Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cultivating a Heart

I remember sitting in an evangelistic conference in Dallas and hearing the teacher say, “a desk is a poor place to view the world.” For me, it was the desk. For someone else, it may be a home. We often become comfortable in our settings and environment that we forget that God has called each of us to go and make disciples. The only way we will accomplish this task is to leave the comforts of our home and enter into the lives of so many who need to hear about Christ. How are we to relate to others unless we enter into their world: experience what they are facing and wrestle with their questions and concerns. Unless we begin to cultivate a heart for them, how will we ever have a message for them?

How do we cultivate a heart for the lost? One way to cultivate a heart for unbelievers is to understand their need. As Christians, we have experienced a new meaning of life, forgiveness, and a secured hope. As we grow deeper in our faith, we can easily forget that unbelievers have not experienced these unchanging truths that we possess. Take time to listen to their heart when they express how they feel. They are without God and attempting to make life work apart from God.

Just two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to speak with a gentleman who has experienced a tragic event in his life. His response to this tragedy was to be cautious of everyone he meets. He said, “Don, I don’t trust anyone because they will hurt you time and time again.” As I sat there listening to his story, I was reminded of the seriousness and misfortune of sin. We all have been wounded and scarred by the result of sin in this world. However, I had an opportunity to share with him that we have a Savior who came to put the power of sin to death. Though the power of sin still affects our lives daily, we can be confident that its power is only temporary. When Christ returns, He will deliver us once and for all from sin’s dominion on this earth.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.-Ephesians 2:1-10

Another way to cultivate a heat for unbelievers is to pray. If you know an unbeliever, you can pray for that individual specifically. Ask the Lord to sensitize his or her heart in order to receive and accept what is said about Christ and His work on the cross. We are not responsible for saving these individuals; we are responsible for sharing the good news with them. If you desire to reach others in your community and neighborhood, pray that God will place someone in your path. Pray right now that God will work in your life giving you a heart of awareness when you meet that person. Ask God for the wisdom that you will need to address any questions, boldness to proclaim the good news, and for a bridge to build a relationship between you and that person.

No comments: