Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grace in South Asia

2nd most populous country in the world.

That's over 1.21 billion people.
Which is more than a sixth of the world's population.

Living in one country.
Out of these 1.21 billion people, 2.3% of the population are professing Christians.

Over 33 million gods captivate the attention of 97.7% of these 1.21 billion souls.

And I sit and wonder...why NOT me? Why was I born here, the land of the free? Couldn't that be me living in a slum with a choice of 33 million gods to worship, no knowledge of the one ture God? How is it that in His GRACE He is allowing me to know His Word? To know Him freely? At very little cost to me in the grand scheme of things. I mean, it's not like I consider the value of my life every time I open His Word.

I don't know why. I just know that GRACE has been lavished upon me, so what more can I do but preach the Gospel of Grace to this work-driven people. So I learn, that with GRACE, comes a weighty responsiblity to preach it.

Right now somewhere on the other side of the world, a man is waiting. He is praying and trusting in the God of the universe who places food on his table each day. He is anticiapting the month of May. For at that time, a team of beleivers from America will arrive in his small village. He knows their prescence will come with Truth and encouragement. He anticipates and He prays.

Whether we are born into the slums of South Asia or right here in the US, our sinful nature instists that we can make our way to God but GRACE says we don't have to.

I've been hunkered down in Galatians the past several weeks. Galatians Ch. 1:15-16 reads:
"But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being."

God set Paul apart from birth...called him by grace...but why?? SO THAT I MIGHT PREACH HIM AMONG THE NATIONS. Why was Paul saved? Why did God shower GRACE on Paul? Obviously, it's not like he deserved it! He did it so that Paul would be a proclaimer of GRACE to the nations...not for him to just sit in a pew and soak in it. Private relelation for public communication.

I am excited to go overseas and testify to God's GRACE in my life, speaking the gospel message through my story as I stand before the church. I am excited to interact with a body who knows the reality of working to reach God all too well. I am humbled to speak a message of GRACE to a cuture so driven by works. After all, that is Hinduism--working to earn favor in the eyes of all these gods.

Instead of striving for perfection, this is what I must understand personally. This is the messasge I will preach. Pray they will have ears to hear and eyes to see.

Beloved, you are free. You don't have to work anymore. I've got good news: He has made His way to YOU!! He is not one of 33 million gods, He is the ONE true Lord God and He has made His way to you and you dont have to do anything. No matter what your past looks like, no matter what you were struggling with at 2 o' clock this morning, the reality is this: YOU ARE FREE BY THE GRACE OF CHRIST. He is pleased with you based soley on you identification in Him.

He has  removed your sins as far as the East is from the west. He remembers your sins no more. He cleanses you of all unrighteousness. He makes you a chosen people, a royal preisthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God who once did not have mercy and now you have mercy. not based on your desire or effort, but based on the desire and effort of God. He has pursued His way to you. Mercy has come running to you and you are free by His GRACE. By His GRACE you are free--and that is good news.
As I prepare to head overseas in several weeks, this is the message God is revealing. Oh Lord, help me learn to soak in GRACE, let it flow through the depths.

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