by Shane Rielly
21 June 2015 at Bedfordview AM
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by Lance de Ruig
Keir Tayler and I have just come back from the country of Montenegro, after having met (literally) all the Christian leaders in that whole country. There were three. One guy has been there for 25 years and has only 30 people in his church. Another guy has been there for 15 years and only has seven people in his church. He has just suffered a church split where his deacon took a whole lot of people with him, but they have nowhere to meet so they don’t even fellowship together.
That’s not easy. But caring means nothing if God doesn’t change our hearts.
Here’s how this motivates me. Montenegro might be on the other side of the world but I ask myself this question: What is stopping South Africa from being like that in a hundred years time? What is stopping our city from becoming like that?
I’ll tell you what’s stopping that from happening here: you and I telling others about Jesus.
You might never get a chance in your life to go to Montenegro or send money for the people there or do anything along those lines, but what you can do is care for your city, the people around you, and ask God to work on your heart. You can make sure that your children and your grand-children and your grand-children’s children grow up in a country where Jesus is loved and praised.
We can ask God to give us a heart for the lost simply because it’s something we say, or we can really let the reality of that sink in and mean it. Here’s a reality: 99 percent of Montenegro’s population right now is going to spend an eternity without Jesus. There are only three men giving up their lives to try and stop that from happening. So the question is, what are we doing?
Let’s open our heart to God and ask him to give us a heart for the people in our city, for the people in Montenegro and Eastern Europe, and the people of this world. This is about this world – this is about the fact that so many people are without God and hope. What are we doing? There are millions of people in Johannesburg right now without God and hope. We have a mission before us.
What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
What was it that made you believe it?
How should we “live” evangelism?
“Seeking and saving the lost.” Christ’s life can be summarised in that phrase. But if we’re honest, seeking and saving the lost is not our culture. Our culture is more about maintenance, self-centredness, and “I”.
The reality is this: if we don’t care for the lost and the fact that people are not being born again, we’ve got sick hearts. That’s why we want to focus on the heart with the theme My Heart // My Love.
When our heart is moved with the Gospel our heart has a love for our city and the nations of the world. Inward to outward. We’re trusting God to change hearts. We’re desperate to see revived hearts which care for the lost – hearts which know, deeply, the benefits of the Gospel; hearts that urge us to pray for others and trust for real opportunities where we can share this wonderful liberating Gospel. This sharing is a lifestyle.
If the Gospel doesn’t ignite our hearts we aren’t going to ignite other hearts with the Gospel! If the Gospel isn’t what we’re about, can we really expect ourselves to make it our life? Can we expect others to believe it? If we don’t feed on Jesus and nourish ourselves in Him (see John 6 for context) how can we have a passionate conviction to invite others to do the same?
Our city and our world needs the Gospel of Jesus. And God has commissioned us to bring this Gospel to a world without hope. As God works on our hearts in this respect, let’s talk about it!
So send us:
Everything will go up at our My Heart // My Love page.
Email your stuff to email@example.com.
Officially we’ll kick off the My Heart // My Love preaching series on 27 July (in the third term) and this will also include a Love Joburg evangelism focus on Wednesday nights at Bedfordview. But let’s not wait until then! Let’s have God work on our hearts now!