Loving the Lost

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ESV 2 Peter 3:9

When I think of my spiritual formation, I think of things that make me better. Reading my Bible, loving Jesus more, praying more, etc. Rarely do I think of those who are far from Jesus, those who don’t even consider their own spiritual formation, those who may or may not believe in God. However, as I learn the heart of Jesus, I’m realizing true spiritual formation involves developing a passionate heart for those far from Jesus.

Jesus Himself acknowledged He didn’t come for the well, but for the sick. He didn’t come to be served but to serve. He didn’t come for the found but to seek and to save the lost. Peter comments in the verse mentioned above that Jesus hasn’t returned to earth yet because He wants to give just a little more time for those who haven’t repented of their ways to come turn from perishing and embrace the life of Christ. Jesus reminded the Samaritan woman God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. Even John reminds us God’s love for the world was so great He provided the death of His Son Jesus to secure the salvation of all who believe. Truly God is committed to saving the lost, and any spiritual formation that takes place in my life must reflect this passion.

My Growth Group is working through a series on how to share our faith, and I’m loving the response of our members. Several were sharing on Tuesday how in the past, they never considered the fact that their co-workers were lost, but now they regularly recognize that and are looking for opportunities to share their faith. As we grow in the mind of Christ, we begin to realize the true spiritual condition of those around us and work to bring them into a knowledge of the awesome gospel. The more we grasp our own forgiveness and position in Christ, the more we yearn for others to experience the same thing. Perhaps this is why Paul in the book of Romans, after writing about God’s grace and our salvation, admits he would give up his salvation if it meant the salvation of His people. May we share his passion.

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