By Brandon Lemons
In the current sermon series called “Church on Mission,” we are focused on our OUT relationship with the surrounding world. This OUT relationship reminds us that Christians are to be intentional in how we represent Jesus to the world around us. On Sunday, we talked about the importance of verbalizing the Gospel.
Today, I’d like to focus us on the heart of Jesus in outreach. Being a Christian means we strive to be like Jesus. Our attitudes, words, and actions should mirror Jesus’ attitudes, words, and actions. To be sure, there are things that He did and said that we cannot and should not do or say, simply because He is God and Messiah, and we are not. However, many of Jesus’ attitudes and ways are transferrable to us.
When it comes to outreach, Matthew 9:35-38 provides a great snapshot of Jesus’ heart. Please read Matthew 9:35-38 and spend a few minutes considering the following questions.
What did Jesus observe when He saw the crowds? What are ways I can see these same realities in today’s world?
What was Jesus’ attitude when He saw the crowds? How is this like or unlike my attitude when I see people struggling or heading in a wayward direction?
This week, what are one or two practical ways I can be an answer to Jesus’ prayer request in verse 38?
A prayer to pray (based on Matthew 9): Lord Jesus, Thank you that when you saw crowds of people who were struggling and going in the wrong direction, you responded with compassion rather than condemnation. Thank you that you came “to seek and save the lost.” Without you, I would be lost and helpless; I praise you for being the good shepherd who pursues and rescues lost sheep. Lord, please give me a heart like yours, so that when I see people who are struggling, and when I see people who have turned away from you, I will respond with compassion. Please inspire your people to serve faithfully as workers in your harvest field. Empower me to be an answer to that prayer, so that more people will experience the love and life that come through your Gospel. I pray these things in your name and for your glory, Amen.