(7/7) Words in Red
Many of you know that my passion outside of family and preaching is hunting. I hope that doesnít bother anyone, but it is something I started to do with my father as soon as I could walk. I donít golf,
and while I love to play baseball and basketball, my body canít run and jump as it did 30 years ago. I am not a gardener, I could care less about a green, weed-less lawn, but I love to be in the woods in the fall and winter. My
wife shares my passion, only not for the woods, but for bargains. She is a thrift store hunter and a fanatic bargain shopper. We buy very little at Belk, Bon-ton, Sears, or Pennyís anymore because my wife can find brand new
stuff with the tags still on them at the thrift stores. She knows when fill a bag day or half price day is and she knows that most thrift stores use their proceeds for a good cause. A couple of days ago we found a hundred
dollarsí worth of John Deere toy tractors for our grandchildren for about $5. I have come to enjoy going with her to these stores. I immediately go to the book section, and sometimes I find incredible deals. Books that sold new
for 20-25 dollars can be bought for a 25 cents to a dollar. Sometimes I buy them to give away, and sometimes, I find one that I have wanted to read or to add to my library.
Such was the case, last week. I found a book by Mark Batterson, Pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. Mark is the author of, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day (from 1 Chron. 11:22). The
book I found is called Primal. In a nut shell, the book is about reducing what it means to be a Christ-Follower to its most prime commandment, i.e., Loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your
strength, (Mark 12:30).
The book begins with a study about heart transplants. It has been realized that the heart as an organ literally has a mind of its own and produces its own brain-like hormones and has cellular memory.
Heart transplant recipients donít just receive new organs they receive cellular memories. Batterson quotes from Charles Seibertís book, A Man After His Own Heart, stating that heart transplant recipients have a new profound
appreciation for life; that they speak in reverent terms of their second chance at life and almost always sense a responsibility to honor their donors. Seibert says, Heart replacement recipients donít just receive a new heart,
they receive, "whole new sensory responses, cravings, and habits."
Listen carefully, the same should be true of every person who genuinely is born again as a follower of Jesus Christ. While it is not a new organ that pumps blood throughout the body, it is a new nature
that every born again person is given. Ez. 36:26 says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." There should be in this new
heart the same 3 things as a heart transplant recipient:
1. An awesome awareness of a second chance at life Ė Having learned the truth about God, Jesus, ourselves, salvation, and more, we want to approach the rest of our lives with purpose, and live it right,
2. A profound sense of desire to honor the donor- Thatís why Paul would tell us to do all we do to the glory or honor of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
3. And new responses, cravings, and desires as we live life. We should feel different; that is we should feel what Jesus feels, for it is His heart that we receive. Chief among these feelings should be
His compassion. How is your CQ; that is, your Compassion Quotient?
Our text this morning, takes us inside the heart of our Lord and shows us what He sees and tells us what He feels as He looks at the sea of humanity, and what His heart yearns for. Letís look at Matthew
9:35-38. Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people] 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He
was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of
the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Folks, this is why Jesus left Heaven and took on our flesh. This is why He would die and rise again. This is why He gave us the Great Commandments and the Great Commission. I
have a good Baptist sermon this morning, with 3 main points. Perhaps He was standing on a hillside or a mountain top and saw:
I. What He Saw
A. He saw the Sick (v. 35) the literal, physically sick people. Sickness was never part of Godís plan, neither was death. Both came into the world as the world became corrupt because of the presence of
sin that began in the Garden of Eden. God has told us in the Bible that there is coming a day when there wonít be any more of either sickness or death. Sin is often expressed as sickness in the Bible. In this same chapter look
at how Jesus defines those considered as sinners. Jesus said in Matt. 9:12, when He was criticized for eating with Tax collectors and sinners, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Cp. Also,
Isaiah 1:4-6; "Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away
backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and
putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment."
Can you feel the heart of God? God cares about those addicted with drugs and alcohol, and tobacco. God cares about those who are seeking sex and pornography to gratify them-selves. God cares about those
who are living in poverty, whether it is their own fault or not. God cares about those who are seeking money, positions, pleasure, etc., as the purpose for their existence. God cares about those who stand by the gravesides
everyday as they say good-bye to their loved ones and they donít know if they are ever going to see them again. Jesus was stirred because He saw the results of sin. On at least two occasions He wept because of it (John 11:33-35,
B. ) He saw the Stressed. The NKJV says weary, others say, harassed, fainted, or distressed. It is a word that literally means that they were worn out, and/or exhausted. Their minds felt beaten, bruised,
and just plain tired. People who might say, "I canít take anymore, I am tired of trying, I quit or I want to quit, I want off, or want out, maybe even I wish I could die."
C. ) He saw the Scattered or Downcast. The English word scattered is a little misleading because the word does not mean that there were some here and some there. Downcast is better. It literally means to
be thrown down, to be prostrate, helpless, and hopeless, like a sheep heavy with wool that is wet or has fallen on its back and canít get up; like the people in the life alert button commercial. Picture a turtle on its back.
Like someone wounded in battle and unless he is given attention will soon die. These are people who are hopeless for improvement; nothing to look forward to in this life or the next. There is no peace, no joy, perhaps no love,
and no hope.
D. ) He saw that the Shepherd-less. There was no one who cared for these people; no one to feed them with truth, love and hope; no one to lead them in faith, or lend them a hand; no one who wanted to
protect them. The religious leaders of His day didnít care about grace, and they didnít care about the lost. They were a lot like the Shepherds of Ezekiel 34. Listen: "And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man,
prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ĎThus says the Lord God to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and
clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven
away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep
wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them." 7 ĎTherefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8
"As I live," says the Lord God, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed
themselves and did not feed My flock"ó 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease
feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them."
E. ) He saw the Separated from God. The harvest is plentiful. Letís stop for a moment. When you see the word, Harvest, what you should see is that unless someone brings the grain or fruit in from the
fields, it will eventually be eaten, or fall to the ground and be ruined or it rot on the stalk or vine. In John 4:35 we heard Jesus say, "donít say, someday we hope to have a good harvest. The fields are ready to be harvested
to day." Did you know that there are more missionaries coming into the United States than we are coming into any other country in the world, except Brazil? African countries and Asian Countries are sending missionaries here. Did
you know that if the un-churched population in the United States were a nation it would be the 5th most populated nation in the world? The United States is the largest English speaking mission field in the world. 2 out of 3
Americans are lost and destined for an eternal Hell separated from love, grace, peace and the goodness of God. The ratio of saved to lost people in the world is even greater than that. Did you know that in Puebla, Mexico where
Deb and I are going in September 98 out of every 100 people are lost?
Jesus saw the lost, the sick, the stressed, the scattered, the shepherd-less, and the separated from God. Do we? They are your neighbors; they are the ones on your street, walking the streets, they are
your family, they are your co-workers. They are the majority of the 7 billion people on earth. Do we care? Thatí was you and me. And Jesus found someone who cared, perhaps multiple people who cared and sent them to tell us how
to be rescued.
II. What Jesus Feels - When He saw the Multitudes, He was moved with Compassion. Literally Ė He was stirred in His bowels or His gut. The Greek word for compassion is Splanchna and it means to be stirred
in the bowels. It is that sick feeling that says, "This just isnít right and something must be done about this, I have to do something about this. I have to be involved." In Jesusí day it wasnít the heart that was associated
with emotions, it was the digestive system, because when you genuinely feel emotions, where do you feel them? In your gut! Sometimes you want to throw up. Sometimes you canít eat. Sometimes you get colitis, or ulcers. By the
way, does it move you to know that God feels emotions? He does. It wasnít just the Samaritans, or the Jews, or the Gentiles of the Middle East, it is the state humanity that stirs the bowels of God. His compassion led Him to
heal Bartimaeus; to feed the four thousand plus, and the 5000 plus. Itís why He ate with tax collectors and sinners and itís what He wants you to feel when you see the Sick, the Stressed, the Scattered, the Shepherd-less, and
the Separated from God. Here are some things for you to think about.
In a typical day in the U.S.A alone;
ē 10,799 babies will be born and 6,403 people will die
ē 6,148 couples will be married and 3,110 marriages will end in divorce
ē 3,246 women will have an abortion and 3,445 unmarried women will have a baby
ē 84 people will commit suicide, 45 will die from AIDs, and 43 will die in alcohol related car crashes
ē 4,630 teenage girls will have sex for the first time, 1,312 kids will drop out of high school and 6000 will try their first cigarette
ē 28,206 people will be arrested
ē 3,396 will declare bankruptcy and 63,288 will receive food stamps
How about these numbers
ē 15 million children will die from starvation this year in the world, or 40,000 everyday
ē 130,000 children are ready to be adopted in the U.S.A., and millions more are without families in the world.
ē Of the 7 plus billion people in the world 1.7 billion have never heard the name of Jesus and another nearly 3 billion have fewer than 2% Christians.
We hear these stats but what we hear are numbers, and numbers donít move us. We hear that 58,000 men died in Vietnam, and itís just numbers, and we hear that 3000 died at ground Zero in New York and they
are just numbers until we go to the Vietnam War Memorial or the Ground Zero memorial and we see the names of those numbers and artifacts of the people who died; or we go to Puebla, Mexico and look into the faces of the poor and
lost and suddenly we become aware that these are real people. Letís listen to these stats again and ask ourselves what Batterson asks in His book, "Are we okay with this?" God sees the faces of each of these people and all these
children and He is not okay with this and He doesnít want you to be okay with this.
I just remembered that it was watching an old woman literally being eaten alive by maggots and rats that caused a little Albanian nun and school teacher in Calcutta, India, to sit up all night with that
woman, until she died. That led Mother Teresa to give her life to caring for the least of society because she believed that everyone deserved the chance to die with dignity, and she dedicated her life to caring for the outcast
of the world. She won the Nobel Prize, and the Templeton awards with lots of money and gave it all to caring for the poor, because she was not okay with this.
It was watching a war orphaned child die in a food line in Korea that moved Bob Pierce to start World Vision and sponsorships for orphaned children that also led to an act of congress for international
adoptions, because He was not okay with this. It was seeing shoeless children in Argentina that led Blake Mycoskie of Tomís Shoes to pledge to give away a pair of shoes to poor children of the world for every pair that customers
purchased, because he was not okay with this.
Jesus came and ministered to the poor, the hungry, the sick, the stressed, the scattered, the shepherd-less, and to give His life for the lost and separated from God because He is not okay with this.
III. What Jesus Desires Ė We saw this 2 weeks ago. Jesus desires compassion, mercy, loving kindness, not our religious performances. Verses 37 and 38 are our Words in Red, "Then He said to His disciples,
"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." There are not enough laborers to bring in the harvest. Without laborers, the fruit,
grain, corn, beans, etc. will be lost. God loves the world and doesnít want anyone to be lost. The word, Lost is the same word as Perish. Both mean to be forever ruined, or destroyed. Jesus wants more laborers, more people who
care, more people who are not okay with things as they are, more people who see the sick, the scattered, the stressed, the shepherd-less, and the separated from God.
On April 15th 1912, 2/3ís of the 2,200 passengers of the Titanic died in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The tragedy is that many of them did not have to die. Many of the twenty lifeboats were only
half full when they launched away from the sinking ship. Most of those who died in the water did not drown they froze to death. The people in the lifeboats heard the screams and the cries of the people but would not go back and
get them for fear of capsizing. Only one life boat went back but it was mostly too late, only six people were rescued. Those who were already saved didnít go back for the dying. We are surrounded by dying people and we are their
only link to Jesus. So, Jesus says, to Pray to the Lord of The Harvest to send out more laborers into His harvest. Folks, I donít know how this works. I just know what Jesus says and He says to pray for more laborers. But I must
stop and warn you. If you obey this and pray for more laborers as Jesus instructs us, He may just ask you when you can start. It is no surprise that chapter 10 follows chapter 9 and chapter 9 closes with instructions to pray for
more laborers, and chapter 10 is Jesus sending out the people He had just told to pray. So what should we do? Letís listen to Jesus.
1. Lift up your eyes and see them. Ask God to let you see them. Remember the Beatles song- All the Lonely People, where do they all come from, and where do they all belong. All the sick, the stressed, the
scattered, the shepherd-less, and the separated from God.
2. Ask God for divine appointments. To bring lost people across your way. Look for key signs or words of stress, worry, fear, lack of peace, etc., and tell them how you found Hope in Jesus.
3. Pray for God to raise up people in your church and community who will care to do something to reach and care for the lost and hurting. Maybe to reach your children. Jesus cared and He came to do
something. To give his life as a substitute and then rise again from the grave to give forgiveness and grace and life and hope to all you will receive it. What are you willing to do?
4. Pray for the bowels of compassion to do something. Ask God as the Casting Crowns song, Jesus, Friend of Sinners, says, "Break our hearts for what breaks yours." If Jesus has taken your stony heart and
has given you a new heart, that new heart should feel what He feels and crave what He craves. You should have the same compassion that He has. Feed the homeless and poor, mentor a child, put your arms around a hurting person and
pray for them. It was Francis of Assisi that said, Ďpreach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words." It is show and tell. Show them the love of Jesus and then tell them the love of Jesus and the God who cares.
5. Invite your neighbors into your home, build relationships with the lost and tell them about Jesus.
6. Invite, Invite, Invite. Let every empty chair, or space on your row, break your heart and ask God to fill that empty space with your family and friends and neighbors and invite, invite, invite.
7. Make the Isaiah commitment. "Here am I Lord send me," (Isaiah 6:8). Go to them and tell them about Jesus. Matthew 10:1 cp. Acts 26:18. Dedicate your lives, your homes and your resources to reaching
lost and hurting people because you arenít okay with the way the world is.
Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman