What do you think? If someone has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go and search for the stray? In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
— Matthew 18:12,14, CSB
The very same interest shown for the lost sheep must be shown for deceived, sin-bound souls. You must not be satisfied with enjoying the society of those who think as you think, and who believe as you believe. In the souls of the impenitent you may see those for whom the Chief Shepherd has given his life. Your life, which you have given to Jesus, you are to employ in his work. You are to live humbly, not becoming self-important, but remembering that you are wholly dependent upon the mercy and pardon of Jesus for the salvation of your souls.
Jesus so loved man that at the cost of his own life he gave him another trial. There are many ways in which you can work to come close to hearts. If you ask the Saviour to give you the meekness and lowliness of his character, and teach you to work with wisdom, he will hear your prayers, and will answer them. Souls may be reclaimed, blinded and stubborn though they may now be. There is too little persevering, self-denying effort made to awaken their interest in their eternal welfare.
The lives of some are without peace or gladness because they never get out of the range of self. They are ever reaching out for sympathy from others. If they would go to work to see how helpful they could be, and would speak words of love and courage, their souls, now dry and sorrowful, would become like a watered garden.
You must learn in the school of Christ precious lessons of patience. Do not become discouraged, but keep at the work in all humility. It will drive you to Jesus; it will lead you to study the Pattern. You want to work as Jesus worked. Do not neglect to lay the whole matter before him; in humble, earnest prayer, plead for his grace to co-operate with your efforts. Jesus will surely hear you; and when that soul yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, you may rejoice, for you have gained that which is of more value to you than silver or gold,—an experience in bringing souls to Christ.
— The Youth’s Instructor, May 4, 1886
Dear Lord, You are good and it is not Your will that anyone should perish. Forgive me that I do not show more of an interest for deceived souls. I humbly give You my life to be employed in Your service. Teach me to work with patience and give me wisdom to speak words of love and courage to those who are stubborn. I plead for Your grace to combine with my efforts. Fill me with the Spirit of God that I may have an experience in bringing souls to Christ!