Many years ago, one of our good friends on the mission field was a man named Graham. He was a deep thinker who loved to encourage other believers to follow the Lord, sometimes by using unconventional methods to grab their attention.
One day after church, Graham was asked to give a ride home to a couple of teenagers from the youth group. A horrible murder had taken place in their town just a few days earlier. Graham tried to discuss what had happened with the youngsters, but was met with stony silence. All efforts to discuss the event were ignored. After driving for about twenty minutes, Graham casually rolled down his car window, and in full view of his passengers, he tossed a small paper bag onto the side of the road. The young believers were shocked! They angrily denounced his action with disgust and condemnation. When they had calmed down, Graham asked why they hadn’t shown any anger or concern at all about the murder victim or his family, yet his simple act of littering had riled them so much.
Friends, much of what happens in Christian circles today is like that. Much church activity majors on minor things, and minors on the major things that are most important to the heart of God.
For example, billions of dollars are spent on elaborate church buildings in much of the world, despite the Bible declaring “the Lord of heaven and earth does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). Meanwhile, the other half of the world’s population has never seen a Bible or heard the gospel even once in their lives.
The Canadian pastor Oswald J. Smith once famously stated, “No one has the right to hear the Gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” If the Body of Christ had a focus like that, the world would be a very different place today.
Christians should regularly examine our hearts to ensure we are focusing on things with real eternal value; so that we will be investing our time, energy and resources on the things that matter to the Lord Jesus Christ, who declared, “God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Because it’s so easy to lose focus, we ought to pray fervently, asking the Lord to open our eyes and help us to have the same priorities that He has.
You are probably familiar with the huge humanitarian agency World Vision, which sponsors children in impoverished nations around the world. Are you aware of how World Vision started in the 1950s? Its founder, Bob Pierce, had little money or influence, but he loved God. He wanted to make his life count, so he got on his knees and prayed, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
The Lord answers sincere prayers like that. Bob Pierce has long since passed away, but the work he started continues to touch the lives of millions of children throughout the earth.
We pray that you, dear friend, will also have a heart that beats with the same purpose as the heart of the Lord Jesus. Please also pray for us and all those we work with throughout Asia, that God would cause us to always be focused on the things that matter most to Him.