In today’s P31 devotion, Other People Might Think I’m Crazy, I shared a story of when I felt God nudging me to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a situation where I wasn’t sure I wanted to be. Yet, when I obeyed, I was the one who was blessed.
Being the hands of feet of Jesus is a common cliché, but one we often don’t think about – especially when we are busy, stressed, worried about what others might think, running late or just plain don’t feel like it.
But this world is a big place, and even though we often justify not giving of our time or efforts to others by assuming that “somebody else will do it”, the truth is, Jesus needs more people who are willing to reach out to those in need – helping with big needs and little needs. We read in Matthew 9 that the Kingdom of God needs more “workers”, and God needs us to be His hands and feet more today than ever before.
My prayer is that we will be so inspired by reading all the comments of how so many people reached out to someone in need, that we’ll be acutely aware of looking for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people every day!
How might the world change if we all carried out one random act of kindness per day – one act of service in Jesus name? I can only imagine it would be a much lovelier world.
Below is a brief excerpt from one chapter of my new book, which talks about this need for workers in God’s kingdom, so I wanted to share it with youThe heading in the NLT Bible above the passage of Matthew 9:35–38 reads “The Need for Workers.” This is where we read that the harvest is great but the workers are few. Jesus wasn’t referring to fields of grain that needed to be worked, but crowds of people who needed to be reached.
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:35–38
The first thing that stands out to me in this passage is that Jesus “saw the crowds.” He didn’t overlook them because He was busy or because He already had enough followers or disciples. He didn’t walk past them, too distracted with His own issues, seeing them as hopeless, or assuming they had it all together already and didn’t need His attention. No, He saw them, and He not only saw their faces, He saw their hearts. And when He saw them, He had compassion on them because they were “confused and helpless.”
He knew they were broken, torn apart, weak, worn out, and beaten down by the world. He knew life had been hard for many of them and that many probably felt like throwaway people. He knew they needed His healing and love, and He didn’t assume somebody else would reach out to them. Jesus was gripped with a compassion so overwhelming that His heart churned and His stomach wrenched. It was out of compassion and love for the crowds that He told His disciples to pray for more workers to join them in touching those who needed to be touched, loved, and redeemed.
They needed more workers to show people that Jesus was the Messiah and that if they devoted their lives to Him, they would be healed, transformed, and given purpose, peace, joy, and happiness. These people He saw in the crowds had the same needs as the people who live in our crowded world today. They need someone to tell them they matter and their lives matter to God.
Your Life Still Counts, Chapter 20, Pages 251-252
“He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So, pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.” Mt 9:36-38
Jesus saw that the people were helpless. . . His heart went out to them. . . and as a result, He took action! Hundreds of thousands of people needed to know him as Lord & Savior, so He sent His followers to go out to the people and share about the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ disciples were “His feet” going out to share the good news. They were also “His hands” ministering and healing the people, and “His mouth” telling others about Him. They may have been few in number, but they had a radical impact on the world!
Today, we are called to be “Jesus’ feet” going out into the world to share the Good News that God loves men, women, and children. . . and He wants to have a relationship with them. We are called to be “Jesus hands” ministering, serving and spiritually healing those who are hurting. And we are called to be “Jesus’ mouth”, having an answer on the tip of our tongue as to why we have hope for the future.
Who around you needs a relationship with God? Are you being God’s feet and going to them? Are you being His hands and reaching out, listening, empathizing with them, and developing a relationship? And are you being Jesus’ mouth, sharing the most important message of all time. . . that Jesus Christ died to pay the price for the sins of all men and women?
We may be few in number, but we can have a radical impact now and in eternity!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
We sat in an empty waiting room for hours, anxiously waiting for an update on my sister’s surgery. When the doctor finally entered the room, the news was not good. He explained how it was worse than expected – not exactly comforting news – and proceeded to explain the lengthy recovery needed. He wanted to prepare us for the long road ahead.
You could have heard a pin drop as we all sat there with eyes filled with tears and hearts filled with worry. But the silence came to an abrupt halt as another family entered the room with a lot of hustle and bustle.
I immersed myself in my own feelings and tried to tune them out until I heard the Name of Jesus filling the room.
In that moment, when fear and anxiety hovered, just the mention of Jesus’ Name was music to my ears. I lifted my head to see a beautiful white-haired woman, with sparkling eyes and an engaging smile. She sat in a wheelchair, telling her family how she was praying that the Lord would heal her precious husband. Despite her grim situation, her face was glowing with joy.
I quickly averted my eyes, but within seconds she was staring at me and hollered, “Hey honey! How are you?” I managed a pitiful smile, said “Fine, thank you,” and intended to keep to myself. She, however, had other plans.
Before I knew it, she had rolled her wheelchair across the room and stopped right at my feet. She talked about her family, why her husband was in surgery, and what a wonderful godly man he was. She asked about our situation and began encouraging me with God’s promises.
Although at first I wished she would stop talking, I soon found myself wanting to write down her every word as she poured out her sweetness all over me.
Then she said something I will never forget. “Honey, I hope God blesses your sister. If He can only save one person today, I hope it is her. My husband is 85 years-old and has lived a long and fruitful life.”
I was literally stunned by her selflessness. I was shocked that she would even consider the thought of putting a total stranger’s life ahead of the life of her dear husband. I didn’t know how to respond to such a sacrificial, heartfelt, godly expression of love. Then she took my hands into hers and prayed for my sister out loud. Afterwards, I prayed for her husband, and she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.
I walked out of that waiting room having seen a glimpse of Jesus in the face of a frail, elderly woman, a woman who was willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
This sweet lady had countless reasons to be depressed, discouraged, and hopeless. Instead she chose to be expressive, encouraging and hopeful. Most importantly, she spread those gifts to everyone around her. She replaced her worry with concern for others. She filled her heart with joy instead of sadness. She put aside her own anxiety to ease the anxiety of a total stranger. She loved on me when she needed to be loved on herself.
She willingly chose to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I can only hope to be just like this sweet lady one day. I hope
…to become such a strong woman of faith that I can have joy and contentment even during the storms of life.
…to become such a strong woman of faith that I would sacrifice my own needs and desires for those of a stranger.
…to become a woman that leaves other people feeling as if they have seen Jesus through the light that shone through me.
Dear Lord, give me a longing to be Your hands and feet to someone in need today. Open doors for me to spread Your joy and hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.