Reaching the Lost at All Costs
Words from Jesus
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“Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter replied, ‘you know I love you.’ ‘Then feed my lambs,’ Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter said, ‘you know I love you.’ ‘Then take care of my sheep,’ Jesus said. A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.’”—John 21:15–171
Sharing My Word and love with people—feeding My sheep—can be trying and difficult. Sometimes you’re tired and you don’t feel like getting out of your comfort zone to go out into the highways and byways of life. But still, you step out to share My truth with others and minister to them, and your faithfulness to do so shows them My love for them. Your perseverance in reaching out to them shows you love them and have a heart for them and makes you a good witness, whether they receive it or not.
You don’t have to feel inspired to be a witness to others, or have a vision for their future, or feel a deep love for them. It can help strengthen your resolve if you do, but being faithful to share the good news doesn’t depend on any of these things. It just depends on your obedience and faithfulness to preach the gospel to the people I place in your path day after day, to provide the answers the lost need to find their way Home, and to share My truth with them. This is how you show your love for them, and as you do, all these other things will be added to you—the inspiration, the vision, the love. So regardless of how you may feel, continue to feed My sheep. Do you love Me? Feed My sheep.
What truly matters
You don’t have to have gone through the exact same experience that someone else has in order to help them. You have your own history of experiences that you can draw on when you’re witnessing and reaching others. You may have had a very different life from the person you’re speaking to, but you’ve had your own set of struggles and difficulties‚ and if you’ll let Me, I can use that to help you sympathize with others and comfort them with the same comfort that’s always been there for you.
You’re called to be a witness, and I’m not going to call you to do a job that I haven’t prepared you for. You may not have had the same experience as the people you are trying to reach with My Word and truth, but you have gone through your own unique set of learning experiences that you can draw on, especially if you are receptive to the power and wisdom of My Spirit.
You don’t have to have experienced the worst of the world to know that there is a better way. You’ve had dreams that were disappointed, you’ve had a broken heart, you’ve faced confusion and loss, discrimination and bias. You know what it’s like to find that I’m the only answer, your only solution, the life raft in the turbulent sea of troubles that you’ve found yourself in at times.
The difference in your life experience and that of the people you are reaching will not prevent My Spirit from working through you to provide an example of My love. The heart of man is the same in many ways the world over, regardless of circumstances; most people yearn for happiness, love, peace, satisfaction, and to know that they matter in the big picture. You’ve experienced these desires and needs as well, because I have faithfully prepared you throughout your life and will continue to prepare you, so that you can be an effective and fruitful witness.
The only difference that truly matters when reaching out to others is that you know the truth and the way through My Word and presence in your life, and the lost souls don’t know this. I have chosen you and commissioned you to share that truth with those who have not yet found it.
Shining your light
The light is seen most clearly when it’s surrounded by darkness, and you have a lot of light in that little candle of yours. You have so much—the riches of My truth and Spirit, and the joy of serving Me, your faith, and all the other things that you live and breathe every day.
So many people in the world live in such confusion. They know that many things in their lives aren’t working well, and it’s not just a cliché to say that they don’t know the answers. They honestly don’t. They see the problems, but are too lost to find the lasting solutions. What you know and have learned from My Word and your life of faith is vital and provides answers to many of society’s problems.
The world often portrays pride, for example, as a good thing and the path to success. The world teaches people that they should believe in themselves as #1 and they should place themselves and their personal needs and desires first before others. And yet My Word teaches you, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”2 When you step out and share this word of wisdom that pride is destructive, this truth can be enough to alter someone’s worldview and change the way they interact with everyone, ultimately turning their life around.
That is only one of the many misconceptions that people have been taught and may sincerely believe. You have access to so many of the answers to the issues of life that people need. It’s easy to be familiar with the truth that you have, and to feel inadequate or as if you don’t have much to offer. But I have called and ordained you to be a light in the midst of darkness, food to the starving, water to those dying of thirst. I have called you to search and seek out those who are confused and lacking answers, and to freely share what you have freely received.
The truth may shock some, and may be almost more than they can stand at first. As you slowly measure out My Word and truth at a pace in which they can receive and assimilate them, you will have the privilege of seeing a child of the world being reborn into a child of God before your eyes. It’s a beautiful, thrilling experience!
I have granted you both the calling and the ability to reach out to the lost with the truth and to feed My sheep. As you share what you have with others, you will witness the precious treasure of lost souls reborn as you help them find their way Home.
Originally published November 2007. Adapted and republished September 2018.
Read by Simon Peterson. Music by Michael Dooley.