It has been said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." The same principle applies when it comes to sharing your faith. Let me ask you, do you care about those who do not yet know Jesus Christ? This burden for lost people will make all of the difference in how effectively you share the gospel. But only God can place this burden on your heart.
All of the teaching on the techniques of evangelism or how to answer difficult questions will be of no effect if you don't care about lost people. I suggest to you that what you may lack in technique and the ability to communicate, a heart of compassion for people can make up for. Better yet, if you have this heart and also improve in your technique and in your ability to communicate, what a powerful combination that would be.
Matthew's gospel tells us that Jesus looked at the multitudes and was moved with compassion for them. This was the heart of Jesus for people. He cared about them. In spite of the busyness of His schedule, He always took time for the individual, like the woman who spent all of her money on doctors, without result, and thought that if she could touch the hem of Jesus' garment, she would be healed. And she was. The Lord stopped what He was doing and commended her for her faith.
Then there was Jairus, with his very ill daughter who later died and was resurrected by our Lord. He went out of His way to go and touch this little girl.
John 3 tells us about Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night. I am sure that the Lord already had a long and draining day. He experienced weariness like any other man would. Yet He took time for this religious leader who was seeking answers to his spiritual questions. Jesus always cared about people. We should as well.
We need to recognize that people who do not yet know the Lord are not the enemy. The devil is the enemy. Those who don't know Christ yet are held captive by the devil's power (2 Timothy 2:26).
Remember, at some point in your life, you were one of those people. So was I. Then God graciously used someone to speak to you. That person touched your life and you responded to the message of the gospel.
Are you being one of those people in someone else's life? Are you being an instrument that God can use to touch those who do not yet know Christ?
Souls are of the greatest value to God and they should be to us as well. Jesus compared the multitudes to a crop that needs to be harvested. He said to His disciples, "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35).
Notice that He didn't compare people to blades of grass or sands of the sea or dust in the wind. He compared them to ears of corn or stalks of wheat. It was the idea of a crop that needed to be harvested. If you were a farmer, you would realize that every stalk of corn was valuable. You would take that corn to the market and sell it. You would take it home and feed it to your family or share it with others. None of it was to be wasted.
In the same way, God values every human soul. So much so that He sent His own Son to spill His blood for us. The souls of the multitudes are valuable to God, just as the crops are valuable to the farmer.
Everyone is valuable. Sometimes we will place value on certain people who we think are attractive. We might say, "I wish that person would come to Christ." That is fine. God wants to reach them, but what about an unattractive person? What about that person whose life is messed up? What about that drug addict? Every soul is valuable to God. We need to see people that way. Each one is a soul whom God values and cares about.
If crops are not harvested, they will simply fall to the ground and rot, and birds will come and eat them. God is saying that the crops are valuable. The people are valuable. He wants you to see them that way too.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!