Compassion Fuels our Faith to Overcome our Fears - Matthew 7

Questions to contemplate for the week:

1. What would life look like for you if God increased your faith today?

2. What are 1 or 2 practical steps to make that happen?

And thoughts from this week's reading - Matthew 7-15...

Matthew 7:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

This story has always fascinated me. First off, it shows me that someone who is a leader in the world can most definitely be a lover of Jesus. I know that it's hard in the workplace. But what isn't? I wonder if we need to basically stop calling the workplace a DIFFICULT place for us to represent Jesus - it's as if we've given in to that label and simply bought into the lie that that is the end of that matter. Again, I don't doubt that it's difficult. However, I think the challenge of representing Jesus in the world, particularly, in the workplace or school has more to do with our own fears and insecurities than the workplaces or the schools themselves. So the question then becomes, how do we overcome those fears and insecurities?

1. I think we need to engage in the more challenging work of praying for our workplaces, schools, the world that we engage, and those around us in those places. It is God who moves people's hearts (including ours!) and prayer is how we partner with Him to do that.

2. Change our attitude about where the very area that we stand. Declare it Holy ground! That it is not just the world, but it is a place that is being invaded by the very Kingdom of God... through you.

3. Change our attitude about the the people around us. What is absolutely stunning about this centurion's request to Jesus is the PERSON for whom this request was made. It wasn't for his wife, or his sons or daughters. It was actually for his SERVANT! Along with his faith, I believe what moved the heart of Jesus, was the compassion that this centurion showed as well. Compassion is within each of us. God created us that way. However, it is also something that we must ask God to stir up within us as well.

Let's pray this prayer for compassion, declare the ground we stand upon as Holy ground and begin to engage the world around us - for worthy is the Lamb for whom we do so!  #desiringGod2017

Love, Sam