Wednesday, August 8, 2018
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One of the large churches in our area started a new building and they announced it would be for community outreach. But they did something I've never seen a church do before. They gathered the congregation around the just-completed foundation of that new building and they asked them to throw something into the foundation. Now you've no doubt seen people's names on the outside of a building's foundation, especially on the cornerstone. But these folks were actually putting names inside the foundation-the names of people they care about who don't belong to Jesus yet; people they are hoping and praying will be in heaven with them some day.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Names in the Foundation."
That's what should be at the foundation of every church, every ministry, every child of God-the names of specific lost people who we want to rescue. Here's a great example of how it's supposed to work. It's in our word for today from the Word of God.
In John 1:41-42, we find that a young fisherman named Andrew has just discovered Jesus Christ. Notice his very first instinct: "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah'...And he brought him to Jesus." Notice the first thing that happened was that Andrew had a name laid on his heart, a specific person he wanted to have meet Jesus as he had. And we all know what a world-changer Simon Peter turned out to be because of someone who loved him enough to bring him to Jesus.
There's someone like that in your life; someone who may never make it to Jesus if you don't bring them. And God is trying to plant their name deep in the foundation of your heart, so that person becomes your own personal spiritual mission from God. You need to begin to pray what I call the 3-open prayer on their behalf right now: First, "Lord, open a door." That's a natural opportunity for you to bring up your personal relationship with Jesus. Then, "Lord, open their heart." In other words, do things in that person's heart or life that will make them surprisingly ready to hear about You. And, finally, "Lord, open my mouth." Give me the courage, the words, the tone, and the approach. Let's try those: "Lord, open a door. Lord, open their heart. Lord, open my mouth." By the way, you don't have to pray, "If it be Your will." It is.
It's one thing to talk and pray generally about all those people out there. It's something else to have a burden with a name; a burden that acknowledges your personal responsibility to be the one to introduce that person to Jesus. That's why Jesus put you in their life in the first place! You've been divinely assigned to them.
And lost people should be the consuming passion of every Christian church, every Christian ministry. Our Lord's personal mission statement was to "seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10). How can ours be anything less than that?
For all of us, it's just so easy to fall into doing what's easy-which is to have a ministry that's "all about us", "by us", "to us", "with us". But Jesus is all about "them." We've got to ask Him to help us see what He sees when He looks at the people all around us. They are the future inhabitants of hell, unless someone intervenes with the love and the hope that only Jesus has.
So would you make the names of some lost people that you want to be in heaven with you part of the foundation of your life, your priorities, your passion, your prayer. They're why He came, and they are why He put you where you are.