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Compassion: Part 2

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2020 1:00 am

Compassion: Part 2

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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January 19, 2020 1:00 am

This week Rob and Heather discuss the feeding of the 5,000. Some beautiful teaching moments come out this miracle as Jesus not only performs a miracle but empowers His followers to be the ones that meet the need.

Series: The Least of These

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From the Salvation Army, you're listening to Wonderful Words of Life. Welcome back, everybody. We're glad that you're here on Wonderful Words of Life and say another warm welcome to Captain Jimmy Taylor, everybody.

Hey. Welcome, Jimmy. You say a warm welcome to our listeners now. Oh, welcome. A warm welcome to our listeners as well.

That's perfect. One day we're going to get this right. This is a new experience for Jimmy. He's on our third week in this new series, but we celebrate here in the United States Martin Luther King Jr. Day tomorrow. Jimmy, what about Martin Luther King makes you think we should celebrate? You know, Martin Luther King, he made a huge difference in the lives of not just African Americans, but in everybody. He helped people see that everyone had value. Everyone needed rights. Everyone had opportunities and were seen the same, created by the same maker. Literally challenged an entire nation to start thinking of each other as equals, which is good. And I want to believe that that's where we are today. I think there's still some racial tension in the United States. But thankfully, because of pioneers like Martin Luther King Jr., we have a better place to live.

Yeah, I agree. Well, as we're in this new series and discussion with Rob and Heather, we continue to discuss compassion as a pretty broad topic. But in today's study, Rob and Heather talk about what happens when the person we're ministering to, praying for life change and healing. Sometimes that doesn't take the first or even third time around. How do you deal with that?

And how many times do we keep reaching out to someone? Jimmy, do you have stories about that where you've tried to help? Yeah, I've got several stories. I think of an individual or two individuals that used to live under a bridge here in Atlanta, separate from when we were here at the Atlanta Temple Corps. Their names were, and they won't even care, Charles and Marcus. And they really did struggle with alcoholism, and they struggled with just living in the streets.

That's where they won. Their families had put them out. And we had reached out time and time again, I mean, to the point where, is it even worth it anymore? We had to ask ourselves, are we creating an enablement situation, or are we really doing ministry? And to see the perspective of their life change as we continue to press in, it takes me back to thinking, you know, what if Christ would have only given me one chance? I needed dozens of chances. And after five chances, was I changing? And I look at people like that. It's very frustrating from the person that's doing the ministry's perspective, because we want to shake them and say, you need to change.

Why are you not ready? But if we put ourselves in that individual's shoes, I think that we can actually see it's a lifestyle change. It's a behavioral change. And it takes regeneration by the Holy Spirit to really change your perspective and see that, man, I'm not what society says I am. I'm what Christ says I am. I'm a new creation. How do I live in that?

What do I do with that? Amen. It's important that we embrace this idea, because at the end of the day, when we're talking about the least of these, people need to have value.

They have to perceive that they have value. And our interactions with them, however subtle, can really lead to some life-changing experiences. Well, we hope that if you are being inspired or encouraged or challenged by this series or any of our programs here on Wonderful Words of Life, that you might share that with us. It's not anything other than an opportunity for us to be better and to know that we're meeting our listeners where you are. Send us a note at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org or call us at 1-800-229-9965. We'd love to hear from you.

We'd love to know that we're meeting needs of our listeners. More importantly, we'd love to know that the Lord is working through this series. Thank you for joining us as we continue the conversation around the least of these and compassion. So focusing in on not just the one like last week with Levi, but how Jesus shows compassion on multitudes. Matthew chapter 14. Again, a very familiar passage of scripture for those of us who have hung around church a little minute is Jesus is feeding the five thousand. And as a minister myself, what I love about this story is it starts off with Jesus just looking for some alone time, which as a mom and as a minister and as someone who is in full-time ministry, I get that a lot of us have busy lives. We get what it means to need some alone time.

Matthew chapter 14, verse 13. He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. What happened? People followed him. I'm like, I get that so much. People followed him. So it's not like he was like, okay, guys, I'm ready for you.

Come on down. Like people just pursued him at all times. And when he saw them, he had compassion on them, which I'm like right off the bat, I feel like maybe I need to repent in my own life because I'm like, there are times when I'm like, I just need a little me time and here all these people are with needs. But Jesus had the ability to look beyond only his own interests, but also look to the interests of others and have compassion on them. And he just began his ministry to them. Right. And we see as we look back to last week, we saw that Jesus engages Levi.

He calls him to come spend some time together and they're eating a meal together. And right away, the religious people come and point their fingers. What do you do in eating with these sinners? You know, they're pointing out the reason why you shouldn't. Right.

And it's interesting here. We don't see the religious people, but the disciples, because Jesus realizes that it's getting late. And most of these folks probably, you know, they're not close to anything. So there's no Chick-fil-A nearby. There's no Chick-fil-A nearby. And there's not going to be enough food.

It's getting late. People are going to get hungry. So the disciples probably getting hungry a little bit themselves. And they start pointing out to Jesus themselves, hey, you know, maybe we need to send these folks away because they're going to need to get back to town to get some food and move on with their day. But that's Jesus's story doesn't finish there. They don't need to go away.

Give them something to eat. And, you know, sometimes I think we think that Jesus gets mad. He gets angry in scripture when we see these passionate statements, but I don't think Jesus was like yelling at them and scolding them being like, who do you think you are?

You know, how dare you like, because he's Jesus. Right. So I guess I, you know, just imagine in my spirit as I look at this story that Jesus actually engages them with compassion too. And he's, yes, because he doesn't respond to maybe their stinginess, spiritual stinginess. He doesn't respond to that with condemnation, but rather invitation.

He's so gracious and to me too. Right. So he says, hey, they don't need to go away.

It's all going to be okay. Let's give them something to eat. And that's when we have to realize and take some, you know, maybe some spiritual moral inventory and be like, well, what do I even have to offer? Right. Because maybe they, at that point, they're like, okay, yeah, let's do it, Jesus.

But there's a but, right? Because they're like, okay, we'd love to give them something to eat, but there's nothing for them. Right.

Because they're looking at the situation out of a place of deficit, not capacity, not capacity. Right. So of course, Jesus says, only Jesus can do says, well, bring them here to me. He directed the people to sit down on the grass, get themselves comfortable, right? Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven.

We know the little boy provided this likely. He gave thanks and broke the loaves. He then gave to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the people.

They all ate and were satisfied. And the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. There's enough for them and more, which is just what Jesus is like.

Because with Jesus, not only is there always enough, there's always enough and then there's overflowing. And I think that's the key. When I think about this story, I think about even culturally nowadays in our society, there is this idea with nonprofits or with charities like, oh, like there's never enough. So, you've got to kind of figure out how do I take this little bit I have and spread it out to those who are going to do something with the deserving?

How do I have positive outcomes with the investments I'm making in the people who are, who have those needs? Right. And I think to move past that and maybe the goal is not to get into a debate about who's right or who's wrong and decide of what's toxic charity and what's not, because Jesus keeps it pretty simple for me.

Right. And his response, whether we look back at the last couple of weeks as we've been talking about these stories and seeing Jesus move towards the broken and the needy, right? He sees and is moved by compassion. There's always a response.

He doesn't ever walk away. Absolutely. So this, this totally reminds me of our friend Trad, which is who he's amazing.

I wish everybody knew him and everybody could hang out with him when he's got his like bass guitar going on. But this idea of how, like, how am I going to use my resources and how can I use them wisely? When you have things to give, you want, you don't want those things to go to waste.

You want those things to multiply and be fruitful. But the situation is such in the world today that when we're investing in the lives of people, we don't get to control the outcomes. Right. I remember when Trad was struggling with substance abuse and he had come through the program that we were administering a couple of times. Even before we had got there, he had been there. He'd actually reached the number of times you're allowed to go through the program.

So once you kind of hit a certain number, sometimes we say, well, maybe this isn't working for you. But there was just something about Trad where you just saw there was when he said, look, I want to change my life. That's right. And you know, there was just something about him. And when we looked at him and chose to see the capacity there available, not the deficit of how many times he'd been through the program or how many times he had relapsed or, you know, burn all the bridges, when we chose to look at him and see capacity and say, man, look at the gifts this guy has.

It was pretty easy to say, well, yeah, let's do this again and again and again. And just our couple of years there, I think probably Trad came through the program three times. Yeah. He also, remember at that time he lived in the camper in our driveway for a little bit. That's true.

Because sometimes what we have to offer isn't just one thing, but we have to shift to meet the person's needs. Right. And I actually remember, you know, there was this one time where he had left and even he had given up on himself. That's right.

He sort of did. Right. So, I remember us going to him and just saying like, we just really believe that God has, you know, is calling you into this community, into our church here at the Salvation Army. And there's a, there's a place for you.

That's right. You can come back whenever you need to. And I remember him like slamming the door, not even opening the door.

And we would come to knock and bring groceries. And he was just like, leave me alone. Go away. You know, I don't want your Jesus. I don't want your program.

I don't want any of it. Right. I think about that because we have times in our own life that we can't even see what God is doing.

You know, every person that has been created is created in the image of God. And as such, they have the capacity to contribute something unique to the world that is, that is theirs to give. It's their contribution. And people deserve places to contribute. But sometimes we forget that we have anything to offer at all.

And that's why like that community, people coming around. So at that point, he did not need our class. He did not need that work therapy.

He did not need a bed to sleep in. He needed people to come and remind him of who God called him to be and not in a way that was condemning, but in a way that was invitational. So next week, as we continue these conversations, we're going to be focusing on the Kingdom of God and the way in which Jesus interacts with us, the least of these and what he meant when he gave us that go into all the world. Please join us. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we would love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. When you contact us, we'll send you our gift for this series. It's totally free for listeners like you, one per household while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for Wonderful Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Wonderful Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 09:42:06 / 2024-02-03 09:48:19 / 6

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