Chuck Lawless recently shared a blog titled “6 Quotes that Challenge me as a Leader to Evangelize More”. http://chucklawless.com/2019/11/6-quotes-that-challenge-me-as-leader-to-evangelize-more/
The first quote hit me like a ton of bricks.
“If we do not win souls, we should mourn as the husbandman who sees no harvest, as the fisherman who returns to his cottage with an empty net, or as the huntsman who has in vain roamed over hill and dale.”Charles Spurgeon, “Lectures to My Students, 337
Have you ever felt like you let someone you cared about down? I have, and let me tell you what, it is not a good feeling. Well, this quote says that exact feeling is what we should have when we have failed to win souls.
I started writing this blog and immediately gave myself an out. As I have said before, give me a rule and I will find the loophole. My first thoughts were that I could go and share Christ and if someone still decided to not follow Him then I was okay because I had done my job. I cannot make someone choose Christ. I can only make an introduction and allow Him to work in their hearts in such a manner that they are led to Him. This is what I told myself as an excuse to not mourn. If I just do my job, I don’t have to worry about what happens. It is funny that as I typed that the first time, I wrote that I am in no way qualified to add to a Spurgeon quote, and in the blink of an eye I was proven right.
Just because we share Christ does not mean that we are absolved from caring.
WHEN OUR BEST IS NOT ENOUGH?
What if we try our best and it still does not draw others to Christ? We should mourn because of the knowledge we have that they are not going to share in Glory with us.
The farmer may have done everything right and still got poor results on the farm. The fisherman could have fished the perfect spot on a perfect day and still found empty nets. The hunter could have had the perfect vantage point with the perfect weather and still found nothing. The Disciple can share Christ at the right time and use the right words and still not find an open heart. That is life and although none of these necessarily did anything wrong, they still mourn because they did not bring anything home. They still feel that they let others down. Just as the families of the hunter, fisher, and farmer are relying on them to bring home dinner, so Christ has chosen to use us to bring others to Him.
Recently, I posted about starting a blog series on the Beatitudes and only got through the 1st one. I did not realize until I started writing this post that this will be part 2.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
Jesus continued, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
I started trying to write this blog a couple of times and never really saw where it was going until now. Blessed are those who mourn. What do they mourn? It is clear to me that they will be comforted by God. It is in our times of deepest sorrow that we feel God’s comfort the most. This leaves us with the original question still; What do they mourn?
Maybe, it is those who mourn the lost opportunities to witness, or those that mourn the ones who never accept the redemptive love that is only found through a relationship with Jesus Christ. What if we really mourned the lost souls the way we do lost loved ones.
1 LOST SHEEP
Matthew wrote the words of Jesus when telling the parable of the lost sheep: “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
As a parent I can relate to this. If one of my boys was lost, I would go to the end of the world to find him and bring him home. I wish I had this same conviction for bringing the lost to Christ. Imagine, if you actually lost sleep because of the lost. Imagine your heart breaking because you knew just one person who did not have a relationship with Christ. Now imagine that heartbreak when you start realizing how many lost souls are in the world tonight.
As bad as it feels to let someone you love down I can honestly say that missing an opportunity to witness can feel just as bad. I have shared my personal story before and part of that story was a time that I was running from God and was leading others down a dark path. I know that I missed opportunities during that time and I pray daily that those I was influencing during that time were able to see the Love of Christ somewhere else in their life.
CALLED TO MOURN
If we understand the Beatitudes as instructions, then we know that Jesus was calling us to mourn and I cannot think of a more deserving cause to mourn than the lost souls in this world. No matter how hard we try, what words we use, what truth we share there will always those who we cannot change. Those are the ones we mourn. The days we spread the seed of the Gospel and it seems to have missed fertile grounds. Those are the days we come home and mourn. We mourn for those who do not know Christ and we pray that He works in their heart as only He can to establish a relationship with Him.
It is my prayer tonight that I begin to live in mourning for those that do not know Christ and that He can comfort me through how He moves in their heart. I pray that God will open my eyes to the ways He can use me to share His Gospel with those who do not know Him.