35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
For our church I feel the time has come for us to take seriously the mission God has given us. In His providence He has placed us in SWFL. We gather to worship at 8400 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33919 and then we leave and spread throughout SWFL. Though I have noticed this before, it is clear to me that you can see the model of ministry that Jesus used while on earth. He was very clearly serious about the ministry of the Word AND mercy.
In verse 35 you also see His focus on ministry of mercy where it says, "and healing every disease and every affliction." He was extending mercy to those who were in need. Again, read through any of the four gospels and you will see His mercy ministry of healing, feeding, and helping others.
I believe this is the model of ministry that Jesus expects from His church today. We cannot choose whether we will focus on ministry of the Word or ministry of mercy. It's both/and. It is true that some have focused and done very well at ministries of mercy. I want to learn from them! However, it is also true that some have done so well at ministries of mercy that they forget about the ministry of the Word. People do not come to faith in Jesus because we do good deeds. However, our good deeds do give us opportunities to share the gospel. In fact, I believe we can see the importance of actually providing for others in need in many places, but one is in James, "15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
You can listen to the sermon by clicking here: Pray and Proclaim