If the people of God are to reach out to the lost, every individual must be fully committed to the cause of Christ. The author of Chronicles records the remarks of Hanani the seer to Asa king of Judah: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Just a brief reflection upon the words of the Holy Spirit to Asa reminds one of the words of Jesus: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24). Again, Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (6:33). This kind of spirit permeated the Macedonian churches. The Macedonian Christians gave money to help the destitute saints in Jerusalem. Paul, in commenting on their generosity, wrote: “And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
Is your local congregation reaching out? Yes! Hopefully, every local body of believers will reach out more and more in its desire to promote the kingdom of God. One might almost say that the present-day church is better equipped for every other task than it is for its primary mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. When the church is silent, it is not true to its calling. Do not Christians incur guilt when they do not pass on the Gospel they have been entrusted with? The church of Jesus cannot be a true church when it is silent about the good news of God’s way of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Today, there is a great deal of shyness in speaking about the things of God to a lost and dying world. God’s people must work toward breaking down the traditional aloofness that produces a church of silent saints.
Are you praying for the advancement of God’s kingdom? Are you one of the ones seeking to work the harvest? Are you praying that God will send forth laborers into His vineyard? Matthew mentions an occasion in which Jesus was reaching out to men and women who were harassed and helpless. As he looked upon these individuals, Matthew informs us that His heart was filled with compassion. Listen to Matthew as he captures the tender compassion of Jesus:
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. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:35-38).