There are some amazing people doing absolutely amazing things in our world.
Peter Lyndon-James was a drug addict for 26 years. Having come to Christ and found freedom from addiction, Peter now leads a fantastic team who provide the addiction recovery service - Shalom House. They provide Christian-based recovery services for up to 140 Aussies at a time, with those finishing the program leaving addiction free, with reconciled relationships and full time work. Amazing!
This Sunday at our MAKE church service, we will begin hearing about the work of Compassion in preparation for their relationships manager Simon Ward visiting us on Sunday 14th August. Compassion is currently involved in seeing over 2 million children around the world released from poverty in Jesus name. And they have been at it for over 6 decades. Again, amazing!
What fuels that kind of radical action for the good of others in our world? How do you push through to see lives impacted over the long haul? Here's two ingredients that are essential.
Ingredient 1) Knowing the Extent of Salvation in Jesus Christ
In 1 Timothy 1:15, the apostle Paul gives us an essential truth:
'Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst.'
Paul had been a persecutor of the early followers of Jesus, standing by approving, even as Christians were stoned to death in cold blood (see Acts 7:57-58). He had shown himself a violent man, who though deluded into thinking he was honouring God, was actually offending God deeply. Yet Christ Jesus came into this world for sinners like Paul. Not only does Jesus save Paul from his sins and the hell that his sins were reaping for him, but Jesus worked through Paul to bring life to many. The blood of Jesus brings forgiveness, restores us to relationship with God and then fits us to be God's servants, used by him to do all sorts of amazing things in this world.
We need to know the extent of the salvation that Jesus has won for us. In Paul, Jesus takes a hater of others and uses him to reach those who everyone loved to hate. Jesus takes a serial drug addict, and through the power of his blood makes him an instrument for the recovery of many addicts. I look at my childhood and see a man caught up with his own success, who God is now, bit by bit, turning into a man, committed to the success and flourishing of others. Such is the salvation that Jesus brings to sinners. It's worth pondering the nature of the salvation story that Jesus is writing with your life. That salvation story will be written as you consider the second ingredient of an Unstoppable Life.
Ingredient 2) Be Filled With Praise for the King
As Paul considered the salvation story that Jesus was writing with his life, he couldn't help but give praise to His King.
'I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.' (1 Timothy 1:12)
'Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.' (1 Timothy 1:17)
Paul was blown away by God's grace (his free undeserved gift), God's mercy (his taking the punishment we deserved) and his patience in working out his plans in Paul's life. It's worth reflecting on the extent of the salvation that Jesus has worked in our lives, so that we can be filled with praise like Paul, and so moved and motivated to live out of that sense of gratitude to God. That will see us through some of the challenges and difficulties along the way.
A Footnote For Those Not Feeling Much Praise for God
In writing this I recognise that not everyone will feel a huge sense of gratitude to God. You might actually be wrestling with stuff in your life that feels pretty messed up right now. You might be asking where God is, in all of that?
I believe Jesus is calling out to you right now. As Paul says about his own life, it was meant to be an example, not of how great Paul was, but about how amazing God's patience is, that he would bear with someone like Paul. That means he is willing to bear with someone even like me, and also with someone like you.
Jesus wants to save you. He wants to make your story, a story of his great salvation and patience. It just takes you being willing to let him. Jesus, please, come and be my Lord, my King today. Amen.
About the Author
Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.
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