Summary: We are to be Christ at work in the world today.
In Acts 10:38, Peter described the life of Jesus by saying, “He went about doing good . . .” If one described the life of too many Christians today, however, he would have to say, “He simply went about!”
This isn’t as it should be, for the Bible says we are sent into this world, even as Jesus had been sent by the Father (John 20:21). We’re called to be the body of Christ at work in this world for Him. But look at the church today, ask the questions from the casting Crowns song: But if we are the body, Why aren't His arms reaching? Why aren't His hands healing? Why aren't His words teaching? And if we are the body, Why aren't His feet going? Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
Believers are to go as Jesus went. Which means . . .
1. We need to see as Jesus saw - v. 36
Jesus saw beyond people’s facade people to recognize their true need. They were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” We too need to recognize the lostness of those around us!
If all the unredeemed people in the world were lined up in single file, that line would circle the planet 30 times. That line would grow at a rate of 20 miles a day. If you traveled beside that line at a speed of 50 miles per hour for 10 hours each day, it would take you 4 years to reach the end, and by the time you reached the end, the line would have grown to be 50,000 miles longer!
“A single 30-minute sermon is more time in the Word than 3 billion+ people in the world have had engaging the Word in their entire lifetime.” - Chuck Lawless, Southern Seminary
And all those people are helpless and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd. Furthermore, they are searching. We might be surprised to discover who among those who don’t know Christ would respond to an invitation to know Him and serve Him!
According to a Gallup poll, there are at least 160 million non-Christians ln the United States. Of this 160 million, 80 million said they would be open to hearing more about the Christian message from a Christian, and could possibly see themselves becoming a Christian themselves.
We need to see as Jesus saw, recognizing the number of lost people about us and that are ready to respond to the Good News, if given an opportunity; and God calls us to make sure they have that opportunity!
2. We need to feel as Jesus felt - v. 36
It is estimated that more than 150,000 people around the world die each day. Based on the lostness of the world, we can assume that most of these people do not know Jesus. This fact should break us and move us.
Jesus had compassion for the people who were lost without Him.
Webster’s defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”
If we are going to feel about those who don’t know Christ, in the way Jesus feels about them, we will care to the point that we cannot help but get involved in their lives!
“Loving the lost is the first step in leading them to Christ.” - Anonymous
Theodore Cuyler, a Presbyterian minister, was inspired by the life of Robert Murray McCheyne. He wanted to know all he could about him. He once asked an elderly man who knew McCheyne, “Can you tell mc some of the texts or outstanding quotations he used?” The man said, “I’m sorry, I don’t remember any.” Cuyler then asked, “Don’t you remember anything about him?” “Oh, that’s a different question,” said the gray-haired Christian. “I'll never
forget the time McCheyne came to our home to visit when I was just a lad. He said to me, ‘Jamie, I’ve come to see your sister.’ Then he looked into my eyes. And added with deep emotion, ‘And Jamie, I’m very concerned about your soul.’ I’ve forgotten his sermons, but I can still feel the tremble of his hand and see the tears in his eyes. His concern for my soul resulted in my conversion.”
“I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” - Acts 20:31 (NIV)
When’s the last time we wept over our lost family & friends?
3. We need to pray as Jesus prayed - vs. 37-38
As we pray, let us recognize that . . .
A. God is the One in charge.
B. God is the One Who directs us.
C. We are His laborers.
We need to ask God to use us as His instruments to reap His harvest!
The 4 “Be” Attitudes of Witnessing: