I don’t ever want to forget the Love of God! It is a fact that He has chosen me… He has extended Life and Light to this lost one. And I have responded. I am not here to debate the election issue, or to have some drama over what is my part in salvation and what is Gods part: all that is for another time. Now I need to remember Gods Love.
It has been the subject of many conversations I have stumbled into lately: evangelism, wrestling with cultural trends, coming to terms with God as king and as friend… and the list goes on. Two weeks ago, I made an old assertion anew: I believe that the foundation of all that God does is Love. Since then, I have been reminded constantly how true this is.
So now, I sit drinking my coffee and thinking: am I offering this Love to people around me? (Let me here label God’s love toward me first as Grace: the action of God on my behalf where I was unable to act.) Too often this gets shoved under the bed, or worse becomes some sentimental feeling crap that is quick to argue “God loves us all and so it will all be ok.” If that is true, then grace means squat, and there is nothing I can offer to the dead men around me… no hope to share with the believer who is bound by lies, doctrinal chains, and the vices of the flesh.
Grace has to mean more than “God looks upon humanity with favor now”. He has always looked upon us with favor, for He choose to create us. No, for Grace (and thus God’s pro-action of Love) to be of value it must be sacred.
I don’t want to imply some “holy war” mentality to save the notion of Grace from the heathen. When I suggest retaining the sacred quality of Grace I am calling we who have received Grace upon Grace to reaffirm how precious is the Love of God by offering it (in action and word) to the community of faith around us and to the culture of the world we live in. It is not some abstract principal of truth, or some theological doctrine… it is the basis of a life lived because of Jesus. This must be remembered, because JESUS IS GRACE. If we hope to truly understand the favor of God toward us acted out in sacrifice we must look to Jesus; there is nothing else. If we seek to understand Gods blessing in our lives without falling to the temptation of “health and wealth”, we must seek out Jesus who is the good word (blessing) from God so that we might know Him (which is eternal life).
In coming to terms with “evangelism” in a post modern worldview, this is the clincher… come to think of it, it is the clincher no matter the world view, the lifestyle, the philosophy, the question, etc… Jesus (crucified and raised again, coming soon, alive and well in His body, Seated on the throne of heaven) is Gospel. There is no other Hope!
So however we offer hope (be it in narrative and story, in preaching and calling men to repent, in acts of service and string-less care) we are offering Jesus. We must not take this lightly, yet we must freely give… for by Grace (freely) have we received.