As children of the Lord, we are to lead our life by the example that Jesus
left us on the earth. We are to have compassion, mercy, love and care
towards all people especially those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their
Savior. The Lord Jesus has left us on the earth in His stead to lead
people from darkness to light, from death to life, from hell to Heaven. We
are to comfort the brokenhearted, support the weak, lift up those who are
downtrodden and simply show the love of Christ which will remove burdens
and destroy yokes. Be encouraged to take the lead in being an encourager
and do all you can to lead as many souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. When
you stand before Him in Heaven, you will be proud when He says to you “Well
done My good and faithful servant.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11-15) (Matthew 25:23)
I hope this message ministers to your heart to take the lead in bringing
change in people's lives. With God by your side, many wonderful things
will happen in the lives of those who truly don't know the greatness of the
living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE COMPASSIONATE STRANGER
The stranger entered the church and took a seat near the front of the
church. At first, people only noticed that his clothes did not measure up
to those of the rest of the congregation, but then finally someone began to
count and realized that he had chosen Mrs. Oddbody's pew.
No one had sat in Mrs. Oddbody's pew in years. No one except Mrs. Oddbody,
of course. No one else dared. Neighbors whispered to one another, daring to
speculate about what Mrs. Oddbody would do when she made her grand entrance.
They would not have long to wait for soon Mrs. Oddbody arrived at the back
of the church and began her trek down the aisle without a clue as to what
awaited her. As she neared the front of the church, she began to count as
she always did. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. When she
got to eight, she saw someone sitting there, so she began to count again
only to come up with the same conclusion.
She inched forward to where the stranger could see her, hoping he would
understand and beat a hasty retreat. The stranger looked at her and smiled,
but she did not return his smile.
When it was obvious he had found his final resting place, as far as this
service was concerned; she let out an indignant “Excuse me” and pushed past
him into the pew.
As the service began, the stranger could not help but notice she was more
concerned with him occupying part of her pew than she was getting anything
from the service.
They came to a point in the service where the pastor invited everyone to
come to the altar and pray. The stranger arose and went forward. There was
no need for him to hurry, because this did not seem to be a part of anyone
else's exercise program that morning.
He fell to his knees and began in earnest prayer. He prayed for quite some
time until it seemed like someone had tapped him on the shoulder. Someone
had. He rose up only to be asked by a man if he could return to his seat so
the pastor could get on with the sermon.
He complied and arose to return to his seat. As he arrived back at row
eight, he noticed that the lady had scooted over to occupy the aisle seat
once occupied by him. This time she smiled a triumphant smile.
He said, “Excuse me” as he moved past her into the pew. She had hoped that
her sitting forward in the pew would discourage him from trying this, but
her hopes were soon dashed. As he sat down he turned as to return her
smile and he found out her smile had already gotten tired and had been
replaced by a bad case of persimmons.
The service continued and concluded at the expected hour in order to keep
the congregation there as long as the pastor. Besides, this pastor had
heard what happened to his predecessor. He once ran into the kickoff of a
big football game and nothing hurts a congregation more than a pastor who
runs into the kickoff. Of course, no pastor has done such a dastardly thing
twice without being sent to a cannibalistic country as a missionary.
Before the lady could leave, the stranger turned to her and reached out his
hand to shake hers. Taken by surprise the stranger had managed to clasp her
hand before she could pull it away.
As His nail-scarred hand took hers, it was as if scales fell from her eyes
and for the first time she realized who this stranger was. Her tears did
not flow, they gushed. He embraced her as they began to talk and after a
few moments they headed toward the altar to pray. No one had noticed any of
this as they were all too busy beating a hasty retreat.
The next Sunday people were immersed in typical pre-service conversation
when a hush fell over the crowd as Mrs. Oddbody arrived. Not only was she
accompanied by the stranger, but she had stopped by the orphanage and
picked up a carload of boys which she instructed into the pew ahead of her.
Anyone could have heard a hymnal drop as Mrs. Oddbody looked up and
everyone could see the glow on her face. She looked twenty years younger.
After Mrs. Oddbody and all the boys were seated, the stranger turned away
and went to take a seat next to the man who had tapped Him on the shoulder
the week before. The puffed-up man had no idea he was about to make a
Just as Jesus planned to do with this church, why not begin today to change
the people whose hearts are not near to God.
Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those
who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you.”
By Steve Demaree
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Romans 12:10-14 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in
spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
Romans 8:14-17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons
of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but
you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of
God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Romans 12:18-21 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably
with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place
unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the
Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him
drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not
overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are
unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all
men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that
which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: I THOUGHT I KNEW
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem112.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THE LORD
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony51.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry