In the first two parts of this series I introduced you to the thought of living Sent. Jesus sent His Son into the world for a specific reason: to make the Father known and to show us how to know Him. Sent people are sensitive people. As we go about our daily business as spokesmen for the King and messengers of the gospel, it is important we take time to look around and see what is happening around us. Two areas deserve our sensitivity.
1. The Condition of People.
When it comes to seeing the condition of people and responding correctly, Jesus is our model. We see an example in Matthew’s gospel:
Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:35-36)
We see how Jesus viewed people in His day. Matthew used words and phrases such as “weary”, “scattered”, and “without a shepherd” to describe them. As we push through our daily lives we need to be sensitive to the condition of the people with whom we share parts of our days. We need to be sensitive to the fact that, although things may look good on the surface, inside people are hurting, lonely, scared, and hopeless. We need to be sensitive to the fact that nearly three out of four people in North America are lost without Christ.
Being sensitive to other people may at times require us to enter their world. Again, Jesus is our model. He was not afraid to associate with those with complicated and messy lives. The hurting need to be seen, and when seen, cared for. Jesus did not give His life for a building, a denomination, nor a program. He gave His life for people. Shouldn’t we look at others with the same sensitivity?
2. The Movement of God.
I believe we have become slaves to a routine. I believe we have become prisoners to a programmed life. I believe we have become captive to our calendars. I believe we try to subconsciously schedule the movement of God in a way that suits us. I wonder if God Himself has our permission to shake up, rearrange, and stir our lives? I think about the apostle Paul’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s reordering of his personal plans:
7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us (Acts 16:7-9).
- Pray for a brokenness over the condition of those in our communities that are hurting.
- Intentionally come along side someone you know who is hurting and be a friend.
- Ensure your plans are not set in stone. Allow the Holy Spirit permission to move you.