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Be a Giver Series: THE POWER OF COMPASSION

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Some People

WELCOME & VISION OF SERMON SERIES

Welcome to the Empowered Living Church (The ELC). We are celebrating our first church anniversary! Thank you for being a part of God's victory. We are in a three week series on Being a Giver. We will spend the next weeks examining what it means to serve, lead, and build. Our objective is to save souls, make disciples, and build God's kingdom.

BIG IDEA

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

KEY SCRIPTURE - Matthew 14:14-21 (NIV)

14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+14&version=NIV;NKJV

CONTEXT

CONTEXT STORY


Years ago, Ilene’s preacher noticed the family standing in front of him at a New Orleans convenience store did not have enough money to pay for their few items. I was watching my favorite pastor yesterday and he told the most amazing true story that made me cry. I hope I can retell it properly.


About 26 years ago he was standing in line at a convenience store in New Orleans and noticed the family in front of him did not have enough money to pay for the few items they were buying. The pastor tapped the man on the shoulder and told him to not turn around, but to please take the money he was offering him. The man took the money, and never turned around to look at the kind stranger helping him.


Nine years had passed since that incident in the convenient store, and the pastor was invited as a guest speaker in New Orleans. He spoke, and after the service he was standing by the door greeting people and after most everyone had left, a gentleman walked up to him. He told the pastor an amazing story about how he had come to know the Lord.


Several years ago he, his wife and their child were destitute. They had lost everything, had no jobs, no money and were living in their car. They were not Christians at the time and had decided to make a suicide pact, including the child. They drove to a cliff and quietly discussed their fate. They decided that they should at least give their child some food before they killed themselves and drove away to buy him some milk and food.


They were standing in line at the store, and realized they did not have enough money to pay for the few little items they wanted to give their child for his last meal. Then, he said a man behind him spoke and asked him to please take the money from his hand and to not look at him. The man also told him and his family that "Jesus loves you."


The man said that they left the store, drove back to the cliff and wept for 4 hours. They knew that they could not go through with what they had planned to do, so they drove away. They drove by a church with a sign that said "Jesus loves you", and went to the church the next Sunday. The man and woman both got saved that day in Church.


The man then told the Pastor that the minute he stood up in the pulpit and started speaking that he knew immediately that the Pastor was that kind stranger from 9 years ago. He said he would never forget that accent. The Pastor is from South Africa, so he has a very distinct accent. He continued on to tell the Pastor, “your act of kindness was much more than a simple good deed, because of it three lives were saved that day.”  And, because the pastor had told them that Jesus loves them, it had drawn them in to a church where they accepted Christ!



TEACHING POINTS / THOUGHTS TO BUILD ON

Lesson One 1: Where is your compassion?


Matthew 14:14 ~ 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.


Compassion/felt pity: The Greek verb splag·khniʹzo·mai used for this expression is related to the word for “intestines” (splagʹkhna), denoting a feeling experienced deep inside the body, an intense emotion. It is one of the strongest words in Greek for the feeling of compassion.


Compassion is formed internally and manifested externally.  


There are three places in the book of Matthews where Jesus felt compassion for the people.  


First - Matthew 9:35-38 ~ The Workers Are Few  

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


Second - Matthew 18:21-27 (NKJV) ~ The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.


Third - Matthew 14:14 ~ Feeding the Thousand

14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.


Compassion led to an act of MERCY


Matthew 14:15-16 ~ 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”


Compassion led to an act of FAITH


Matthew 14:17-19 ~ 17- “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.


Compassion led to an act of MULTIPLICATION


Matthew 14:20-21 ~ 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

CLOSING THOUGHT / CHALLENGE

Proverbs 3:1-2; 27-28 ~1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  


27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.  28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—when you already have it with you.


THE POWER OF COMPASSION!