I received the following reflection from Rev. Howie Shute. Howie and his wife Bev served for many years in the Horn of Africa as missionaries with the Church of the Nazarene and were part of a truly amazing movement of God in those countries. Currently they serve as pastors of the Victory Hills Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City, Kansas. I pray that Howie’s words would pierce our hearts and drive us to pray the same prayer that God is teaching him.
Rev. Howie Shute
It is a wonderful thing to be around people, who are on fire for the Lord and want to be used in the Kingdom, multiplying Jesus-followers and planting churches…Bev and I were thrilled to be a part of a movement in the Horn of Africa, but we have hungered to see God move in a big way again here where we minister.
God has spoken to me very clearly during this past week. If I can paraphrase what I have heard from the Lord, it is this:
Howie, you have a desire to multiply Jesus-followers through a network of organic churches in Kansas City and beyond. You want to reach un-churched people and especially those living in broken homes. This is good thing but your desire to do this is more out of a sense of ought-ness than it is out of a broken heart for the lost.
Wow! There are times when you hear from the Lord that He really shakes your world. This was one of them. He’s right (of course)! He always is! As I thought about my desire to reach lost people, I recognized that it was a sense of ought-ness that has given me vision to reach the lost of our city. If people without Jesus are lost and will miss out on heaven, then we ought to share Jesus with them. What other conclusion can we come to – especially when we know that the Bible is clear that there is another destination for those who do not personally know Jesus?
We hate to even say the word. I don’t really want to put that word into writing even now. It’s too terrifying even to think about. Hell is a very unpleasant subject. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go away just because we ignore it. It doesn’t disappear if we don’t believe in it. We can’t escape it even if we think that we are too good to go there. We either have a personal relationship with Jesus or we don’t. If we have not entered into a relationship with God by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, then we are lost and on our way to this place that is too dreadful to mention. Hell awaits all who are not following Jesus. This terrible thought ought not only to give us a sense of ought-ness, but it should break our heart.
That’s what I’m putting at the top of my prayer list in these days. “Oh, God, break my heart for the lost!” Will you join me in this prayer? Pray for me that I would have a broken heart over the lost. Pray for yourself also. If our church were full of people with hearts broken over the lost, then God would use us in a big way to reach people for Jesus.
As we develop a more passionate relationship with God, he will give us his heart and his heart is broken for the lost. And if God answers our prayer to give us greater intimacy with him and to break our hearts for the lost, we will see some amazing things happen throughout our city and the world. So pray with me, “Break My Heart, Lord.”