In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Sure, we should love as Christ loves, but eventually we need to look people in the eye and say, "Hey, I've got some good news: Jesus loves you. He wants to save you and lead you into a life of fullness and meaning." We've gotta say this. Otherwise they'll never hear.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? - (Romans 10:14)
If those who haven't heard are going to hear, someone has to tell them.
Earlier this week I prayed a prayer: "Lord, show me people around me who have not heard."
He showed me at Costco. He showed me people groups with whom we've lost our voice because we've been so busy preaching the bad news of sin rather than the Good News of grace. He showed me people who've been burdened by teachings of legalism rather than freed by the invitation of grace.
People who haven't heard the Good News of grace are all around us.
Where do we start? We could always start where Jesus started. After He left the crowds because He was compelled to preach, Scripture says He "kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea" - (Luke 4:44).
He didn't head for the prisons or the brothels. He went to the synagogues to preach to those who had most of the Old Testament memorized. Why? Because the burden of the law had primed them for the Good News of grace.
Right now, all over the world people are hearing something other than grace. They are being told that God's acceptance is based upon their performance.
Jesus said, "No more. I have come with Good News! I have come for grace!" It was Jesus' most important thing. And because He lives in us and expresses Himself through us, what was important to Him then is important to Him now.
The Gospel of grace. People haven't heard and someone has to preach. So let's use words.
Lord, show me the people around me who haven't heard the Gospel of grace. Make me brave as I speak of Your love and acceptance. Answer graciously through me as I encounter misconceptions about You. Amen.
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