Check our this powerful blog post from our Five Fold Director Jared Kutz.
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them…”
Matthew 9:36 (NKJV)
“Be moved by what you see!”– these are the words exploding inside of me as I was talking to God this morning. The topic of discussion was Nepal. Ever since I received the news of the devastating earthquakes and the rising death toll my heart has been heavy for these people whom I’ve never met. How do I have such an intense desire on the inside to help when I have no relation to these people? No conversations, no encounters, no bumping shoulders, no nothing! All I have are the images flashing on the headlines of the evening news and posts on social media. How is it that just seeing someone in dire need puts such a hurt in my heart for them? One word…
JESUS experienced the exact same thing. The Bible says “And JESUS, when He had come out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them…” (Mark 6:34 NKJV) Have you ever felt this, seeing a once astounding town made into a heap of ruins after a storm or natural disaster? Maybe your eyes have been opened to the great injustice of human trafficking. Or you notice your next door neighbor on their front porch crying their eyes out because they can’t make rent and are being evicted. However big or small the situation may seem, the compelling desire on the inside to help is the same.
The problem with most of us is we don’t move past that point. We don’t give action to that feeling on the inside. We see see the neighbor crying and think “thats too bad” and go about our day. Maybe… just maybe we’ll say some words of encouragement, but nothing more. We see a documentary on the horrors of human trafficking and we are fired up to set every slave free! This passion burns for a fews days then quickly dies out due to the current sports tournament that is overwhelmingly more important. We see an earthquake affecting millions of people on the evening news. We quickly open up our smart phones, click on Instagram, and post a pic of Nepal with a caption saying “#prayforNepal”. Then we change the channel and finish our meal. All the time those affected stay our of sight and out of mind– but at least we got 96 likes on our post. I am I the only who has done this?
This “feeling” on the inside is one of the greatest things we as humans can experience. It is the love of God desiring to be displayed. Romans 5:5 says “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” This compassion is nothing less than the leading of the love of God on the inside.
JESUS responded to this love in Mark chapter 6. He first met the people’s spiritual need. “…He began to teach them many things…” (Mark 6:34 NKJV) We as Christians are really good at this one. We pray for people. We witness to them about JESUS. We tell them the good news. We are great encouragers. Then we tie a bow around the whole deal with a “God bless you.”
There’s just one problem with that. JESUS didn’t stop at the preaching. He then continued to feed the whole multitude! (Marl 6:41) JESUS met not only the spiritual need, but the natural need as well.
The Bible says “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (James 2:14-17 MSG)
It also says in Proverbs “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor ‘Maybe some other time’ or ‘Try me tomorrow’ when the money’s right there in your pocket.” (Proverbs 3:27-28 MSG)
Even the people in the Old Covenant, who didn’t have the love of God on the inside of them, lived by this. “When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help… don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, ‘It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,’ and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin. Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11 MSG)
The religious people of JESUS’ day asked Him to define “neighbor”. JESUS went on to tell one of the most famous parables of all– The Good Samaritan. In this story a man is jumped, mugged, and left bleeding to death. Two religious people walk by wanting nothing to do with this man. (They were probably on their way to bible study, to pray, or to their church’s connect group that met at Starbucks.) Then another man saw him and was moved with compassion. This man took time out of his busy schedule to bandage this man’s wounds, take him to the local hotel, pay for a comfortable room, and then pay for the rest of the doctor’s bills. JESUS then said “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:25-37) This may come as a shock to some, but people don’t always need us when its convenient for us to be needed. People need us, when they need us. It may not be easy on our schedule. It may cause us to be late to a meeting, or miss the first half of the game. It may cost us our Starbucks budget for the week. But, there is NO greater value than people!
1 John 3:16-18 says “This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.” (MSG)
It’s one thing to tell someone “God loves you!” It’s a whole other thing to SHOW someone “God loves you.” John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He GAVEHis only begotten Son…” Love moved God to action. Ephesians 5:1-2 says “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (MSG) Love should also move us to action. Compassion is love in action. Love goes past an Instagram post. Love goes past prayer. Love overflows through our generosity!
This is why I am getting involved with this conflict. I may not be able to go personally to help, but I can give to organizations that are brining food, water, shelter, and hope to the nation of Nepal. It’s not enough to just pray. Prayer without righteous action backing it up is useless. God came down and helped me up when I was at my lowest point in life. Now a nation is at their lowest point. How can I sit back and “just pray”? I am moved with compassion to give. I am digging deep in my pockets partnering with Convoy of Hope to see a nation not only hear about JESUS, but experience JESUS. I would encourage everyone who reads this to ask “What can I do? How can I get involved?”
Through prayer and generosity we can see healing and restoration brought to a people who need the hope of JESUS more than ever.
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