(“He who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30 NKJV)
The last time we discussed what isn’t required to win souls for Jesus. We talked about the great power of God’s Living Word being enough for soulwinners to use, and that a dynamic personality isn’t required to get the job done. But, today we’re going to discuss what absolutely is required!
Jesus made it clear what are the greatest commands. He said in Mark 12:29-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these”.
Love is a much used word today. Singers sing songs about it. Poets write poems about it. Writers write books about it. People in the streets and in the media lament the fact there isn’t enough love in people to right the many wrongs in our society.
But what did Jesus really mean by telling us to love God, and then love other people? I think He was saying that one can’t exist without the other, and it’s futile to think that they can.
Sometimes when I see movies or TV shows I cry at happy endings. I did it just today when I watched “How Green Was My Valley”. There, I admitted it. I cry over movies and TV shows. I even do it with adventure movies that have happy endings.
I then come back to reality and almost slap myself up-side the head when I realize that the movie just displayed a storyline without a mention or thought of God being the true source of happiness and love. Writers, directors, and actors, however, are very good at tugging at our heartstrings. I don’t fault them for it, and I’ll very likely continue watching movies with happy endings, and I’ll probably cry at times.
But what’s the true love that Jesus was talking about? It’s Agape love, which C.S. Lewis termed “selfless, unconditional love.” It has no strings attached, and it’s offered freely.
1 Corinthians 13 is likely the most prominent scripture passage talking about Agape love. I won’t read the entire chapter as it would take too long. I’ll just pick two verses.
Paul wrote in verse 8, “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.” Verse 13 goes on to say, “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love – but the greatest of these is love.” So out of everything according to John, love, or agape love if you will, is one of the very few things that will remain after the world comes to an end in its current form, and love is the greatest.
1 John chapters 3 and 4 talk repeatedly about loving other people. I think the most well-known verse is 1 John 4:7, where John wrote, “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
So, two things are clear:
1. Loving God deeply, and loving others deeply are inextricably tied together. They can’t occur without the other. Anything else is just a guise or the false appearance of true love.
2. We love others because ‘love is from God and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God’
So, in conclusion, to be true soulwinners the first thing that’s required is for us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second thing that’s required is for us to deeply love other people.
See you next time,