Tag Archives: Matthew 9

Has the church lost it’s compassion?

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 Wanderers

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.

The Weary

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.

The Wanting

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.

 

 

We don’t patch old britches where I come from

chick patch

There is danger in dead religion

What seems like a lifetime ago, almost 20 years, I sat in the midst of dead religion. I didn’t know it, until the first day I sat in the midst of live faith! Tears well up in my soul as I write those words because it breaks my heart to think that there are many people around the world sitting where I once did. They are quite possibly good, saved people, serving Christ in their place; but I was not. I didn’t know the saving grace of Jesus Christ any more than I knew Superman. In my mind I knew of Jesus, but didn’t know Jesus. He was as surreal as Superman himself. I would read (and teach) scripture thinking… wow… that’s an amazing story. It is an amazing story, but at the time my unsaved soul had no spiritual discernment of the Word of God that comes with salvation, so it was just a story. That’s the danger of dead religion.

The scripture becomes just another book. The church becomes just another place. A prayer becomes a ritualistic means of getting “it” done.

Matthew 9:16-17

No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Patchin’ Old Britches

The disciples of John the Baptist had just questioned why Jesus’ disciples did not fast and carry out the ritualistic practices of the Pharisees. And to country quote my Lord, He said, we don’t patch old britches where I come from. That thought tickled me.  The Pharisees put so much stock in their religious practices that their relationship with God was not a relationship at all, but merely a “get it done” method of behavior. Where they came from was all they could think about, not where they were going. The new that was happening was making them very uncomfortable. And for Jesus to put His new disciples in with the old works of the Pharisees would have been to Him like patchin’ a old pair of britches that were worn out. The new converts would have become a part of weak, worn out group of people. Jesus disciples were hanging out the Lord, the Bridegroom as mentioned in verse 15. They had a new relationship with the Lord who was in their midst. The Pharisees had lost their relationship with the Lord through ceremonial living.

New Wine and Old Bottles

The  Pharisees represented empty vessels. Jesus said in Matthew 23:27  – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

Putting new wine in an old bottle would have been like putting a live person in the tomb of the dead. A new convert sitting in a church filled with lifeless Christians is no different. You’ll become one of them, just an empty vessel, looking pretty, but filling no one’s soul. You need fellowship with Christ and His people who are filled with the newness of life that never grows old.

I hope today finds you as a part of a church that is carrying out the mission of God, which is to bring people to the knowledge of Christ and His salvation and then disciple them to bringing others to the knowledge of Christ and His salvation. That jug of wine never gets old!!!

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