When I came to Christ, it wasn’t because someone convinced me that the Bible was true. At that time I thought I was already a Christian, after all, I was raised in church. In 1971 however, I became absolutely convinced that God was laying claim to me personally. I am as convinced of that fact today as I was 52 years ago. It wasn’t that I was coming to Him; He was claiming me. As one pastor has said, “Jesus did everything for it and I did everything I could against it and Jesus won. There are heel marks from where He began to drag me, all the way to the cross.” What was your experience of coming to faith? Have you always known? Did you suddenly change? It’s good for us to recall where we came from, so we can remember to be grateful! Today, let’s stop for a moment and consider the path on which God has taken us so far:
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. (Eph. 2:11-14a)
Paul reminds the Ephesian congregation that they all used to be “uncircumcised heathens.” As Gentiles, they may not have been uncircumcised, but by then they were no longer heathens. Paul says that they “lived in this world without God and without hope.” That’s how I used to live, too; the interesting thing is---I wasn’t sad about that! As I read it today, I think about how awful it would be to live in this world without God and without hope, but when I was exactly that way, I was generally a happy person. I didn’t know how desperate and hopeless I really was! Does this describe someone you know? I have discovered some people who are not Christians are generally happy people; some people are just happy in life, even though they don’t know Jesus. Why should we share the Gospel with them? Because being a follower of Jesus is not about trying to make people feel happier. Jesus has told us to go and make disciples. He has told us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has told us that He came so that we might have abundant life. He has promised that He will never leave us. He has given us a living hope. He has given us eternal life. He has brought us peace, not the kind of peace that we can get by adjusting our circumstances, but peace with God.
I'm speaking to someone today; God is speaking to you about telling someone in particular about Him. I encourage you to do it...even if you don't feel like it!