The fact that God does all the work in our salvation leaves us no room for boasting. Because he loves us, he gave his Son. His Son paid for our sins. The Holy Spirit works on our hearts, causing us to believe and making us into brand new people. We are drawn along, pulled toward God by his love and compassion. When we return to him—prodigals all, he runs toward us with open arms.
As I’ve reflected on the early chapters of 1 Peter these past few posts, I’ve examined our frail human condition and our new identity in Christ. God never forgets us. He has made us alive, and he transforms us. Today I want to dig more deeply into how God’s love gives us a mission.
God’s choice of me astounds me daily. I am a broken, arrogant, self-reliant firstborn, yet I have felt the tender wooing of Jesus tugging at my heart since my earliest days. He knew I would harden my heart, wreck my life, return to him, and then twist my faith into legalism, hypocrisy, and bitterness-scarred interactions with my husband, my children, and my parents. He knew he would then have to pulverize me to powder to bring me to repentance. He knew I would be a tough nut to crack.
Yet he chose me anyway. Why?
For some reason, God loves me, and he loves you. This is more certain than death and taxes. His undeserved kindness and mercy lavished upon us is stunning. But, what other considerations went into his pursuit of us? Why choose us?
What is God’s motive for wooing us particularly? Other than the effect on us personally, why does he do this?
- God knows when he gains us, he has a powerful tool to demonstrate his redemptive love to the watching world. If he can save us, he can save anyone.
- God desires us to be models of his kindness and love, showing the same mercy to others. Because there is tenderness, affection, compassion, and friendship with God for even us, we can draw from this well of love and give it to others.
- God longs for us to use our brokenness to draw other broken people to him. If he can redeem us, twisted in the particular way in which we are bent by sin, he can redeem others in like condition.
One of the most glorious facts of our reclamation is that God takes all of our mess, even the most hideous parts, intending to use it all in his glorious plan of redemption. We get to be part of the rescue team!
No one can comfort people who are suffering like one who has suffered in similar fashion. Jesus, our High Priest, is our most tender Comforter because he has suffered in all things as we have. We can turn to him with everything.
Likewise, he will bring to us the people who have suffered in the same ways we have. By doing this, he redeems not only their suffering, but ours. All our trials now have a purpose and a use. Through these we were refined and came to recognize our need for Christ. Only a fellow sufferer can tell others about the hope and help available in Christ. As he helped us, so he will help them.
All our lives, there they are. The Holy Spirit orchestrates the meetings. Our task is to aim them toward Christ.
Mindful of the Savior’s leading within us, we must be vigilant, scanning the horizon for those seekers Jesus is leading to us. They are coming. Bringing others in for adoption into God’s family is our mission. Watch for them!
The rescue mission is not only about our own reclamation. It is about those God wants us to bring in, so they can receive the same comfort and mercy we have received in Christ.
Do you see them coming? How has God shaped your life to be part of the rescue mission?
All images except Christ: FreeDigitalPhotos.net