If you are visiting my blog today from my Proverbs 31 Devotion, then welcome! I am excited to welcome you, and also excited to reveal my new blog look today! If you are an email subscriber, click here to check out my blog makeover!
In today’s P31 devotion, Other People Might Think I’m Crazy, I shared a story of when I felt God nudging me to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a situation where I wasn’t sure I wanted to be. Yet, when I obeyed, I was the one who was blessed.
Being the hands of feet of Jesus is a common cliché, but one we often don’t think about – especially when we are busy, stressed, worried about what others might think, running late or just plain don’t feel like it.
But this world is a big place, and even though we often justify not giving of our time or efforts to others by assuming that “somebody else will do it”, the truth is, Jesus needs more people who are willing to reach out to those in need – helping with big needs and little needs. We read in Matthew 9 that the Kingdom of God needs more “workers”, and God needs us to be His hands and feet more today than ever before.
In today’s P31 devotion, I invited readers to enter to win a pre-release “hot off the press” copy of my new book Your Life Still Counts coming out next month, by leaving a comment sharing how they once served as the hands and feet of Jesus. My prayer is that we will be so inspired by reading all the comments of how so many people reached out to someone in need, that we’ll be acutely aware of looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people every day!
How might the world change if we all carried out one random act of kindness per day – one act of service in Jesus name? I can only imagine it would be a much lovelier world.
Below is a brief excerpt from one chapter of my new book, which talks about this need for workers in God’s kingdom, so I wanted to share it with you. (pssst – you can pre-order your copy of Your Life Still Counts beginning today)
The heading in the NLT Bible above the passage of Matthew 9:35–38 reads “The Need for Workers.” This is where we read that the harvest is great but the workers are few. Jesus wasn’t referring to fields of grain that needed to be worked, but crowds of people who needed to be reached.
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:35–38
The first thing that stands out to me in this passage is that Jesus “saw the crowds.” He didn’t overlook them because He was busy or because He already had enough followers or disciples. He didn’t walk past them, too distracted with His own issues, seeing them as hopeless, or assuming they had it all together already and didn’t need His attention. No, He saw them, and He not only saw their faces, He saw their hearts. And when He saw them, He had compassion on them because they were “confused and helpless.”
He knew they were broken, torn apart, weak, worn out, and beaten down by the world. He knew life had been hard for many of them and that many probably felt like throwaway people. He knew they needed His healing and love, and He didn’t assume somebody else would reach out to them. Jesus was gripped with a compassion so overwhelming that His heart churned and His stomach wrenched. It was out of compassion and love for the crowds that He told His disciples to pray for more workers to join them in touching those who needed to be touched, loved, and redeemed.
They needed more workers to show people that Jesus was the Messiah and that if they devoted their lives to Him, they would be healed, transformed, and given purpose, peace, joy, and happiness. These people He saw in the crowds had the same needs as the people who live in our crowded world today. They need someone to tell them they matter and their lives matter to God.
Your Life Still Counts, Chapter 20, Pages 251-252
To enter to win a free copy of the book before the release date, leave your brief “hands and feet” story in the comments! Winner to be announced later this week.
**The two winners of two copies each of The Best Yes from last week’s post were: Debbie who posted at 8/28/14 10:26am, and Linda Devereux who posted at 9/4/14 11:32pm**