Summary: This sermon is the kickoff for our Evangelism Campaign. We look at compassion as being at the center of us reaching out to win others to Christ.
Faith Requires A Risk
The amazing thing about God is that when God wants to do something, God can use anybody to impact others for the kingdom of God. I want you to meet one such person. Here is just one person, an eleven year old who is involved in seven distinct ministries of the church helping us to become stronger as a body while at the same time growing in Christ herself. Do you know how many other young people her age need to know the love of Christ? Do you know how many of them God wants us to reach?
Jesus does. Jesus said, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field. Have you ever knew there was a job to be done, but you just felt like, I don’t care, let somebody else do it. You may have felt like, “ I have done my part” or “ that’s not by job” or “those people should have been more responsible.”
Jesus understands when we feel like that, because believe it or not, there a few times when Jesus felt that way himself. When Jesus came, his ministry was first directed toward the Jews because they were God’s chosen people. A lady came to him that was not Jewish, and asked him to cast a demon out of her daughter. Jesus told her, no, that's not my job right now. I was not sent here to do that. But the woman showed such faith in Jesus that he was moved to compassion and he healed her daughter.
When you look around at us what do you see? Do you see successful people who have their acts together? People who you wish you could be like? People who are closer to God than you are. What about the people you encounter each day? We see people as being successful, happy with their lives, with fine homes, great cars, and wonderful relationships. We are deceived into thinking that people with fame and popularity somehow wouldn’t be interested in knowing Christ or don’t really need God in their lives at all. But its all a lie.
Do you know what Jesus sees when he looks at others, and when he looks at us. He sees us as being harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Is there anybody here being harassed by trying to get bills paid or trying to make a relationship work that just isn’t? Is there anybody feeling isolated and alone, and as though God is far away right now? Anybody feeling like you have done all you can and things still are not working out. If just one more thing is added to your life, you are going to want to scream.
If any of this applies to you, you are in the right place because the church is where God wants people to find healing. When Jesus saw the people, it says he had compassion on them. The word compassion describes the deep inner mercy of God, that God wants to pour on his people.
People need to know about God’s love for them. I was reading about Ahab who was a king in Israel, who married queen Jezebel. These were two wicked people who completely did the worst kinds of sins imaginable including outright murder. It was said of Ahab, 1 Kings 21:25-26 (TNIV)
25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife.
26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)
After a lifetime of disobedience, Ahab heard one message fell to his knees and repented before God. God saw it, and reversed the calamity God was about to bring in Ahab’s life. Do you know how many Ahab’s there in the world today who think God would never accept them because of all they have done. Yet God reached out in Compassion.
The 500 Campaign is about compassion on those who are missing out on the mercy of God simply because they don’t know it God’s mercy exist. Some people haven’t rejected God, they don’t even know that God is an option to what they have. God has given us a building in which we can serve 500 people on a Sunday. Why should we not fill each of those seats for Christ. Our goal is to average 500 people each Sunday, who in the future will help us to reach 500 more.
So far we turned in pledges of 178 people we are praying for, that God will use us to bring into the life of this church. Most people who come into a church, come because a friend or a relative invited them. We often feel as though, before we can tell others about God, we have to get everything together in our own lives. After all we don’t want to be hypocrits.