Matthew 9: Dispense Some Compassion

Wherever Jesus went he taught, preached good news and healed the sick. At the end of this chapter I think you get a glimpse of his heart for people, one which I know I must endeavour to live out too.

v36…when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd

To have compassion…to be moved in my heart to meet the needs of others around me, which makes a difference to them in the midst of their harassed life where they may feel helpless, to give leadership & direction where needed. There is always people with need. The harvest is plentiful. Better get out there and dispense some compassion…

Obvious Truth: Jesus is THE MAN

Reading through the gospels at the moment and I know I shouldn’t be but I am just astounded at how absolutely incredible Jesus really was. His capacity to do stuff was immense.

Marvelling at the pace Jesus did life at. Everyday was filled with so much. Usually unplanned, unexpected and unusual. Is it just me but Jesus seemed to have no two days the same. I realise it’s not an exact timeline for his 3 years of ministry but WOW! So much going on. Things coming at him from every conceivable direction.

So many demands on him.
So many people wanting a piece of him.
So many questions from all different types of people.
So many opportunities.
So many choices.

Yet amidst it all he still had time to teach. He still managed to stay on course. He still maintained times of quietness and stillness which I guess are what maintained him. He still had compassion for people. He never tired of helping. He always spoke with clarity and purpose. There were not many empty words that he spoke, he wasn’t frivolous in his actions, thoughts or words. Instructing, challenging, rebuking.

His ability to answer questions is just incredible. Knowing that many times the questions were loaded, an attempt to catch him out and trap him, yet his thought processes were always sharp, ready, never dull.

My life is nowhere near that pace and I so easily become careless, thoughtless and useless. I probably miss out on so many opportunities because I’m not alive enough to what is going on around me. Maybe I’m to inward looking while Jesus was always outward looking. That’s not to be to down on myself but when you reflect your life on Jesus the shortcomings always seem so much more obvious.

I realise I’m talking about the SON OF GOD here but nonetheless…what a role model…what an inspiration…what a challenge…
…to not get distracted or frustrated or exasperated with people
…to live life on purpose
…to be centred around the needs of others rather than my own
…and so much more!!!

Interesting though? Do you agree?

Don’t Lose IT!!

In his book IT, Craig Groeschel talks about how people can lose IT. He states that it’s normally through getting comfortable in your relationship with God that the problems start – he says the big culprits are laziness, complacency and distraction. These are the challenges of living in the world. The answer is being strong in your daily disciplines, keeping the main thing the main thing.

Here are some things that I am discovering as I continue on my journey as a Pastor…

I don’t want to lose IT. Thinking about this always reminds me of the scripture where Paul writes that all things are lawful but not all things are helpful. In my opinion this is a good check for me.

The disciplines for keeping IT are not easy. Every day I have an opportunity to get distracted from the purpose that I believe God has for my life by spending too much time on other stuff – they are not wrong but they are not always helpful for my destiny.

God keeps giving me a friendly reminder that what ever I do as a Pastor it probably will never happen unless I keep praying, keep reading and keep believing God for it. I’m a great believer that you need to be passionate about it enough to get on your knees for it. I can talk a good game but what about what I do in private!!

I choose to follow IT. Every day when the alarm goes off I know that I don’t have a choice. The new day ahead, I have already determined that the most important thing I must do is to get up and pray. It is part of my non-negotiables now. Staying in bed is not wrong – in fact it seems to be the most beautiful thing in the world some mornings but I know praying is worth the sacrifice.

Lifestyle habits shape what IT looks like to others.
If I am to be a model of what a Christian is then my habits are important. The shape of my life shapes their view of God. My lifestyle habits then are reflective of how I want God to be seen. John Maxwell says that ‘Leaders give up to go up’. Some are not willing to rise to that challenge and maintain that they can have rights and responsibility. I don’t think it works like that.

I am learning to warn others if I think they are losing IT
People do drift from their true north, the ultimate cause of living for Jesus by convincing themselves that their lifestyle is acceptable when they probably know its not really. Why do good Christians get wrapped up in their own world and compromise so easily? Big letters coming up: ITS NOT ABOUT US!

For example (an I know this might raise a few comments) getting drunk is NOT okay…and some of you are. Feel like Paul writing to the Church at Ephesus saying ‘Don’t get drunk with wine (or other stuff); but be filled with the Holy Spirit’. Don’t allow yourselves to take second best.

[Am I being too hard? What are your views on this? Have you lost IT? Have you got IT back?]