…A Generation that Values Words…
Text: Matthew 9:35-38
Sermon-in-a-Sentence: Compassion is the fuel for caring words spoken by the believer.
Last week we considered Controlled Words in our time in God’s Word. We emphasized the most Biblical method to ‘value words’ is to ‘hold our peace’. Today, let’s consider the second category of words that we see mentioned in Scripture- Caring Words. There are so many examples we could consider from God’s Word concerning this type of speech. Examples:
John 16:33- These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I Peter 5:7- Casting all your care upon Him, for he cadets for you.
Isaiah 26:3- Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trustees in thee.
Psalm 62:6- He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.
Psalm 55:22- Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain Thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
II Timothy 1:7- For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
There are so many excellent examples in Scripture of caring words, but the best would have to be these:
Romans 5:8- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:13- For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Our text this morning is found in Matthew 9:35-38.
Matthew 9:35-38 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
The Example of Christ:
* Spiritual vision stirs up compassion.
* Jesus saw people, he saw sheep. (Not politics, not sports, not class or skin color)
I. Compassion Fuels Prayer
The first area of Caring Words is prayer. The example given by Christ is that prayer is motivated by compassion. The words that we speak in prayer proceed from a heart of compassion, care and concern for those around us, and love for our God. This is another important way that we value words, by continual, Biblical prayer.
Verse 38 gives us a rich image of the prayer life that is being spoken of by Christ. The Greek word translated prayer means: to beg (as binding oneself), petition.
This is an earnest, determined, persevering prayer life. The picture of this is one fixing himself to Christ in prayer, tenaciously grabbing a hold of the throne of God, and refusing to let go.
Illustration: child grabbing your leg, and refusing to let go.
When is the last time you got on your knees and prayed until God gave you an answer?
Who is it that we pray to?
We pray to the Lord of the harvest! He is the master of it all, the absolute authority over the harvest. Out of his great love he has made possible a salvation plan and he has chosen you and I to serve a purpose in this plan. The love exercised in our lives reflects, imperfectly, his glorious love. We call out to, we petition, and we latch unto Him in prayer.
Prayer is the first of two types of caring words because we pray:
- As adopted children talking to our Father.
- Desiring that he be glorified in this world. (Not ourselves)
- Desiring that his perfect will be done. (Not our own)
- As his children, bringing requests to Him that can only be done by Him.
II. Compassion Fuels Evangelism
Christ says that we should urgently petition the throne of God, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest. Just as compassion fuels prayer it also fuels evangelism, how we speak to other people. Now we all interact with people, on a daily basis. We speak to cashiers at the store, to coworkers at our job, to strangers, to friends, and to family. But far too often we fail to speak caring words in these interactions, instead we use profanity, we gossip, ridicule, make demands, analyze faults, and in general waste breath with words that are of no spiritual value. But let’s not forget we have the opportunity to make use of caring words with others.
How do we employ caring words in our day to day interactions with people?
- Talk about God!
How often do we just spend time talking with someone about God?
Illustration: now I will you tell you this has often been a point a conviction for me. I will talk for an hour with someone about the Cardinals, about Star Wars, about our education system, or about politics, but rarely do I talk about God for that long. (For some 4 years, every Wednesday morning, I would spend a few hours with a friend of mine named Don. One of the things I grew to love so much about Don was the way in which he would talk about his God. Don it seemed could talk for hours, effortlessly, natural conversation about God.).
How often do we just talk about God? In this room today I know are at least a few men and women who work in an area of sales or are gifted at sales. In sales you have a technique called ‘talking points’, specific points about the product that you have prepared yourself to be ready to talk about at the drop of a hat. Politicians have talking points, salesmen, school administrators, and believers we should have talking points. There should be a few things about our God, that when the opportunity arises we talk about Him. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: – I Peter 3:15.
- Talk about His Word!
How often do we spend time talking with people about God’s Word? The stories, the lessons, the wisdom, the beauty, there is so much material in the Word that should be easy for us to talk about.
- Talk about what His Word says concerning present day debates!
There are so many things going on in our society today that as Christians we need to be prepared not just to give our opinion but more importantly to communicate in a loving way what Scripture says about these issues. Though the world would like to ignore it God’s Word addresses the issues debated right now and there are teenagers, grandchildren, friends and others who need someone to lovingly show them how God’s Word applies to these discussions.
School Shootings: Does Scripture speak specifically about school shootings? No. But the Bible speaks exhaustively about murder, hatred, and how to resolve these issues. Scripture says these societal issues are the fruit of something much bigger, and that root problem is SIN. The desire and actions by mankind to utterly disregard and violate the law of God and his holiness. Man is the only creature created in His image and human life is intrinsically valuable. Sadly, our education system spends millions of dollars trying to teach character education but at the same time tells our children that it’s ok to murder a child in the womb. Somebody needs to point out to politicians – don’t be surprised that teenagers selectively choose to value human life, because they have watched multiple generations before them do the same thing. God’s Word says every human life is valuable in eyes of God!
- Talk about what Jesus did!
How often do we just have a conversation with someone about what Christ did? Jesus by his own choice entered this world, took on himself human flesh, experienced a very typical, normal life, willingly laid down his life on a cross, shed his blood on a cross, rose from the grave, and desires to spend eternity with you. These are the most caring words that can be spoken to another person- to tell them the simple facts of what Christ did for them on the cross. Every person needs to hear these words and every person needs a believer in their life who will in compassion share this good news. One of the saddest things in the world is the realization that some people will live and die without ever coming in contact with a believer to hear these words. When Jesus looked out over the crowds he said they were as sheep having no shepherd and how true those words are today! There are so many around the world that are like lost sheep, wandering through this life, never coming into contact with the true Shepherd. Believers we must talk about what Jesus did! If it’s truly good news to us, we will share it with others!
- Talk about what Jesus has done in your life!
People need to hear what Christ has done and as well they need to hear what Christ has done in your life. Tell them about the change that has taken place in your life: what you were like before salvation and what your life is like now. Talk about the change that reading, studying, and living God’s Word has made in your life.
The reason Caring Words occupy a small percentage of our communication is because of the lack of compassion in our hearts. Compassion and caring words are directly connected!
* Show me Christians who have little or no involvement in world-wide mission endeavors and I will show you a heart lacking compassion.
* Show me a believer who rarely exercises prayer, and I will show you a believer void of compassion.
* Show me a believer who constantly fights with other church members, and I’ll show you a believer who needs to develop compassion.
Compassion withers away in believers as we become consumed with self, driven by entertainment, and engulfed with the activities of this world. Caring words should not be a rarity, or even an endangered species, they should be a regular part of the believer’s life!
Steps to Exercise Caring Words:
- Make God #1 in your home! (Not entertainment, sports, or career)
- Let his cares and desires be your cares and desires. (God’s chief concerns are His glory and the redemption of lost souls)
- Choose each day to make Caring Words a big part of your life. (Prayer and evangelism)