Summary: What Jeremiah SAW with his eyes affected his heart. This sermon addresses some things I see with my eyes that has affected my heart regarding missions.
Mine Eye Affecteth My Heart
Missions Emphasis Series
March 3, 2013
SCRIPTURE READING: Lamentations 3:48-56
TEXT: Lamentations 3:48-51 – “Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, 50 Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven. 51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”
Illus. – I don’t recall my son Chris having much natural empathy for the poor and needy. He and his wife Sarah attended a church with a strong outreach to such people, yet I think his ideas on it were merely intellectual. ACTUALLY helping people in need or sacrificing to help them were not serious concerns.
One day he was sitting at a stoplight and saw a man shuffle by and all of a sudden the contrast between his success as a Christian contemporary singer and this poor man on the street struck a chord of compassion in his heart. He immediately pulled off the side of the road and wrote the lyrics to the song that would be first single on his second album, many of the songs of which were devoted to songs calling believers to reach out to the poor and needy. The title of that song was Only You Can Save.
But it was more than just the inspiration for a Christian music hit. What he SAW with his eyes affected his heart, and Chris and Sarah began devoting a portion of their earnings to help those in need.
That impact—caused by what was SEEN—was what we see here in Lamentations. Jeremiah says in verse 51, “Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.” As Jeremiah looked out and saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the results of the sin of the people of Judah—his eye saw the awful carnage and his HEART was touched—his HEART was affected. What affected his heart was what he saw with his eyes. His eye affected his heart.
Today is the first of two messages I plan to preach on missions in March, followed by our missions conference on March 14-17 as we focus on the Faith Promise Missions Giving plan. (GO OVER THE FAITH PROMISE POWERPOINT EXPLANATION SLIDES.)
The theme of our conference is “A Heart for the Harvest.” My goal is that our heart would be affected, for it’s only when what we see affects our hearts that we will willingly part with our hard-earned money for the cause of missions.
As we talk about missions and missions giving, I want us to realize that missions giving is not really a money matter. Missions is not ultimately and most importantly a matter of finances. When you get right down to it, missions is a matter of the HEART.
If we’re going to continue to maintain the level of missionary support for our current missionaries here at Grace as well as hope we can do more in the next year, then OUR HEART MUST BE AFFECTED!
And our heart will be affected if we see with our spiritual eyes what God wants us to see. I love that song “Looking Through His Eyes” that goes like this:
Let me see this world dear Lord,
As though I were looking though your eyes,
A world of men who don’t want you, Lord,
But a world for which you died.
Let me kneel with You in the garden,
Blur my eyes with tears of agony:
For if once I could see this world the way You see,
I just know I’d serve You more faithfully.
Let me see this world, dear Lord,
Through your eyes when men mocked your holy name.
When they beat You and spat upon you, Lord,
Let me love them as You loved them just the same.
Let me stand high above my petty problems
And grieve for men hell-bound eternally:
For if once I could see this world the way you see,
I just know I’d serve you more faithfully.
As we think about missions this month in preparation for our missions conference, I’m praying that your heart and my heart will be affected; and that that effect will produce compassion that will compel you to be a part of God’s plan of evangelization. I know for myself that my heart has been affected in a profound way concerning missions. Let me share with you why:
I. FIRST, MY EYE AFFECTS MY HEART BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE I SEE.
In Matthew 9:36, we read, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
My heart is affected when I look out on the multitude of PEOPLE in this world. When Jesus looked out on that multitude that day as recorded in Matthew 9:36, His heart was affected by what He saw, and what He saw was a multitude of PEOPLE...without a shepherd, without a Savior, without direction and without purpose. And when He did, the Bible says He was moved with compassion on them His eye affected His heart.