Summary: If we are to become a missions oriented church we must have a heart for the things that are on God’s heart.
Most of us want to make some sort of difference in the world. How can we do this?
35a. JESUS WENT THROUGH ALL THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES
- not just his home town
"Shouldn’t we reach our own backyard first?"
ILL: Brisbane City Church: building a hospital in Uganda, also reaching hundreds literally on its doorstep.
Acts 1.8 "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
"Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?"
"The light that shines farthest shines brightest near home"
>> We need a heart for the things that are on Godâ€™s heart
We are called to spread the good news at home and abroad
How can we do this? Look at Jesus ministry principles:
35b. JESUS TAUGHT, PREACHED AND HEALED
- cared for spiritual and physical needs
"Shouldn’t we be more concerned about their eternal soul than earthly needs?"
ILL: The team over in Malawi went to preach the gospel but were confronted by dire needs. Started community development. Minister to the sick. Should they have ignored the physical needs to devote time to the spiritual?
Eternity is a high priority for Evangelicals.
Rom 6.23 "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."
Jesus is the only way to eternal life because he took our sins on the cross.
But Jesus also took our sorrows and diseases on the cross
Matt 8.16-17 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."
God is love, he is compassionate, hates to see people suffer.
Matt 9.36 Jesus had compassion on the crowd - repeated throughout OT & NT
>>We need a heart for the things that are on God’s heart
Call to love people, spirit, soul and body
Compassionate action gives us permission to preach!
36. JESUS HAD COMPASSION ON THE CROWDS
"What right do we have to try to convert people of other religions?"
ILL: The Hindu woman who through her daughter into the Ganges as an offering to the god because of desperate need. A half hour later missionaries told her about Jesus and she cried out, why hadn’t they come sooner?
ILL: The Muslim woman who was gang raped on a bus in Egypt. Of course it was ’her fault’ because she was wearing jeans.
"Harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd." People living in darkness.
Do we really believe that fear of spirits, rigorous religious observance, fear, oppression are acceptable?
Jesus is the gentle shepherd - he (and we invite), not demand, but people must be given choice.
>>We need a heart for the things that are on God’s heart!
The world is lost, the shepherd wants to gather his sheep. The world is in darkness, the light wants to shine in their lives.
What right do we have to not tell them!?
37-38. JESUS CALLS US TO PRAY
"The needs are so overwhelming, what use are my prayers?"
ILL: George Verwer, founder of OM, began taking Bibles into Mexico through the prayers of an elderly lady in his church. Today OM is 10,000 people strong.
This is a prayer that God has answered countless times!
There are more needs at home and abroad than we can answer, but if we are genuinely concerned and compassionate people then prayer is the first, least and best response we can make!
If God already knows, if it’s part of his programme, why do we need to pray?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to conquer another nation from the outside. But if you can get someone inside they can find ways for the army or whatever to get in. That seems to be what happens. God is waiting for the prayers of those inside so he can break into this world from the outside.
Jesus didnâ’t say pray for programmes or an end to poverty or even the defeat of Satan. Pray for workers, people to go.
Rom 10.14-15 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"