Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Result of Christ's Compassion

I would like to conclude the thoughts I have posted on the compassion of Christ from Matthew 9:36-38. After Jesus has looked upon the distressed and dispirited sheep without a shepherd, He turns to the disciples and tells them to look. Jesus mixes metaphors going from livestock to wheat, but the meaning is the same. The fields are ripe and plentiful. There are many souls that need to hear the Gospel and respond to the Gospel.

At this point, does He tell them to go do the work? Does He tell them to preach the word? Does He tell them to knock on the doors? No, He tells them to pray. He commands them to pray. Literally, He commands them to beg God to send workers. The Greek word that is typically translated as "pray" or "beseech" means to beg and Jesus used the imperative form of the verb. He isn't asking them to pray. He isn't giving them a suggestion. He is commanding them to beg the Lord of the harvest to call out workers to respond to the task at hand.

I tend to jump to conclusions that an action must take place first. This is a reminder that prayer needs to precede anything we do, because we may NOT be called to do the task. We are told to pray that God would send the workers. He will send those who have been prepared for a certain task.

Several years ago, I was leading a team from my church to Brazil to build a church with a ministry called Christian Missions Unlimited. 6 weeks before we were to leave, 4 people backed out. I was sick about it and dreaded telling the ministry that we would be short-handed. The ministry asked 4 men from a church in Alabama. One of these men did not have a passport, let alone a valid visa. These 4 men prayed about it and God picked each one to go. There were construction situations and relational situations that required each of these men. Without them, certain ministry would not have happened. We need to pray that God will bring the right people for the task.

That also means, that we need to be listening to that still, small voice that is calling us to a task. When the Lord of the harvest calls, you must respond. Souls are at stack. It is not about you, not about me, but God's work. God's sheep. The flock that is wandering about without a Shepherd need to hear the Gospel. Their only chance may be the one that God gives me or you.

The Compassion of Christ. Think upon it this day. How will you respond?

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