Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Are You Willing To Be A Stepping Stone?

My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom…” – 1 Corinthians 2:4

“Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. … If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. “And I, if I am lifted up…, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

I have often marveled at how God uses mere men and women as messengers to proclaim the Gospel to the world with words and their very changed lives. But it is important to understand that it is not the messenger but the message that brings salvation.  And not just any message.  I think we often get the “cart before the horse”.  My witness to anyone never precedes God … Salvation is a spiritual event and the Spirit of God always precedes the witness.  But, amazingly, God has ordained that we are a part of the salvation process.  Paul said “Some plant and some water, but God brings the increase.”  (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Let me share an example from my life. A Gospel seed was planted in my step-dad’s heart in 1951 on a hill in Korea.  He was a young Marine, part of a 81mm mortar crew. After a particularly intense battle, a Chaplain gave him a small New Testament bible with a reference to John 1:12 written on the inside cover. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—”  I don’t know what the conversation between them was, but it was not until 1969 did he pray to receive Jesus as his savior and Lord.  He still had that Bible in 1969 and it is in the keeping of one of his children today. That chaplain was a stepping stone, maybe the first on the path to his salvation. We can’t save anyone. We might be the first stepping stone or, if we are so fortunate, the last when a person surrenders their heart by faith in Jesus. You should not think more of your role in sharing the Gospel, but then, you should not think less of it either.  In His wisdom, God has chosen to use us for the hearing of the Gospel as someone walks the path toward salvation. You should not worry about saying the right words. You should worry that you will surrender to the leading of the Spirit. Everyone is saved by grace through faith – not my words and not yours alone.

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? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” –Romans 10:14-15

Don’t believe for a minute that you have the power to save. At the same moment, don’t think that you telling someone about Jesus when the Spirit prompts you is not necessary.  You don’t know which stepping stone you are on the path someone takes to salvation.  But God does!

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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