For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. - Luke 19:10
Who is the person you look up to most in this world? Maybe your mom? Your sister? Maybe a mentor, or a Bible study leader? What are the traits they possess that make them such great people? It could be faith, honesty, courage, wit, compassion, to name a few. We all have people in our lives that we look up to and want to be like when we “grow up.”
As Christians, I think we can all agree that our ultimate hero, the person we look up to more than absolutely anyone else, is Jesus. In His thirty-something years on this earth, He showed all of humanity how to love well, be kind, show intentionality, and live prayerfully - all while enduring the same temptations that we experience every day. Hebrews 4 tells us that “[Jesus is not one] who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.” If you have put your hope and trust in Jesus, He is your example in every area of life, showing that the expectations that Scripture sets for us are possible and attainable through Him.
When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, it’s impossible to miss His heart for the lost. On any given day, Jesus could be found surrounded by people who were empty of hope, hated by society, and cast out by the church. These were the people He desired most to spend time with, and He wasted no time in sharing with them the only way they could ever experience true life: Him. He tells them every chance He gets, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He looked lovingly upon the lost, saw their stories and their circumstances, and with compassion and love He shared with them the only true way they would be able to leave the darkness they were walking through.
We see Jesus’ heart for the lost in the way He interacted with them. This is our example. We also see Jesus’ command to believers to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). This is our mandate. Once we receive the grace of God and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it could be argued that our sole purpose after that decision is to “seek and save” just as Jesus did. Evangelism, or telling people the good news about Jesus, becomes a natural response to the tremendous grace we’ve been shown, through the work of the Holy Spirit within us. When we receive the Holy Spirit, He puts the desire in our hearts that everyone around us experience that same hope and joy that we ourselves have found in Christ. This desire is only intensified the more we ask the Holy Spirit to be the driver of our lives. True evangelism only comes as an overflow of the Spirit at work within us.
Just like we look to our moms and hope to cook like them one day, or look to our mentors and hope to pray like them one day, it would only make sense that we should look to Jesus and long to be like Him in every way. One of the most essential ways we can look like Jesus is in the way we share our faith, and in the way we intentionally present the Gospel to those who don’t yet know it. If Jesus came to seek and save, we too will exist to seek and save, hand-in-hand with our Savior who gives us all we need to accomplish the tasks He sets before us.
1. Before anything else, I would challenge you to take a moment to reflect on your story. Was there someone who shared the Gospel with you? Was there a key person in your story that led you to truth and - perhaps nervously - stepped out and shared their faith with you? If so, thank God for putting this person in your life. Next, send a text or make a phone call to this person to thank them for their boldness and intentionality in sharing the grace of Christ with you, and for playing a role in God’s way of leading you back to Him.
2. Next, think about what is holding you back from intentionally sharing your faith with someone. Is it fear? Self-consciousness? What kinds of barriers are keeping you from stepping out in boldness to share your story with someone?
3. Write down a couple names. Names of people you interact with that don’t know the Lord. Pray for them. Ask God to open doors of conversation with them, and that your heart would be receptive to the Holy Spirit’s nudging when that time comes.
Jesus, thank You for setting the example for me of how to love people well. Thank You for loving me so well, and for seeking and saving me. I pray that my life would look more and more like Yours every day. Even though it’s hard and counter-cultural and scary, I recognize that You love people enough to seek them out and share hope with them. I pray that I would follow that example and be obedient to Your commandment to make disciples. Give me strength when I’m weak, courage when I’m fearful, and words to speak when I feel I have nothing to say. I pray this by Your grace and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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