“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38).
When you’re out and about in the cities and see people who are not walking with God, how do you think and feel about them? Do you feel compassion? Do you feel pity? Do you feel judgmental? Do you feel indifferent? Do you feel compelled to act on their behalf?
As I’ve said in the last couple of devotionals, I really believe that the key to being on mission with Jesus is sharing the heart of Jesus for the lost and the “least of these.” By his grace, God has become our Father and the heart of being a child of God is sharing in our Father’s heart.
When Jesus looked upon crowds of people who were not walking with God, his heart was deeply moved with compassion. He thought to himself, “These people are being battered about by the realities of life and they’re helpless to do anything about it. They’re like a herd of sheep wandering from one place to another without the care and leadership of a shepherd. Their lives are aimless and fruitless.”
And having felt these things so deeply, he then turned to his disciples and said, “Listen, there’s a lot of work to be done and now is the time to do that work but there aren’t enough workers. So pray earnestly, passionately, and persistently to the Lord of the harvest so that he might send more and more laborers into his harvest.”
Beloved, Jesus loved lost people very much. In fact, his heart was so moved when he saw them that he said, in another place, his mission in life was to seek and save them (Luke 19:10). And since this mission was so central to the passions of his heart, he gave this call to his disciples: “pray with all your heart that God would provide workers to minister to the needs of people like this.” In other words, he wants us to share his heart and he wants us to roll up our sleeves and join in his work. He wants us to be like himself: compassionate and willing to act.
So why not set some time aside this very day to obey Jesus’ command and pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest. Pray that we might share his heart. Pray that he might send more workers into our cities. Pray that as we labor in prayer and caring and sharing, that he will allow us to bear the fruit of those who walk with God for the glory of his name, the good of the lost, and the joy of our souls.
Longing with you to enter into our Master’s heart,Pastor Charlie