Saturday, March 31, 2007

A heart for the lost

Earlier this year a friend referred me to a little resource titled, "A Gospel Primer for Christians" written by Milton Vincent, Pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church in Riverside, California. I have been using this resource to memorize scripture and "experience the gospel more fully by preaching it to myself each day."

He says in his introduction, "God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness."

This morning I was able to sit for an unexpectedly long time in the quiet praying and reading through the "Prose and Poetic Version" of this Gospel Narrative and than I read it again along with all the scripture references.
Wow, what a refreshing time. It was the cup of cold water my soul needed. I am in desperate need of the gospel daily in my life. His great love for me. I want the truths of what scripture speaks embedded on my heart.

He writes in a section of Part I - Reasons to Rehearse the Gospel Daily, "A Heart for the Lost",
"What effect do such gospel meditations have upon Paul? What emotions do they produce in him besides the obvious joy he feels while reciting them? Paul bares his soul at the very beginning of chapter 9: "I have great sorrow," he says, "and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh."
Coming down from the heights of gospel meditation, Paul's heart was devastated by a burden for his fellow Jews to experience the saving power of the gospel. His burden existed long before he started writing, but it was undoubtedly intensified by his rehearsal of gospel truths in Romans 5-8, a rehearsal which inevitably led his thoughts toward the plight of those outside of Christ.
Hence, if I wish to have a 'Romans 9' kind of burden for non-Christians, I should become practiced at celebrating the gospel as Paul does in Romans 5-8. Over time, my joy in the gospel will become increasingly tinged with grief, and this grief-stained joy will lend a God-inspired passion to my ministry of evangelizing the lost."

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" Ephesians 2:8

You can obtain a copy of this little resource here.


Cyndi said...

I read Mahaney's book, "The Cross Centered Life" last year and it really hit home with me that I need to appropriate the gospel in my own life, daily. The gospel message applies to every area of my life, every day of my life, not just at the point of conversion.

I will be printing out this booklet and reading through it. Thanks so much!

Have a blessed weekend! :)

Terri | Sugar Free Glow said...

I just love Paul. :)
Thanks for sharing, I'm going to have to check the Gospel Primer out.


Linda said...

I am here via Cyndi's blog. I've seen you in the comments of so many of the people on visit, and I've wanted to come for a little visit long before this. So here I finally am.
Thank you so much for this post. I am convicted once again that I don't have the burden for the lost that God would have me to have. I am so sheltered in my own little world. This is a wonderful reminder to live the gospel and to share it with those who don't know.