Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Hanny Yasaputra, Bethany Brisbane International Church, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 26 February 2017.
THE MINISTRY OF NOTICING
Many like to stand behind the pulpit, to preach or to perform miracles. Noticing the people around us has long been overlooked, especially those who are ignored by the society.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. Let us, the Church be the one who give godly influence to the surrounding, rather than being influenced by the world. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
It’s a Simple Start
While you are busy with yourself, your own plans, desires, benefits – you will miss the very best part of ministry which Jesus wants you to do. You must get out of it and get rid of your ego. Instead of being self-centric, learn and start to NOTICE something and someone near you.
Matthew 25:31-46, it can be divided into three parts:
1. Division of two types – goat or sheep
2. Announcement of appreciation
3. The questions – when Lord?
Noticing something starts with your eyes. Look around you.
The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. (Luke 11:34-35)
We need to see and make a RIGHT DECISION to help others. What is the trigger to notice?
LOVE is the trigger!
While on earth, Jesus carried on this simple ministry. Jesus noticed the people who needed help. He helped the woman at the well, blind Bartimaeus, the woman caught adultery and even small children.
When John the Baptist was in prison, discouraged, the message to him was interesting - Jesus described His ministry. The blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matthew 11:5)
The long-disappeared ministry is back through Jesus – Jesus came with the ministry of noticing and actions. This is the heart of God. God wants us to notice those around us.
In Ephesians 5:25, Paul wrote that husbands are to love their wives like Christ loves the church.
He is telling us that we are to NOTICE them. Everyone else may take them for granted, but not the husband. The message to the wives is subject themselves to their husbands just as to the Lord.
There was a message on Facebook called the “Pitiful Message” - Last year at my lowest point, nobody ever cared about me. Nobody called me, contacted me or even cared. So I stopped caring for other people. ..
Self – Pity Party
Though the primary focus of self-pity is on one’s self and one’s own emotions that are within, it also has a strong interpersonal component. Instead of self-pity, our being and interpersonal emotions should be directed toward others with the goal of helping them.
There were two well-known men of God in the mid-1950s - Reverend AA Allen and Reverend RW Schambach. There was a story of a boy with 26 diseases. The boy’s mother took the boy to the Tent Crusade. After spending much of her money to attend the crusade, the mother spoke to Reverend Schambach about her plight as her son still did not receive any prayer yet.
On the final day, Reverend AA Allen went to the pulpit and he was led by the Holy Spirit to ask the congregation to give an offering of faith. It was giving beyond what we could give. The mother rushed straight forward to give. Suddenly Reverend Allen told the congregation he had a vision of a boy who was in the hospital surrounded by many doctors and the boy had 26 diseases. At the urge of Reverend Allen, the mother went forward with the child. The congregation was told to pray together with faith to see God’s miracles. Indeed, the boy was healed of every affliction and the boy soon ran forward to hug his mother whom he saw for the very first time! The money that she gave to God by faith – she got more than 10 times in return as some of the congregation shook her hand and gave some money to her! She was able to go home and testify God’s goodness.
God cares for each one of us. He will notice when we need help from Him. In times of difficulties or challenges, we should read Psalm 139:1-10. We need to learn to surrender to God because He is faithful to those who surrender to Him. Believe in Jesus. Loving begins with noticing. The enemy of love is not hatred. This is the enemy of love – apathy – not caring. Let us seek to notice others around us and may God give us the heart and the resources to reach out to help them.