Has the church lost its compassion for souls? I don’t really have to wonder. I need only look at my own life for the answer. I get so wrapped up in the “stuff” of the church that I forgo the winning of souls. In n the book of Matthew 9 we see the heart of Jesus that should reflect the hearts of the children of God. When He looked around at the multitudes of people He was moved with compassion. This verse is the precursor to the often quoted 9:37b “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” There is still a multitude, and it is unfortunate that the laborers are still few.
How many souls will we pass today? I’m not always out and about but I thought about the quick run I made yesterday to the local convenience store. Too quick to think about Jesus, I guess. One thing about living in a community the size of ours is we usually know who’s in church and who’s not. The girl behind the counter was not. Where was my compassion?
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. ~ Matthew 9:36
Three things I see in Matthew 9:36 that stirs my soul today to serve Him.
The multitudes of the souls that wander aimlessly in search of something, anything that will give them a sense of belonging and purpose. And we have it but don’t bother to share it. The world is directionally challenged because the church’s GPS is on silent. We have the map to direct them to Heaven, but we’re not doing it. Long before I was saved I knew there was a direction I should be traveling, but deed, I couldn’t find it. The church was silent. No one who came across my path bothered to look at the longing in my eyes to be a part of Heaven. I had a family who loved me, but I knew something was missing. I longed for a sense of purpose and I found it when I found the Heavenly Father. I wandered 34 years before a soul compassionate to move the world was moved enough to tell me about Jesus.
They’re fainting. You can see it in their eyes. Everyone struggles. We have no idea on the outside what is going on the inside. I have to wonder today what would have happened yesterday if I had taken the time with that store clerk just to say, I’d like to pray for you if you have a need. I have a feeling she’d have told me, but I didn’t ask.
Just as it was in Jesus’ day, so it is today. The world fills our heads with the vanity of religion. Vanity from the standpoint that it is filled with traditions and obligations as the saints “do what they have to do” for the sake of the church and call it faith. Why would anyone want what the church has today? A body of believers who put God on a schedule and only allow Him to speak to their souls from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday. A handful come back Sunday evening and Wednesday, but there is a multitude visible to the world who see them having no desire for a relationship with the One called Jesus. The One, who when they’re ask, they’ll say He means everything to them, but in truth doesn’t mean anything to them outside the walls of the church. Why would they want that?
Jesus wept for His community. When’s the last time we wept for ours?
My friend LuAnn drove 5 hours to share the gospel with our community at the barn blast a week or so ago. She has an obedient compassion filled soul. I’ve seen it in the preachers I heard last week and this week. Last night was another night of Revival, week 2 for me. My soul is stirred because I see the compassion in a man to win souls. Tonight is my turn to share the gospel with the teens in my youth group. Tomorrow night is another night of revival. The harvest is plenteous!
Whomever it was that said the eyes are the window to the soul, knew of what they spoke. Take the time to look someone in the eye today, and pray that God would open the door to share the gospel. The Spirit has to lead… but you have to follow to make it happen.
Praying over your lunch… ask the waitress if you can pray for them.
Have a track in your pocket or purse… it’s not doing any good there.
See someone hurting… patch the hole in their heart by sharing a piece of yours.