During my ministry years of “globe-trotting” around the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East, I was invited by a long-time friend and supporter to visit his large architectural firm. His firm was located in the southeastern part of the USA in an upscale office building. My good friend (who is also the owner and CEO of the firm) gave me a tour of the entire enterprise that day. During the tour, he introduced me to all of his staff. As we walked around from office to office, and from cubical to cubical, I meet quite a few of his employees. He always introduced me as “a missionary who travels prolifically into many countries around the world.” This generated some very interesting conversations with each new person that I met.
Toward the end of the tour, I arrived at the office of a middle-aged man who shook my hand and listened to my friend introduce me as a “world traveler”. This gentleman smiled as he shared with me his own passion for world travel. He shared with me some of the countries where he himself had visited. Then, he started showing me some of his collections from the various countries where he had travelled. He had a menagerie of various knick-knacks from all over the world. Then, he leaned back in his office chair, looked me in the eye and said, “So, from all of your travels, what do you collect?” I truly felt like I was listening to my own self speak as I blurted out without the slightest hesitation: “Lost souls! I collect lost souls!”
I rejoiced to hear myself say this because I knew that my time spent “hanging out with Jesus” was the only reason that this was in my heart of hearts. When Jesus Christ is our Mentor, He changes our worldview, our value system and our mission in life. I am ashamed to confess to you that I could write many more short stories that reveal how often my heart strays from Christ and pursues “soul diminishing success” of this world. I too have many empty and hallow collections of the stuff of life gathering dust in the closet of my heart just like so many other Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. But, praise be to God, my Friend, Jesus Christ, is relentless in pursuing my heart and changing my value system “so that He might have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18).
Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. There is no higher calling than pursuing the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is built brick-by-brick of the precious materials of formerly lost souls who are now found. It is the love of Christ that is the mortar that holds these bricks together forever in His Kingdom.
Dear friend, what do you collect? Wood, hay and straw, or gold, silver and precious gems – lost souls for the Master! Here is my challenge to you and me: let’s you and I press onward toward being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to this “perverse and sinful generation” in order to gather in those lost souls that Jesus has already destined to be a part of his precious international collection. Men and women, boys and girls from every tongue, tribe, people and nation to the glory of God through Christ!