Passion for the Lost

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Salvation is only the beginning of God’s plan for us. He wants to remake us in the image of His Son.

Salvation is only the beginning of God’s plan for us. God’s heart is about more than that.  I have heard it said, “Salvation is only five percent. Ninety-five percent is yet to follow.” If forgiveness of sin and being set free from eternal hell is the only reason for life, then after conversion the best thing would be for us to be taken away from this sin-ridden, temptation-filled earth. But God doesn’t do that. Why? He wants to remake us into the image of His Son. 

Remember when the Greeks came to Jesus and asked Him to come away with them? The Jewish people were going to kill Him, and the Greeks wanted Him to come away and be their philosopher and teacher. But Jesus didn’t go with them. He had come to die. In response, He said to them, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). Jesus set His face like a flint toward Jerusalem—towards death and towards the Cross. He never turned away to save His life.

So if Christ is within you, all these manifestations of authentic, radical life are not just mimicking behavior. It is not like you are modeling yourself after someone you admire. This behavior is part of your very being. His thinking and His life are in you. The more we become like Jesus, the more we able to see His deepest concern, the lost world, the dying masses. No longer do we strive and push hard to make ourselves do it. We don’t think, “The world is going to hell. I must do something about it.” No. It is not like that. It is a natural outflow of His compassion, His love, His pain, His agony and His prayer. He is the reason and motivation for all that we do.

Scripture says, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his Cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37-38). How difficult it is for us to grasp what Jesus is saying. Our mind doesn’t want to know it. We say, “I can’t do all He asks of me. At every turn my flesh seeks its own comforts and desires.” And it’s not just father, mother, son, daughter, brother and sister that He asks of us. It is loving Him even more than our own lives. If you cannot walk away from your own ambition, your wife, your children, your future, your health, your safety, whatever you want that He may call you to leave behind, then you cannot be His with the full intent He has in mind for you. Jesus said “goodbye” to all that He knew. He said “goodbye” to His family and followers. Finally, He said “goodbye” to His own life. He lay down on the Cross and let it go. And He asks of us, “Would you do the same for Me?”

Brothers and sisters, when we talk about obedience to Christ, we are not talking about mere activity. It is life involvement, a commitment for whatever burden He places on our hearts—for whatever He wants us to do. It is sharing His heart and then letting Him guide us in whatever way He wants to change our generation. Obedience to Christ is walking in obedience and becoming more like Christ so that it might be said of us, “He or she has been with Jesus.”

Please believe me.  You may struggle with a thousand things, but they will all be resolved with Jesus. He will live through you. He will speak through you. He will tell you what to do. His humility will be yours. His passion will be your passion. One question I am frequently asked is, “What keeps you going? What motivates you?” And I can only answer, “The more I come to know my Lord, the more I am driven and compelled by what He wants, not by what I want.”

 

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