S-1325 5SAP/3B 7/01/12 Hymns: (O) #592 vv. 1-3; (S) #809; (C) #592 vv. 4-5
Text: Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43
Theme: “The God Who CARES!” (Lamentations 3:22-26).
Question: “Are you a Caring Person?” Armour, SD.
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text is from the O. T. lesson: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
Beloved in the Lord, a long time ago I read this saying: “People DON’T care how much you know, until they know that you CARE!” That is so true and we don’t appreciate it until we are in need.
One of the great and underappreciated professions is doctors and nurses. We don’t often think of them, until one of our loved ones are in need. These men and women work in all types of conditions, 24/7/365 days a year. They work all shifts of nights and days, on weekend, holidays, during storms and when it is sunny. But when the ones we love are in need of care, they are there, administering love, care and medicine.
Isn’t that they way it is with our God? How often we go through our daily routine not giving a thought to the God who holds us in the palms of His hands. How often do we thank Him for giving us the sun, wind and rain? How often do we praise Him just for giving us another day to live?
Most of the time God is underappreciated until we are in need. Now people are asking the question doesn’t God care? If He cares, why doesn’t he send rain? Doesn’t He see that the crops are burning up? In Colorado as the fires continues to rage, people say, “Where is this God who cares? Can’t He help us out by sending rain? And the people in Florida are crying out, “Lord, that is enough water, we are drowning. Don’t you care?”
The truth of the matter is our God is a Caring God. He cares about us even when we don’t think He does. He cares for us more than we can even imagine. He Cares for us because that is who He is—the Caring God. In today’s text, Jeremiah whose name means “God will be exalted” speaks of this caring God with these tender words: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’” PAUSE.
Jeremiah, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, offered comfort to the O.T. believers when they groaned in heavy captivity following the fall of Jerusalem. The city and its temple lay in ruins. But the prophet reminded the people that the mercy of the Lord is new every morning, and there can be no greater, richer, more precious comfort for the sinner. And this proves again and again that this God is One who is involved in the lives of His people and cares for them deeply.
“His mercies ... are new every morning.” On earth, as long as a new morning follows the evening, those mercies never cease. Although God has shown mercy to the whole sinful human race for centuries, and although He follows each individual with mercy for many years, that mercy does not end. As human beings, we have a small amount of mercy, we have a small amount of care, and our patience in dealing with people runs out quickly. We may show care and concern to someone, but when they don’t return that same feeling, we give up on our fellow sinners. If we have already demonstrated mercy toward someone several times, we deem that to be enough. If the one to whom we have shown mercy is ungrateful, if he uses that mercy against us, the fountains of our mercy and care towards him easily and quickly dry up forever.
However, the fountains of divine mercy, love, care and compassion, flow continually and even the basest ingratitude and the most reckless misuse cannot stop them. This is a bottomless sea of love and it can never be exhausted.
God’s care for you dear loved ones is always fresh and new. God’s mercy flows over us in full streams from the first day of our life, and on every following evening until the end of our days.
Pick up your Bibles beloved saints, and study it and see the care and concern God has for you the sinner. In the great Sermon on the Mt. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because if God can take care of the birds of air which are worthless, don’t you think He will take care of you? (Mt. 6:24-33). And Saint Peter, tells us to “Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). And David, in Psalm 8 says: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (v. 4).
Don’t for a moment think that God doesn’t care for you. Don’t let Satan rob you of the peace and joy that fills your hearts in knowing that He truly cares for you. Even the disciples who walked with Him for three years doubted that He cared about them. On one occasion, they were in the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee and a tremendous storm arose, and “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). PAUSE.
Did you hear it? The Disciples asked, “Teacher, don’t You care?” The truth of the matter He cares deeply and profoundly for you all. I encourage you to look to the Savior, who walked this dusty earth and in love and mercy demonstrated His care for the sick and hurting. You have read of the miracles Jesus performed. He touched and healed the lepers, the blind; the woman with the blood issue, feeding multitudes and raising the dead. His Care was evident to all who came in contact Him.
The greatest and grandest care that God demonstrated is found in the cross of His Son, Jesus Christ. The cross is the ultimate expression that God cares for the human race. For on that cross, the Savior touched even the thief by giving Him a dose of God’s care, in saying “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42
And those who have become followers of Jesus show the same care to those in need. We see it in the story of the Good Samaritan who helped a wounded person. We see it in the lives of congregations who helped others during famine. We see it in the lives of many who were martyred for the cause of spreading Christianity to the ends of the earth.
Did you know brothers and sisters, that almost all hospitals, clinics, schools and colleges were started by Christians? We even have a nursing home named after a man from the Bible—the Good Samaritan.
Today, you saw this care demonstrated as Cameron and Ashley brought their daughter Tia to be baptized. That is a wonderful way to show that you care. But that is not enough. Make sure you bring her to God’s house. Through word and deed, demonstrate in your life your dependence on God—by being in His house to feed on His Word and receive His forgiveness. Don’t neglect that care to which you just vowed to be faithful. Be the kind, caring and loving parents that God has called you to be.
I know of many of you who have demonstrated care to others in times of need. Just recently a man from our church body paid $40.000.00 school loans to one of our newest pastors who will serve in this BELOVED District, so that this new pastor can care for his flock without worrying about paying this debt. Continue to do so that those who see your good works may praise Your heavenly Father.
O, you who are loved by the God who cares. I pray that today, you have come to understand by the power of the Holy Spirit that Your God is a CARING God. And I further pray that the cross would shine through your eyes so that you may be blessed and be a blessing. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA