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Monday, September 28, 2009
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It's harvest time here in our area and all around us we see, hear, and at times even smell evidence of the harvest. This week we would like to share series on the Ultimate Harvest series based on Matthew 9:35-38.
"The Ultimate Motivation"
"When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them" (Matthew 9:36).
I recently read a touching story about a policeman from Providence, Rhode Island who went beyond the call of duty as he expressed compassion toward a family in need.
Stefanie Taylor's car was making a strange noise as she pulled into her driveway in Upper South Providence on a Sunday morning early this year. Suddenly it burst into flames and firefighters were called to put out the fire. A Providence patrolman by the name of James Carr asked Taylor if there was anything he could do to help.
Just the day before Stefanie had been diagnosed with a brain tumor which turned out to be the reason for her recurring blinding headaches. The neurosurgeon scheduled her for surgery but in the meantime Stefanie returned home to her three children. She asked the congregation at Gospel Tabernacle Outreach Ministries, two miles from her home, to pray for her.
Ms. Taylor responded to the officer's question, "My family would love a ride to church." The self-described "God-fearing man" asked her what time the service began. He returned an hour later and squeezed the family into his cruiser. As they walked up the steps of the brick church they could hear the singing, "Everything's Going to be All Right."
Officer Carr responded to some road emergencies while the family was in church but made it back on time to give them a ride home. Taylor was still marveling at his kindness the next day as she said, "He took the initiative and said, 'I'm going to do this for you.'"
It's heartening to read about a police officer with this kind of compassion. What motivates you in regard to your interest in evangelism and ministry? There are two clearly Biblical motivations:
1) Obedience to the Great Commission to spread the gospel message.
2) Genuine compassion for people reflecting the example of Christ.
Of course some serve primarily out of a dutiful obedience, but our greatest source of motivation should be compassion.
Let’s consider the compassion that Christ demonstrates so powerfully in the daily Scripture text. The Greek word for compassion is "splagchnizomai" which means "to have the bowels yearn for" i.e. (fig.) feel sympathy, to pity. (We get spleen from the first part of this word.)
This is how Christ saw the crowds with a deep sense of burden for their need. He didn't just look upon them at a distance and feel sorry for them. Instead He felt their needs deep within His Spirit which moved Him to respond in compassion to their troubles.
People desperately need to know that someone genuinely cares about them. Some receive personal loving care from their family and home church, but scores of people are now disconnected from these God-ordained primary sources of love and care. Broken homes abound. Just consider those around you. How many have been impacted by a broken home or a pervasive illness?
Do we see people as Jesus did; through eyes of compassion? God has strategically placed us where we are and exposed us to opportunities where we can be His hands extended reaching out to the oppressed. Do you see those in need as Christ sees them?
Let us genuinely express compassion in whatever capacity God has enabled us to do so! It will likely require sacrifice, but it is in sacrificial giving that we find the personal satisfaction that comes from the application of the Scripture, "It is better to give than to receive."
Be encouraged today
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, it is through Your eyes of compassion that we see people who have genuine need. Help us not to look at a distance and wait for others to respond, but be willing to do our part as we ask You to help us meet the need. Even as You have given to us the abundant life, help us to be abundant in giving of ourselves to others in their need. We pray for this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
This weekend we had our friends Galen and Nancy Martin over for dinner. Galen is a full-time farmer, now in partnership with his son Darrel. He told me they are having a great harvest thus far. Galen was a good sport in that he ate a Green Curry Thai meal that Brooksyne prepared - not your usual fare for a Lancaster County farmer.
Mark Griffin is a friend who works in human resources. He works in one of the companies we serve as chaplains and joined us for breakfast Saturday morning. We discussed our chaplain service to the local company and had discussion about the expansion of chaplaincy care in another location in the Midwest.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"Field Of Souls" Video
"People Need The Lord" Video
"Rescue The Perishing" Audio A great song with the Fanny Crosby lyrics but different tune than we sang growing up.
Fanny Crosby tells others of how she came to write this wonderful missionary song: "I remember writing that hymn in the year 1869. Like many of my hymns, it was written following a personal experience at the New York City Bowery Mission [a homeless shelter with many derelicts at the time]….I was addressing a large company of working men one hot summer evening, when the thought kept forcing itself on my mind that some mother’s boy must be rescued that night or he might be eternally lost. So I made a pressing plea that if there was a boy present who had wandered from his mother’s home and teaching, he should come to me at the end of the service. A young man of 18 came forward – 'Did you mean me, Miss Crosby? I promised my mother to meet her in heaven, but as I am now living, that will be impossible.' We prayed for him and suddenly he arose with a new light in his eyes and spoke these words, 'Now I am ready to meet my mother in heaven, for I have found God.'”
V. 1 - Rescue the perishing; care for the dying. Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave. Weep o'er the erring one; lift up the fallen. Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
V. 3 - "Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore. Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, Cords that are broken will vibrate once more.
Refrain: Rescue the perishing; care for the dying. Jesus is merciful; Jesus will save.
"The Harvest" I was unable to find an online version of this powerful video to view but if you can get a hold of it, it will surely touch your heart.
The Harvest, Multiple Language DVD Edition
By Randolf Productions Inc
The season to gather in the crops has arrived, but in the midst of crisis, only a young boy's prayer can save The Harvest. Based on a true story, this powerful modern-day parable will inspire you to commit your energy and talents to reach the world for Christ---one person at a time. Approx. 17 minutes.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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