But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 NKJV
God chose you for salvation. He sanctifies you by the Spirit and belief in truth. He called you by the gospel. You may have read the gospel on your own, or heard it read to you, or a friend may have told you. Maybe you stumbled across the gospel over the internet or found a CD of God’s teaching in your car. However you heard it, God used it to reach you.
For me, I first heard the gospel in Saddleback Church’s Celebrate Recovery program. It was a strange idea to me at first – God came to earth in human flesh, died on the cross to pay for my sins, so I could receive forgiveness and eternal life. It took time to sink in before I understood the full meaning of it. (Not that you can be fully understood because God’s love is so immense!) It got me started reading the Bible, but couldn’t understand why I always cried while reading it. I soon found and began listening to a Christian radio station that broadcasted Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s program called “The Bible Bus,” which taught the Word of God. I also started listening to Greg Laurie’s sermons over the internet. It was here that the conversion of my heart occurred. After hearing this message of forgiveness from many sources, it finally reached my heart!! In February 2000 I gave my heart to Christ. He’s filled me with His Spirit and led my heart out of captivity!
The point of telling you all this, is simple. You never know what will reach a lost soul. It could be when you put your arm around a friend to comfort them. Or maybe when you read stories to the elderly in a nursing or when you told someone about a radio program that teaches God’s Word. The medium or vehicle used is not what’s important – it’s the message! In 1 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” We don’t cause people to believe in Christ, God does. However, God does use our activities to bring them closer so He can change their hearts.
God wants to use you and me to reach the lost. We can do that in many ways. Are you sharing God’s message with others? If not, why?
Lord, thank you for leaving heaven to walk the earth as a human, so we could relate to you. Thank you for dying for our sins. Thank you for setting us free with your forgiveness. Please give us the courage to share your message of grace and hope with others today. In Jesus’ name Amen.