Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

#27 Ablaze with a Passion for Souls

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: What a beautiful phrase! Yet how many of us have almost forgotten the expression "A Passion for Souls."  For years it was a tremendous motivating force for God's children.

   Today with the emphasis upon such terms as church growth, 
 counseling, Christian education, and youth ministries we have almost forgotten the emphasis upon constantly winning people to Christ. (Google image, Woman praying, "Teach me to pray!")
    Every Christian leader, whatever his official title or role, should be characterized by a passion to lead others to Christ. We all give nominal adherence to winning people. 

   We seem to feel a little embarrassed to speak about "souls" since we hear the constant emphasis upon treating people as "whole persons"—body as well as soul.

   But every human being has a spiritual aspect of his nature which will live forever and ever. When the body dies, the spirit will live on. It will be eternally saved, at home with Christ, or eternally lost to Christ and heaven, lost in a Christless eternity in hell.

   The word "soul" is still in the Bible. Throughout Scripture the concept is emphasized that we are more than body. We dare not let psychology rob us of the emphasis upon the soul. If you prefer, use "spirit" for the individual spiritual nature, but it seems more common to use"soul" for the whole being of humankind but with particular emphasis upon the spiritual nature.

   We still use "soul" for the purpose of this discussion. Jesus asked, 

     "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world,
      yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange
      for his soul?" (Matt. 16:26).

   Our danger is that although in our busy schedules and ministry we recognize that soul-winning is part of our responsibility, yet it becomes almost incidental in our work plan and time plan. It remains our goal in theory, but in practice it is often not a priority in our public or private ministry.

   No Christian leader is the person of God that our Lord wants him to be unless day after day the consuming desire of his heart is that people come to Christ. For this we must live, must long, must seek opportunities, must pray, and must believe.

   You have not drunk deeply of the spirit of Christ if you do not share His tears over the unsaved who are blindly hastening to an eternity forever separated from the love of God, the presence of Christ, and with all hope of change forever gone.

   We need to feel the love for people that drew Christ from heaven to earth, that fills His heart on heaven's throne today. We need to imbibe the infinite longings of His heart as He looks out on a world filled with people lost in their sins, their sorrows, and their spiritual helplessness. The passion for souls must come from the heart of Christ. From Him we must seek it until we find it.

   Why was Jesus a Man of Sorrows (Isa. 53)? Surely it was because He took our sins upon himself, because He totally identified with us in our sorrows, and because today His infinite loving heart still longs so ceaselessly for the lost of earth.

   We as Christian leaders do not deserve His grace and we sin against His love if we do not live close enough to His yearning heart to receive and share His longing for the sheep still outside the fold.
      Eloquent Bishop Joseph Berry said: "Is anyone a real disciple of Christ who is not swayed by this consuming passion?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Creative reading style by Jean.

Ablaze for God
#27 Ablaze with a Passion for Souls
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 104-106) ZondervanPublishingHouse

"#10 God Looks Into Hearts" has been posted! 
on Healing Thoughts and Prayers

   Father, it is said that many Christians have almost forgotten the expression of "passion for souls."
   Examine our hearts and motives for even claiming to be "Christian", for we need to revive our heart's devotion to help others learn of the salvation message that Jesus brings.
   Have we forgotten the emphasis in our plans and time, to constantly win the lost to Christ through all of our various programs and activities within our churches?
   Forgive us for not holding Jesus' desire to save sinners our foremost drive in all that we propose to do for Him. Help us re-think our aim to evangelize those around us, and for Jesus to have the rightful place in all our efforts. 
   Realizing the longings of Christ's heart as He looks out on a world filled with people lost in their sins, sorrows and spiritual helplessness, may He give us a fresh passion for their souls!
   We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

       1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) "But sanctify the Lord God in your
       hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every
       man what asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you
       with meekness and fear [respect]."   

       Acts 4:12 (KJV) "Neither is there salvation in any other:
       for there is none other name under heaven given among 
       men, whereby we must be saved."

       Matthew 26:41 (KJV) "Watch and pray, that ye enter not 
       into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh 
       is weak."

       Matthew 28:20 (KJV) "Teaching them to observe all 
       things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am 
       with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Today's question-

   Do you look to Jesus for help?

   Jesus is our Living Hope! We need to stay connected and draw pure joy out of the midst of trials, knowing that our faith will be challenged and strengthened. (See 2 Cor. 4:17) Our need is to keep our eyes on Him. We are not to be intoxicated with our trials, but we're to look to Jesus, the One who can make a way where there seems to be no way.
   We're challenged to be sober and vigilant and to be aware of Satan's temptations that seem to be particularly meant for us. His mission, he feels, is to know our weaknesses and to give us opportunities to struggle with them, hoping that we'll forget to look to Jesus for help.
   Be an example to those who're following you by being submissive to those who are mature in their faith, and to learn from them.

Today's quotes-

~ John Bevere- "Be sure that you build your life on God's revealed Word, not what others say. Keep seeking the Lord and listening to  your heart. Don't do or say things just because everyone else does. Seek Him and stand on what is illuminated in your heart!" (p. 87 of The Bait of Satan.

~ Mark I Bubeck- "God never brings revival because we deserve it. God brings revival because we understand His promises, claim them, and persistently keep them before Him as we wait upon Him." (p. 126 of THE SATANIC REVIVAL.

Laughter is good medicine

Upcoming posts-

#28 Let Passion for Souls Kindle You
15th Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

So, Tell Me About Forgiveness
17th- Saturday's post by Jean Oathout

#29 How to Receive this Passion
20th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#30 Your Love for the Unsaved
22nd- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Jean's blog 
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