S (Scripture) – Matthew 9:35-38 “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'”
O (Observation) – Lord, You were always on the move during Your ministry – You were going, teaching, proclaiming, and healing – all words full of action. During the course of that action, You saw the people around You, and had compassion for them because they were so lost. You knew it could be so different if they would only follow You. These people around You were broken – distressed and dispirited, longing for someone to take them by the hand and guide them. All of Your actions were motivated by love for these people; true love that can never run out and never be paid back. Your love for them was fully expressed through the actions You took among them, and ultimately fulfilled by Your act of love on the cross for us.
A (Application) – Our message this week on Sunday was all about “Great Commandment love,” and what that is supposed to look like in our lives. One of the key elements of the message was that we cannot separate what we believe in our hearts from what we do in our lives. If we are God’s people of love, then it should be reflected in what we do. How are we showing the love of God to other people? It seems lately that God’s people are more concerned about being right, taking political stances, or winning arguments while presumable defending the faith rather than being the hands and feet of Christ while showing love to a distressed and dispirited world. It’s easy to be loving to those that love us; what about showing love to those who don’t know us at all, or perhaps even detest us? We are told to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Wisdom and discernment are necessary whenever dealing with such situations, but the driving motivating force behind our actions should always be love.
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, change our hearts. Take us from living comfortably with the singular perspective of our own lives as the focal point and instead open our eyes. Let us see what You see. The people of the world are broken, hurting, tired, stressed, lost, and secretly wanting to know what this life is all about. Help us love others well…serve others well. May they see the love pouring out of us, and may they not be able to help but wonder where it comes from…and may we have the courage to tell them that we love because You first loved us (1 John 4:19). Reveal to us precisely the way You want us to show this love to others, and present us with opportunities at every turn to bring glory to Your name because of it.