Thursday, July 16, 2009


Several years ago, my husband and I attended a conference where the guest speaker was a “Christian psychologist” who spoke to the “pastors” in attendance regarding when to counsel, when to refer, necessary legal precautions, etc.

In summary the speaker concluded: “In nearly all situations when the Lord sends hurting hearts to your congregations, this is how you should respond: ‘I’m not professionally trained to help you nor do I have time. Additionally, I am afraid that you might sue me for misguiding you. However, I can give you a list of counselors from which you may select someone who has the time for you, is better equipped than I, and has a better insurance policy in the event that you should decide to sue.’” I was shocked and saddened by such a strong worldly view within the “church”.

In Matthew 14:13-21, we are told about a time when Jesus and His disciples had just slipped away to a quiet place for the purpose of spending time together and mourning the death of their friend, John the Baptist. However, a crowd of 5,000 people, hungry to hear and receive more of what Jesus had to offer, followed them.

As the hour grew late, the disciples went to Jesus and told Him that He needed to send the people away to a place where they could buy food. Listen to Jesus’ response, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

Isn’t Jesus saying to His disciples,
“Don’t send them away to some other place to have their needs met;
I have sent them to you because I want you to meet their needs?”
Does this truth from God’s Word no longer apply to His Church of today?

Yes, the disciples were bewildered; they were in a remote place with no access to food. Yet, Jesus admonished them that it was their responsibility to feed these 5000 hungry and needful people. They knew and admitted they couldn’t do it---not without Him.

Jesus then demonstrated His awesome power to multiply only a few loaves and fish to feed these 5,000 people: He took what little was available from those congregated, thanked and prayed for His Father to meet the need. Yes, He was revealing to His disciples…those He called to minister to the needs of the world---that “without Me, you can do nothing!” At the same time, Jesus was revealing His power available to them, demonstrating clearly that “through Me, you can do all things!”

Matthew tells us, “Jesus had compassion on them and healed them.” Because of His great love, it is our Lord who brings people to the end of themselves and to the realization that He is their only hope. It is the precious Holy Spirit who whispers to their hearts, “Go to My Church. Go to the body of Christ. There is hope and healing for you there.” So they come, wondering, “Is this my last resort? I’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked. This has to work! This is my only hope!”

How grieved Jesus must be when man teaches that the our response should be, “This isn’t the place to find what you are looking for! We aren’t equipped to help you! We don’t have enough to feed you! Go somewhere else!”

Has the “church” relinquished the responsibility
for meeting the needs of the world’s lost and hurting
that God has commissioned
His Church to supply?

To Be Continued Next Week


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