DO SOMETHING #2: BE THE HANDS AND FEET OF JESUS
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: QUOTE: (Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel).
“There is much at stake. The world we live in is under siege – three billion are desperately poor, one billion hungry, millions are trafficked in human slavery, ten million children die needlessly each year, wars and conflicts are wreaking havoc, pandemic diseases are spreading, ethnic hatred is flaming, and terrorism is growing…”
“Jesus healed the sick, loved the poor, touched the leper, stood up for the down-and-out, forgave the sinner, condemned the religious hypocrites, dined with prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors, challenged the wealthy and powerful, fought for justice for the oppressed, defied His culture, renounced materialism, demonstrated that greatness is found in serving – and then died that others might live. These actions – performed by one man – changed the world. These same actions, when carried out by His followers, still change the world today.”
KEY SCRIPTURE: WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF US?
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, NKJV).
- If you memorize one Bible verse this year, let this be it!
- God has called us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world – let’s do it!
THE BIG IDEA: God has called us, His church, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to take His justice and mercy into the world, to minister to the lost, the poor and the broken.
STORY: ONE AT A TIME (Chicken Soup for the Soul).
A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he drew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said, “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.
“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.” “I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast? Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”
1. A LOOK AT THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
- Jesus came to help social outsiders, the poor, the oppressed, and the excluded.
1. JESUS SHOWED COMPASSION TOWARD SOCIAL OUTSIDERS:
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matt. 8:1-3).
“9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matt. 9:9-13).
- Jesus was called the “Friend of Sinners” because He accepted everyone.
- We need to accept all people regardless of race, clothing, anything!
2. JESUS ADVOCATED FOR THE POOR:
“Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14).
THE FACTS ABOUT THE POOR, THE OPPRESSED AND CHILDREN:
- Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day (1 billion less than $1 a day).
- 85 million child labourers are forced do dangerous work.
- Nearly 2 million children are exploited in the sex trade.
- Each day, over 6,000 children under age five die from diseases spread by unsafe water
3. JESUS RELEASED THE OPPRESSED:
“23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.” (Mark 1:23-26).
4. JESUS EMBRACED EXCLUDED CHILDREN:
“13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16).
II. JESUS CHALLENGES US TO DO SOMETHING:
“25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37).
- God is calling us to DO SOMETHING – justice and mercy for the poor and needy!
III. THE CALL TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS:
- “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21).
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: HOW CAN WE CARE FOR THE POOR AND NEEDY?
- Learn more about people who live in extreme poverty in distant countries. Buy a map.
- Sponsor a child through World Vision. (Our family sponsors Angie in Costa Rica).
- Read books like The Hole in Our Gospel or Jesus on Justice.
- Visit sites like World Vision (worldvision.ca) or International Justice Mission (ijm.ca).
PRAY: “Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, once prayed, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” Jesus’ heart was continually moved to compassion as He encountered the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan.”
- Volunteer in your own backyard (the church, Union Gospel Mission, etc.).
- Take a short term mission trip.
- Participate in something like the 30 Hour Famine (our youth are doing this in April).
- Give generously of your money to help the poor.
- Speak – become an advocate to stand against poverty, injustice, human trafficking, etc.
VIDEO: Compassion Art – Friend of the Poor.
BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR APPLICATION POINTS: The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/