The Bible greats each had their hearts burdened for people’s salvation. The heart for people was manifested by Moses when he said, “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written” (Exod. 32:32). Paul said, “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise” (Rom. 1:14). The Lord Jesus wept for the city, lamenting, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
This heart wasn’t relegated to Bible characters alone; it continued on through Christian history. John Knox cried, “Give me Scotland or I die.” John Wesley declared, “I look upon all the world as my parish.” Upon landing in India as a missionary, Henry Martyn shouted, “Now let me burn out for God!”” Billy Sunday prayed, “I want to be a giant for God.”
This heart isn’t relegated to famous Christians either. Many teachers pray for their students; pastors their parishioners; businesspeople their clients; physicians their patients; grandparents their grandchildren; and parents who weep over their prodigal children.
We may profess to have Jesus first in our lives, but our attitude toward witnessing reveals most clearly our level of discipleship and commitment to other priorities. While other concerns are important, the kingdom of God, its expansion of people, and the expansion of His righteousness should be our first priority (Matt. 6:33). Only when we make Him first do we give Him sovereignty over the rest of our lives and priorities. This is the only win-win scenario. Once we worry about our own needs, our priorities will naturally not be fulfilled by our human strength (Matt. 6:19, 20).
The work above all work,—the business above all others which should draw and engage the energies of the soul,—is the work of saving souls for whom Christ has died. Make this the main, the important work of your life. Make it your special life-work. Cooperate with Christ in this grand and noble work, and become home and foreign missionaries. Be ready and efficient to work at home or in far-off climes for the saving of souls. . . . O that young and old were thoroughly converted to God, and would take up the duty that lies next them, and work as they have opportunity, becoming laborers together with God! Should this come to pass, multitudes of voices would show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light (Sons and Daughters of God, 274).
Through prayer, ask the Lord to place a supernatural burden in your heart for another person. Look for opportunities to share Jesus with them. See what sicknesses (emotional, physical, and spiritual) they hold and lead them to Christ. Before asking for the burden, search your heart for whether you know Jesus yourself through the Scriptures and prayer. As we cannot effectively share someone we do not know personally, surrender your life to Christ and be a soul-winner.