Matthew 8:35-36: 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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Last night I attended a program that was sponsored by the ministry school that I am attending. We were presented with some alarming statistics about the decline of the church in the United States and the low percentage of people living in Athens, Georgia that actually attend church each week. We are living in a society that puts an emphasis on the individual. We are trained by this “world” that we live in to meet our own needs and desires first.
We were challenged, as followers of Christ, to find ways to serve in our community and especially to those people that do not know Christ. As believers, we must follow the teachings of Christ when He tells us: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Jesus goes on to say that we must let our “light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Throughout the Gospels, we find that Jesus had compassion on all kinds of people. He healed the sick and those that were demon-possessed. Jesus had compassion on sinners and all sorts of social outcasts. He didn’t spend his time around the religious elite or powerful government officials or movie stars. Our Lord and Savior spend time with those who were lost and living in darkness, he spent time teaching and showing compassion to the “least” of society.
That is the model that I believe Christ calls us to follow today. We can have a beautiful sanctuary in which to worship and we can have attractive buildings in which to have Sunday school and many other activities. But if we are not living out our faith and our calling by helping those in need and showing compassion to those that society has cast aside, then we are not truly living out our calling in Christ.
On the Day of Judgment we will not be asked how many church buildings we built or how much money we raised for the church budget. Rather, we will be held accountable for what we did for the least of our brothers and sisters who are homeless, hungry, living in darkness, in prison, or just simply do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus gave all of us as his followers a ministry model to follow. We are to show compassion to one another, we are to see others the way that Christ sees them. We must not be willing to let anyone perish that does not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.