Preparation for Prayer:
Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand your generosity through the scripture provided. Open up my soul to come to know where you are at work within me and our church so that our heart begins to mirror yours. Thank you for leading, convicting, inspiring and transforming me as I yearn to follow your ways in all I do. Amen.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
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.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
Great giving is certainly strategic (or should be). But strategic thinking is not where it all begins. Compassion is the starting point. And compassion is not instinctive with most of us. It is a perspective that we will have to acquire. How? By asking God repeatedly for it, by disciplining ourselves to renounce self-centeredness, by intentionally extending ourselves and by entering into the lives of others by listening, watching and learning. We must enter into others’ lives to discover what human need looks like and what can be done about it.
Slowly the heart gets the message. It must generate genuine—not pretended—compassion. The heart must develop spiritual antennae that hone in on the cries of humankind and set in motion the appropriate response.
Watch Jesus from this perspective. His is the model heart. He takes in this crowd of 5,000 and perceives accurately what the collective needs are. Not only does He set out to do what He can, but He also does it in the correct order—and without making a big deal of it.
1. Do I have Christ-like compassion? Why or why not? What is my attitude in giving? Do I have a posture of compassion? Or is my giving nothing more than a fiscal transaction?
After reflecting, bring your prayers and petitions to the Lord for yourself and the ministries of the church – children, student, adult, mission, worship, outreach, congregational care, the leadership, etc. Please ask our God to shower His favor and generous blessings on us so that we can generously love the church, our community and world.