The Apostle Paul had a great passion for souls, stating in Romans 9:1-3 —“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
The men and women who have made the greatest impact throughout church history—had this same zeal to see those lost in sin come to Christ and find the forgiveness of God. They were people who spent much time on there knees pleading for souls. THEY HAD A BURDEN FOR UNBELIEVERS!
How can we develop this type of a burden for souls? Let me suggest three steps toward such.
1. PONDER- Look In & Get In Touch With Yourself
In John 4 Jesus goes into an area where the Jews would not go. Samaria was not valued in the mind of a respectable Jew especially the Samaritan women at the well who had been with 7 men. Yet Jesus goes out of His way to talk with her and lead her to saving faith. His disciples were puzzled why he would do such a thing. Jesus was not only wanting to lead this dear women to saving faith but He wanted the disciples to gain the same burden He had for lost souls. He led each of them to see that they lacked a burden for down and out sinners and that the first thing they needed to do to gain a burden was to see they did not have a burden. The first step they needed to take was to look deep within and admit they really did not care about this women. They needed to acknowledge their need for a burden for souls.
2. PRAYER— Look Up & Get In Touch With God
The second step to developing a burden for souls is prayer. Effective evangelism always must include prayer. When you spend quality time with Jesus, His burden will become your burden and His priorities will become your priorities. Jesus proclaimed His purpose for coming to the earth in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus purpose for coming to earth was all about people, and the more we are in connection with Him the more we will become like Him get to Him. As we spend time with Jesus His passion for souls will become ours as well. His purpose will become the driving force in our life.
Peter and John's boldness in sharing their faith came from spending time with Jesus, Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Intimacy with Jesus develops within God’s children a passion for souls and the boldness to share our faith with them.
John Hyde, a dedicated missionary to India in the 1800s would pray for millions of lost souls daily. With tears he would pray, " Give me souls, oh God, or I die!" This is the burden that each of us need to win souls to Christ.
3. Presence—Look Out & Get In Touch With People
The third step to developing a burden for souls is presence. You must seek to get in the presence of unbelievers, how close you are to them geographically and relationally will determine how much a burden you will develop for them. Personal contact will move you with compassion, Matthew 9 teaches us that as Jesus lifted His eyes up upon the fields that were white unto harvest that He gained compassion for the souls in the harvest. We gain influence in relationships which develop into friendship. In order to develop a meaningful relationship that serves as the springboard for sharing your faith with people, you have to be in their presence as you earn their trust. As we personally experience the great burdens of those trapped in sin we will gain the God given burden it takes to share the gospel earnestly for those He loves!
Thanks for the instrumental, great job with the lesson, the parking lot was nice and clear, your testimony means so much to me, your faithfulness encourages me, your singing in the choir adds a lot, I pray for your children , the Lord is working in their life, you did good, I appreciate all you do. These and countless other encouragements we can give may be just what someone needs today. It may make the difference from one being defeated and one deciding to hang in there and moving forward into victory! Word's are powerful. They can be the power to help or hurt. They can be the power to encourage or discourage.They can be the power that brings hope or dismay. May we choose to speak words of life not death.
Parenting today's teens is certainly one of the most difficult things anyone will do in their lifetime. And to make it more difficult it will take place in a fast span of of just a few years. Before you know it your teen will become a young adult and one of the most important times of your influence in their life has past by. Most parents of teens I have known are very dedicated and are working hard to lead their children to become God honoring adults. Yet most are concerned they are failing with their teens and are carrying great burdens for them.
Let me encourage each parent whose children are in their teen years. You are not a failure until you give up and quit. Stay in the work of parenting. Don't let up even when it seems as if the battle has been lost. Remain committed and never stop parenting the best you can even when it seems it is not going well. When your teen seems to disagree with you more often than not. When they are angry with you on a regular basis. When they seem to hate you and even say it! Don't give up on them and don't make it easy for them to give up on you! Do all you can to learn how to parent the best possible. Read good books, listen to good teaching on the subject. Pray much and stay in communication and relationship with them during these turbulent years. Seek council of other parents who have reared godly children and listen to that council. Make an appointment with a pastor or a councilor that may be able to help. Above all don't give up.
There are so many areas that could be focused on concerning rearing teens but today I have chosen to share HOW TO HAVE A GOOD DISCUSSION. I will share a very brief and small amount of helpful information but perhaps it will be what is needed today for some lonely and discouraged mom or dad to find heart to continue in this life changing work called parenting. Remember that often our discouragement and temptation to let up is because the problems look so large and unattainable but the answer is to take small steps one at a time. And to continue taking those steps of solution. Much of my inspiration for this blog came after reading an article from the ministry, Parenting Today's Teens. I have added my thoughts along with theirs. Hope it helps.
So many parents have been right where you are but because they did not quit they are experiencing rich relationships with adult children who are walking with the Lord. They did not quit praying, holding to God’s standards, practicing godly discipline and holding firm to their relationships with those they loved.
Tips To Have A Good Discussion
1. Relationship Is the goal!
Make sure your teen knows that even though the two of you may
disagree, you still want to have a relationship with them.
2. Set the rules for discussion!
Let your teen know the rules for discussion. No shouting,
no name calling, respect for authority, dedication to biblical truth,
a respectful and healthy discussion.
3. Set times to discuss disagreements!
Both take some time to cool down, to think clearly, write down your concerns.
Calm discussion is much better than when we are flying off the handle.
4. Keep the purpose at the forefront!
The meeting should never be about someone winning and someone loosing.
It is about understanding, the adhering of truth and restoring relationship.
It the midst of the battle don’t lose focus of the purpose.
5. Practice the discipline of listening!
Give your child time to talk. Listen to what they are saying more
then thinking about what you are going to say. Interruptions usually
are deal breakers.
6. Parents make the final decision!
Decisions can be made together and a wise parent is always seeking
to allow the teen to make good decisions. But the parent must reserve their
God given authority to make biblical decisions which are best for their teen.
Calmly state your decision and stick to it even when they protest.
Speak the truth in love.
7. Continually draw near your teen!
Above all else do not withdraw from your child during disagreements.
And do all you can to not allow them to withdraw from you. Yes give space
while there is anger but always draw close to your teen. Let them know how
much you love them no matter the outcome of the discussion.
8. Pray, pray, pray, pray.
Pray before, during and after your discussion.