During the first decade of my childhood, my family had a big wood-burning stove in our house to keep us warm in the winter. There was one thing that we always had to keep in mind: keep the fire stoked so that it will stay hot. I remember distinctly watching my dad, or doing it myself as I got older, put that poker into the fire and work it around to stoke the flame. Within seconds that dying fire would blaze up brightly.
Much in the same way, we must have our Gospel urgency stoked. Life, laziness, and laxness zap the fire in us that pushes us to go share the Gospel as far and wide as we can and as quickly as we can. From time to time and perhaps more often than we like to admit, we need to have that urgency rekindled. Here are ten practical ways to stoke your urgency for the Gospel:
(1) Pray to God to keep you stoked and to help you see people’s spiritual need. Your first answer in all spiritual deficiencies is to call out to God who has all the resources in the universe and desires to equip you.
Whatever it is you need to complete a task He’s given you, He will provide. As you get on your face before God, asking Him to stoke you up, the Holy Spirit that indwells you will fill you and that fire will begin to blaze. And, while you’re there on your face before God, ask Him to give you His eyes for people so you might see them as He sees them. These eyes of flesh will mislead us, but when we look with the spiritual eyes of God, our hearts will break for those that do not have Christ as their Savior.
(2) Get outside of your Christian bubble to be reminded there are truly lost people. Intentionally or not, many of us live inside a Christian bubble. We have Christian friends and listen to Christian music and read Christian blogs and watch Christian channels, but there is a lost and dying world out there that we can easily become oblivious to.
That’s why we must get outside our Christian bubble to be confronted with lostness, to be reminded that things are not as they should be, to realize afresh how badly this world needs Jesus.
(3) Hear the voices of those who are already suffering torment. While you and I might not actually be able to hear the voices of those who are already suffering torment, we can certainly read the testimony of them in Scripture. In Luke 16:19-31, we get to hear from a rich man who died and went to Hades. His testimony is one of agony, torment, and great fear that one of his loved ones would come and experience the place where he was. Voices like this one should drive us to compassion, pity, and love for those who do not know Christ because it should break our hearts to think of any of our fellow man going to experience what this man was experiencing in the Bible.
(4) Set a goal for how many times you’ll share the Gospel. Setting a goal is one of the most practical ways for us to accomplish that which we believe to be important. Whatever becomes a goal is what will be accomplished. It is also a way to challenge us to grow in sharing the Gospel and to measure that growth. Maybe your goal is to share the Gospel one time this week. If that’s one more time than you shared last week, then amen. That’s growth! Maybe your goal is three times a week or once a day or twice a day. Whatever goal you set is fine as long as it’s a challenge to you and helps you accomplish God’s purposes in your life as a witness for Him.
(5) Create a list of people to pray for and share with. A simple tool to help us keep that fire stoked is to create a list of folks that we are praying for and plan to share the Gospel with. This makes lostness personal. It puts a face and a name to our outreach. It may be a coworker, classmate, family member, neighbor, or someone else.
Whoever’s on that list, that list will help you to focus your spiritual energy on these people so that your heart will be ablaze for them. I would suggest doing a list of three to five people.
(6) Die to self. What is the greatest barrier to you sharing the Gospel with someone else? I bet that it’s selfishness. At least that’s what I see as the greatest barrier in my own life. Would you be so transparent as to agree that that’s true for you as well? We say things like, “I don’t want that person to think I’m a fool,” or “I don’t want to ruin this relationship I have going with this person,” or “I don’t really have time to share the gospel right now.” All of these excuses are selfish.
We must die to self! In other words, we must live for others!!
(7) Love someone to life. Have you heard someone say, “I just love him to death!”? How about if you instead loved someone to life? Sharing the Gospel with someone is the most loving thing that you can do, and it is the power unto life. So, let love stoke up your fire, and don’t stop loving until you have loved them to life.
(8) Stay as close to Jesus as possible. Jesus is on a mission. He has come to seek and save the lost, and His mission is to be our mission. The closer that you and I are to Jesus, the more you and I will live out His mission and the hotter our fire will burn for those who are lost.
(9) Pursue the joy of evangelism. “Joy” is probably not the first word that comes to your mind when I say “evangelism,” but it should be.
First, you have been commanded to share the Gospel, and what great joy there is in being obedient to what God has commanded us to do. Second, is there a greater joy then being used by God to bring someone to Christ? Even Heaven erupts with a party when a sinner repents (Luke 15: 7, 10). Great joy awaits you as you share the Gospel!
(10) Never forget their fate without Jesus. The fate of those who die without Jesus is flames forevermore. Their worm will never die. Their flame will not be extinguished. Eternal, conscious, physical torment awaits them. If there is any heart in you at all, this truth will drive you to share the Gospel as passionately and as quickly as you can so that no one faces this fate.
May your urgency for the Gospel be ablaze!