When I say the words “unsaved friends and loved ones,” I imagine the images of certain people form in your head. We all have people that we love whom we pray for because they do not know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. And we constantly ask God to fill us with His wisdom so that we say the right things and live the right way to draw those individuals to a realization of their need for Jesus.
Recently at Thomas Road Baptist Church, where I serve as pastor, our members began writing down the names of people they want to see come to Christ. A few days ago, many of our staff and I met together to pray over those names, calling them out one by one and specifically asking God to work in those people’s lives.
Charles Spurgeon said, “I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this — the measure of the intensity of your prayer.” We have been passionately beseeching God to move in the hearts of people because we want to see them in heaven. We are asking God for miracles and we are going to keep praying, ministering, doing whatever we can to see our friends and loved ones come to Jesus.
Here’s a three-point suggestion on how we can all be about the business of seeing our friends and loved ones come to Christ.
1. We must tell. We have a duty to tell and to live our lives so that people see Jesus in us. In John chapter 9, after Jesus healed the blind man, the Pharisees had many questions about how he was healed. And the man didn’t really understand all that had happened. And when the Pharisees accused Jesus of being a sinner, the man replied, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (NKJV). We don’t have to be great theologians to speak out for Christ. We simply need passion to see people follow Him. The blind man’s testimony was powerful because he simply told what Jesus had done for him. That’s what we must do too.
2. We must grow. As a father, I enjoy helping my kids learn and grow. It gives me great joy seeing them mature and develop in their lives and in their faith. As believers, we have a responsibility to help other Christians grow in their walk with God. How do we do this? We pray with them, study the Word with them, encourage them, possibly mentor them. Investing in others is a joy, especially when we see others (as well as ourselves) growing closer to Jesus.
3. We must send. We need to be involved in sending out others who take the Gospel across the globe. At TRBC, we do this through church planting, pastoral training, youth outreaches, missions work, and many other areas. But as believers, we have a personal responsibility that starts in our own backyard and carries into the four corners of the world. We need a desire to be difference-makers in our world, for God’s glory. We need a desire like the blind man of John 9 so that others will see and know the Risen Christ.
These three points are a model of discipleship. We were all once sinners, but when we are saved, we are to become obedient and joyful servants of Jesus Christ. Are you telling? Are you growing? Are you sending? We all need to be more committed to these requirements and, if we are, we can literally change our communities, our nation and our world. Jesus wants to change lives. But He needs us to be about the job of telling others about Him.
Your Friend in Christ,