Love the Lost, 1 Thes 3:12

The most effectual ministers of the gospel are those who love the people to whom they are ministering.  This love is not merely human love; it’s the love of God.  And it was most apparent in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not only did he dearly love his disciples, but He loved us when we were lost. Like Christ, we should love the lost.

Rom 5:8 God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Eph 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins…

You see this love for the lost manifested in Mk 10:21 when Jesus loved the rich young ruler.

As this love was in Jesus during his earthly ministry, likewise this love is in us.

The last thing Jesus prayed in Jn 17:26 is that the love wherewith God loved Jesus would be in us.  His prayer was answered with the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Gal 5:22 the fruit of the Spirit is love.  

As we grow, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Rom 5:5.  Notice, the shedding abroad of his love is mentioned in the context of Christ dying for the ungodly, Rom 5:6, and God commending his love toward us when we were sinners, Rom 5:8.  

As his love was directed to the lost, so his love in us should also be directed to the lost.

We should love the lost like Jesus does.

Eph 5:1-2 we are to follow God and to walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.

1 Thes 3:12 we are to abound in love one toward another, and toward all men…

The prayer we should pray as we pray for the lost is that God would help us to love them the way he does.

I would appreciate you praying for me to love the lost like Christ does so that they will see the love of God for them manifest in us.  And I will pray the same for you.  In this way, our preaching of the  gospel will become more effectual, by God’s love and grace.