Whatever will be will be, the saying goes. That’s not the Gospel. Nor is it the heart of God. Jesus described His purpose on earth by saying “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). A sense of urgency about lostness is one of the most common characteristics found in Disciple Making Movement leaders.
Some months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing one of my mentors, Bill Smith. We talked about the issue of lostness.
Hearts Broken For the Lost
Jeremiah cried out, “I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me” (Jer. 8:21).
Jesus wept as he looked at Jerusalem, calling them sheep without a shepherd.
Does lostness cause us to weep? Or have we become casual in our attitude toward those apart from God?
Ask God to give you His heart in a fresh way today.
What Keeps a Sense of Urgency to Reach the Lost Burning In Our Souls?
1. A proper theological understanding of lostness.
The world tells us it is arrogant to think that others are lost and we have been found. “All roads lead to God,” say Hindus or New Agers. “Do your own thing. You be you, I’ll be me” is the millennial mantra of the West.
Is it proud or intolerant to see those apart from Christ as lost? Not according to the Bible!
Christ is our example. He used this word, not only to describe His mission but to explain His great love for those apart from Him (see the parables in Luke 15). If Jesus called those who didn’t know Him lost, so can we.
2. Embracing compassion rather than looking at your own needs.
It can be challenging to focus on others rather than self. This is especially true when we are in pain. Emotional or physical suffering causes us to be self-centered. Part of the solution to coming out of that difficulty is to focus on others. Millions wait to hear the good news. They are our neighbors, colleagues at work. Does their lost condition stir your heart?
3. Letting go of judgements and offense caused by unsaved people in your life.
The lost are not always nice people. Sometimes they are rude, even evil in their actions towards you. Their sin may feel offensive to you or their behavior cause feelings of disgust. Some years ago, I found it difficult to be around those who cross-dressed here in Thailand. I had to ask God to change my heart, to help me see them as those who are lost lambs that the shepherd is seeking after.
Repent of judgments and ask Jesus to fill your heart with His love for those who don’t yet know Him. Don’t be like Jonah who called down fire and brimstone and hoped God would judge his enemies. That didn’t turn out so well for him.
4. Regular prayer and intercession for those apart from Christ.
I can’t change my own heart or cause it to become soft and compassionate. There is something I can do though. Regular prayer for those around me who don’t know Jesus changes me. I begin to get my Father’s heart for those I’m lifting before Him, those I’m asking Him to bless. Soon, I find my heart is feeling different as well.
Would you pray this prayer with me today?
Lord Jesus, I want to love lost people the way you do. Renew my passion and sense of urgency to reach the lost. Their condition is so horrible and desperate apart from you. They are blind and don’t even know they cannot see. Renew within me a commitment to reach out to them, to push beyond their sin and offensiveness. Help me to extend my hand of love, service, and friendship. I want to be like you, and you were a friend of sinners. You went after them and sought them out. Show me how to do that today. In your name, I pray, Amen.
Share your own prayer for lost people, or any comments you have on this topic below or on the DMMs Frontier Missions Facebook page.
Thank you Cindy for the wonderful write. I love the way you encourage mission workers to love what and who God has entrusted them to love. Yes, it’s not easy and simple all the way, but we are called to love them the way He does.
“God, I pray for Your servants in far-flung places. Those living in inhospitable environments and those facing insurmountable challenges. I ask You to be their peace. May they know Your presence in a tangible way this week. I name those I know before You.”
Thanks Anan! Really appreciate the feedback and beautiful prayer you’ve shared here!
I want to thank you for the message you sent me. It has built me up a lot about starting a church. I have two churches here in Kenya Africa but I am going through a very difficult situation.but I dedicate myself to the Work of God dear friends I really pray if I can find the books that people can read to develop faith in God I say life is the people of God are at the very bottom they are crying so hard life is hard here in Kenya
The teachings are great things for d8scipleship making and transformation.
Tenho procurado evangelizar nos ônibus,porém sinto um bloqueio muito grande. Orem por mim pois em meu coração, arde esta chamada
Gloria Deus que o nosso Senhor Jesus proteja a todos missionarios e irmãos em paises aonde o evangelho sofre perseguição
Thanks for the powerfull teaching on Disciple making,🙏🙏🙏
You are very welcome Andreas! Blessings.