This week God blessed our family with a new granddaughter. On the same day, within a 2-hour window, a friend suddenly died. Is this Karma? Is this reincarnation? No, this is life after Adam. The sinful flesh is born to die. My precious granddaughter, like everyone, is born in sin and in need of saving grace because one day her life on earth will be over. My friend, although his flesh died, stepped into a glorious eternity with Christ, because he was a recipient of saving grace. Because of Adam, the human condition is fragile and weak. Because of Adam, in our own strength, we are hopelessly in need of rescue.
Yesterday as I held that wonderful child in my arms and looked at her I considered humanity sympathetically. We are all so powerless needing someone to care for us and, like my granddaughter, unable to grasp the full weight of what that means. You would hope that maturity would increase the awareness of this reality—but it won’t. Just as a fish is unaware it is wet (because it has always been in water), a growing child is unaware of the love of her mother and father because that is all it has ever known. The same is true of the goodness of God. We live in a world filled with people who have heard of God and heard the name of Jesus Christ, yet apart from the Holy Spirit’s work they are oblivious to their need to be reconciled to God. Those who have been rescued need to have great sympathy for the lost. Jesus saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion.
Thinking of these things, I am stirred to consider my city—Summerville. Within a mile radius of this church building there are thousands of homes, and who knows how many people, in need of grace but unaware. Every day after work they drive back to their homes, go inside, eat supper, watch Netflix, go to sleep and repeat the cycle day after day. When the weekend comes they mow their grass, wash their cars, and try to plan something on those few hours off to make the monotony of life bearable and their existence more meaningful—this is repeated ad nauseam. The many distractions of life’s obligations keep them from noticing their Christ-less existence.
I don’t know if we will be able to reach them with the gospel, but I want to. I don’t know if we, as a church, can keep from being distracted by the unnecessary and stay focused on the necessary, but I pray we can. We must choose the glory of God over the traditions of man. We must remove the handicap of looking backward and pining for days gone by and start counting the former things loss in view of the surpassing value of the excellency of Christ Jesus. I believe if we will allow our hearts to be broken for the unsaved and ask God to fill and equip us to reach them and make them true disciples He will do just that. This is my deepest hope. Oh, God give us Summerville for Christ!
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. (Gal 1:3-5)