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.*
Read Ezekiel 22:30-31 from your Bible.
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.
Prayerfully consider what you have read today. Then take a few moments to pray for yourself, your students, and others with whom you serve in ministry.
“I still, from my armchair, preach in great revivals. I still vision hundreds walking the aisles to accept Christ. I still feel hot tears for the lost . . . . I want no Christmas without a burden for lost souls, a message for sinners, a heart to bring in the lost. May food be tasteless, music a discord, Christmas a farce if I forget the dying millions; if this fire in my bones does not still flame. Not till I die or not till Jesus comes will I ever be eased from this burden, these tears, this toil to save souls.” -John R. Rice, age 85
(Part of a 1980 Christmas letter dictated a few days before his death)**
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*W. Herschel Ford, Sermons You Can Preach on John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 338.
**Curtis Hutson, ed., Great Preaching on Soul Winning, (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers), preface.
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