Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Jeevan Prakash | 0 comments

Are You Spreading the Love Christ Has Lavished on You?

Author: Miss Pargaonkar

We live in a country where the pre-dominant religion is Hindu, Almost 80 percent of India’s population is Hindu with variations in castes and sub-castes. Compared to that the Christian population is 2.3 percent and only a small percentage of that is what we call “genuine believers”. How are we to be that tiny piece of leaven that influences the whole bread to rise? Are we up for the challenge of reaching the lost? Is the question even debatable since all of us are called to be “light and salt” in this world?

 

We need not look at the tiny percentage we represent in this country and feel despondent. Our encouragement is in our God. He chose Israel not because she was mighty or huge in number (for God is not limited by numbers) but because He CHOSE to set His love upon Israel and to make her a channel to bless the nations (Deut 7:7). As Christians we too, should not look at our limitations, but at God who is not bound by numbers, and is the One who makes the impossible, possible. (Luke 1:37)

 

Why don’t we see more conversions?

 

We can all attest to the fact that not many are converted through our own lives. Our churches are not filled with people who are “daily added to the church” as in the New Testament times (Acts 2:47). While we acknowledge with all our hearts that God is sovereign over conversions and it is solely His work to grant salvation, we will all agree that we aren’t doing as much as we should in the area of evangelism.

 

Here are a few questions to ask ourselves to help us get started on this most important task of reaching the lost in mercy and compassion just like our Lord Jesus did.

 

  1. Do we love God and do we love His people?

The Bible insists that the way people will know we are Christians is by our love (John 13:35). It doesn’t just insist, it commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind (Deut. 6:5 repeated again in the NT in Matt. 22:37). We are also told that if we do not love our brethren whom we have seen, how can we say we love God whom we have not seen? (1 John 4:20)

 

Think about your life for a moment. None of us can say that we have loved God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might every moment of our loves, can we? Every day we continually break the greatest of the commandments that God has given us. Our consolation is in Christ who never sinned, not

 

 

 

even for a second. This means He loved the Lord our God with all his heart, with all his soul and with all His might all the timeHe fulfilled for us what we could not do.

 

Every day our sins should remind us of the gospel. Our incapacity, our inadequacy to love God, to love others, coming short of His glory, should leave us broken and more dependent on the gospel and the salvation that is found there. Brokenness that leads to true repentance and trust in Christ is well pleasing to God. (Psalm 51:17). Among other promises and blessings, brokenness and remembrance of the gospel as it applies to our sins leads us to know how wretched we are and how much God has loved us. The deeper we grow in this knowledge the more we are in love with God. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they would know the breadth and length, height and depth of Christ’s love. (Eph. 3:18)  This love is inexhaustible, unconditional and a sweet comfort in our most trying times, especially as we ponder on its demonstration on the Cross.

 

Does this love cause you to love God recognizing the richness of this love in your life beyond and supremely above the love for anything or anyone else that draws your attention? Does this love cause you to love your fellow brethren in your own church and demonstrate it in the same way Christ demonstrated His love for us. Greater love has no many than that he should lay down his life for the brethren. (John 15:13)

 

The only way to love God and the brethren is by knowing daily and basking yourself daily in the love of God for you. When you know you are loved, accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6) and truly satisfied in this love can we reach out with this love to others. It’s not a love we muster up by our own flesh for we know how short-lived our own love can be. This is a supernatural love that comes from God’s Spirit (Romans 5:5). In the Greek, it is called agape (unconditional love).

 

  1. Do we pray for those around us who are lost?

Statistics show that average life is connected to 350 people. If you’re on social networks like Facebook, or if you’ve had a mobile phone for at least 6 months, you know just how many people you have a connection to. There’s a ready prayer list in your phone! A friend of mine has started praying for those names listed in her mobile. You can do the same or make a prayer list of your own and be committed to pray for these people.

 

It’s important to pray biblically. Take a verse from the Bible or if you are in the habit of memorizing Scripture call a verse to remembrance and pray for the person in accordance with that verse. Take for instance the first few verses of Psalm 103:

 

1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

You can put the name of the person you want to pray for in that verse and improvise: ‘Your prayer may be something like this: May (insert person’s name) bless you with his soul and all that is within him. May he know you and know all your benefits, how you forgive sins and how you heal the soul. I pray that he would know what it is like to have his life redeemed from the pit, to know salvation and be crowned with Your steadfast love and mercy. I pray that this person would experience satisfaction in You and Your goodness, and be renewed through the gift of salvation.”

 

Why pray like this? Because we are attesting these great truths about God in our own hearts as we pray. As we reflect on all that is taught in these few verses, we reaffirm His goodness and the work of salvation in the redeemed. We know that we ourselves have experienced such blessings as described in these few verses and we are thankful and grateful and overwhelmed with the knowledge of God. We want our friends and everyone we come across to experience the same. When we continue to pray like this (using other verses) our faith in God will increase. We will ponder over Who He is and how He works. These truths will build our lives and we will start reflecting God’s character to others in our lives.  And as we more clearly reflect God, we are becoming better witnesses of Christ!

 

Prayer is not just asking God to give us the things that please Him. He does do that and He is pleased when we ask according to His will. But He also uses prayer to align our minds and our will with His mind and His will based on His good purposes. Our prayer life can transform us!

 

  1. Are you intentional and purposeful in reaching out to the lost?

We saw earlier that there are, on average, 350 in our lifetime that we could impact. God has given us life for a purpose. The Westminster Catechism defines man’s primary purpose as glorifying and enjoying God. The Bible tells us that we have been blessed in order to be a blessing.

 

Here are a few things that keep us from intentionally and purposefully reaching out to the lost. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

 

Our lives are too busy!

Life seems to get busier every year. Jobs are more competitive now than ever. People are distracted with tech toys more than ever. With television, malls, movies, studies and the social life, it’s easy to lose sight of God and become complacent. Should we stop being so busy? Surprisingly, busyness is the not the issue here. The issue is where your heart is. Is your heart in the things of God? Are you busy at your workplace for the glory of God, being the best worker there is? Are you busy in your social life for the glory of God, being intentional and purposeful in reflecting Christ in all your relationships? If you are studying are you studying for the glory of God, wanting to make good use of the opportunities you are given? When you spend money do you keep the glory of God in mind? What does it mean to do things for the “glory of God”? Simply put, it means to do what you do in a way that reflects God in your life. We can be busy in a myriad of activities, but are we single-minded, faithful and show fidelity to our God in everything we do? It is this kind of attitude that will lead us to truly enjoy life and be a powerful witness.

We all have limited resources in terms of time, energy and money, and in order to be intentional in our evangelism we need to prioritize our lives making choices that will reflect and extend the kingdom of God. C.T. Studd, a British cricketer and missionary, wrote this poem:

 

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Soon will its fleeting hours be done;

Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,

And stand before His Judgement seat;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, the still small voice,

Gently pleads for a better choice

Bidding me selfish aims to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, a few brief years,

Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;

Each with its clays I must fulfill,

living for self or in His will;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

When this bright world would tempt me sore,

When Satan would a victory score;

When self would seek to have its way,

Then help me Lord with joy to say;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Give me Father, a purpose deep,

In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;

Faithful and true what e’er the strife,

Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Oh let my love with fervor burn,

And from the world now let me turn;

Living for Thee, and Thee alone,

Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Only one life, yes only one,

Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;

And when at last I’ll hear the call,

I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;

Only one life,’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

 

We limit our evangelism to the Four Spiritual Laws or other Gospel capsules.

There are many ways to witness. Some people distribute tracts; some think they’ve done the job by sharing the Four Spiritual Laws with someone. Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles used none of these techniques. Read the Acts of the Apostles and be inspired by his life! Acts 22:3 says he studied under Gamaliel, a Rabbi held in great honour in those days. After the road to Damascus experience Paul spent 3 years being taught by Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11-24)! The first thing we can safely assume is that Paul knew His God, he spent time with God. Paul knew God through the Scriptures which he studied diligently and he knew God experientially.

 

In contrast to Paul, Peter was “unlearned” but he and the other apostles knew the Scriptures and were eagerly awaiting the Messiah to come that Scripture had promised when Jesus called them to follow him.

Acts 4:13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” That’s a key take-away: both Paul and Peter were men whom people recognized as having been with Jesus. Can that be said of you?

 

In Acts 17, Paul came upon a statue dedicated to the Unknown God which became the common ground on which he began to share the gospel. With the Samaritan woman, Jesus struck a conversation that revealed her heart and eventually Himself. There are many ways you can strike conversations and intellectually persuade men to think beyond the concepts of God they are accustomed to. But it starts by knowing God and having thought through these things in your own heart.

 

If you want to know God more through Scripture, Love Maharashtra has several resources on offer to guide you. If you would like to start intentionally and purposefully reaching out to the lost, or you have questions, please write to Christian Jeevan Prakash.