September 20, 2017
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The New Pastor's Training Manual

Devotionals for Pastors - Lover of Souls
By Ed Wrather

DAY 2

Lover of Souls

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. - 1 John 3:16.

In 1999, Julia Hill had literally been up a tree for the past two years. The name of the tree is “Luna.” It is an old growth redwood 15 feet across and 18 stories tall. “Luna” is representative of the trees Julia and others wanted to see saved from the logging companies. Julia endured much trying to save these trees. She cooked meals on a propane stove, took sponge baths, used a bucket for a bathroom, and was never completely warm during the winter. To deal with temperatures in the 40s and lower she was wore several layers of clothing. She communicated with the outside world through a cell phone. What she missed most was the ground beneath her feet. Many came to the tree to talk with Julia including Woody Harrelson, Bonnie Raitt, and Joan Baez. For the love of a tree Julia has gone above and beyond what most have ever done before.

We now know what some will do for the love of a tree. What would someone do for the love of a soul? Would they give up the comfort of riches to live in poverty? Would they give up a pain free life to ultimately die an excruciating death? Yes, they would!! Jesus did exactly that because God “so loved the world (John 3:16)” that Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).” True disciples of Jesus have been following His example ever since. Do you have a passion for the lost?

We may not love trees as much as Julia but we ought to have a love for the souls around us. What can we do? We can pray for those lost souls. We can pray for opportunities and make opportunities to witness to them. We can pray for more workers for the harvest fields. We can demonstrate our love through acts of compassion and kindness. We can pray and give to support those who are reaching the lost. Shouldn’t we have at least as much passion for souls as Julia has for trees?


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