“When we follow our compassion into the crowds,
we will find Jesus there,
doing amazing things thru us”
I spent a 5-days in Costa Rica last week with my friend and Panamanian missionary Jim Sim. Each year, for years, we have set aside some days for prayer. I flew to Costa Rica and Jim travelled via bus from Boquete, Panama.
The last few years God has been healing me in the area of my emotions. By healing I mean clarifying and cleaning up my emotions. It has felt like God has said, “Les, I want you to glorify Me with your emotions, not just your mind.” And then God set about wrecking most of my ideas, many of my thoughts, about my emotions and how I FEEL my way in this world.
I have taught before on how the compassion of Jesus propelled Him into the crowds to do ministry (Matthew 9).
On this trip I experienced how my compassion propelled me into two different relationships. One was with a young man trying to sell me cocaine or weed one evening in Jaco, Costa Rica. The other was with a pastor of a church that I met after the volcano we went to visit was closed due to ‘activity’.
[I wish I could write down what I experienced and as I get clearer on the proper use of my compassion (emotions?) I am sure that will happen….but right now you’ll just have to listen to the two stories in this message.]
When we follow our compassion into the crowds we will experience God’s presence.
“What you do to the least of these you do to Jesus” is typically seen as a motivation to do good deeds so in the future, when standing in line at the pearly gates, Jesus says, “Hey! You were good because you fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the prisoners. Come on in!”
What we often fail to understand is that where the least of these are, so is Jesus and that in ministering to and loving on the least of these we will experience Jesus while here on earth. As we engage in the right good works, those we were created to do, we will overflow onto others and help them experience Him in the tangible ways of food and friendship, as well as in those mystical ways of His presence, peace and love.
God is not something I am to only think about. He is Someone I am supposed to experience and as with any relational experience, my mind and emotions must be engaged.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)