Several months ago, back in September, I had the privilege of getting to go to a church service with a friend of mine in Wichita, KS. The church is a church plant and it was a blessing to attend that day. More than a blessing, it was a message God used to speak to and convict my heart. The pastor there that day shared his heart. He started out by reading Matthew 9:36-38.
“When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” -Matthew 9:36-38, AMPC
He shared how Jesus saw that those in the the crowd were harassed and distressed and helpless. And how when we are stressed, we don’t see the crowd as Jesus sees them. Instead we are overwhelmed. We don’t have the compassion that He does for them when we’re stressed. But Jesus came to give us rest. When I am stressed, it seems like all around me is falling apart, BUT there is a remedy and that remedy is the presence of the Lord.
He went on to remind the believers there that we can come and give our burdens to the Lord, that we can come to church and ask Him to do something in our lives. But there are so many out there who don’t know Jesus, who don’t know what He can do for them, who don’t know that He is the answer and that He desires to bring peace and rest to them. We have the answer and there are so many who don’t!
In the passage of scripture above from Matthew, Jesus sees the hurts and the hopelessness of the crowd and then He turns to His disciples. The harvest is plentiful—the multitudes needed Jesus, they needed the hope the disciples had. But the laborers were few—there were not many willing to go out and share the answer with those in their communities, in the places where they worked, in the areas where they traveled in their daily lives.
We need to have compassion for the people around us. Jesus wants to send laborers out into the harvest, out into the multitudes who are hurting, who need His compassion. He wants to do something in our lives as believers. But He also wants to do something through us—He wants us to go throughout the multitudes and tell them what He has done for us! Because there are many who don’t have hope, but we do! The harvest is plentiful! Those who have Him need to help point those who don’t have Him to Him.
Through that message God spoke to my heart of hearts, saying, “Have compassion for the lost, broken, and hurting around you. Love them the way I love them. Show them the hope they can have in Me.”
My prayer that day was this:
God, You are good. So good to us. Help us. Help me. Help me to have the right focus of Your kingdom. Help me to let go of the things that keep me from serving in Your kingdom, that keep me from reaching the lost for You, that take my focus away from Your purpose for me, away from furthering Your kingdom, from adding to Your kingdom. Give me passionate compassion for Your people, and for the Lost. Help me be willing to come out of my selfish shell and engage with people so that they might know You and know Your name and the power of it. Father, just as you have placed each of my friends and family in the places of ministry where they are at for a reason, because that’s where they are needed, You have done the same with me, with our family. Help me to remember we are called out, not in. Help me give myself up to minister to those who are hurting. Help me to SEE the hurting, the Lost, help me not to overlook them. Help me to see them as You do. Father, forgive me for when I haven’t and when I don’t and help my heart to be reminded, convicted, and changed.
Since that day, that message has not left my heart. Instead it’s been growing and brewing and stirring inside me.
Last week, I talked about loving God and loving people. And this is what that looks like. If we love God, if we love people with His love, then the only thing we CAN do is share with them the hope we have in Him. Genuinely loving God and loving people means we can’t NOT answer His call on us to share Him with them. We have the answer they need! We live in a lost and dying world and we have the answer! There should be an urgency in us to share what we have, what we know with those who don’t know it, don’t have it and desperately need it.
You don’t have to be a pastor or preacher, worship leader, missionary on the foreign mission field, youth pastor, children’s minister, or any other position in the church today to have a calling. In fact, EVERY child of God has a calling, has a mission field. Your calling or mission field begins with the environment you are in every day. I’m a homeschool mom which sometimes has made it feel like I don’t have a mission field. But the reality is that I do. My children are my mission field. God has given me the precious privilege of leading our children to Him daily. I don’t often step outside our home during the week, but God is showing me that when I do, even if it’s just for a grocery store trip, that, too, is my mission field. Wherever I go, wherever He leads me, wherever daily life takes me, that is my mission field. No matter what your job is, where you live, where the tasks of your daily life take you, you have a mission field wherever that is, whatever that looks like.
Don’t miss out on what God wants to do through you. He doesn’t have to use us, but He wants to. He wants to let us in on what He’s doing. Seek Him out every day. Look for Him as you go about your day and surrender to His plans, His will, His calling in every moment.
“Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” -Matthew 28:19-20, AMPC
Sometimes, it seems like it would just be easier to keep doing life as usual, no radical living for Jesus. Do our daily life tucked inside ourselves and not reaching out, thinking we are fulfilling our calling or mission by attending church one or two times a week. But that is not what The Great Commission commands us to do. Jesus says to “GO!” Not stay in places of comfort and only minister inside the walls of the church. We are not called to stay inside the church walls, waiting for them to come to us. We are called to go out to them!
You want vision? Those first verses I shared above from the pastor’s message that day, Matthew 9:36-38, that’s the vision. If we are not having compassion for and reaching out to the broken with the hope we have and leading them to Jesus, then we are not doing what God has called us to do.
When are we going to DO SOMETHING? When are we going to GO and DO SOMETHING?
“Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.” -Matthew 10:8b, AMPC
We have the answer! We have the hope! We have freely received salvation, hope, healing, and freedom from God. Now we are tasked with freely giving to others what God has done for us. Let’s GO and DO SOMETHING!