I recently went on a mission trip in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It wasn’t my first mission trip but it was still an awesome experience. I made some new friends, got closer to people in my youth group, painted a church, and kinda shared the Gospel; but, one of the most important things I learned is that we have to let God be God.
Most of us have heard the Great Commission and we try to live by it every day, but we often get discouraged because we can’t save people. There is a reason for that, it’s not our job to save people. That’s God’s job. We didn’t sacrifice our sinless son so that people would know us. God did that. We can get annoyed that we aren’t changing hearts and lives, but we have to rely on God after we have planted or watered that seed. And I know people mean well when they say “harvest the seed”, but we aren’t harvesters. God harvests the hearts of sinners. He get the glory for saved lives. He’s the ultimate farmer. Bet you’ve never heard that before.
Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.
2 Timothy 2:25
Making disciples means forming relationships with the lost. All we can do is be their friend, lead them in the right direction, and be a good Godly example. Jesus saves not us. The Bible says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. (John 14:6)”. Jesus is the way because he laid down His perfect life for us all.
Part of my testimony is that it was hard for me to accept God’s grace. I was subconsciously trying to earn my salvation and I doubted my faith for many years because of that. There wasn’t anything I could do to earn God’s grace. No work I could do or any action I could take to secure my salvation. When we try to get saved by works it’s like saying that what Jesus did on the cross wasn’t good enough. Jesus secured my salvation on the cross. Jesus finished the work I could never start. He took the action I could never take.
One thing that really helped me completely understand and accept God’s grace was and is John 19: 30.
When Jesus had recieved the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
John 19: 30
These were Jesus’ final words (not really because spoiler alert: He raises from the dead!). He said this to fufill prophecies from the Old Testament, but it’s also engouragement and a reminder to me that Jesus did the work that was required for me to be accepted by God. In Greek “it is finished” translates to tetelestai which is a lot cooler than the english version, in my opinion; but, it’s a humbling thing to sit back and just accept Christ “finishing” it for me.
We must humble ourselves and know that it is finished. We have to have faith in Christ that he will change hearts. We must disciple people and “saving” them isn’t part of that. Sometimes we think we are the only thing that can save people, the last line of defense. It is not usually on purpose, but we have to trust in the Lord that He will do awesome things, not in ourselves.