2Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (KJV)
Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism
How many times have we heard the adage, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care”? Concern for the personal well being of individuals drives our evangelistic efforts and impacts our effectiveness. Sin has taken many captive, but God has promised to be found if we will return to Him. God’s compassion lights the path that leads back to Him. Our knowledge and expertise is worthless without compassion.
The promise land, which is marked by God’s favor, is accessible through His compassion. The hope that we have in Jesus affords us the privilege of sharing that hope with others. We represent God’s grace and mercy, and will not be effective in ministry unless we keep our heads, fulfill our commitments, and freely demonstrate the love of God.
Caring about people is more than preaching to them. Caring about people is more than praying for them. Caring about people is coming alongside them and walking with them through the difficulties of life. As we walk with them three things happen: 1. The burden becomes lighter, 2. Working together we begin to understand each other, and 3. God delivers us from our captors. Through this process sin loses its power over us. God focuses His attention upon us, and we travel the path that leads to redemption. Our soul is renewed as self-indulgent nature gives way to love. God’s attention is captured by our repentance. (2Chronicles 30:9)
God is continually at work bringing us back, or taking us deeper into a relationship with Him through Christ. When we wandered into sin, God turned His attention away from us, but when we repented, He poured out His mercy upon us. He leads us with everlasting kindness and compassion. We experience the grace of God and are able to share compassion with others because of what God does in our lives. The lyrics of the songs we sing reflect profound theological truth. “If I never had a problem, I’d never know that God could solve them” we may not remember the title, but the truth rings through. (Isaiah 54:7-8)
God is drawing us out into the world not as a participant in its evil but as beacons of hope in the darkness. Telling people about the blessings available to us through a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ is powerful when it is demonstrated through compassion. (Isaiah 63:7)
Allow the Holy Spirit to awaken compassion within us. It will overcome the world. God’s compassion poured out into our lives has eternal results. People are often blinded by their sin. They set on the sidelines of life and never experience the fullness of God’s grace. As we come alongside them, and reach out with grace, they hear in our testimonies the hope that we have. They feel the love of God, and they begin to believe that God will meet their deepest needs. CARE –– Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism. (Matthew 20:34)
Just as the awareness of those blind men was awakened and they recognized their need and called out to the Lord, the awareness of those around us must be awakened. They are moved to awareness by our compassion. They are not awakened by either our condemnation or our expertise. “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Once people recognize their condition, it is easy to reach out as examples of holy compassion and corporately begin to call out to the Lord for redemption. God never fails to rescue those who call upon Him from a repentant heart. His promises are sure and His love is unfailing. (Psalm 44:26)
There is a wakeup call that is going out. God is moving among His children to awaken us. He is asking us to stand up for His principles. He is strengthening us to stand against evil. God is beginning to stir us to revival. What is revival if it is not an awakening? (Psalm 94:16)
The Lord is doing things today that are worthy of praise. He is active and working in our lives. When we praise Him for what He is doing, turn from our self-indulgent nature and CARE for those around us with compassion awakened, God begins to restore our lives, and our lives become tools for evangelism. Begin to CARE for the people around us, praise God and watch Him restore our lives. (Psalm 57:8)
Once we awaken our souls and employ our talents praising God. It is not difficult to realize that God has brought us through trouble before and did not disappoint us. Our faith is built up, our emotions are perked up, and we can stand up. There is no problem situation in life outside of God’s power to restore. If we skip the trial we never know the power of restoration available in our relationship with God.
God uses the situations in our lives to test our character. Trust builds in us as we see the power and presence of God overcome these problems. The Psalmist said, God made him see troubles. If we accept that God gave mankind a free will, we should understand that the vast majority of our troubles are the direct result of our choices. Still, the promise remains, God will restore.
Clearly God’s promise is this: He will lift us up. We will again see the light of His love. Only God can take what the devil means for harm and completely transform it. God both will, and has brought us to life again in Christ. Resurrection power is the power of total restoration into a relationship with God. (Psalm 71:20)
Compassion awakens us spiritually to the reality of God. It moves us to believe He is active in our lives; or that He is willing to become active as we commit to Him. God restores us to a relationship with Him and calls us into service. Our relationship was lost as a result of sin. Once relationship is restored through the redemption offered in Christ, we are called to serve. That service is evangelism – sharing the message of hope.
As we learn how much God CAREs for us, we develop our ability to CARE for others. Calling upon God to renew His fame in our day and remember mercy even in His wrath directs our prayer for the lost. Compassion moves us into action. (Habakkuk 3:2)
We freely share the message of God’s restoration power because God has given us hope. In every prophetic message there are the elements of now and not yet. Now God is at work restoring the lives of the believers; however, the total restoration will not be realized until we change our address permanently and enter eternity. Now there is healing, and provision for our needs. Now we can be satisfied, but the fullness of this promise cannot be experienced until He calls us home. Joy can become our trademark.
God has given us reason to praise Him. Every problem is an opportunity for His mighty works to be demonstrated in our lives. Depending upon God is the only road to salvation, wholeness and health. Oil and wine in the Bible is a symbol of healing. God will repay the years we have lost to sin when we return to Him as our God. (Joel 2:24-26)
We have first-hand knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God. We are examples of His miracles. Every day that we live, becomes a testimony of His power and authority. Compassion Awakened Restores Evangelism — CARE. God uses our experiences to reach out to those around us.
Jesus commanded those who witnessed His miracles to proclaim them to the world. We are each one of His miracles. In Christ we are set free from the law of sin and death. We have experienced, and witnessed His power and authority in our lives. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. For that reason, evangelism is the logical next step as we begin to CARE for those around us. (Acts 10:42)
A person with 20:20 vision is said to have perfect vision. This type of clarity in our vision should extend to our vision in ministry. It happens when we do not hesitate to proclaim what is helpful both publicly and in private. Ministry that matters is ministry that CAREs. (Acts 20:20)
Previously the scripture reference from Joel said, “Never again will my people be ashamed.” When we are standing up for the cause of Christ and proclaiming the good news among the nations we can have complete confidence in the message. Jesus saves! He holds nothing back and as the people of God, we should be willing to tell others what they need to hear whether they appreciate the message or not.
The lack of shame and the ambition to share the message and knowledge of the Truth moves us with compassion to openly proclaim the good news of salvation to everyone without regard to race, intellectual ability, or social standing. We are all created in the image of God and He has lavished His love upon us. The reality of God’s love for us matures into both eagerness and an obligation to preach the Truth in that love. (Romans 1:13-16)