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Doing the Works of God

Mike Connell

So when I've got a heart of compassion, compassion moved Jesus to engage. The disciples said boy, this is too big a problem for us, get rid of them - so miracles will always require that you take an initiative and take the risk of something happening. You notice what Jesus said - this is what Jesus said; you give them something to eat. You do something.

Now have a think about that. Just look into that parable there and you have a think about what that means in terms of our community. We can complain about all the problems and all the issues and we can say it's not my problem and Jesus responds; are you a follower of His by the way? Are you a follower of His? You give them something to eat - and they said ooh, ooh, ooh, what do you mean you give them something to eat? We can't do that. That's all too big. You know, this is beyond us - but Jesus is still saying you give them something. You give them something. You give them something. Give them something.

See, and this is one of the great tragedies when the church withdraws and becomes caught up with just itself and caught up with its own needs, then it stops engaging in the mission of the church which is to reach people in need. Jesus placed us here to change and transform our community, so when I say it's not my problem, I've just become the problem. They said well, it's all too big and He said you give them to eat and you see Jesus answer is not some great thing that will just happen and suddenly change everything. Jesus' answer is His people, His followers, giving something to people to meet their need. Think about that - and so they said immediately well, it's beyond us, we can't do that you know? He said no, no, you must take initiative. You're going to have to take initiative, so all miracles require that we extend our faith and believe God could do something through us. You've got to extend your faith and believe God can do something through me. I wonder what God could do through you.

I heard a story from a visiting minister I listened to in Auckland; great, it was amazing. He'd taken his daughter to India and his daughter was just a teenager and she was deeply touched by the plight of the Indian community she was in, deeply touched. She saw how poor they were - that's why it's great to go to India, Pakistan, go to any of these third world nations and see how desperate the need is. If you can't see it around you, go where you can see it. Once you do see it there, come back and have another look. Then you'll see what the need is very easily. [Laughs] Ian would verify that, you've been out there and seen the need, you come back, you say oh my! It really is needy here.

And so she looked and she said to her father, she said dad, I want to build a school and I think the school would cost $30,000 US dollars. She said I want to build a school that can hold this many students. It was going to cost about $30,000. She's only a teenager - and so anyway he nearly spoke up and said oh that's ridiculous, but no, she was moved with compassion. Compassion moves you to step out and start to engage. Now he could easily have said it's not your problem. He could easily have said oh well, you know, that's too big. I mean we could never do that, I mean that's a big amount, $30,000! Are you crazy? - and she said no, I've got it in my heart to do it so she went back, she took out all the savings in her account which was $200 and she made her $200 available and someone heard about it and so they got her to testify and she testified and someone else - the story started to get around about this girl who had taken all her savings, $200 and made them available for the school, to build a school in India.

And so there's another very big church locally and they got to hear about it and they had a TV programme, so they interviewed her on the TV programme and next thing you know money starts to flow in. Within a short time she had got the whole $30,000 and put the school up - even had the trip paid to go back there to open the school. Here she is, just a teenager.

Now all of those things we've seen in that story apply in that story; the need was immense, but you notice this; she got beyond herself and was moved with compassion and said well I'll do something. I'll step out and engage and you know, there are family after family after family of Indian people, Indian children that will benefit from her step of faith. With putting up a school she's ensured now that multitudes of young people actually get an education and get help. Isn't that amazing? Just one person - you notice she had to look beyond herself to the needs of others, let God touch her heart and she had to take a step of faith and you notice what Jesus said; you give them to eat. So here's the next thing about a miracle; miracles require you do what you can do. See, there's a part that you can do. Now what she could do was take her $200. I wonder what you could do if you really meant to make something happen and make a change. First thing she had to do was, she had to - so notice what Jesus said when they said whoa, whoa, whoa, you know, what do you mean? He said no, you give them to eat. You know what He said to them? What do you have? And they said whoa - He said go and look. Now that's the very same thing that many of us need to do. In other words instead of looking how big all the problems are, say what do I have that I could make available to God to meet the needs of people? Go and see. Go check out what you've got. Now you'll be surprised. For every one of us we've got a testimony. Your testimony was never just for you - it's to help someone and when you share your testimony it starts to help people. Think about it. Think about it. What else do you have? If you have a home you can open your home. If you have - there's so many ways that we can make what we have available. You've got to decide to use what you've got.