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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 9, Chapter 1

Loving Jesus With All Your
Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength
 

Back to Section 8
Study Questions

Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30,

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your HEART, and with all your SOUL, and with all your MIND, and with all your STRENGTH."

What does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? To answer this question, we first need to go back and review our basic definitions of these words as given in Section 1, Chapter 8. They are the following:

Manís Spirit is the means by which he has God-consciousness and is able to communicate with and have relationship with God. It is also the means by which man receives Godís will and plan for his life. Finally, it is the vehicle through which spiritual gifts are given and manifested. (1 Cor 2:10-15).

Manís Soul is the means by which he has self-consciousness. Second, it is the medium between the spirit and the body. Third, it is what man becomes and manifests through his physical body in personality, vocation, and lifestyle as a result of heart response to, one, what he has learned through his mind body, conscience, and emotions; two, through what he has received from God through his spirit; and three, as a result of those abilities and talents God has chosen to give him individually.53 This is the reason for the resurrection: so man can continue to give expression of his soul-life through his body. In hell one continues to have self-consciousness, but opportunity to give expression of that soul-life is forever ceased which is what is meant by the destruction of the soul: no means to develop or give expression of the soul-life.

Manís Body is the means by which he has world-consciousness and is the means by which he relates to and communicates with the physical world through his five senses. Second, it is the means through which his soul carries out Jesusí love and plan for his life outlined in the Bible and revealed through his spirit through union with the Holy Spirit.

Manís Heart, the essence of his soul, is the part of man which decides how he will respond to what he has learned through his spirit, soul and body; through his mind, through gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, through the promptings of his conscience, and through his emotions. It is the volitional part of man.

Manís Mind an organ of the soul, is his computer by which he stores information gained through his five sensesóthe body, spirit, soul, conscience, heart, and emotions.

Second, before we can go further in dealing with each of these aspects of mans personality properly, we need to ask the question, what is the heart of Jesus? Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:9,

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:4 that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." The heart of Jesus, His most important priority in the Church and in our lives individually is Evangelism: bringing men and women to saving faith in Him.

WHY JESUS CAME

Why did Jesus come into the world? We read in the Gospel of John

"Jesus said to them, ĎMy food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, "There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest"? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.í" (John 4:34-35)

Jesus states in this passage that He came to do the will of His Father.

THE WILL OF THE FATHER FOR JESUS

What was the will of the Father for Jesus? Jesus gives us this answer in the Gospel of Luke 10:19, "For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

HOW JESUS SEEKS AND SAVES THE LOST

How did Jesus seek and save the lost? Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John 14:6, "I am the way, and the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me." The Fatherís will for Jesus was to seek and to save the lost by drawing men and women to Himself.

JESUSí WILL FOR US

Jesusí will for our lives is the same as it was for His life: To seek and to save the lost by bringing men and women to Himself. Jesus states in the Gospel of John 17:18, and 20:21: "As You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.... Peace be with you, as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

MOTIVATIONAL FOUNDATION OF JESUSí WILL FOR OUR LIVES

Dr. Bill Bright, who was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, wrote,

"Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and every Christian is under divine orders to be a faithful witness for Christ. Jesus said, ĎHerein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you prove that you are my disciples.í It logically follows that the most important thing I can possibly do as a Christian is to allow the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His Resurrection power to have complete, unhindered control of my life, otherwise he cannot continue seeking and saving the lost through me."43/2

The Scripture clearly shows us that the foundational motivation for Jesusí will for our lives is asking the question, Jesus in what career, life-style, and relationship with the opposite sex can I best be a light for you?

It is true that Jesus is coming soon, much sooner than any of us think. It is not true that He is coming soon because He wants to judge the world and send everyone to hell. Jesus does not desire to send anyone to hell. When Israel became apostate, turned away from God and focused on their own self-centered interests rather than those of God, God spoke to Israel through Ezekiel the prophet and said the following:

"ĎAs I live,í declares Adonai Yehovah, ĎI take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?í" (Ezekiel 33:11).

God sends no one to hell in pleasure, He loathes this option and only does it because man has given him no other option. Jesus, wants no one to go to hell. He wants men to turn to Him and be saved. But more than His grief over menís lack of knowledge of Him and turning to Him, Jesus is even more grieved over His people daily and deliberately saying no to taking the initiative to weekly go out and share His love and forgiveness with others and warn them of the wrath to come. Only as we take the initiative, volition, to go out and share Jesus with others, can men know of Jesusí love and forgiveness and know how to turn to Him and receive His salvation for them.

The heart of Jesus is Evangelism and if you want to please him, then the focus of your life and free time will be to do whatever you can as an individual with your talents and resources to do Evangelism and deliver others from the wrath of God to come and bring them into His blessed kingdom. With this in mind, we can now go on to discuss what Jesus means by loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

To love Jesus with all our Heart means to turn our volition to serve him with all our talents and abilities to the end of bringing others to Jesus. When we do this, we are loving Jesus with all our heart. We are also loving Jesus with all our heart when we exercise our volition to obey Him in anything else He tells us to do concerning any detail of our lives.

Our Soul is who we are? Our soul is the result of the decisions we make concerning what our focus in life is to be, the talents we choose to develop, the careers we chose to pursue and how we use our time during the week. Jesus created you and me and when He did He had a specific intended soul-life in mind for you and I individually. To love Jesus with all your soul means to let go of Your plans for your soul life and to surrender to and obey Jesusí instructions for you in the development of Your soul life. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-27,

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his soul shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds."

Jesus tells us in this passage of Matthew that if we insist on directing our own lives and pursuing our own choice of soul development that not only in the end will we lose our souls, but we will never know what the soul-life was He had in mind for us. We will never know why He created us in the first place. A person who pursues his own soul development is not a happy person because only the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy and peace (Gal 5:22-23). The fruit of the flesh is anger, confusion, frustration and disorder (Gal 5:19-21). Self-rule does not lead to any kind of peace. Since the heart and mind of Jesus is Evangelism, our prayer to Him concerning our soul development should be:

Jesus, in what vocation, life-style and relationship with the opposite sex can I best be a light for You?

"Jesus, what career can I go into where I can best be a light of Your love and forgiveness to others?" Or, "Jesus, how can I best use the talents and abilities You have given to me to bring others to Yourself." Not, "Jesus, I want to make lots of money, buy lots of things and travel all over the world. What field can I go into that will make this possible for me?" Jesus response to this is,

"For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds."

Therefore, to love Jesus with all your Soul means to give up the pursuit of your goals for your life and to surrender to the goals and soul development that Jesus has for your life; and to do this so He can use you in the best possible way to bring others to a saving knowledge of who He is so they also can surrender to Him as Savior and Lord and be saved and go to heaven and know the soul-life He created them to have. If you do this, when you do get to heaven, Jesus promises in Mark 10:29-30 that he will give you 100 times more than you could ever have accumulated here on earth by living only for yourself.

What does it mean to Love Jesus with all our Minds? It means to let go of your plans of intellectual development and surrender your mind to Jesus to allow Him to lead you into the development of your intellectual knowledge and skills He wants you to have. If Jesus leads you into a certain area of study it is because He wants to use you in that area of study to be a light of His love and forgiveness for Him.

What does it mean to love Jesus with all your Strength? This means many things. First it means giving Your Body to Jesus and allow Him to use it for His glory and to bring others to Him. Second, it means that once You know how you can best be a light and witness of Jesusí love and forgiveness, to then apply all your strength, energy, heart and mind to that end. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2,

"I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, happily-pleasing44 to God, which is your reasonable45 service. And do not be conformed46 to this age47, but be transformed48 by the renewing of your mind49, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and happily-pleasing and perfect."

2 HOURS A WEEK

If the Church were to bring one million people a day to Christ for the next ten years, we still would not have won half the population of the world. Sadly, the figures are way way below this, but this emphasizes just how important it is that all Christians are involved in regular weekly ongoing Evangelism. The task is so large that no one can have the luxury of taking a back seat. We all need to do our part.

We all have responsibilities, jobs, school, families and other responsibilities; so the call to Evangelism is not Jesus telling us to drop everything in our lives and do nothing but Evangelism. What is Jesus asking us to do? He is asking us to do something. If after completing this School of Evangelism, Jesus does not immediately lead you into a specific ministry of Evangelism outreach, then I recommend that you start with 2 hours a week. The Bible teaches that he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. If you try to do too much in Evangelism to start with, you will burn yourself out. I do not believe Jesus is interested in this kind of frenzied Evangelism. What He needs are faithful witnesses. By faithful, I mean that you make a decision, in agreement with the Lord and the Holy Spirit, to give so much of your time a week for the purpose of going out and sharing the Gospel with men.

Unless the Lord tells you otherwise, I recommend 2 hours a week to start with. A half hour to get to the mall, college campuses, door-to-door or parks, and a half hour to get home with one hour left over for actual time witnessing: 2 hours a week.

How much is 2 hours a week? There are 168 hours in a week. Let us assume the worst. Lets say that like tithing money you were to tithe your time for Jesus. 10% of your time a week would be 16.8 hours a week. That is a lot of time in a busy week. I donít even spend that much time witnessing on the field, but my point here is that 2 hours a week is not 10% of your time in the week, but only 1.2% of your total time in a week. Can You give Jesus 1.2% of your time in a week to go out and do the most loving thing you can do for another human being: share Jesusí love and forgiveness with them?

"We walk by faith, not by sightó we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men." (2 Cor 5:7-11).

SATAN WILL TEST YOUR COMMITMENT

As You make a commitment to serve Jesus in Evangelism, the enemy is going to attack you and try to do all he can to discourage you and get you to give up your commitment to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week sharing your Christian faith with others. He will attack you through relatives. He will attack you through Christian brethren. If that does not work, he will attack you through your finances. If that does not work, he will attack you directly. He will do all he can to discourage you and wear you down in your commitment to go out and share the love of Jesus Christ with men. Only as you commit yourself to love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength no matter the obstacles, will you find the strength to over come Satanís obstacles. The apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:8-10,

"Be sober, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."

As committed as you are to sharing the love of Jesus with others, Satan is even more committed to stopping you from sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others. The only way that you will be able to over come Satanís obstacles is by being committed to Evangelism no matter what the obstacles are by keeping and maintaining a heart for the battle. You maintain a heart for the battle by keeping in your weekly schedule time for going out and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others and then committing yourself to not allow anything from interfering with that time. This means going whether you feel like going or not. This is loving Jesus with all your heart. This means going at the time you have committed yourself to go when doing so means missing upcoming events, losing a girl friend or a boy friend, the acceptance of your relatives, the loss of a job, the loss of Christian friends and anything else you can lose in this life which is what it means to love Jesus with all your soul. It also means committing yourself to spending a certain amount of time during your week to study Christian apologetics as the Lord leads you to be ready to give an answer to any question that may come up, which is what it means to love Jesus with all your mind. Finally, it means going out and sharing your faith as planned, even if your car breaks down by taking the bus, walking or riding your bicycle to get there, which is loving Jesus with all your strength. If you do not make this kind of commitment now, all this school of Evangelism will have meant for you is a lot of wonderful knowledge in your head. James, Jesusí half brother, taught, in the book of James 1:23-25, that to not put into practice what you learn in this book is to be,

"Like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was."

But in verse 25 he tells us that the person who puts into practice what he has learned in this school of evangelism shall be blessed in what he does. Jesus promises us in His word that if we will endure whatever obstacles that we may encounter that he will bless us and give us His power to overcome. The Apostle Paul assures us in 2 Thessalonians 3:3, "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." He further assures us that our work is never in vain in the Lord. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:58,

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

Finally, in Galatians 6:9 Paul tells us to not lose heart no matter how tough the going gets, but to keep a heart for the Battle. He wrote, "And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary."

If you are to bear fruit for Jesus in Evangelism, you must be committed to do it no matter the obstacles and determine to keep a heart for the battle no matter what the obstacles are. Make a commitment right now. Pray the following prayer to Jesus:

Jesus, I commit myself to a minimum of two hours of my time a week to go out and aggressively share Your love and forgiveness with others and purpose to not allow anything or anyone or any circumstance to get in my way to prevent me from keeping this commitment. I acknowledge my total 100% dependence on You to live this commitment out and so pray for Your Holy Spirit grace, strength, might, and power to live this commitment out. Thank You Jesus for the answer to this prayer, in Your name Jesus, amen.

Unless Jesus tells you otherwise, start with only 2 hours a week. Donít try to do too much to start with. Learn to have victory over Satan in two hours of your time a week, then you will be ready to take him on in greater projects. Jesus said that he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. When you have victory over Satan in little, then you will be ready to have victory over him in much.

Congratulations. You have finished this Basic School of Evangelism and are fully equipped and ready to go out and attack Satanís territory head on. Go out and take his kingdom from him Jesus purchased with His blood.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for Yehovah your Elohim is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Recommended Further Reading:

Rebecca Brown, MD. Prepare For War. Chino: Chick Publications. Copyright 1987 by Rebecca Brown.

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