“Life’s most difficult task is having no burden to carry.”
Selfishness is like the force of gravity. Everything is pulled in towards me, towards myself. To counteract this inherit selfishness that is part of our human nature, we need the help of God.
In order to counteract this tendency towards selfishness we must reach up to God. It is only when we are able to reach up towards God that we can reach out in compassion to others.
We cannot live life God’s way unless we are filled with him. All of mans movements are empty unless he is full of God.
A call to compassion from the writer of Hebrews. It’s similar to a list of instructions that a parent would leave for his children before he walks out the door.
What Does it Mean to Reach Out?
- Show the family some love
Let brotherly love continue.
There is a command here to show love.
1 John 3:14-18, 1 John 4:7-12
Reaching out means unselfish love. Love in many cases must be tangible. It may be an emotion, but it also needs to be tangible in the way that we treat and love other people.
As we reach up and tap into the love of God, we can be the switch that allows that love to flow out to those around us. That is when God’s love is made complete, when the circuit is no longer broken.
- Show hospitality to strangers
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares
Put out the welcome mat from our doors. Show hospitality even to those you don’t know.
Reaching out means practicing hospitality. The command is here for us to be hospitable. Share what you have been given with others. Be hospitable to strangers, to the family of God, to all those around you.
1 Peter 4:7-10 – A command to show hospitality without grumbling or complaining.
There are a lot of lonely people out there. People are not socializing like they used to. We need community, we need that “back and forth.” There is a real opportunity here for ministry. It is a lot of work, to allow your “castle” to be invaded.
- Identify with those who are in distress
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body
Reaching out means identifying with those who are in trouble. The command to us is to identify with those who are struggling or who have had a lot of trouble recently.
- Developing a big heart
How big is your heart for other people. Is it “enlarged” as the Bible would encourage us to be? Or is it a small heart?
Allow you heart to become larger. Be concerned. Be humble. Be merciful. How big is you heart?
Jesus reached out to the leper. Jesus showed compassion even in this troubled situation. If you stick your hand into other peoples problems you will get dirty… you will get messy.
Developing a heart for Christ also means developing a burden for the lost.
Luke 15:1-32 – This is a good picture of how Jesus feels about the lost. As well as how we should be seeking those who are lost.
Leviticus 19:33-37 – God has a special place in his heart for strangers. As God’s children we should as well.
Why should we reach out?
Mathew 25:31-46 – it is imperative that we reach out to those around us.
The parable of the good samaritan gives us a picture of love and care. Jesus told the lawyer that he should do likewise with the needy that he met.
Why don’t we reach out more? Selfishness? Not remembering? Inconvenience? Pride?
We reach up first to God and allow him to work in our lives. We look at Christ and see how he reached out. We reach out and show that same love and compassion to those we meet.