When Gypsy Smith was converted as a boy, he became interested in his Uncle Rodney’s salvation and began to pray for him. In those days it was not considered proper for a child to speak to his elders unless he was spoken to, especially about spiritual matters. So the boy prayed and waited for his opportunity.
One day the uncle asked, “Laddie, why are your trousers almost worn out at the knees?”
The boy answered, “Uncle Rodney, they have been worn out through praying for you. I want so much for God to make you a Christian.”
The uncle put his arms around the boy, and a few minutes later fell upon his knees and cried out to God for salvation.*
I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord Yahweh (Ezekiel 22:30-31).
Gypsy Smith was burdened for the salvation of his uncle. For whose salvation are you burdened? For whom do you find yourself praying, longing that God will move in their life? A student in your class? A friend or a neighbor? A work associate? Or does this burden and passion for lost souls seem to be absent from your life? Many believers lack a passion for the salvation of lost people because they live too much in this world—they are not eternally-minded, storing up treasure in heaven and living in the reality that everyone they meet will either spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus or in hell, separated from God forever to pay the price for their own sins.
*W. Herschel Ford, Sermons You Can Preach on John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 338.
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