This Grace Wherein We Stand
Updated: Oct 15, 2022
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever, Isaiah 32:17.
The place to count conversions is not at the altar. If instead of longing to see people make public professions so that we can burnish our statistics, why not start longing to see the grace of God manifest in people's lives. The most dangerous heresies are those that use a valid verse from a King James Bible but ignore the context. Romans 10:13 is such a verse. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Never mind that the next verse qualifies that statement. How shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed?
True belief brings true righteousness. True righteousness brings quietness and peace. When I meet new people, I cannot help but wonder what that person would be like with a conscience freed from sin. I try to picture that person lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting. I long to see that person standing in this miracle of grace that God so graciously imparted to me by Jesus Christ so many years ago.
No matter how seedy and sotted with sin a family is when I meet them, no matter how deep in sin they have stooped, I begin to pray that that same Jesus Christ who so graciously delivered the woman at the well from sin, and who has washed so many in my ministry, might cleanse this family also. Just getting them to pray a little prayer, putting a notch on my belt, and watching them disappear will never satisfy me.
To this day, I grieve over those families and people who once sat under the preaching here in Black Creek and have now returned to their own vomit. They are not counted as soul winning statistics. They are accounted as failures of my ministry. They accounted a great sorrow. I grieve doubly as I think of missed opportunities and mistakes made with them. When I see those families who now show forth the praises of Jesus Christ, I see the grace of God in them and to my ministry.
Set your sights on seeing new lives wrought by the Holy Ghost. Settle for nothing less. I preached in Black Creek for five years before I saw the first sinner crack. It took six more months before his wife was overcome by that schoolmaster, the law and dragged to Jesus Christ for salvation. We wait for long periods of time to see people converted. They pray prayers, they make professions, but until they are truly converted their changes are merely superficial and fleeting.
Every person who has ever emailed me and requested a copy of my book, Who Moved the Goal Posts? has had a copy mailed to them for free. It is also available on Amazon Kindle. We don't have mourner's benches in our churches because we don't have mourners. It took John Wesley, William Carey, Fanny Crosby, and Charles Spurgeon a long time sitting under preaching to ever come to repentance and to find salvation. Somehow, our stupid little microwave dish that we pass off as old fashioned cooking can't change lives. Let's go back to what will. The true goal post is not a profession of faith. The true goal is to see a person's life utterly changed and turned around by Jesus Christ.