Trending at ICC

05
Apr

What Do You Value?

The best piece of business advice I ever received: Do what you value.

I realized that advice is not just for business but for life. Because, whether we realize it or not, we do what we value. Our values determine our actions- good or bad.

Starting with what we value is necessary for success in any venture and in all of life. When we start with what we value, everything else flows- our thinking and our actions. We learn this very clearly from our Lord, Jesus Christ. In fact, He set the standard by demonstrating His heart for the lost- who He valued most. It’s why He came… to seek and save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). This is what is expected of us- those who are Christ followers. His deepest desire was to bring glory to the Father by doing His will, which is that all men be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4). This is seen in Jesus’ motivation- His compassion for the lost.

In Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus had compassion on them. Other versions say He was “moved with compassion.” What does that mean? Well, our word compassion is from the Latin “cumpasayo,” which means to “suffer with.” Jesus suffered with them. He felt their pain. “He saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion on them.” You can picture Jesus on an elevated place, perhaps on a hillside; and, as He looks down the little bank, the slope, He sees this mass of people before Him. And they came mostly with physical needs, diseases, deformities, hunger; and He sees them- But He sees beyond the physical to the real needs, and we get a glimpse into His heart.

In Matthew 14:14, “Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion.” Matt 15:32, “Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, ‘I have compassion on the multitude.'”  In Matthew 20:34, “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.” So much of the Gospels point to the compassionate heart of the Savior. In them, we see Jesus’ compassion on those separated from God, which are those who are lost, and His urge to see them rescued are clearly seen.

So, how do you think He expects His disciples to see them?  As He sees them. He wants us to value what He values… because we do what we value, right? Our part as His disciples is not simply to watch Jesus from the sidelines. Jesus told His disciples very clearly, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). He also commands us to pray to the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into the harvest fields, as I mentioned. Back then, as it is now, the laborers are few but the harvest is huge!

Jesus not only commands us to pray for workers but also to send them out. This does not necessarily mean that he wants us all to live in a mud hut somewhere in Africa, but it does mean to go out in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our schools. Again, Jesus calls for prayer for laborers…”Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Did you ever consider that you are an answer to prayer as you do your part for the Kingdom?

Interestingly, the Greek word for “send out,”  “ekballo,” means to thrust out violently. Laborers in the field would not gingerly pick out the harvest, they need to pull it out before it rots. It’s an urgent matter, really. Likewise, Jesus’ mission of compassion was urgent as well!

Speaking of being an “URGENT” prayer request, there is a nationwide movement called Saturate USA. We at Island Christian Church are endeavoring to do our part, in our zip code by bringing the gospel to the 10,400 homes in East Northport. It’s simple really. We’ve been sending out people from the church in teams of two the past two Saturday mornings, to distribute door hangers with the “Jesus Film,” a gospel track and an invitation to church. We have two remaining Saturdays to get this done- April 6 and 13. It’s a couple of hours of your time, but it can be life (and destiny) changing for our neighbors. It’s our harvest field and it is an urgent matter!

What do you value? Do what you value.

Click HERE for more information and to participate with ICC in ‘Saturate East Northport’. Not from this area? Visit https://www.saturateusa.org/ to learn how you can get involved in your own neighborhoods.

-Pastor Joe Garofalo

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