Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Romans 12:15 which reads: “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
Allow me to share with you some important insights regarding this Scripture from David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible:
This is how we can fulfill the command to be of the same mind toward one another. It is a simple command to be considerate of the feelings of others instead of waiting for them to be considerate of your feelings.
Our soul winning quote today is from Thom Rainer. He said: “We who are Christians can win many to Christ if we just demonstrate the love that Christ commanded us to show. The hurting world waits for people just like that.”
Our soul winning devotional is part 74 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.
Evangelism Is…Empathy with Action (Part 3)
It is easy to read John 11 and lose sight of the two insightful words, “Jesus wept.” After all, Christ does eventually raise Lazarus from the dead! It is understandable that such a miraculous event would steal the thunder for the moment.
The problem is that it is too easy to celebrate the supernatural acts of Christ without seeing His humanity. Here we are encouraged to feel and hurt for those we serve. This is especially true when it comes to being effective in evangelism.
Jesus’ example should encourage us to live empathetic lives. Contemporary culture is crying out for genuine Christianity, not lifeless religion. So what is empathetic living?
1. Empathetic living is never forgetting how it feels to be lost. It is hard to empathize with the unsaved if you have forgotten what your life was like before you surrendered to Christ. For a glimpse of this concept, go to Revelation 5:4. John is in heaven kneeling before the throne of God. He notices several scrolls being grasped by the One sitting on the throne. He then realizes that if no one steps out to open the scrolls containing the redemptive history of humankind, then everyone is destined to spend eternity in hell. John’s response was to cry uncontrollably for fear of a lost eternity! We must display the same urgency in our daily lives for the unsaved in our spheres of influence.
2. Empathetic living is taking what Satan means for destruction and turning it around for the glory of God. Everyone has a testimony of God’s grace and love. It may be the loss of a friend, personal illness, loss of a job, or the challenge of a disability. Being the liar that he is, Satan will try to use difficult times to pull you away from God. In reality God is sufficient and wants to use your testimony to celebrate His wonders and empathetically to point people to Him!
3. Empathetic living is relating to the emotional pain of hurting people. Learn to relate to the pain of others. Hurt with them. Pray for them. Share Christ with them!
4. Empathetic living is living an authentic life, not hiding your warts. Part of living an empathetic life is learning to live with your personal struggles and shortcomings (warts). People in today’s culture are not looking for perfect examples to follow. Rather, they would prefer that you identify with them as flawed human beings. In doing so, people are more comfortable developing relationships, thus it is easier to open the door for gospel conversations. Remember, accepting and loving people is not the same as condoning their sinful behavior!
5. Empathetic living is proclaiming complete restoration through Christ. The ultimate outcome of putting empathy into action is to see hurting and unsaved people restored through the power of the gospel. By becoming vulnerable enough to feel a person’s pain, you are living out the message of Christ to people in need of a Savior.
In our next broadcast, we will look at why evangelism is…Sharing Your Story.