Tag Archives: compassion

What Makes Jesus So Important?

Jesus shows us God in impressive ways. His willingness to come and live among us, to be like us; this speaks volumes. Nobody can claim to care about us if they are unwilling to spend time with us. Jesus is God with us.

Jesus demonstrates God’s authority over his creation. Who else can demand that a storm be silent, and it is! Who else can walk on water? Who else can multiply a few small loaves and fish and feed thousands?

Jesus exhibits God’s great compassion for people. Not only does he feed thousands in wilderness places, Jesus also heals people. He makes the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers clean. And even more, Jesus casts out demons by the power of his mighty word.

Jesus tells us God’s truth in unforgettable ways. His words speak directly to our hearts. His explanations of life and salvation shed light on our existence and experiences. What he says is truly a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.

Jesus displays God’s great love for us. Who else would drain away his own life in such horrible pain, subjected to heartless ridicule, shamed and shamefully exposed to terrible cruelty. Why? Why should he do that? What has that got to do with love?

Jesus’ suffering exposes the full extent of our wickedness. All he ever did was good. Nobody could make an accusation against him that was credible. Unfairly nailed to those rough timbers, he is an indictment of how evil has so thoroughly corrupted this world. See them trying to kill God, and all the while mocking him. And yet . . .

Jesus brings us into the very presence of God. He makes available to us what we surely do not deserve. He pulls back the curtain on the most holy place and gives us access to God’s throne of grace and mercy and blessing. He erases the stain of evil that each of us bears. For those willing to trust him, he is the Way to be right with God.

Jesus also proves that he is able to do these great unseen things. How can we know that we will go to heaven when we die? How can we know that we will go anywhere after we die? Because God raised Jesus up after he died and he walked away from his tomb, alive forever. We know because Jesus ascended to heaven. He is there now, at the right hand of God in majesty, our Advocate, interceding for us.

Jesus has defeated death and blazed the trail to heaven for us. Now, he beckons us to follow.

Jesus wants us to be sure about these things. He left behind eyewitnesses to testify about his marvelous deeds. After he died and was raised up, they saw him alive, heard him speak, ate with him, touched him.

Jesus pours out his Spirit in the hearts of all who believe in him, affirming the truth about him and his great work. Illuminating the things written in the Bible. Binding together the hearts of brothers and sisters in Christ. Sparking hope in every circumstance, even those that seem impossible.

Jesus promises to return for a great day of triumph. The ultimate homecoming. Suddenly, the trumpet of God will sound. The voice of the archangel will cry out. The Lord Jesus himself will descend from heaven. All who trust him will be vindicated, will be united with God, forever.

Jesus urges us to be ready for that day. Confess him as Lord. Trust him as Savior. Follow him and serve him. Share the hope. Share the victory. Share the glory!

May God make us ready for that great day,

Brother Richard

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What To Do With All These People?

What do you see when you look at the crowds of people in the world? Jesus sees men and women who are harassed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

Too many people lack solid spiritual leadership in their lives. Like sheep among wolves they wander helplessly in a world full of danger and deception. Many fall prey to false beliefs and false hopes which lead them astray, often to disastrous results.

Jesus is moved by a deep sense of compassion when he sees the multitudes, knowing that they are in need of a shepherd. They need spiritual guidance from someone who is caring and competent.

When Jesus looks at the crowds in this world he also sees a great harvest, souls ready to be cultivated for eternal life. But he warns that workers are lacking (Matthew 9:37).

Harvest is a time filled with joy, especially in a year when fields have produced a bountiful yield. But that time of celebration can end in sadness if the fruit of the field is not harvested in a timely manner. Without workers the crops will fall to the ground and rot.

Jesus assures us that souls are ripe for a spiritual harvest. The time is now. Tomorrow may be too late. The joy of harvesting lost souls for eternal life is grand. The loss of waiting too long is tragic.

Jesus is God. He can do the impossible. He can send his angels to bring in the harvest. He is the Good Shepherd. He can find and save the lost sheep. He can guide and bless the flock.

But Jesus does something that may seem terribly risky to us. He calls on his followers to join in the task of harvesting souls, finding and caring for those who are lost. In fact, he entrusts the job to them . . . to us.

How can we possibly carry out this difficult job of harvesting precious souls? The task is ponderous. The barriers to success are overwhelming. We are unqualified and weak. Where can we find the power and wisdom necessary for such awesome work?

Jesus urges us first to pray. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will send workers into his harvest, Jesus tells us (Matthew 9:38). Prayer is our lifeline to God’s throne of grace and mercy. Here we find the vision and the vigor to act with confidence and to succeed.

Be advised, however, that as we pray it may turn out that we are the workers we are praying for! Prayer puts us in touch with the heart of the Lord, a compassionate heart that sees the crowds and steps forward to teach, preach and heal. God calls us to share his heart and to be his hands.

Pray for the Lord to send workers into his harvest, Jesus says. Many generations of believers have answered this call and share in the joy of the harvest. Let’s be faithful in our generation and join them in the task and in the triumph.

May the God’s Spirit inspire us to share in his great harvest,

Brother Richard Foster

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