THIS WEEK: A Mission-Minded Person Has a Caring Heart!
To neglect the ministry of compassion communicates a callous heart.
To neglect the ministry of salvation communicates an empty Gospel.
Jesus has given us a mission: Preach the Gospel…Make Disciples.
An important part of that mission is caring for the physical needs of people. However, it must never become the priority of the mission.
I have seen the dangers of the Church seeing their main purpose is end world hunger, injustice and suffering in the world. No doubt this communicates a noble cause, but the only end to human suffering is entry into heaven. The only way to enter heaven is through the power of the Gospel message. If all I/we do as individuals or as a church is solve the issues of human suffering, we have done good, but we have failed the mission God has given to us.
I have seen the dangers of the Church neglecting the care and compassion of others who are physically suffering. The church comes across as cold, unloving and hypocritical. This charge is rightly given. To have the love of Jesus and not show that love IS cold, unloving and hypocritical. For if we are unwilling to show we care, the audience and reception of the Gospel is hindered.
So caring for the physical or spiritual of people is not an “either/or” proposition, but a “both/and.”
At the heart of it is a heart that cares. That’s what Jesus has been teaching us this week.
When the Spirit gives me a heart that cares, these two things happen:
- As we have ability and opportunity we will care for the physical needs of people.
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth
- As we have ability and opportunity we will care for the spiritual needs of people.
Mark 1:38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.”
Jesus did both.
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
But he never lost sight of his priority: Saving souls.
Apply: Is your “care” meter out of balance? Do you tend to always care for physical needs and neglect spiritual? Or care for spiritual and neglect physical? Ask the Lord for a heart that cares and wisdom to keep a balance of both with a priority on meeting spiritual needs.
PRAYER: Lord, Jesus thank you for a perfect caring heart that cares for both our physical and spiritual needs. Help us to do both as we carry out your mission. AMEN.