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Entries in Sinners (3)

Tuesday
Mar262019

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Mark 2:13-17.  This sermon was preached by Pastor Marty Bonner on March 24, 2019.

In one sense, our story today is about Jesus calling another Galilean to become one of his closest disciples, i.e. to be one of The Twelve.  However, the calling of this disciple causes a stir among the local scribes and Pharisees.  Let’s look into the passage.

Jesus calls Levi to follow him

The man that is called Levi here is also called Matthew in the Gospel according to Matthew.  Yes, these are one and the same.  The guy in our story will go on to write a record of The Gospel that has been read world-wide for 20 centuries.  Now we are told that Jesus was in the area speaking to the crowds.  They have become large enough that Jesus is using the seashore to preach to them.  In the course of this, Jesus walks by the tax office and sees a tax collector there named Levi.

Levi is an Israelite, but is collecting taxes for the Roman Government.  The way this was done was by contract bids.  Rome would give its contracts for an area to the person who promised to raise the most tax.  It was understood that the tax collector would pad this amount and that is how he would make his money.  Now, the taxes were already harsh, but they were made worse by the greedy countrymen who got rich off of the backs of their friends.  These men were seen as traitors and collaborators with Rome and thus despised as some of the worst of sinners in their society. 

This clearly does not make Levi appealing to God.  Yet, Christ sees past the greed and opportunism, and sees the person behind those actions, a person in bondage to fear and wealth.  Jesus is calling Levi away from all of that.

This is an important point because it is becoming more and more prevalent today to speak about sinners as if they really are noble people underneath the surface.  Jesus did not choose Levi because he saw a noble man who isn’t really as bad as everyone makes him out to be.  Rather, Jesus sees exactly who Levi is and in spite of that calls him to leave it behind and follow him, which we will get into here in a bit.  This is the same way that Christ comes to all of us.  In and of ourselves, we all fall short.  However, Jesus still calls us away from that failure and into himself.  He calls us to leave the old life behind and learn a new life from him.

So, what does Jesus mean exactly by the phrase, Follow me?  If we do a search in the Bible for this phrase, we will see that Jesus used this phrase with those who he was calling to eat, sleep, and live with him.  They would be his main students and also help him in the ministry.  It was a call to join the inner circle of Jesus.  Yet, later in these passages (after he had The Twelve) we see him using this phrase of all who want to be his disciples.  Mark 8:34-35 says, “Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”  He also says in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  Thus, there is a metaphorical “following” of Jesus that goes beyond living with him.  The Apostles had to deal with this themselves after Jesus ascended into heaven.  They could not immediately follow him into heaven, but they could follow him by listening to the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent to indwell them and fill them.  Similarly, today we who believe in the message about Christ chose to leave the old life behind and become students of Christ.  Christ is faithful to send the Holy Spirit into our lives and we are enabled to spiritually follow Him. 

I would also state that there is a way in which we literally follow Jesus.  When we listen to the Holy Spirit, who is one with Christ and the Father, in those moments of instruction, we are literally following Jesus because he is the one leading us.  Whether he warns us against those things that we want to do and instigates us towards those things that we don’t want to do, it is still Christ that we are following.  Thus, the believer needs to spend time each day in communion with Christ through the Holy Spirit by prayer, listening and obeying.

May we be the eyes of Jesus in this world, seeing those who are still trapped in their sin, and yet calling them to follow Jesus.  He is not ashamed to be associated with our past failures in sin.  However, he has come to lead us out of them and into the freedom that can only be obtained through him.

Jesus eats with sinners

Levi was clearly excited to be noticed by the famous teacher, Jesus, and to be called to follow him.  It seems that he is ready to leave everything behind immediately.  He then throws a party that can only be characterized as a retirement party, or going away party.  He invites all his friends and associates who all turn out to be, no shocker here, other tax collectors and sinners.  No one else wanted anything to do with him.  It is in this context that the question is posed to the disciples of Jesus.  Why does Jesus eat with these sinners and tax collectors?  Before we look at the answer, let’s look at the background for why this question is being asked in the first place.

The name of the Pharisee as a group came from a Hebrew word that means to make distinct, to distinguish, and to separate.  We could call them separatists, but that has a political connotation.  It would be best to think of them as the Puritans of their day.  Society had been becoming more and more sinful as people more and more ignored the law.  The Law of Moses emphasized purity throughout its statutes.  Thus, the response of these religious leaders who wanted to show their zeal for God was to dissociate from sinners.  This was even more important for religious leaders.

To analyze this further, let’s remember the situation with the leper in chapter one.  The Law stated many and various situations which would make a person unclean.  This term refers to a ceremonial distinction and is not a statement of sinfulness.  The law did not require a person to always be ceremonially clean.  It only required being ceremonially clean if you were to enter into sacred space, typically to perform a legal ritual.  You could be declared unclean if you buried one of your family members, or had sexual relations with your spouse.  These were not sin by the standard of the Law, but situations that required a purification ritual to be completed before the person could participate in a sacrifice or festival in the temple.  The Pharisees had taken this concept beyond what the Law required or intended.  They were supposed to be the “holy men” of their day and their response was to wall themselves off from anything and anyone who could affect their clean status.  No self-respecting rabbi of their day would have been caught dead at a feast of sinners and tax-collectors.  It would be like seeing someone swimming in the sewer pond.  You can’t get anymore filthy.  These guys are truly shocked.  These are not the actions of a holy man, at least according to their group, who were the experts on holiness and cleanliness.

Now, it is interesting that the question is posed to the disciples of Jesus first.  It is not clear if this is happening at the event or later, but the disciples bear the brunt of the question.  The question itself seems to have a tone of derision to it.  It is not, Why does Jesus eat with sinners, but How is it that he eats with sinners…  They are implying that the disciples have chosen poorly in the teacher that they are following and there can really be no defense.  And, of course, the disciples have no answer.

This technique is employed all the time today.  How is it that you follow a 2,000 year old religion created by people who thought the world was flat?  Of course, such a question is wrong on both counts.  They didn’t exactly think the world was flat, and they did not create a religion.  Another question that one often gets is this.  How can you follow a God who tells you not to murder, but then he murders countless numbers?  Clearly such people have trouble sticking to clear definition of terms and distinguishing between murdering the innocent and executing criminals.  Israel itself was required to execute capital punishment upon certain sins.  It is not hypocrisy to make a distinction between murder and legal execution.  It is proper definition. 

In these cases, it is best not to be bullied into a rash response.  It is Jesus who has the answers and it is to him that we must turn.  The words of Christ are filled with clarity on these issues, if we are willing to study and hear those who Christ has gifted to teach on these matters.  This is nothing more than an attempt to shame you into distancing yourself from Christ and his Apostles.

What is the answer that Jesus gives?  Jesus uses the analogy of a doctor.  No one in their right mind would berate a doctor for having a bunch of sick people in his clinic.  We might berate the doctor for not fixing any of their problems, but never for their presence in the clinic.  Do you tend to find a lot of healthy people in a hospital?  Of course not.  Notice the simplicity of this answer.  It cuts through all the accretion of intellectual crud and gets to the heart of the issue.  Now Jesus had proven his ability to heal people physically, but there is no indication that these people are physically in need of healing.  Look at the next thing Jesus says.  “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”  These men did not need physical healing, but they did need a spiritual healing from the wound of sin in their lives.  A wound that none of these religious men were willing to lift a finger to heal.  Jesus was not at Matthew’s house because he was greedy and wanted to enjoy Matthew’s food and riches.  He was not hoping to get some more rich disciples from among his friends.  In short, Jesus is there not to sin, but to teach these sinners the way out of their sin.

Could it be that in our desire to be clean of sin, we so insulate ourselves from sinners that we are no longer a threat to the devil’s hold upon them?  I believe this story underlines such a conclusion.  Yes, we must abstain from all appearance of evil, but many people see evil in things that are not evil.  Abstaining from all appearance of evil is not about the eyes of people around us, but the eyes of our Father in heaven.  Our lives cannot be controlled by what others say of us morally, but by what our Lord Jesus calls us to do.  We are called to help those who are sick with sin, whether they know it or not.  The only way that we can do that is to be open to interacting with them when we cross their path, and for the reasons of Christ, not our flesh.

Is There a Doctor Audio

Tuesday
Jan082019

Walking with the Lord in 2019

Psalm 1:1-6.  This sermon was preached by Pastor Marty Bonner on January 6, 2019.

As we begin this New Year, we begin by praying for our walk with God.  We need His wisdom and guidance for the path ahead of us, and we need to grow in our ability to follow Him.  However, more than these things from the Lord, we need His presence in our life.  So we come to the question.  Am I walking with God as I should?  Am I following the One that He sent, the Lord Jesus Christ?  This is a question that we can ask ourselves every day.  It is that important.

The Bible presents Jesus as the perfect Son of God.  He is our example of how to walk with God the Father.  Yes, He is definitely more than an example, but He is one nonetheless, which we would do well to follow.

Our passage today compares and contrasts the one who refuses to walk with the world, and walks with God, to the one who does not.  This is not about disconnecting from society and the people around us in order to go on a spiritual journey.  Rather, it is living our life in the midst of society and the people around us by following God’s direction and not our own.  It is recognizing that my way provides no salvation for myself or this world, but His way brings life.

We need to learn to walk with the Lord.

Verse one of this psalm opens with a series of statements that use the verbs “walk, stand, and sit.”  It is clear that the psalmist is not just thinking of the simple actions in and of themselves.  He is not worried that a sinner might walk beside him on the road to Jerusalem, or that a scoffer might happen to sit by him at a wedding.  Rather, he uses these verbs as extensions of the choices that we make in our heart and in our mind, which cause us to do these things in league with certain people.

Thus, it is not about who happens to be walking next to me, but who I choose to walk with.  Similarly it is not about who happens to be standing or sitting beside me, but about those whom I choose to stand with and sit beside because I share their purpose and outlook on life.  We need to learn to choose to walk in harmony with the Lord, to walk in fellowship with Him, and to walk by His leading.

Thus we end up with a list of things that we should avoid because they take us away from the Lord.  As we look at this list, we should also note how Jesus perfectly demonstrates how to avoid them.  First, the blessed man chooses not to listen to the counsel of the wicked.  Now, the wicked are those who reject God’s Word and do what they want.  They have chosen a path that is adverse to God’s path for mankind.  Those who reject God’s path, and consequently His fellowship, have their own way of looking at things and their own “wisdom.”  Their counsel or advice is always a twisted reasoning why they should not follow the counsel of the Lord.  Their counsel is like that of the devil’s when he tempted Eve.  “Has God really said…”  The wicked can be openly hostile to God, or they may operate under the umbrella of God’s people.  Yet, their counsel always provides an exit off of the path of God’s way.  If we are to do well this year, we must learn to avoid listening to the counsel of the wicked.

Second, the blessed man chooses not to stand on the path of sinners.  “Sinners” here is a conceptual rhyme with the earlier “wicked.”  They are essentially the same with a slight difference in nuance.  Yet, the emphasis moves from their counsel to their path.  We start walking away from the Lord by first listening to their counsel, but then we find ourselves walking their same path.  The sinner’s path is not the path of the Lord.  The very definition of the word sinner is one who misses or falls short of God will.  They go a different way than the Lord.  Again, if we are to do well this year, we must not go down the path of those who reject God’s counsel and are refusing to walk with Him.

Third, the blessed man chooses not to sit in the seat of scoffers.  The image of a seat seems to be the end of a series of choices that lead to a worse and worse situation spiritually.  Having listened to false counsel, and walking down a false path, we can end up in a destination full of those who scoff, mock, and scorn those who follow God.  How sad to go from walking with God to mocking those who still do so.  If you find yourself sitting with those who mock and deride God and His Word, if you find yourself in league with such people and such attitudes, then you are in a bad place.  If we are to do well this year, we will need to avoid that mocking spirit which wants to pull us off of the path of Christ and on to a path of our own making.

Now verse 2 gives us the positive things that a blessed person embraces.  Here we see that the first is the Law of the Lord.  Now the psalmist is an Israelite living prior to the times of Christ and the Law of the Lord represented the apex of God’s Word.  God had made a covenant with Israel and given them His Law.  As Christians we are not under the Law of Moses, but rather the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2).  The point here is not about legalism.  The Law represented God’s counsel and wisdom to Israel as to how they should run their society and show their faithfulness to Him.  For Christians today, we also need to heed God’s counsel and his wisdom in order to stay in fellowship with God and show our faithfulness to Him.  However, we have the Gospel from Jesus and His apostles.  We need to listen to the counsel that they give us.  Jesus will not lead us towards wickedness, sin, or mocking.

We should also note that it says that we should delight in God’s Word.  This represents an emotional response to the grace that God gives when He gives us His Word, His wisdom.  If we are to do well this year, we will need to delight in receiving God’s Word and then follow it.

Secondly, we should embrace meditating upon God’s commands.  It is not enough to merely hear God’s Word.  We are told to meditate upon what He says.  This is an inner dialogue that we can have with God in which we contemplate His Word, how it applies to us, and what obstacles we need to overcome.  The focus is to fill our minds with the understanding of God’s counsel and commands.  This involves recognizing and casting aside those understandings and counsels that are adverse to Christ.  If we do not take time to meditate about our choices in this life, we will fall far short of walking with the Lord.  If we are to do well this year, we will need to set aside time each day to meditate about the path in front of us, and prayerfully ask God to help us see His path.

In verse 3 we see the effect of the path that we walk upon our life.  Those who walk with the Lord become fruitful and beneficial to others.  This image of a fruit tree may somewhat conflict with the imagery of walking with the Lord.  However the difference in imagery helps to further explain what is intended for us to see.  The one who is walking with the Lord is simultaneously a tree in this world.  The rivers of water point to the need for trees to have water.  Without it there can be no growth.  God and His Word is our source of water.  When we are connected to God as our water source then we will become fruitful. 

Now the whole point of a fruit tree is to provide something for others.  Apple trees do not eat their own apples.  Our growth is not about getting all sorts of stuff to feed ourselves.  The one who follows God’s path becomes like a tree laden with fruit and all who come upon them can find good sustenance from them.  What kind of fruit am I in the life of those around me?  If we are to do well this year then we must turn our roots towards the waters of life, and not the stagnant waters of this world.  Then we will be fruitful and beneficial to those whom God has put in our life.

 Walking with the Lord also makes one to prosper.  “Whatever he does shall prosper.”  With so many teachers talking about prosperity, it would be good to pause and remind ourselves of what prosperity is and what it is not.  For many it only means to be financially wealthy and physically healthy.  However, in pursuing these things we can often be feeding the lusts of our own flesh.  We can promote greed, selfishness, lack of discipline, and idolatry as we try to prosper.  We cannot serve God and wealth!

Instead, the New Testament emphasizes spiritual prosperity above material prosperity (I did not say instead of).    It is not that God will not take care of our material needs, but that our flesh gets too attached to material prosperity at the expense of spiritual prosperity.  Thus we are called to be thankful and content with whatever material things God supplies, be it little or much.  We are to be other-focused and become spiritually beneficial to people around us, and, as the Lord directs and supplies, materially beneficial to them as well.  Ultimately we worship God and serve Him, rather than dollar signs and looking good in front of other people.  If we are to truly be prosperous this year, then we will need to break down the idol in our hearts that wants to be rich and satisfy all the desires of our heart.  Then we will truly prosper.

Verse 4 reminds us that if we don’t walk with the Lord the effects will be negative.  The ungodly will not be like a tree that has plenty of water and bears good fruit.  Though the psalmist could have stuck with the tree imagery and said that they produce poisonous fruit, he doesn’t.  We switch to another metaphor, that of wheat.  The wheat metaphor makes it clear.  The ungodly will perish.

Wheat has a hard shell that must be broken off of it in order to get to the useful food beneath.  The broken remnants of these shells are called chaff.  It was common to crush the wheat and then throw it into the air.  The wind would blow the light and insubstantial chaff away, but leave the heavier, good wheat behind.

This metaphor can be taken two ways.  First, all the trials and difficulties of this world have the effect of separating us into two categories.  We are either wheat that will be gathered into God’s barn, or we are chaff that the wind of God will blow away.

Second, we can also recognize a further truth that all the trials and difficulties of our life are testing and breaking the chaff off of us.  If we will allow Him, God will use those pains and hurts to break off the hard shell around our heart and remove it far from us.  We can become that which is good and the bad part will be blown away by the wind of God.  Though this image doesn’t bring up the sense of God’s love for His people and His desire to be loved by them, its lesson is still important.  God is always working to remove the bad and protect the good.  If we are to do well this year then we must learn to cooperate with this work in our life.  Quit worrying about those who reject God.  Even if they seem to prosper and seem to be so substantial in this world, the day will come when the wind of God will blow them away and they will perish.  Don’t seek to be like them, rather seek to tell them about God’s love for them.

The psalm ends with the warning that the ungodly will not stand in the Day of Judgment.  We will all one day stand and give account to the God of heaven, specifically Jesus Christ.  In that day those who have walked with Him will be blessed and enabled to stand, but those who have rejected His ways, mocked and derided them, will recognize their folly too late.  Don’t be such a person and don’t make such mistakes.  In fact, be a tree of life that when such a person crosses your path, you have enough power of Christ within you to get their attention.  If we are to do well this year, then we need Christ to help us offer something helpful to the lost world around us.

May this year be a year in which you walk with the Lord and are truly blessed.

Walking with the Lord audio

Thursday
Apr162015

A Heart For That Which Is Lost-Part I

Today we will pick back up in the Gospel of Luke 15:1-10.

This chapter has three parables that are in response to a complaint by the Pharisees regarding the fact that Jesus allowed sinners to be around him.  They were not wrong that these people were sinners.  However they were wrong in understanding how God wants us to interact with them.

Now it is never easy to be told that you are damaged goods.  Whether you are being rejected by others in a relationship, or being looked over by those who are looking for skills and abilities, or even a certain genetic makeup, there will always be those who are not acceptable in the eyes of others.  This creates a natural division between the haves and the have nots, the pure and the damaged.  Yet, the message in the Bible makes all of these distinctions moot.  God says that all mankind (yes even Mother Theresa) have been damaged by sin and are in need of healing.

In our passage today we will look at the first two parables that give parallel pictures of God’s heart for the sin-damaged soul.

Jesus Did Not Despise And Reject Sinners

When Jesus taught, it was not just religious people who showed up to listen to him.  Many people who had long quit following the Laws of Moses, AKA “sinners,” also came to hear him.  This was not normal.  When religious teachers were teaching, generally only the devout would come to listen to them.  Sinners tend to avoid environments where they are reminded that they are sinners.  The Pharisees obviously expected Jesus to run them off or have them removed.  But, instead Jesus let them listen and even ate meals with them.

Notice that many sinners were drawn to Jesus.  He was different.  Instead of rubbing their sins in their face and pushing them away, he spoke the truth in love and invited them in.  His teaching promoted righteousness as the heart of God for mankind rather than the disqualification of the sinner.  Now don’t get me wrong.  Jesus was in some ways stricter than the Pharisees.  Imagine being in the crowd the day he says that to even think with lust toward a woman was committing the sin of adultery.  The shock of such a statement blasted past any pretense and moral superiority and stripped all as bare and naked, lacking any real righteousness with which to clothe themselves.

So how do we explain the approach of Jesus who did not compromise truth, yet wanted sinners to come to him?  The reality is that sinners need to know their true situation.  God is just and will judge everyone, even those self-righteous types who outwardly look devout but inwardly are full of every kind of sin.  Yet, Jesus knew that God was trying to draw people towards Him, not push them away.  They really wouldn’t come to hear Jesus if God wasn’t working on their heart already.  And, they wouldn’t stick around long if they wouldn’t accept the truth.  Yes, we can point to the popularity of Jesus and castigate the Church today.  However, to be intellectually honest, we must recognize that the multitudes of sinners did not stay with Jesus for long.  The closer he came to the cross the less people who decided to stick with him.  In fact, his disciples basically fell away and later had to repent of their doubt.  Jesus wasn’t trying to control how people responded and force them in a mold.  The truth would either draw them in or push them out.  It is their choice.  Judas becomes a perfect picture of this.  We never see Jesus pushing him away.  But in the end the reality of who Jesus was and the truth that he taught caused Judas to betray Jesus.  We should not change the message of Christ to draw people.  Rather we need to change our attitude of trying to control the response of others.  In such an environment of freedom, the Spirit of God is free to work on the hearts of men.  Some will believe and many will walk away.

In each of the parables Jesus will emphasize that the friends of God will rejoice when a sinner repents.  Thus he turns the complaining of the religious leaders back on their own heads.  Their spirit of offense and anger at his interactions with sinners was itself proof that they were not true friends of God.  Otherwise they would be rejoicing in what Jesus was doing (and they would have been doing it themselves).   The truth is that they are lost sinners themselves in need of hearing the truth and repenting.

A Lost Sheep & A Lost Coin

Although these three parables (#3 is the Prodigal Son) underline the same spiritual message there are some contrasts worth noting.  We have three very different characters that represent the heart of God: a shepherd, a woman, and a father.  Some have pointed out that this is most likely to emphasize the work of Christ, who is the Good Shepherd, the woman with the lamp, who is the Church aided by the Holy Spirit of Truth, and the father, who represents God the Father.  This demonstrates how all are working together to accomplish the same goal.  Secondly we have three very different lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son.  Again we can see three different facets of how mankind is “lost” from God.  A sheep is a living being but has no understanding.  It wanders out of ignorance is dear to the shepherd as that which is a creature.  However, in others ways we see the lost coin represents the immense value that each person who is lost has to God.  The person has value, but they are separated from him and may spend an eternity stuck between floor boards.  Lastly, the most tender picture is that mankind is like a wayward son that has turned its back on a loving father and squandered everything that he has supplied for them.  In each we hear the same echo: yet, God loves them and wants them back.  Do you believe that today?  God loves each sinner and desires greatly to have them back to himself.

Thus the reality in these parables is that sinners really are lost from God.  The term “lost” summons a picture of hopelessness and despair; and on our own that is very true.  But Jesus does not share it as a pejorative in order to put us down.  Rather, it is a statement of why he is working so hard to reach sinners.  Lostness has nothing to do with intellectual ability, or genetic material.  It is a description of our separateness from God and His ways.  Sinners are lost because they are not walking in fellowship and harmony with God.  As such, they are in dangerous territory and subject to great harm like a sheep that has run off from the shepherd.  Sinners are also a great value that is squandered in the darkness and hopelessness of life, like a coin that has fallen into a crack only to be forgotten.

Yet, in both cases, the lost thing is not forgotten.  It is not expendable to the shepherd or the woman.  Yes, the shepherd has 99 other sheep and the woman has 9 other coins.  But God will not let it go.  He will go out after that which is lost and seek to reclaim it.  He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life.  What in the world is God doing right now?  God is seeking throughout this world for lost sheep that He can bring back into His fold.  Every one of us enters life innocent of sin and yet quickly we turn to paths other than God’s.  Yet, God diligently goes out after each of us in order to bring us in.  No, we are not lost to Him in the sense that He doesn’t know where we are.  Rather, we are lost to Him in the sense that there are barriers that keep us from Him.  Those barriers are our desire for sin, but also our wounds, feelings, and twisted ideas.  Those barriers are all the lies that we have come to believe about the world and about ourselves.  So God is seeking us in that He is trying to break through those barriers and draw our hearts towards Him.

Each of these parables ends with great rejoicing when the object is found.  Even just one sinner repenting is enough to cause God and all the angels of heaven to rejoice.  Though we cannot see it and may even doubt it, we have the world of Jesus himself saying so.  Notice that the goal is not to get sinners to hang out with Jesus.  The goal is to bring them to repentance.  We can eat all the meals we want with those who are still lost but if we never give them the message of truth, they will not know their need of repentance.  If they do hear the truth they will feel the polarizing affects of it.  Truth forces us to face reality and make a decision.  Jesus is happy that sinners are coming to Him, but he is also sad that so many will eventually walk away and cling to their sins instead of embracing the truth.  His true joy is when we repent.  To repent is to reject our way of life and our “truths,” and then to turn towards the way of Jesus.  He is the Truth, and the Life and the Way to peace with the Father. 

It is not our job to force the choice.  Part of seeking is finding the words and the issues that will speak to the heart of the lost person.  We have to learn how to discern the hurts and wounds that serve as barriers between them and God.  However, in the end their choice is between them and God.  God pleads through us to them, but ultimately it is He who pleads.  Why do we get so uptight when people don’t respond as we want?  Perhaps if we did not take so personal the slowness of response and even flat out rejection of the message, our spirit would much more pure and much more alluring.  Yet, some believers do not seem to care about the lostness of others.  If we really understood how much joy it brings our Lord, we would be more patient and persistent in our attempts to help Him find the lost and make them “found.”  Ask God to place His Spirit upon you  and light up your life in such a way that sinners will see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.

Heart For That Which is Lost audio