Investing In People Through Prayer
By David J. Stewart | October 2019
Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Notice that the Holy Bible does not say where your heart is, there will be your treasure be also; it says, “WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO.” So you make the investment FIRST! A lot of Bible students fail to make this distinction. The way to develop concern, feelings and love for someone is to invest in them by praying for that person, thinking about their burdens and needs, and putting them in remembrance the Bible says. Philippians 1:3-4, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” What a beautiful Bible verse! The apostle Paul said he thanked God every time he remembered “all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi” (Philippians 1:1b). Paul had made an investment in them, by thinking and praying about them.
What saith the Scripture? Colossians 1:9, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” 1st Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us.” 2nd Timothy 1:3, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.” What saith the Scripture? 2nd Thessalonians 3:1, “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” Hebrews 13:18, “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”
That is how I can love my web visitors whom I have never met in the flesh, because I thank my God and pray “upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). Every time I author and upload another article to the internet, or upload a sermon to impact your life for God, I am making a further investment in you dear friend. YOU ARE MY TREASURE! Therefore, my heart is with my many web visitors. 2nd Corinthians 3:2-3, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” Your Christian testimony dear reader is a long formal letter known and read by all men. Psalm 90:9, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.” God's influence in your life through my humble diligent ministry labors is known and read of all men. One soul saved is worth more than all the gold in the world!
By thinking, writing, working, praying and caring about others, my heart follows. That is why I genuinely love the people at the Harvest Baptist Church on Guam, because “without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.” For where our treasure is, there will our heart be also! I pray for night and day “upon every remembrance” of Harvest, my neighbours, my family, my web visitors and the people in my life. 1st Samuel 12:23, “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.” Very few believers walk close enough with the Lord to care enough to pray for others. What saith the Scripture? Philippians 2:3-5, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” That was the mind of Jesus.
The Lord had a lowly mind. That's right! Jesus thought of others as being better than Himself. Can you imagine that? The sinless, perfect, only begotten Son of God was so humble in spirit, that He esteemed others as being better than Himself. If our perfect Savior could live like that, then so ought we! Proverbs 13:10, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Very few believers (and I mean very few) have ever truly been humbled in life. A truly humble Christian is so lowly in mind, that he or she considers others better than them self. Such a person refrains their tongue from gossiping, because who are we as woeful sinners to point fingers at other sinners? Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Jesus is “MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART”! What a beautiful truth! Our Lord was very kind, gentle and reserved. He had boldness when He preached the truth, but when not proclaiming THE TRUTH he was a quiet mannered man, a gentleman, who did not impose Himself upon others. When Jesus' friends asked Him to stay for dinner and remain for the night, “he made as though he would have gone further” (Luke 24:28b). They had to compel Him to stay, and Jesus gladly did, because He really did want to stay but He did not want to impose upon them. That is how wonderful, gentle and lowly our Savior is! I want to be just like Jesus.
The Peace and Joy of Investing in Eternal Things
There is a wonderful truth to be learned if we examine the surrounding context of the passage from which our text verse comes. The Savior said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). Jesus was comforting His followers (disciples) concerning worry over material provisions in this temporarily earthly life. The Lord teaches us that even the birds do not labor for their provisions, and yet God feeds them. In a global effort between nations, founded as a safety net for the world's food supply, scientists have already stored 930,000 seeds (representing about 5,000 species of plants) into a manmade built “Svalbard Global Seed Vault” in Norway (800 miles above the arctic circle). In the following amazing and encouraging Scripture passage, the Lord said that the world worries about what they will eat and drink, but the Lord commands all people to rather, “SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” ...
Luke 12:23-34, “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
This is such a precious passage of Scripture. The Lord is teaching us that IF WE INVEST IN ETERNAL THINGS, then our heart will follow, and we'll stop worrying about worldly provisions. Notice in Matthew 6:30b that the Lord said: “O YE OF LITTLE FAITH?” You cannot have faith and worry at the same time! The moment that you start to worry, you've stopped trusting; and the moment your start trusting God, you'll stop worrying. WE ALL WORRY! I am guilty of doing it too. I worry what will happen financially in the future. Will I have food on the table? Will I end up homeless son the streets? A lot of people are worried about that nowadays, and for good cause! The average cost for rent per month in Los Angeles is now $2,389 and in San Francisco it's $3,709, forcing tens of thousands of people into homelessness! What saith the Scripture? Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The preceding lengthy quote of Scripture from Luke 12:23-34 simply means that we ought not worry, as does the world; but rather, through the IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST (being born-again) we as Christians will inherit ALL THINGS with Christ. Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” The heathen world thinks, works and plans for a financially secure future here on earth. Yet they cannot take a single penny of their amassed wealth with them into eternity. 1st Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” I am SO GLAD that I am investing in Heaven through my ministry labors. Our time is running out. I am 52 years old already. I am amazed how fast my life has gone. To be honest, I am glad it's behind me, because I want to go be with Jesus. My father went to Heaven at age 76. My mother went to Heaven at age 65. So my days are numbered. Most of my life is over!!! I could be in eternity by sundown (and so could you). Every day in this world 16,000 children under age 5 and 3,000 teenagers die. Folks, we are all living on borrowed time from God!
Proverbs 11:28-29, “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” There is a completely different mindset between the worldly person who emphasizes wealth gotten in this lifetime, versus the righteous person who by faith invests for eternity. I am going to invest for eternity! We don't hear enough about laboring in prayer for God. Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” When we PRAY for someone, we are making an investment in them, and also laying up eternal rewards in Heaven. 1st Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us.” We should all pray to be more Christlike. Prayer is work, which is why few believers do it. As we just read in Colossians 4:12, the apostle Paul said Epaphras was a prayer warrior, “labouring fervently for you in prayers.” The more time that I spend thinking and praying about others, especially my Christian brethren, the more I love them and feel connected to them.
Prayer is the Way to Develop Love for Others
Our precious Savior Himself prayed for His own. John 17:9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” As Christians all we have is each other. If we don't love and pray for one another, no one else is going to do it. You don't have to spend a lot of time with someone to love them deeply, all you need to do is spend quality time praying for them over a period of time. There are people whom I barely know, yet I love them deeply because I have spent much time praying for them. I have web visitors whom I dearly love, because I have spent time thinking about their burdens, counseling them with the Word of God, and often praying for them upon their remembrance.
If you desire to develop a deeper concern and Christlike love for others, I challenge you to make a prayer list and pray for others. It doesn't matter if we see the results of our prayers or not, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2nd Corinthians 5:7). I'm going to keep praying no matter what, because I “HAVE FAITH IN GOD” (Mark 11:22b), and not because I see any results. God commands us to “Pray without ceasing” (1st Thessalonians 5:17). Oh, how Christians need to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! When we don't pray and abide in the Scriptures, we are telling God that we can make it on our own and don't need His help. I SURE NEED GOD'S HELP!!!
In the following life-changing Scripture passage, I find it more than a coincidence that the Bible mentions having a pure thought life along with praying about everything. There seems to be a correlation between thinking wrong and not praying...
Philippians 4:6-9, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
What sets the law-abiding citizen apart from the career criminal? They think very differently, that's what! Colossians 3:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” The Word of God has the power to TRANSFORM a person into Christ's image. Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Notice that the Holy Bible says our “MIND” is transformed. That is why the Bible commands us in Philippians 4:8-9 to “THINK ON THESE THINGS.” What we think about determines how we live. That is why I love listening to lots of Bible-preaching. I listened to Alexander Scourby read Galatians, Matthew and Genesis from the King James Bible yesterday. I listened to Proverbs today. That is why I am always sharing quotes from Bible preachers, because quotes help us to think right. We all need THE TRUTH!
“I believe any man in this world, can love any other man in this world, if he thinks right! The reason you hate is because you think hate. The reason you love is because you think love.” —Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon, “What The Law Could Not Do” (July 5, 1987 - First Baptist Church of Hammond, PM service).
Love is not going along to get along. Love oftentimes means going against the crowd. Ephesians 4:14-15, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” I know the pain of soul caused by being rejected, ostracized and shunned by churches for simply “SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE.” Jeremiah 5:31, “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” People haven't changed, only the date on the calendar has changed in 2,500 years.
Soulwinning is the Master's Business
Genuine prayer should compel us to care, and desire to be better soulwinners. Something is VERY wrong with this dead type of Christianity today that wants to gather around the Word, while the world dies and goes to Hell. Like anything else, soulwinning needs to be implemented, encouraged and scheduled in a church (or it won't happen). Door to door soulwinning WORKS!!! Laziness is the enemy of soulwinning! Any church can grow if they'll simply go out and knock on doors, preach the Gospel, and invite people to come to church (Acts 20:20). Do we really care about lost souls?
Sadly, the churches today have deteriorated into money-making businesses. The Devil is replacing New Testament Bible-believing churches with counterfeit churches like “The Elevation” church in Charlotte, North Carolina. God never intended for local churches to become entertainment centers, country clubs, stores and museums for rotting spiritual corpses. Our churches are messed-up because our pastors and congregations are THINKING WRONG! Any church that allows a dozen Bible versions is corrupted in their thinking. Any church that promotes Martin Luther (1483-1546) as a hero of the faith, after being told THE TRUTH, that Mr. Luther taught Sacramental Salvation his entire life, is corrupted in their thinking. Any church that allows or teaches the heresy of Lordship Salvation is thinking very wrong! I say to Dr. John MacArthur and any corrupt Baptist church that promotes him... GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN!!!
Wrong thinking leads to wrong living! That is why pastors need more hard-Bible-preaching than anyone! Kindly, I am sick of these apostate leadership seminars today (e.g., Tom Farrell, Steve Pettit and Les Ollila) who are as shallow as a kiddie-pool. The pastors who train in these dead cemeteries hobnob with the business community and do nothing for God. They don't build churches, they take over existing ones and ruin them! These are good men (as far as good men go), but none of them have the fire of God in them! Their brand of Christianity lets the world go to Hell, while they are making filthy lucre. All these men represent lukewarm Christendom today. They are in a dead camp of neoevangelical Christians today who are idly Sitting On The Premises instead of Standing On The Promises!
“As long as I've got breath to breathe, I'll not dip my sails. Let me tell you something—This battle we have tonight is a battle between the new-evangelical crowd and fundamentalist crowd. What it is!” —Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, "Nebuchadnezzar, God's Servant"
They frequently speak of “wisdom” from the pulpit, but their influence never leaves a close-knit circle of ministry buddies and beneficial acquaintances. They coddle snobby businessmen in their churches and Bible colleges, doing absolutely nothing to promote soulwinning. Harvest Baptist Church on Guam is a sad example, who don't have any local soulwinning programs at all. I never even heard the word “soulwinning” in all the time I attended their church. That is why so many new-evangelicals (aka, the Bob Jones University crowd) hate Dr. Jack Hyles, because he did more to promote soulwinning than any preacher in history, and he puts them all to shame for not being soulwinners...
Into All The World (an awesome MP3 by Pastor Jack Hyles; Soulwinning is everybody's job in every place)
1st Kings 18:17, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah,
that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?”
The Gospel In Just One Minute (by Pastor Max D. Younce)
Proverb 29:10, “The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.”
Ecclesiastes 7:18b, “...he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.”
END OF ARTICLE
“The Lord gave the
word: great was the company
of those that published it.” —Psalms 68:11
Why There's A Hell (MP3 sermon by Pastor Danny Castle)
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —2nd Thessalonians 1:8
Ye Must Be Born Again! | How to Be Saved
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!