Thursday, October 29, 2009
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT ON MATTHEW 9:
Compassion and it’s results
36But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
• A brother preached on this a week back, and it has stuck with me since. I cannot get away from it, and so I bring it to you.
This brother asked thw simple question, “Jesus saw the multitudes….DO YOU see the multitudes?”
SEEING THE MULTITUDES:
Let’s talk for a few minutes about really seeing the multitudes.
I know we speak of many of the unsaved as having eyes but not seeing and ears but not hearing. But could the same be applied to us concerning the unsaved? As we hurry about, as we drive, as we pass fellow men – each with a never-dying soul – are we really “seeing the multitudes?”
It is unnerving if we stop and sit, and watch and study the faces of those that we pass. Each one is a soul, each one has an eternal fate, each one’s days are quickly burning away like a candle. We are mists and vapors upon this earth.
I’ve travelled much this last month. How many cars have I passed on the highway? They have become merely competitors for my space on the road. How many people have I spent in close, close proximity to on airplanes – TOO close in fact to many of them. Each one of these passengers that I have sat next to possesses thoughts on eternity, religion, God. Each one will cease to breathe one day. Each one will answer to God. Every time the airplane ascends over St Louis, the view within my eyes encompasses a great area of land, the place of birth and the place of death to several hundred thousand people. And that number increases every day.
In W Jva, a heavily Mslm region, I climbed to the top of a mountain – a mountain that was on top of a mountain. The city of Bndng sits in a bowl that is in the highlands. There is a rim of higher ground around this bowl. And there are tall peaks all along the north side of the lip of this bowl of Bndng. (I took my friend Paul there. We crashed our motorcycle on the muddy mountainside trail…at least it didn’t roll over me like the time before. How dignified, heh?) Well, I climbed up there one day to escape – I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. A city of 2 million people amongst a people group of 34 million, with less than ½ of one percent professing Christ. Let me repeat that again: 34 million people, and less than one-half of one percent profess Christ. So, I sat up on that peak and looked down on this bowl containing 2 million people. And then… the peel of the mosque rang out; muffled but still clear, ALLAHU AKBAR, there is no God but God and Mhmd is His prophet. Hardly an inch of land in Jva where this sound does not reach 5 times a day. A bowl of 2 million people and the sound of dozens of mosques floating up like an odor to my mountain perch. Even here I could not escape.
I broke down and wept.
JESUS HAD COMPASSION: Me, being a person who is often hard-hearted and un-sympathetic was moved to tears when I truly grasped the enormity of the task, the urgency of the need, and my own smallness at this overwhelming feat. If a flawed person such as I can feel compassion for the lost, imagine what was in that great heart of our Loving Saviour as he beheld the multitudes. He had compassion.
I pray that we can be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in this, and I would pray that God would cause us pain. I pray that God would cause us to weep as we truly realize how dire the situation is. The sovereignty of God should not be used to dry our tears. That predestinarian the Apostle Paul himself cried out and could even wish himself accursed for the sake of his kinsmen whom he loved. Jesus could weep over Jerusalem, knowing full well that that city must drink the cup of wrath to the uttermost. How I wish my stony heart could be moved like that.
PRAY THEREFORE: Jesus did not leave us without a remedy. Jesus did not merely leave us in our tears. Jesus tells us to pray.
In fact, Jesus tells us to beg. Jesus tells us to beseech, to plead to the Lord of the Harvest to thrust forth laborers. The manner of our prayer is to be fervent, forceful, heartfelt, from the bottom of our hearts. Our prayers should be desperate pleadings upon the mercy of God. This is no milquetoast prayer. Forceful language is used. BEG the Lord to thrust out laborers. BESEECH the Lord of the Harvest, PLEAD. This is the force of this expression. SOS! Emergency. Souls are at stake. The situation is urgent. Lord help.
Pray that the Lord will thrust out laborers: Equally forceful is what we are to pray for. We are to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send forth laborers. Will thrust out laborers, Will ekballo, will throw out, eject with force, laborers for the Harvest. This is more than hoping that some will come in; this is going out to them. This is an outward thrust. This is our searching for sinners, this is us, as a church body, sending out those to gather in the Harvest. This is not being content with local concerns but always looking outward. Send forth laborers
This prayer results in action:
Notice how this prayer results in action. In the very next chapter we notice that many of those who themselves prayed in chapter 9, were sent out to work these Harvest fields in chapter 10. How can we pray and then not act? Prayer is the beginning of action, not an excuse for inaction. We have not because we ask not. But, surely the Lord is pleased to answer this prayer, which He Himself commanded us to pray.
The Lord is pleased to answer our prayers. And He answers through His church. Again, many of those who themselves prayed in chapter 9, were sent out to work these Harvest fields in chapter 10. They did not merely hope for some to wander into the fold. They did not wait for souls to come to them. Workers were sent out.
Many of them, themselves, were sent out in answer to their OWN prayers!
I would pray that this very thing would happen in our churches. Lord, mobilize us for missions. Let us pray for workers, and then let our churches become the answer to those very same prayer requests.
We have a promise that the Harvest is plenteous. Let us pray, and act, so that the truth may be thrust forth out from our midst into every dark place that still remain on this globe.
Posted by TandT at 1:31 PM