“…and when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick.” Matthew 15:14 (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible)
I detected a weariness in Boss Enock as soon as I saw him this morning. He and Rodelin (members of our church) are renovating the bathroom of the little house next door. I walked over to see how things were progressing. Enock works in masonry and is good at what he does – that is, whenever he can find work. He also heads up the orchestra in our mother church. Enock, like many other fathers here, has a family to support.
“How are you doing, Brother Enock?” I asked. Slumping his shoulders, he answered reluctantly, “Well, you know Man Pas (Mrs. Pastor), with the economy the way it is, things are really hard.” Enock’s the type of guy that would never tell you his woes unless you asked him. My heart immediately grew heavy for this longtime friend who had endured so much. I could see the weariness in his eyes – weariness from sludging along – always trying to make ends meet, always living on a shoestring. Enock’s the sole supporter of his family now, ever since his wife was tragically killed in an automobile accident two years ago.
Poverty creates not only a weariness in the body, due to lack of nourishment, but weariness of the soul as well. I knew that Enock represents so many others who are just like him. I resolved that, by the end of the day, I would do something, ANYTHING to help relieve his misery.
In Matthew 15:14, we find Jesus ministering to hurting people. The scriptures tell us that he was MOVED with compassion and healed the sick. Compassion is a powerful thing. In Jesus’ case, it preceded miracles. His compassion also moved him to feed multitudes, turn water to wine, restore a widow’s son back to life – the list goes on and on.
Matthew 9:36 tells us that Jesus was moved with compassion because he saw weary people, scattered people, that had no one else to help them in their present state. His heart ached for those that were “like sheep having no shepherd.” Jesus not only saw them in the midst of their unfortunate circumstances, but was MOVED to do something about it. Note: he not only was moved to help meet the material needs of those around him, but to meet their eternal needs as well. His long-range plans involved the training up of twelve disciples who would continue his work long after he was gone. That is why Rehoboth Ministries puts so much emphasis on training leaders, making disciples and planting churches. We are thereby fulfilling the Great Commission.
Compassion moves you. It stirs you to action. It shakes you like a tree and challenges you to find a solution to a problem as big as a mountain. It costs something. It also moves you toward the Lord who alone can accomplish what we cannot in our own strength.
Prit and I have cried out to the Lord for months to provide the continued funds for our school feeding program. We have so often been tempted to reduce the two days of our weekly feeding to one, making the load significantly lighter. After all, it’s only one of a whole list of pressing needs. When we do, however, we see the faces of over 1,200 students, staff, and workers staring back at us. God’s compassion propels us forward, trusting that the same one who fed over a million Israelites in the wilderness can feed all these as well. After all, what is 1,200 people compared to a million? Moses would probably laugh at our small faith!
What is moving you today? Are you stirred with compassion to do great exploits for God? Are you willing to move out of your comfort zone and into another arena that will stretch you beyond where you are now? Is He inviting you to “get out of the boat” and trust him?
One of our supporting pastors is getting ready to take a team to Colombia. He has been sharing his burden for missions with his church and now they are moved to do something to touch the lives of an unreached tribe. They have heard the cry of God’s heart for the nations.
I challenge you today to draw from the never-ending reservoir of God’s compassion. Step it up a notch. Become a mover and a shaker. Do great things! Make a difference in someone’s life and don’t settle for the status quo. Let His compassion MOVE you!