Loving the Lost

How much do we care for the lost? I am sure if you asked most Christian they would say they cared a great deal for the lost, and I hope they do and imagine they genuinely do. I think the shortcoming for many of us is not following up with that care, or put simply loving the lost. Love is an action, and if it’s not shown it is probably not there.

Kandace and I have been dating a year and a half today, and been engaged a month. I will proudly announce that I love her and I tell her than everyday. Now I can say it all I want, but if I do not show it to her then it is meaningless. We are 9 hours apart so the way I show it is making time to skype her, call her, and write letters (I promise they are coming). If I did none of those things and did not show her in other ways then she would not see the evidence. In fact, if I did not do those things and stopped speaking to her and just showed up on June 28 at the wedding I am confident she would not be there. Love is an action, we show others love.

The Apostle Paul really shows his love for the lost in Romans chapter 9. The words he says are hard, but it shows how much Paul cares for the lost. I pray I have a heart like this:

“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—  I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race” Romans 9:1-3

What powerful words by Paul. If he could give up his own salvation for these lost people he would, but not just any lost people. Paul is stating this towards people who are persecuting, beating, arresting, and trying to kill him. These people hate Paul, and Paul shows love for them so much he literally would give his inheritance to them. What a heart! Would you be willing to give up your salvation for militant Muslims in the Middle East? Would you do anything, endure anything, and lose everything so they might see Jesus truly? Paul’s life defined by that, and ours should too. It is impossible for us to give up our salvation to someone else so they can go to Heaven. It is possible to dedicate our lives to the lost of this world, and showing them love when we get none in return.

You don’t just show love when it is easy, you love at all times. You may see great things doing this, maybe many will repent, or maybe none will for many years but the Lord will be faithful (Hebrews 6:10). You may see a great work done, or you might just lose your life. You may be called to go to the middle east or anywhere, or to stay just where you are but you can show love to all people where you are at. We all know lost people, and if we truly care about them we will minister to them. They may laugh at us, put us down, mock us, or even seek to persecute you in some way but it does not matter. We should expect it, Jesus tell us that the world will hate us. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Don’t be surprised with the lost sin, it’s what they were born into but continue to show love because you were brought out of it!

If I was a lost I would be insulted if Christians did not try to share the Gospel with me. How much must you not care about a person to not share with them when you believe they are headed for Hell?

There is a world out there headed there, on a road to Hell. 3000 people groups who are unreached and unengaged with no access to the Gospel. They will be born, live, and die without ever hearing the name of Jesus and go to hell. That breaks my heart, it keeps me up at night, and makes me want to do something about it. What can we do though? Here are five things I believe we can do that are a good start. Ultimately I believe we are commanded to go, live with the mantra that if you don’t go tell them who will? 

1. Pray for the lost, daily.

2. Support missionaries through prayer and financially 

3. Pray not God why should I go, but instead Why should I stay?

4. Seek opportunities, don’t expect them

5. Love all people and love God no matter what happens

My motto is: Serve God-Serve People, Love God-Love People. We read in 1 John 4 that we love because God first loved us, just like Romans 5:8 that he loved us while we were yet sinners. If we love God we will love people, the love of God will exude out of us to them. Who are you serving today? Who are you telling? Let us go into all the neighborhoods, cities, counties, countries, and to the ends of the earth. Let’s tell them and let God reveal himself, let us be faithful to the message He trusted us with and trust Him to be God. Let us obey the command to make disciples, let us show love.

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Psalm 51 MIT/MIM

Psalm 51 MIT: This encounter shows David’s response to his sin by repentance through confession, asking for God’s mercy, and responding to God’s love and blessings

 

Provisional Title: Signs of a Repenting Heart

 

I. David asked for God’s mercy 51:1-2

II. David acknowledged his sin and knew God’s desire 51:3-6

 III. David asked for forgiveness 51:7-12

IV. David promised to teach others and to worship 51:13-17

 V. David prayed for Zion 51:18-19

 

MIM 

Provisional Title: Signs of a Repenting Heart

 I. Prayerfully Ask for Mercy 51:1-2

1. God’s Mercy is Unfailing 51:1

2. God’s Mercy Cleanses us 51:2

 

II. Prayerfully Confess Our Sins 51:3-6

1. Acknowledge Our Sin Before a Holy God 51:3

2. Sin is an Offense Before a Holy God God 51:4

3. Sin State is not an Excuse Before a Holy God 51:5-6

 

III. Prayerfully Seek Forgiveness and Restoration 51:7-12

1. Forgiven by Making Pure Again 51:7-8

2. Forgiven by Hiding Face from Sin 51:9

3. Restored by Creating a New heart 51:10

4. Restored by the Spirit and being Sustained 51:11-12

 

IV. Prayerfully Respond to Repentance 51:13-19

1. Teach Others from Our Shortcomings 51:13

2. Praise the Savior for His Saving Ability 51:14-15

3. A Broken/Repentful Heart Pleases God 51:16-19

 Practical Application:

I. Turn to God when you are helpless

II. Recognize before anyone else your sin is against God- that is serious

III. Restoration unites with God which sin separated us from

IV. Repentance is an action we show God and others