A Mission With a Name On It
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My friend Dave got tired of wearing glasses. But if he didn't, he was dangerous. After consulting with a specialist, he determined that he was a candidate for this new Lasik eye surgery. During the procedure, a laser beam was aimed at the parts of his eye that limited his vision and the light of that laser changed everything. Guess who doesn't need glasses anymore? All because of the power of focused light.
For someone you know, for someone you love, their only hope of ever seeing Jesus may be the power of focused light. And you are God's laser to their life. We're not talking about you trying to single-handedly reach for Christ everyone in your town, or everyone in your school, or your workplace, or your neighborhood. We're talking about you focusing your love and prayer and efforts on one person you want to have in heaven with you; someone who, if they died today, probably wouldn't go there.
I call it a mission with a name. Not just some general, non-specific concern for the "lost" or the "unsaved." We're talking about a mission; a burden with a name. Like Andrew had. He may have been the first of Jesus' disciples to recognize who Jesus was. John 1:40-42, our word for today from the Word of God, describes how Andrew was introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist and started following Him. It goes on to say, "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah.' And he brought him to Jesus." Andrew had a mission with a name, one person he was committed to tell about the Jesus he had found. And he brought him to Jesus. And we know what God did through the life of the one he brought - Simon Peter.
We know that Jesus' heart is for just one lost sheep. Matthew 18:12 says, "Will he not leave the ninety-nine (that's the sheep who are already in) on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?" Going after one. When you follow Jesus, that's what you'll be doing. That doesn't mean you'll ignore the other lost people around you, but you'll start with one person God lays on your heart as you ask Him to. Then you pray for that person by name every day.
You pray for God to open their heart, and to open up natural opportunities to tell them about a relationship with Jesus Christ. You look for ways to love them in their language of love, demonstrating Jesus' love for them in practical ways that will respond to some need in their life. You tell them your Hope Story of how Jesus is changing your life. You focus the light of Jesus and your efforts on that one lost person.
In a previous generation, a man named John Wanamaker was one of the most looked-to and successful businessmen in America. His department stores were some of the most successful in this country. He was also a lover of Jesus and a Sunday School teacher. One day he wrote laboriously hand-copied letters to each member of his large class. What he wrote to them has really touched my heart, and its message is still a cry from God's heart to our hearts today. He said: "If you are saved, humbly trusting in what Jesus did when His love failed not on the Cross, think of others not saved - going to the eternal darkness; your friend, your relative and do something!"
"Settle your mind and heart on some particular person to pray for and work with and not give up on until that person has come to Christ. Your help is in God. It is an undying soul you are laboring for. Oh, what a pleasure it will be to have some newborn soul beside you at the next supper of the Lord. Do not put off a single hour. Hearts grow harder and colder every day and Eternity is near." Then he signed his letter, "Yours in the hope of heaven and to win our friends to go with us."
God's already speaking to your heart about that person He wants you to pray for, to work for, It's your mission from heaven; your mission with a name. Someone who may one day walk up to you in heaven and say, "I'm here because of you."