What are some of the things a child of God will strive to be proactive about after they have tasted of saving grace and have a God given desire to show thanks to God for what they possess in Christ?
We ought to want to be proactive in a good number of things:
- Living a blameless life of integrity (Prov. 10:9)
- Being constant in devotional communion with God through the means of grace (What are the means of grace?)
- Resisting temptation (Heb. 12:4)
- Showing love and hospitality to your brothers and sisters in Christ (Rom. 12:9-11, 13)
- Growing in sanctification (1 Thes. 4:4)
- Growing closer to Christ through being knit more closely in
relationshipwith your fellow church members (Col. 2:19)
I could easily go on. There are several I skipped just in Romans 12. Take a moment and look at the sort of self sacrifice Christians are called to in that chapter. It is worth meditating on.
There is one thing we ought to be proactive about that I didn’t mention above, which I would like to discuss here. With God’s help, Christians who have tasted of God’s grace ought to proactively make manifest their desire that people of every tribe and nation would come hear the good news that transformed us. Evangelism isn’t the job for just ordained church leaders. Evangelism is the job of only those Christians who are grateful for what God has done for them – AKA all actual Christians.
But evangelism has become such a stifled word, particularly in this individualistic and pluralistic western culture. So I’m going to avoid it.
For our purposes, lets just come back to that basic concept that you love the Lord, you are immeasurably indebted to Him for what He has done for you, and you want nothing more than that more people would taste of the forgiveness and grace you have experienced. What ought to flow out of that are God given opportunities to express to family and strangers what God means to you. When the opportunities don’t come, or slow down, our hearts ought to pour out to God in prayer our fervent desire that more opportunities would be given. However, the early Christians did not simply sit on their hands waiting for opportunities to be spoon fed to them. The taught in the temple. They risked their lives so that more may able to receive God’s mercy. Paul even expressed that if it were possible, he would trade his salvation for the salvation of those dear to him who had not embraced Christ in faith.
If you find that this portrait doesn’t describe you, I want to encourage you to not simply walk away discouraged. When the Israelites wandering in the desert were “put in the balance and found wanting”, the proper response was not to walk away sad like the rich young ruler. The proper response was to do away with the idols that were distracting them from pure worship, to repent “in sackcloth and ashes”, to present their sin and unworthiness to God, and to walk in righteousness. Today, we know of our means of full escape from our failings and sin. The sacrifices of the Israelites were unable to truly atone for their sin. Christ alone can do that. If you are already a Christian, you have already tasted of that forgiveness. If you haven’t, I want you to feel the deep desperate need you have for that and that alone until you receive it. But if you know of it, why walk away sad over something that has already been paid for? We ought to be grieved by our sin, but that is not the end of the story. We bring that sin to the foot of the cross in prayer. We remind ourselves if we have
When it comes to sharing the gospel, when it was done well in Christian history, it was done not out of obligation, as if we simply have a new law. It was done out of an abundance of joy in the received gift of Christ on the cross. If you can’t seem to find yourself abiding in that state, confess that to God, pray earnestly for God to give it to you and to help your unbelief, and stay on your knees until He gives it to you. Repeat as often as necessary.
Now don’t forget to go back and read Romans 12! 🙂
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:21