NO MAN CARED FOR MY SOUL
While hiding in a cave from his enemies, David cries in despair that “no man cared for my soul”.
Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would acknowledge me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
(King James 2000 Bible)
REST FOR THE SOUL
Jesus longed to give those who were “weary and burdened” rest for their souls:
Matt 11:28-30 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened
, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Are you weary and burdened?
To those who respond to his call to “Come to me”, Jesus still offers rest for the weary and burdened soul.
Are we like Jonah who is angry when God saves sinners we think should be destroyed? And why was Jonah the only preacher to be angry when he had a revival? It was because God was saving the wrong people!
O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2)
Luke 9:52-54(NIV) And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”
Luke 9:55-56(NKJV) But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
The reason some folks don’t believe in evangelism or missions is that the brand of Christianity they have isn’t worth propagating. Only a nominal Christian has no passion for the lost.
OUR PURPOSE IN STAYING
Ever wondered why the church is still in the world?
If we were just here for fellowship, we could rather go to heaven where fellowship is perfect.
If we were just here for worship, we could rather go to heaven where worship is much better.
There is only one reason why Jesus left us here and that is to be instrumental in searching for lost sheep. We are his hands, feet and mouthpiece in this world. And if we’re not doing that, we have forgotten or neglected our very purpose in being here.
EVANGELISM IS IMPORTANT TO JESUS
He had a forerunner who was an evangelist.
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
He himself was an evangelist
Matt 4:17 (NIV) From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
He called men to follow him so that they could learn how to evangelise (be fishers of men).
Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:18-19 )
And he commanded all of his followers to evangelize.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…
Isa 53:6 (ESV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Last time we looked at Jesus’ three parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. In each case, someone searches for something that is lost, because they consider it extremely valuable. The three parables reveal Jesus as a searching Saviour, looking for the lost, actively seeking them, and rejoicing when they are found.
During his ministry on earth, Jesus often would actively seek out a lost sheep.
A classic example of Jesus finding a lost son is recorded in Luke 19. A chief tax collector, Zacchaeus – a known swindler who made his fortune by cheating others - is trying to check Jesus out, while remaining inconspicuous. But Jesus stops right at the tree he has climbed.
FINDING A LOST SON
Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. (Luke 19:5)
Luke 19:6-10 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter:
He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord:
Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times
After meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus realises he needs to make restitution (this is a sign of true repentance).
Jesus had just found another lost son!
Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Jesus makes a special boat trip to find and restore another lost sheep – a violent, demon-possessed man who ranted like a lunatic, lived naked in the tombs and mutilated his body with stones.
A LOST DAUGHTER FOUND
He passed through a potentially hostile town to find a lost daughter – a racist who didn’t like Jews, besides being a serial divorcee who was shacking up with her latest in a
long line of lovers.
He has mercy on the adulteress (aNOTHER lost sheep)
Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin. (John 8:11)
He defends a prostitute who offers an act of worship
I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. (Luke 7:47)
PASSION FOR SOULS
Like their master, the apostles were passionate about men’s souls. When the Sanhedrin commanded Peter and John not to teach in the name of Jesus, they replied: “we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
Likewise the apostle Paul had a passion for souls:
1 Cor 9:22 (NIV) To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
Paul wrote that he was “compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16)
Rom 10:1 (NIV) … my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
Rom 9:1-4 (NIV) I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.
And God sends his evangelist, Phillip, to meet a single individual who had already left Jerusalem.
Acts 8:26-27 (NIV) Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”).
Do you understand what you are reading?
How can I, unless someone explains it to me?
AFTER PHILLIP EXPLAINS THE GOSPEL TO HIM - ANOTHER LOST SHEEP IS FOUND
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
John Paton, missionary to the South Sea Islands:
“I continually heard… the wail of the perishing heathen in the South Seas.”
James Caughey(1810 – 1891), Methodist minister and evangelist in the US, England and Canada.
“Oh, to burn out for God! All, all for Him! Jesus only! Souls! Souls! Souls! I am determined to be a winner of souls. God help me."
William Chalmers Burns, missionary to China:
“I am ready to burn out for God. I am ready to endure any hardship, if by any means I might save some. The longing of my heart is to make known my glorious Redeemer to those who have never heard.”
Charles Cowman (1868-1924), founder of OMS International, lived for just one thing—to win souls for Christ. As he wrote of the millions of Japan, he resolved, “By the help of God they shall hear if it costs every drop of my life’s blood. Here I am, Lord, send me! Send me!” It was said of him, “The winning of a soul was to him what the winning of a battle is to a soldier; what the winning of a bride is to a lover; what the winning of a race is to an athlete.” *
* http:// sermonindex.net/ modules/ articles/ index.php?view=article&aid=28379
1 Pet 3:15 (NIV) But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.
D.L. Moody said. “It is the greatest pleasure of living to win souls to Christ.”
“I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said, ‘Moody, save all you can.’”
In his sermon, “Why God Used D.L. Moody” R.A. Torrey cited one of the reasons as Moody’s “consuming passion for the salvation of the lost”.
D.L. Moody: “In Proverbs we read: ‘He that winneth souls is wise.’ If any man, woman, or child by a godly life and example can win one soul to God, his life will not have been a failure. He will have outshone all the mighty men of his day, because he will have set a stream in motion that will flow on and on forever and ever.”
If you do not feel a fervent love and profound pity for humanity, be assured that the gift of Christian eloquence has been denied you. You will not win souls, neither will you acquire that most excellent of earthly sovereignties - sovereignty over human hearts... Love is irresistible.
If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ. Some little act of kindness will perhaps do more to influence them than any number of long sermons.
Peter Bilhorn (1859 – 1936), a Christian musician and evangelist, related the following about his
time assisting Moody at some meetings in Buffalo, New
York state. “One stormy Monday morning, after reading and prayer, I ventured to ask him wherein his power lay. (It
seemed that every man with whom he spoke on the subject
of salvation and becoming a Christian was swept right into
the kingdom. Oh, how I craved this blessing and power.” .
“He said, ‘Bilhorn, I will tell you this much: I made a promise to God and the rule of my life that I would speak to at least one man every day about his soul's salvation.’
“I said: ‘But, Mr. Moody, the opportunity does not always present itself!’
“He quickly replied and said: ‘It will if you keep in touch with God and keep your eyes open for the opportunity!’” *
* Peter Bilhorn in Record of Christian Work.
“I was anxious to see just how he approached men on the subject of salvation, as it is not always an easy task. So, watching closely from morning till evening, I was sure there had no one called that rainy day to see him.” *
Bilhorn relates that in the evening a fierce storm broke out and they had to request a carriage to take them there. “Water was running down the street like a river, and almost reached the stepping board. Every few minutes he would open the door and stick his head out in the storm.”
“The night was pitch dark; the rain was beating against the carriage. I was puzzled at the seeming peculiarity of his sticking his head out in the storm. But I had learned not to question him about it, and soon I learned the reason.”
“He called to the driver to stop, which he did, and Mr. Moody stepped out of the carriage into the rain and stood there a moment. Soon a man came along, pushing his way against the storm with an umbrella. Mr. Moody stopped him and said: ‘Where are you going?’” *
“ ‘I'm going to the Opera House to hear Moody preach.’
‘So am I. Step in and ride!’
He literally lifted the man in. Hardly had the man seated himself when Mr. Moody said to him: ‘Are you a Christian?’
‘No, I am not.’
‘Would you like to be?’ was the next question.” *
“The man, shaking the water from his hat and collar said: ‘You don't think I’d be coming out in this storm to hear Moody preach if I wasn't thinking that way, would you?’
“Then Mr. Moody said to me: ‘Bilhorn, you pray for this man!’ Oh yes, I prayed, but to me it didn't seem much of a prayer. Then Mr. Moody prayed and just at this moment the storm was spending its fury, and amidst the thunder and lightning his voice could be heard: ‘O God, save this brother tonight, right here now, for Christ's sake! Amen.’” *
“The storm which had so furiously been raging ceased, and there seemed to be a sweet calm as Mr. Moody said, ‘Brother, will you take Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour?’
“The man, still dripping with water, said, ‘Yes, yes, I do, I do!’ Just then the carriage came to a stop at the door of the Opera House. Mr. Moody stepped out and said: ‘Bilhorn, you give the man a seat down in the front,’ which I did.” *
“When the preaching was over, Mr. Moody asked all those who were Christians to stand. The man in question also arose. Mr. Moody pointed at him and said, ‘Are you a Christian?’
“With a shout the man replied: ‘I was saved in a carriage tonight coming here. A man prayed for me. I guess that was you, Mister.’ And it was. He had kept his vow and pledge to God that he would at least speak to one man each day about his soul's salvation. Thus I learned one reason wherein lay the remarkable spiritual power of that man of God, D. L. Moody.” *
COMPEL THEM TO COME
Once, when walking down a street in Chicago, Moody stepped up to a perfect stranger and said to him, “Sir, are you a Christian?”
“You mind your own business,” was the reply. Moody replied: “This is my business.”
The man said, “Well, then, you must be Moody.”
But maybe you don’t want to be as ‘pushy’ as Moody?
The master in Jesus’ parable about the wedding banquet told his servants “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in
, so that my house will be full.” (Luke 14:23)
“Compel them to come”
is a pretty strong term, don’t you think?
Perhaps Spurgeon said it best: “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
James 5:20 (NIV) remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death
and cover over a multitude of sins
Dr. A. T. Pierson (1837 – 1911), pastor both in America and at Spurgeon's Tabernacle in London, and leader of the
Student Volunteer Movement, wrote:
There is a secret fellowship with God where we get this heavenly fire kindled within,
and it makes personal work for souls easy, natural, a relief, and
a rest. To linger in God's presence until we see souls, as through His eyes, makes us long over them with a tireless longing.”
“This passion for souls is probably the highest product of spiritual
communion with God. It absorbs us, and even our own salvation is
forgotten in that passionate yearning which made Moses ready
to have his name blotted out of God's book for Israel's sake, or Paul willing to be anathema for the sake of his brethren. It seems to me that such passion is the highest form of unselfish love, and the nearest approximation to the divine motive that impelled the Lord Jesus Christ to empty himself of his original glory and majesty, and assume the form of a servant, enduring even the cross. No man can kindle in himself that celestial fire; it must come from the live coal from the altar above."
John Harper (1872-1912) was a Baptist pastor who began preaching at age 18. In 1897, he
became the first pastor of Paisley Road Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland. Under his care, the church quickly grew from 25 members to over 500. At the time of the Titanic disaster, Harper was 39 and a widower with a 6-year-old daughter. *
* SOURCE: https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ John_Harper_(pastor)
In 1912 he was traveling with his daughter and sister to Chicago to preach at the Moody Church when the ship hit an iceberg. His daughter and sister were put on a lifeboat and survived, but Harper stayed behind and jumped into the water as the ship began to sink. Some who survived told that Harper preached the Gospel to the end (especially Acts 16:31), first aboard the sinking ship and then afterward to those in the freezing water before dying in it himself. *
Dr. William B. Riley relates the story of John Harper. “When the Titanic was struck by the iceberg that drove in her sides and sent the ship to the bottom, John Harper was leaning against the rail pleading with a young man to come to Christ.”
“Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotsman arose in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada and said, ‘I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a piece of wood that awful night, the tide brought to me Mr. John Harper of Glasgow also on a piece of wreckage.
‘Man,’ he called to me, ‘are you saved?’
‘No,’ I said, ‘I’m not.’
He cried again. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.’ And the young man standing said the waves bore him away but strange to say, in a few moments brought him back and again he called, ‘Are you saved now?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I cannot say that I am.’
He said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.’ The young man said shortly after that he went down and there alone in the night with two miles of water under me I believed. ‘And I am John Harper’s last convert.’”
Do you love Jesus?
How can you show your love?
Jesus told us.
Simon son of John, do you love me?
Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.
Jesus told us - feed his sheep (John 20:17). That includes the ‘lost sheep’. (Remember the parable of the 100 sheep?)
Feed my sheep!
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