for relationship with You as well as for life in heaven.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and take on limitations to our lives so that we can give time and energy to minister mercy and compassion to the most needy. Keep us from being isolated from the misery of other Christians so that we can be like Jesus and show mercy and compassion.
May our lives worship You more because we reflect God’s mercy and compassion, especially with people in our Christian Inner Circles whose need is long-term. As we take care of those handicapped, infirm, ill, or disabled, help us to do it to worship You, reflecting back to You Your own merciful and compassionate nature.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by showing mercy and compassion to those he has afflicted in horrible ways. Since permanent disability and illness will go away the moment they enter heaven, give us the wisdom and words necessary to help debilitated Christians understand their reality from the spiritual dimension. While Satan wants to destroy their faith, let us through mercy and compassion build their faith and defeat the devil.
Help us all to prepare for heaven by becoming more aware of our own need to focus on getting our own spirits ready for heaven through our working with others to see beyond their physical condition to their spiritual condition for the future when they are free of their struggle.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Spirit is most easily transformed in community. The tools below can facilitate your growth as you meet together with those you are in close Christian relationship with.

These are some of the possible benefits in heaven we will be seeking today by opening our minds to the Holy Spirit regarding showing mercy and being compassionate with one another.
​In heaven when we see the lack of illness, handicap and misery we will experience joy commensurate with the extent that we allowed ourselves before we died to show mercy and compassion and deal with misery so up close and personal.

If we develop our spirits to be like Jesus who when on earth showed much mercy and compassion, our connection with our Lord will be closer and our spirits will blend with His spirit to a greater degree.

Sanctification Booster #1:

Jesus took on limitations to his life so he could give time and energy to minister to the most needy. List ways that Christians can limit their lives to have more time for those who are in need of mercy and compassion.

Sanctification Booster #2:

List ways that Christian families, marriages and friendship groups can show mercy and compassion to those disabled in their churches, neighborhoods, or elsewhere. (If this is baffling, talk to someone who works in home health care. They meet daily those with unmet hardships and needs.)

Sanctification Booster #3:

List some of the spiritual things Christians can discuss with those suffering that will make their lives more meaningful.