It’s hard today to not be side tracked by all of the glitz and glamor of the world. Everyday we are told that we need to make more money, get the latest phone and buy the biggest house that we can’t afford. We are lied to on a constant basis and told that our possessions are of more importance then people. Jesus confronts this reality in Matthew 16:26. Not only does Jesus turn this lifestyle on it’s head he also puts a much needed importance on the value of a soul. If we do not have the right focus as Christians, we will undoubtedly set our attention on what is really not important. Here are a few things that help me maintain the right focus.
1. Pray for People to Be Saved
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul writes to Timothy, a young pastor and explains the importance of prayer for the lost. For those in authority and those not in authority. God wants people to be saved. We need to pray for the salvation of lost men and women. I encourage you to make a list of people you know that need to be saved. In verse 2, Paul specifically mentions praying for those in authority. Pray for the salvation of our President. Pray for the salvation of his family. Pray for the salvation of our vice-president, our cabinet, our congress, and our senators. Prayer is a powerful tool. United prayer within a church is very, very powerful. The Bible says if you ask anything according to His will, it will be done. We know His will when it is revealed to us in His word and His will, according to this passage, is that all men be saved. So let us be faithful to pray for sinners to be saved.
2. Whom Shall I Send?
In Isaiah chapter 6, there is a fascinating story about a wonderful vision that Isaiah had. The Lord Jesus Christ was sitting high upon His throne in the Holy temple. When Isaiah sees the Lord high and lifted up and sees His holiness, his unholiness and particularly his unholy mouth strike his heart. He refers to his lips as unclean. Confessing his sin to God, God sends an angel to purify his lips with a hot coal. Isaiah is struck with his unworthiness and his inability to serve the Lord. Even though Isaiah knew of his weakness and his sin, once he confessed his sin and was cleansed, he knew that by the grace and mercy of God, he was able to be used and sent forth by the Spirit of God to do the work of God. God will use anyone who is willing to be honest before Him and to be a witness before Him.
3. Live To Tell Others about Christ
The book of Philippians is a prison epistle. Paul wrote this while being in prison for preaching the Gospel. In this letter, he expressed to the Philippian believers, that he really has a desire to go to be with Christ. That is to die physically and go to enjoy Heaven. In Philippians 1:23-24 he describes the dilemma that he is in. Paul realized being on this earth has only one purpose that is to tell other people about Jesus Christ and build up the body of Christ. Paul said I am not here because I want to be here, he said I am here because I want to be benefit and a help to you. In the trial of prison, Paul’s purpose became crystal clear, God will sometimes allow us to face major trials in our life to bring us back to spiritual reality. We are here to represent Jesus Christ. Christ died for lost souls. We are to live to reach lost souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What am I living for today?
4. The Value of One Soul Is Greater than the Entire World
God puts great value on your soul and the souls of lost men and women in this world. Hell is real and so is Heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ knows this. It is because of this reality that He was willing to leave all the glory of Heaven and become a man. He suffered the agonizing death on the cross so that we could have eternal life. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that we take the message for which He died, to this lost world and see as many people saved as we possibly can. Jesus carried the cross, we need to carry gospel tracts. We need to carry the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. This must be a personal commitment.
5. The Value of Missionaries
Here at Liberty Baptist Church during the month of June we have a Mission’s Conference. This year’s theme was Beyond These Walls. We encouraged our people to think about the needs of others and give to missionaries so that they could reach around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why do we do that? We do that because God wants us to give the Gospel everywhere. In Acts 1:8, He says we are to give the Gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. That very simply means, I go where I can and I send others where I cannot go. We need to support, pray for, and encourage missionaries so that we can be obedient to our Lord’s command to take the Gospel everywhere.
6. The Value of the Law
We are living in the age of grace. Often times we hear people speak about the law as though it were something to be despised. Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that he was sent to fulfill the law. We are not saved by keeping the law, but the law is of God. The law is a very valuable tool. What does the law do? The law brings us to the end of ourselves. In Galatians 3:24, the Apostle Paul tells us that the law is a school master meant to bring us to Christ. It is when I come face to face with the law that I recognize I am a sinner deserving of Hell, which causes me to call on Jesus Christ and ask Him for salvation by grace through faith. This is the value of the Law. When I read the law and the mind of Christ, I understand my sinful condition and I become more dependent on Him day by day as I witness to other people about Jesus.
7. God Uses the Weak
In 1 Corinthians 1:27, the Apostle Paul states that God uses the simple things of this world to confound the wise. I am so glad that God used Balaam’s donkey to speak to the prophet. God does not need to use strong and important people. God wants to use people who are surrendered to Him. The Apostle Paul confessed to being weak and dependent upon Jesus Christ. You can witness, you can tell people about Jesus Christ. Do not let Satan tell you cannot. If you are intimidated, it is okay. God will use you. Just stick to the Gospel and let His Spirit control you. If He used a donkey, He can use you.
8. The Meanest Man in the World
Several years ago, a gentleman in our church asked me to visit a friend of his that he was concerned for. He said, “He is not saved and I don’t know how to tell him how to get saved.” He had informed his friend that he was going to send his preacher by and so I was obligated to go. I really do not like to make these types of visits, but because I told him I would go, I did. When I knocked on the front door, the door was opened by what looked to be the meanest man in the world. His name was Don. Don invited us in. We went into his living room and sat down. He looked at me eyeball to eyeball and said, “So, what do you want?” I told him I did not want anything. His friend had asked me to stop by to share with him how he could know for sure he was going to Heaven. He looked at me and simply said, “Go ahead.” I took him through the entire plan of salvation and when I was finished, I thought he was going to quickly ask me to leave. I asked him, “Did that make sense?” He said it did. I asked, “Would you like to pray right now and trust Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?” To my surprise, the meanest man in the world said, “Yes, I would.” He bowed his head and trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. The following Sunday he was in church. His wife told me that that night he went to the liquor cabinet and poured out all the liquor in his cabinets. His life was changed.
9. Care for the Souls of People
In Philippians 2:20, the Apostle Paul tells the Philippian church about the caring nature of Timothy. This is quite a statement. Timothy cared for people. That ought to be the heart of every believer. People all around us are dying and going to Hell. They are everywhere. Let us be faithful to care for the souls of lost men and women. Let us invite them to church. Let us give them Gospel tracts. Let us do everything we can to get them to Heaven, instead of Hell.
10. Bring Joy to Heaven
Jesus tells us in Luke 15:10 about the joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner. It is amazing that we can bring joy to Heaven by simply being faithful to tell other people about Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us there is joy in the presences of the angels when one sinner repents, that is when they change their mind about needing salvation. That is big! It is a privilege to bring a smile to the face of our Father in Heaven when He sees another child brought into His family.
11. There Is Nothing Greater than Winning Souls – 3 John 1:4
I have five children and twelve grandchildren. As they were growing up they would ask me what I wanted for my birthday, Christmas, or Father’s Day. My answer was always the same. I want obedient children. That is what God in essence is saying to us. He wants us to be obedient children, children that walk in truth. Whenever any of my children tell me of someone they have led to Christ or about an opportunity they have had to witness, it thrills my heart. There is nothing greater anyone can do than lead someone to Jesus Christ. This is walking in truth. Christ delights in us when we bring people to Him. Christ delights in us when we teach others how to lead others to Christ. Let us be faithful to be the witness that God wants us to be.