Stirring Affections for Evangelism
Encouraging Christians to share the gospel can be difficult. To be a person who has the mind to reach their coworkers, community, and family with the gospel of Jesus is what God calls each and every Christian to be ready to do. This does not mean that every person is called into vocational ministry but that every believer has been called into faith and by that has become a new creation and a minister of reconciliation. So how do we become ministers of reconciliation seeking to share with the lost? Even with an abundance of resources outlining the exhortations of the Bible commanding us to be ready to give a defense, and the numerous tracts which seek to simplify the gospel in order to share it concisely and quickly with someone you may know, we still struggle to regularly share our faith with others.
That brings us to a question, how do we as the beloved of God come to a place where sharing our faith becomes not so much a burden, but an outpouring from an overflowing heart? How to do we get to a place where we see unbelieving men and women around us who have sold themselves to every vice and sin, and weep with prayerful hearts for an opportunity to utter the greatest hope of the world which is Jesus Christ crucified for sinners? The answer I believe is much more simple than we think, yet much more profound than we as fallen men and women give it credit: seeing the glory of God through the cross of Jesus Christ, or in more direct terms- the Gospel. Lets take a look at a passage in the OT which is widely preached on but has great implications for what we are talking about:
(Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV) [6:1] In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.  And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
The first thing to notice in this passage is that Isaiah “saw the the Lord.” We see the vision taken further by what Isaiah saw, the seraphim flying around God were calling one to another, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Seeing God in his holiness and majesty, as the creator of the universe, as the sovereign and loving God he is, is the first step toward growing a heart for the lost. We must begin here for it brings us to place that Isaiah comes to in verse 4 and 5. Our response as believers in Christ, when we come into the presence of God, is always brokenness in the admittance of our inability to stand in the presence of God due to our sin. In verses 6 and 7 we have a shadow of what God accomplished on the cross of Jesus. Isaiah is made clean through the forgiveness and forbearance of God in Christ. Following this, we see that the response of us as believers when we come into God’s presence, and are broken in our sin, and forgiven- we are obedient to God’s call, “Here am I! Send me.” Again, God does not expect all people to be full-time vocational missionaries, but he does expect us all, as believers in Christ, to be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in us(1 Peter 3:15), being lights and salt in the world(Matthew 5:13-16).
If we are to have a true heart for others that comes from humility, we must remember we are forgiven much and loved by a gracious Father who owed us nothing. Paul’s life illustrates this perfectly for us. As someone who saw himself as the chief of sinners, who put to death the people of God, he was struck that God’s love should be showered on him. He knew the love of God in forgiveness and was humbled by it. We know him as being used by the Spirit to produce the majority of books we have in the New Testament, and as an amazing missionary, yet according to Paul even though he had worked harder than anyone it was not him but grace through him(1 Corinthians 15:10). I hope that we can continue to learn not only justification reconciling us to God is come by through the gospel, but the gospel is also the driving force of our sanctification. If we are day by day reminded of the depth of the love of God in Christ Jesus to know it and savor it, then we can not help but share it with others. There could be no greater motivation.
(Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.