Rev. Manson B. Johnson
by Rev. Manson B. Johnson
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward-Times



Bible Fact: Knowingly or unknowingly human beings seek daily in different ways and in different measures to find the paradise man once had with God in the beginning.

The Big Idea: People who are aware of the common personal significance needs (PSN) enable them to achieve more of the joys of success and peace in life.

Have you ever been confronted with a message that changed your perspective? One church chose as its Lenten theme, “Forty Days of Love.” Each week members of the congregation were encouraged to show their love and appreciation in different ways. The first week they were encouraged to send notes to people who had made positive contributions to their lives.

After the first service a man in the congregation wanted to speak to his pastor. The pastor describes the man as “kind of macho, a former football player who loved to hunt and fish, a strong self-made man.” The man told his pastor, “I love you and I love this church, but I’m not going to participate in this Forty Days of Love stuff. It’s OK for some folks,” he said, “but it’s a little too sentimental and syrupy for me.”
A week went by. The next Sunday this man waited after church to see his pastor again. “I want to apologize for what I said last Sunday,” he told him, “about the Forty Days of Love. I realized on Wednesday that I was wrong.”

“Wednesday?” his pastor repeated “What happened on Wednesday?” “I got one of those letters!” the man said. The letter came as a total surprise. It was from a person the man never expected to hear from. It touched him so deeply he now carries it around in his pocket all the time. “Every time I read it,” he said, “I get tears in my eyes.” It was a transforming moment in this man’s life. Suddenly he realized he was loved by others in the church. This changed his entire outlook. “I was so moved by that letter,” he said, “I sat down and wrote ten letters myself.” —Ron Newhouse, 2001

When was the last time you wrote a note to someone to let them know that you cared for them? When was the last time you received a caring note from someone else that was all about you?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” Caring and compassion breed significance! People desire to be thought of and to be recipients of the thoughts of others in helpful and positive ways. Caring and being cared for boosts and opens up the secrets of significance.

I. Jesus demonstrated a Christian ministry of caring for others that change the direction of their lives; Matthew 9:35-38; 11:28-30; Luke 4:18, 19; I Peter 5:6-8

  • Caring is all about paying attention, simple awareness. People respond better when they know others pay attention.
  • Paying attention to a person’s needs/desires cause people to increase their devotion.

II. People are inspired to search for hidden potentials when they know somebody cares. John 5:1-9

  • People that receive care from others may also be criticized by those that do not care. John 5:10-15
  • Those who do not wish to care for others will criticize and hate those that do care. John16-20

III. Connecting with people in a relevant way helps them to open doors to receive care from others.

  • “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • Jesus touched others with care and restored their significance:
    • A man with a mental condition; Mark 5:18,19
    • A woman with an emotional past and a confused present; John 4:28,29
    • A woman caught in the very act of sinning; John 8:10,11

IV. Those that have received caring should also return care; Luke 7:36-39

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