Thursday, 12 March 2015

Matthew 9: Having a compassion for lost souls

Good evening, ladies. I hope you are well. Have you escaped this awful flu that has been going around? There seems to be so much sickness at the minute.

The verse in this chapter that challenged me the most is verse 36, "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd".

Image result for sheep

The Lord Jesus Christ had come to earth to die for these dear souls, the same as He did for you and me. When He looked at all these people, His heart was stirred with a deep love and tender compassion for them because He knew that they were not hearing the gospel from the religious leaders of the day. This is turn meant that they were heading towards a lost eternity because they weren't being guided by a good spiritual leader. They needed someone strong and caring to look after them; they needed Christ, but they didn't seem to know it.

There are people in the world, in our country, in our town, in our neighbourhood, in our jobs, in our families, who are like sheep without a shepherd. They have no sincere spiritual leadership and they probably don't even know it. They might think that because they go to church and pay money into the church then this makes them acceptable in the sight of God. Perhaps they think that because they are good people and give to charity this will gain them entrance into heaven.
These people, the same as many people today, "were scattered abroad". This doesn't mean they were spread out geographically all over the place; it means they were running here and there trying to find satisfaction for their souls and not finding it. They were wandering about aimlessly, with no leadership or direction. Where were they going in their lives? As Christians we have purpose and focus. We know why we're here, what we're supposed to be doing here and where we are headed to. We know that we are on an earthly journey that will end in a heavenly home, and along the way our aim is to glorify the Lord. We know that we are loved and that our sins are forgiven.

But these dear unsaved souls don't have this blessing in their lives. If you can think back to the time when you were unsaved, you'll probably remember just living for the moment with little or no thought for the future. Perhaps death never crossed your mind, or even what happens after death; or maybe these thoughts did creep in but you pushed them away again. This is likely how it is for those unsaved people who you come into contact with. They are struggling to deal with everything life throws at them in their own strength. Depending on their view of God, sin and salvation, their future may look very bleak, and indeed it is, because without Christ we have nothing.

Surely this should be enough to spur us on to pray more for these dear people. Surely you would have been glad to know that someone cared enough about you and your soul to pray for you. I think for many Christians, it is a case of "well I'm saved and I'm alright, so I don't need to worry anymore". But we do need to concern ourselves with praying for and witnessing to the unsaved. They can't see their eternal danger, but we can and so we must intercede on their behalf.

The great preacher, CH Spurgeon, once said in light of the atrocities of war:

Image result for ch spurgeonCalamities occurring to our fellow men naturally awaken in us a feeling of commiseration; but what calamity under heaven can be equal to the ruin of a soul? What misery can be equal to that of a man cast away from God, and subject to his wrath world without end!

When we hear of terrible things happening to people, we are full of empathy and sadness. We try to put ourselves in their shoes and then we feel sorry for them. But as Spurgeon said there can't be anything worse than being separated from God forever in a lost eternity. We need to see the urgency of having a compassion for souls and for doing what we can to lead them to Christ.

Prayer matters:

  • Ask the Lord to give you a soft and tender heart towards the unsaved; to give you a holy compassion for the lost
  • Ask Him to give you the strength to be able to witness to these people, even to have and take any opportunity that comes your way to tell others of what the Saviour means to you
Hugs Karen x

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