11/1/19– Means of Grace

Pastor Daron CrossLife Blog

CrossLife Church has a new sign on our church property!

The vacant lot on which we plan to build a church and school is conveniently located right next to the building we currently rent, for meeting on Sundays.

Therefore, the 2-sided sign on Kelly Lane says: New church in Pflugerville, 500 feet ahead of (or behind) you, join us on Sundays 9:30 a.m.

Call it marketing. Call it messaging. Call it promotion. Call it publicity. Call it what you want, the sign is a means by which we seek to inform, invite, proclaim, and persuade people to check out our church.

Without the sign, will daily commuters along Kelly Lane and our neighbors in the community know about us? Maybe (perhaps you’ve shared one of these CrossWords meditations with one of them, or they visited our website www.crosslifepf.org. Maybe not.

Rather than taking that chance, we seek to connect people to CrossLife Church by means of this new sign. Similarly, we use Google ads, Facebook ads, flyers delivered via mail or personal invitation, and other means.

God uses means, as well. He informs, invites, proclaims and persuades people to believe in him and his grace. His means is the gospel.

That’s a Bible word referring to God’s good news or promising proclamation. His way of getting attention. Like a church sign, the gospel draws people into God’s grace which already exists but people may not know it yet or believe it.

Do you believe in God’s grace? Then God has saved you through the means of grace, the gospel. He has saved you “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel” (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14).

The gospel of Jesus Christ is delivered to sinners through the Word of God (“faith comes from hearing the message,” Romans 10:13-17) and also the sacraments of Baptism (“baptism that now saves you,” 1 Peter 3:21) and Holy Communion (“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” Matthew 26:28).

The gospel informs, invites, proclaims and persuades sinners to believe in Jesus, to receive the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, to be adopted and affirmed as children of God. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

Imagine a brand new electronics store planning, right now, for its mega Black Friday sale in less than a month. They are designing in-store decorations, balloons, free snacks, door prizes, and of course the best sale prices of the year on huge TV’s and Ring doorbells.

But that’s not all. They have also designed an ad campaign, which you will see in about a week. If they don’t tell anyone about the sale, who will come?

If the gospel doesn’t reach people’s hearts, who will believe in Jesus?

Treasure the gospel, use the gospel, study it, receive it, believe it, support it financially. And share it, too. It is the means of God’s grace.

PRAYER: Dear God of grace, how would I believe in you if you hadn’t reached out to me with the gospel? Thank you for churches, schools, missionaries, ministries, parents and Christian friends who share the gospel. Give success to their work. And let my gospel light shine, too. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Follow God’s plan of salvation in the gospel by reading Romans 10:9-17. This is his means of grace. It is powerful and miraculous, but not automatic (not everyone will hear and believe) or magical. It is beautiful. Pray about the gospel, its impact on you, and how you can better influence others with it.