Thursday, May 12, 2011
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There's at least one reason I hate to be away from home for very long, and there are actually more than one. I come back to this giant stack of mail, and sometimes emails. In fact, depending on how long I've been gone, sometimes I come back to a box of mail, and that's pretty intimidating.
Frankly, I have to tell you a lot of it comes from Christian organizations. Oh, one or two of the letters might even be from me...who knows? And as I wade through that stack, I see dozens of great causes: radio ministries, missions in a variety of countries, children's ministries, help for the hungry, youth organizations, Christian colleges. It's great and it's overwhelming! "How can I care about all this, Lord?" That's what I ask. "I can't do this." Well, actually, He's given me a pretty liberating answer, and it might be the answer for you too.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'I Care' Overload."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Nehemiah 1. Remember the question we're asking is, "How can I care about all these great things God is doing?" I think God's answer is, "You don't have to care about all of them." We'll find an answer here in the book of Nehemiah, and maybe you're familiar with that story. You have the Jews exiled in Persia for about 100 years. The city of Jerusalem, the center of Jewish identity has been torn down, and ravaged and burned, the walls are gone, the gates are down, and there's a serious need back home.
Nehemiah has been working for the Persian King as his cupbearer. He gets a report back on the conditions in his city, and here's his response. "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept" (Nehemiah 1:4). "For some days I mourned, fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven." Well, some of the fellows came back and they just kind of had a discussion. They said, "Boy, it's really in bad shape back there." You always find people who are willing to have a little committee meeting or discussion about it.
But Nehemiah has a much deeper reaction. He lets his heart be broken by it. You know what the result is? Out of his praying comes a plan. And out of that comes a miracle of leading Jewish people back to Jerusalem and rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days. Now, Nehemiah never had any idea that was what was going to happen when he went to his knees. But you know how it started? With one man's broken heart. Nehemiah allowed God to break his heart for a cause. Will you?
Now, there's only one heart in all the universe that can contain all of the concerns there are in our lost world, and that's God's heart. But you know what He wants to do? He wants to put just a piece of His broken heart in yours. Would you let Him focus your prayer and your caring on maybe two or three concerns that you can really get involved in? He'll distribute all the concerns of His heart into many Christian hearts.
See, if we were all listening, two things would happen. First of all, the causes that are not of God would dry up, because God wouldn't be telling us to give to them. And the ones that are of God would have all they need.
So, do a Nehemiah. Get on your knees and say, "Go ahead, God, break my heart; break my heart for some cause that breaks Yours...maybe a couple of them." Let Him call you to give as He calls others to go. Don't give to personalities, or organizations, or the most desperate appeal. Give to support that for which God has broken your heart. Laser your giving on what He breaks your heart over. Who knows? You might even end up like Nehemiah; not only praying and giving, but getting involved.
An exciting series of events begins when one of God's kids gets on his knees and says, "Go ahead, God. Break my heart."