Let it get to you!

The woman on the phone was beyond heartbreak. The pain in her marriage was ‘unbearable,’ as her husband visited his anger on her repeatedly and subjected her to his sexual perversions. The family with the child with severe disabilities learned that any help they might receive with her care is years away and the prospect nearly crushed them. There was the interaction with the man who just didn’t care about his soul, not at all. He brushed off all suggestions that he needed to know that Jesus was the Way. Then, there were the men at the table in the Bible Class at the jail who told about addictions and alcoholism that led them to being in jail, their families struggling, and their hopelessness growing. They told me about the struggle they knew they faced when they were released. The people with chronic illness called for prayer. It all got to me! What then? The spiritual, emotional, and physical needs drew me to talk with my Friend Who renews me, Who is the One that can make a difference for those who are lost in their own sin, who are hurting, who are hopelessness, who are spiritually apathetic. I sang my prayer, “Oh, Rock of Ages, hide Thou me. No other refuge have I but Thee! When life dark roads I wander, far, far from Thee, then I cry, Oh, Rock of Ages, hide Thou me!”

Believer, we must be willing to let the needs of the people around us get to us. We dare not shut ourselves off from the world, close our eyes to those who live next door, or play so hard that we are able to ignore the opportunities for ministry that are everywhere. Sometimes we are tempted to stop caring, aren’t we? It is costly to care. It makes us cry, drives us to give time and money; yes, even our lives. But when we care, when we let the needs of others get to us, we are being like Jesus.

John’s gospel tells about a time when Jesus took a trip with His disciples into Samaria, a region that most devout Jews avoided at all costs. He sat down by a well to rest, while they went into the village. A woman showed up at the well. Her life was a mess. Today we would say she was dysfunctional. Jesus listened to her, shared God’s grace with her, and she was changed. Later, he told His disciples – “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35, NLT) He wasn’t talking about grain! He was telling them to see the need of the people! Jesus let it get to Him! One more than one occasion, He is said to have been ‘moved with compassion.’ “Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers!” (Matthew 9:35-37, The Message)

We were not called by Christ into a ‘bless me club.’ God’s grace was not given to us so that we could hoard it. He called us to Himself, gave us life and hope, and sends us out to let our hearts be broken – by the sinfulness of those who reject the living God, by the suffering that evil brings. If you will let your eyes see, let your ears hear, and open your hearts, the most amazing thing will happen. God will give you a passion for serving, and your tears (there will be tears!) will water the dry ground of the world around you. In serving others in His Name, you will experience a new grace, a deepening sense of purpose, and you will live with the approval of the Father.

Here’s the commission of Jesus. Ponder it. Apply it. Live it.

“Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.” (Matthew 10:8, The Message)
_________________________________

Father of creation,
Unfold Your sov’reign plan.
Raise up a chosen generation
That will march through the land.
All of creation is longing
For Your unveiling of pow’r.
Would You release
Your anointing?
Oh God, let this be the hour.

Ruler of the nations,
The world has yet to see
The full release of
Your promise,
The church in victory.
Turn to us, Lord, and touch us;
Make us strong in Your might.
Overcome our weakness,
That we could stand up
and fight.

Let Your glory fall
In this room.
Let it go forth from here
To the nations.
Let Your fragrance rest
In this place,
As we gather to seek Your face.

Let Your kingdom come,
Let Your will be done.
Let us see on earth,
The glory of Your Son.

Let Your Glory Fall © 1993 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 810055

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