VIDEO Moved by Compassion

But when [Christ] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36

During the First Great Awakening in colonial New England (1730s-1740s), a church in Enfield, Connecticut, had experienced almost no revival or awakening. The pastor invited Jonathan Edwards, a fellow pastor, to preach to his congregation on July 8, 1741. That sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” became the most famous sermon of the era and is still read and studied today. It laid out clearly the eternal consequences of not responding by faith to the grace of God in Christ.

Edwards’ sermon was not a shouting, “fire and brimstone” message. It was simply the result of his study of the Word of God combined with his compassion for those he knew to be lost. His compassion moved him to speak the truth, even at the risk of offending his hearers. Edwards’ compassion was like the compassion of Christ who wept over the lost sheep of the house of Israel because He knew the truth about their condition. Truth is not just for knowing, especially when it comes to eternity. Truth should make us reach out to those who are lost.

Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world. Francis Schaeffer

Matthew 9 (Part 6) :35-38 The Workers are Few

Blessed Bread

Today's Devotional

Jesus took some bread and blessed it.  Matthew 26:26 nlt

When our oldest child became a teenager, my wife and I gave her a journal that we’d been writing in since her birth. We’d recorded her likes and dislikes, quirks and memorable one-liners. At some point the entries became more like letters, describing what we see in her and how we see God at work in her. When we gave it to her on her thirteenth birthday, she was mesmerized. She’d been given the gift of knowing a crucial part of the origins of her identity.

In blessing something as common as bread, Jesus was revealing its identity. What it—along with all creation—was made to reflect: God’s glory. I believe Jesus was also pointing to the future of the material world. All creation will one day be filled with the glory of God. So in blessing bread (Matthew 26:26), Jesus was pointing to the origin and the destiny of creation (Romans 8:21–22).

Maybe the “beginning” of your story feels messed up. Maybe you don’t think there’s much of a future. But there’s a bigger story. It’s a story of a God who made you on purpose and for a purpose, who took pleasure in you. It’s a story of God who came to rescue you (Matthew 26:28); a God who put His Spirit in you to renew you and recover your identity. It’s a story of a God who wants to bless you.

by  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How does seeing your true origin story as being made on purpose and for a purpose change the way you see yourself? What’s the bigger story than simply your situation right now?

Dear Jesus, I place my life like bread in Your hands. Only You can return me to my origin. Only You can carry me to my destiny. Jesus, You are the author and the finisher of my faith.

Our Lamb of God

John 1:19-29

From the beginning, God has dealt with sin through the shedding of blood. When mankind’s first act of disobedience was committed, the Lord Himself instituted the sacrificial system: He killed an animal and used its skin to cover Adam and Eve physically, just as its blood “covered” their sin. This was a temporary solution, however. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ could atone for sin and permanently do away with it.

The Son of God came as the sin-bearer for the whole world— He lived a perfect life and then assumed full responsibility for all of our transgressions and guilt. Through His death on the cross, those who trust Him as Savior enjoy the freedom of full pardon and are made righteous and holy in the eyes of the Father.

This is why we call Jesus the Lamb of God. In the Old Testament, lambs were sacrificed to atone for sin. In a similar way, Jesus offered His life as the substitutionary death needed to satisfy God’s justice. As a result, our relationship with God was reconciled so we could be adopted us as His children. Because of Jesus we can stand before God and say, “Thank You for being my Father.”

Sun of Righteousness

“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)

This is the very last of the numerous Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. After this, there were four centuries of silence from heaven, as far as inspired Scriptures were concerned. Thus this prophecy must have special significance.

The Messiah (“Christ”) is called “the Sun of righteousness” in contrast to “all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly” that “shall burn as an oven” when “the day cometh” (v. 1)—that “great and dreadful day of the LORD” (v. 5), and it “shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts” (v. 1).

The “Sun of righteousness” clearly refers to the coming Savior, for He will come “with healing in his wings.” The sun does not have wings, of course, so many commentators think this word refers to the rays of the sun, with their lifesustaining energy. However, the Hebrew word means “wings,” and nothing else. It is as though the sun is rising rapidly on great wings, dispelling the world’s darkness with its light, dispensing healing to its sin-sick soul.

The “Sun of righteousness,” of course, can be none other than God Himself, for “the Lord God is a sun and shield” who “will give grace and glory” to “them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). It is the LORD Jesus Christ, the “light of the world” (John 8:12) coming “from heaven with his mighty angels [his ‘wings’?], in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).

But “you that fear my name” in that day “shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts,…when I make up my jewels” (Malachi 3:17). In the last prophecy of the Old Testament, Christ is the rising Sun; in the last prophecy of the New Testament (Revelation 22:16), He is “the bright and morning star.” HMM

Humble In Service

Thou therefore endure hard—ness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

—2 Timothy 2:3-4


Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet—not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ….

And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.   GTM105-106

Enable me by your Holy Spirit to make this prayer genuinely mine. Amen.


Problems! Problems!

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

—1 John 4:7


What…is the conclusion of the matter? That problems are the price of progress, that friction is the concomitant of motion, that a live and expanding church will have a certain quota of difficulties as a result of its life and activity. A Spirit-filled church will invite the anger of the enemy.

How then shall we deal with our problems? First, expect them so you will not be taken off guard. Second, realize that every live body of Christians has its troubles, from Christ and His apostles to the present day, so yours are not unique. Third, pour in copious amounts of love, the best lubricant in the world. Love will reduce friction to a minimum and keep the whole body working smoothly and without injury to its parts.

Where does this love come from? The love of God bursts forth from the Holy Spirit in our hearts. TWP113

The same bond which unites believers to Christ, binds them to each other….Those who love Christ, love those who are like Him and those who are beloved by Him….There is unity of design, a common interest in the objects of their pursuits. DTC167-168


Three Crosses—Three Results

2 Corinthians 5:19

That barren hill outside Jerusalem’s wall will not be forgotten. Its name, Golgotha, will always bring a shudder to our mind and heart. There were three crosses on that ugly hill; three lives ended on those cruel instruments of torture and death. One was the Son of God.

The attitude of the one malefactor on the right of Jesus seems portentous and the foreshadowing of the position taken by skeptics through the ages. The word that might well have been mounted on the cross above this man is “rejection.”

The Scripture records: “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!'” (Luke 23:39). Men of this character find it hard to accept anything but the material world. Accept only the things that are tangible and sensate, live for today.

The attitude and demeanor of the criminal to the left of Jesus differed significantly. He shouted above the din, “We receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss.” And then to Jesus he said: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The word that might well have been mounted on the cross above this man is “realization.”

This man’s values and activities may have been quite like that of the other thief. He makes no boast of goodness but expresses regret and shame. How lovingly the Master replies. His words convey the message of forgiveness and acceptance. Even for those who have lived shamefully, rejected Him openly, there is forgiveness. The realization that Christ was and is the Son of God makes a tremendous difference, not only for the world that is yet to be, but in this present world as well.

On the center cross, in agony and shame, hung our blessed Lord. The sign that might have been placed above this cross is the word “redemption.” This was the atoning Christ who suffered death for every man. By this perfect sacrifice upon the cross, Jesus abolished death for every believer. The Scripture states, “God was reconciling the world to Himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19). That was the purpose for His ignominious suffering and death—it was for our redemption, to atone for our sins and set us free from guilt and death.

May our attitude toward Christ’s suffering and death, be that of the realization of sins forgiven, and faith in a living Lord whose death and resurrection brings us the assurance of redemption and life abundant.

George Nelting, The War Cry