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Day 04 / 04.07.23 / Pastor Benny Ho, Senior Pastor, Faith Community Church Perth

Day 4: The value of a lost soul

ACTS 17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.

The apostle Paul would go down in history as one of the greatest communicators of the Gospel. He took the Gospel, which is of Jewish roots, and communicated it effectively to a Gentile world. 

In Acts 17, the apostle Paul was in Athens. His reputation has gone before him and he was a wanted man by the religious authorities.

We don’t need more programmes or more campaigns or more strategies. We first need to feel the lostness of man.

If you were to trace his missionary journey, you would have noted that in Antioch, he was persecuted and abused. In Lystra, he was nearly stoned to death. In Iconium, he was slandered and attacked. In Philippi, he ended up in jail. In Thessalonica, he was subjected to a riot. In Berea, he had to be escorted out of the city. And that took him to Athens, the intellectual pinnacle of Greek civilisation.

What Mecca is to the Muslims, what Jerusalem is to the Jews, what the Ganges river is to the Hindus, Athens was to the intellectual elite of that time.

It was a city that was filled with intellectuals and philosophers. This was where human wisdom was sought after and worshipped. Athens was the eye of Greece. It was the arts centre of the ancient world. Luminaries like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great all came out of Athens.

This was also the place where evangelism was at its hardest because the Bible tells us that the message of the cross is foolishness to the wisdom of the world.

But, standing in Athens, Paul felt the pressure of the lostness of man upon his own soul. In verse 16, he says that he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.

Now this has got to be the inner posture of the evangelist. And this is why we need to see Singapore turn Godward.

We don’t need more programmes or more campaigns or more strategies. We first need to feel the lostness of man.

You and I can never effectively communicate this Gospel to the lost, we can never turn Singapore Godward, until we can feel the lostness of man upon our own souls.

When we think about our unsaved loved ones and colleagues and friends and neighbours, do we feel their lostness? Do we value their souls?

In Luke 15, Jesus told us three parables that spoke about the value of lost people: 

  1. Luke 15:1-7 talks about the lost sheep.
  2. Luke 15:8-10 talks about the lost coin. 
  3. Luke 15:11-31 talks about the lost son. 

In each parable, the focus is not on those who remain in safety but, rather, the concern is always on the one who was lost.

This is true throughout the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus. In each instance, something of great worth was lost and the owner must go through much inconvenience and pain to find it back.

What a fitting picture of the value of the human soul in the eyes of God.

Do we feel the pressure of the lostness of man upon our own souls?

The highlight of each of these three parables is found in the closing verse and every one of them speaks of the value of a human soul.

In Luke 15:7, Jesus said: “I tell you that in the same way, there will be much rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.” 

In Luke 15:10: “In the same way, I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 

Luke 15:32: “… but we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost but now is found.”

That’s the value of the human soul.

The question I have for all of us today is: Do we feel the pressure of the lostness of man upon our own souls?

This is where we must begin in order to turn Singapore Godward. Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we come to you in humble repentance to acknowledge our lack of compassion for the lost.

May You take our hearts and place them next to Yours so that our hearts can beat in tandem with Yours. Let our hearts be broken by the things that break Your heart.

Grant me a passion for souls and a compassion for the lost.

Let us feel the pressure of the lostness of man upon our own souls, until we see Singapore turn Godward. In Jesus’ name! Amen.


Download a PDF version of today’s devotional here.

/ Reflect
  • How do the three parables in Luke 15 reflect the heart of Jesus’ ministry on earth?
  • What might be preventing you from feeling the pressure of the lostness of souls around you?
  • Is there one thing God is prompting you to do to feel His heart for the lost souls in this world?
/ Pray
  • Is there anyone you find it difficult to pray for? Ask God for His eyes of love, His heart of compassion and His desire to save. He does not condemn. He convicts. He renews our mind and changes us from the inside out.
  • Ask God to bring to mind three people in your life who have yet to hear or accept the Gospel. Look out for the opportunity and courage to share, in love, the message of salvation.
  • Yearn to be a servant and saint for Christ. (Philippians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 5:15), yielding selfish will and worldly comfort to His Kingdom purpose.