Monday, February 21, 2011

Do We Owe God Anything?

There was a question that was asked of me several weeks ago, a question that I had not thought about before. It has made me very curious to see what I could find. That question is “Do we owe God anything?” Many people try to get others to go out on the mission field by saying, “You owe God your life so you should go to the mission field for Him.” This is an interesting statement. Do we owe God anything?

First let’s take a look at a few passages. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” What is grace? Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. It is by grace that we have been saved through faith. We do not have salvation by doing good works but it is the gift of God. If you give someone a gift are they going to reach into their wallet or purse and pay for the gift. If they did, we would be offended . God gave us a free gift. It was the most expensive gift and there is no need for us to pay Him anything. We do not owe God anything. This is not to say we are not to do good works. In the next verse it says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” We are to do good works but not for the reason that we owe God for what He has done.

The reason we should be doing good works, that we are to be sharing the gospel, and that we should be going to the mission field is because of our Love for our Savior and because we want to share our Savior with all people. It is not because we owe God anything. Let us look at Paul. In His letters to the Romans, Philippians, and Titus he calls himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ. How is a bondservant different from other servants? There is a big difference. A bondservant is one who worked for his master for a long time and then one day the master told him, he was free. Instead of going away and doing his own thing the bondservant decided to serve his master for life. They would get an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door. Then He would be the master’s servant forever. (Deut 15:12-18) Paul has given His life to Christ and out of his love for his Master has decided to stay with Him and serve Him for the rest of his life. Paul does not do this because he owes Him anything but because He loves His Savior and Master. This should be the attitude of every Christian. We should be willing to do what God wants us to do because we love Him. We should be willing to obey what He commands of us because we love Him, not because we owe Him or because we feel that we have to. I Corinthians 9:16 says “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” We see here that Paul feels obligated to share the gospel. The reason for this is because Christ commanded believers to” Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” (Mark 16:15) Jesus said in John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” And in v21a "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” And in v23-24 "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; … He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” If we love Christ we will follow His commandments and His words. Paul preached the gospel out of love for his Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Father in Heaven. Because of this love, he obeyed Christ’s commandments, which were directly from the Father.

We don’t owe God anything, but if we love Him, we should be willing to give our life to Him. In showing our love for Him, we should be willing to die for Him. Everything we do should be out of love for Him and not because we owe Him. If we love the Lord then we will obey His commandments. That day that Christ, our Savior, died on the cruel cross of Calvary. That day that He was bruised, beaten and scourged. That day that His innocent blood was shed on the cross for you and for me. That day was the day he showed His love for mankind. All that Christ did was as a gift for the whole world, so that those who believed on Him would be saved. Does that not make you want to love your Savior even more? Does that love for your Savior not make you want to tell someone about Him? Do you not want to show your love for Him by obeying what He commands? Every time I think of that day that my Savior died, it brings tears of joy to my eyes for that great gift of salvation He gave to me and I don’t owe Him anything but I love Him for that very reason. I love Him, because He first loved me and that love for Him should be the drive behind everything I do. It should be what separates me from the world that does not love Him and what shows the world that I am a follower of Christ. What is the reason you serve the Lord ? Is it out of love for your Savior or is it because you feel that you owe Him and you need to try to repay Him back? I will leave you with the verse that has been pressing upon my heart. “If you love Me you, will keep My commandments.” John 14:15 (see comment below)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

January/February Evangelism 2011

Hello everyone,
I guess I should update you all on what evangelism has been going on in my neck of the woods. I am currently in Bozeman, MT at Montana State University taking Civil Engineering. The Lord has blessed me with so many opportunities to share the gospel with my unbelieving class mates. This semester there have been several kids in my classes, that were in my Speech class last semester when I shared the gospel with them. Praise the Lord for the opportunities that I have with them. Every other day I get to sit by Jake, who is hostile toward the gospel, in my Chemistry class. Let me start at the beginning. When Chemistry first started he sat by me and I started giving him gospel tracts every class period. Each of them different. He would be bugging me swearing at me taking God’s name in vain at the start of the class to try to rile me up and then I would give him a gospel tract and he would leave me alone for the remainder of the time. Every time he told me that the tract was depressing and every time I would try to talk to him but he never wanted to talk to me. Please pray as the semester goes along I will be able to talk to Him about Jesus Christ dying on the cross. There are also two other guys that sit with us. Please pray for their Salvation as well. Also pray for Blane, Kyle, Riley, Christian, Ammon, Will and another one in particular who is in almost all of my classes Chris. So many opportunities, I am loving it. Please pray for boldness and love on my part.
This past Saturday I was going to meet someone to go out and do evangelism but I couldn’t get ahold of them so I went with my Lord. The weather was 17 degrees with a windchill of -10 degrees. Most people would think that no one would be out on a day like that. I know it sounds crazy but I seem to have the best conversations with people when it is either storming or really cold. That is exactly what happened. It was so cold that I could barely move my mouth but the Lord helped me to be able to speak and share the gospel with several people. The rest were too busy and cold to stop and talk but most of them took a tract. Please pray for Josh who goes to a big church here in Bozeman and believes that Heaven in here on the earth. He did not want to talk to me after I quoted that Jesus went to prepare a place for us. He told me my interpretation of that passage was wrong and that I needed to go study it out further. Then He left with a gospel tract. Coming the other way that instant was a couple who when I gave them a gospel tract and told them what it was turned around and said I love the gospel and I try to share it and live it in my life. He and his wife were so excited that I was out sharing the gospel with people. I stopped another kid that said that the way to heaven was by being a good Christian, never once did he mention Jesus Christ. He thought you got to heaven through good works. When I took him through the ten commandments he said he was still a good person and going to heaven. Finally, told him that it was only through Jesus Christ that we could get to heaven and he said he had to go right away. He took a tract also please pray for him. Please pray for the rest of the people I was able to talk to and give gospel tracts. Praise the Lord for the way He is working here in Bozeman. Please pray for those trying to discourage my ministry in street evangelism. I know that this is what the Lord has put on my heart and it is what I enjoy more than anything else. Thank you for your prayers.
T.J. Kerttula