Believing in the taste!

So I feel like one of the callings that God has placed on my life is discipleship in the NW Ireland.  So for the past number of years I’ve been thinking on how I can be more intentional in being this calling into movement, action, my diary, my life.  But for the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about the missional/reaching aspect of the churches mission, (see blog below as to why). 
The God who we serve longs to draw everyone to Himself, He wants to bring himself glory by permeating lives till they radiate His son’s likeness, un-till He calls them home to see and live in His glory (there a bit more to it I’m sure).  But on our level we want to bring glory to God by bringing others into His story; by through repentance bringing people stories into God’s story of redemption.  

The best words/phrases for this that I can come up with is belief, become, have Christ live in you, become a Christian, have faith, know the truth, call on the name of the Lord for forgiveness. 
The best I think is ‘believe’, a belief that’s active. 
When someone believes in the work, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God brings them into His story of redemption.
Work; that Jesus (as the son of God) had a job to do because of our sin.
Life; that the fullness of God and the fullness to be found in living can all be see in the recored life of Jesus. 
Death; that because Jesus never sinned, He could be the perfect lamb and the ultimate high priest, the only one able to creating a way in-which we could be rescued from God’s wrath.
Resurrection; that we can now live as forgiven people, when God looks at us, He sees His son who He delights to bless and that we have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in us, He’s alive in Heaven and in us through his spirit.

So this believing, becoming, beginning to have faith, beginning to have Christ live in, knowing the truth, being forgiven… Etc. None of that is an act of man, they’re all miracles, each conversion is an incredibly loving miracle from the God of great plans!
So as a church how do we try to increase God’s work, God’s miracles, the opening of eyes.  Because we are called to!! But we’re completely dependent of God to do the miracles.  Oh and I think I’ll just throw free-will into the mix here now, God has trusted man with free will, God breathed into adam, then He started a conversation with him, let him name the animals whatever he wanted, and gave him the option of obedience of refusal.
So we are called by our king Jesus, to preach the good news, to make disciples, yet we are to rely on God to do the miracle of conversion and relay on people to make the free choice, and it is a free choice. 
You will never argue someone into the kingdom! 
If we try and force belief like a salesman trys to force our money out of our pocket for the promised reward that his product will bring, we will end up striping, downgrading people to a level where they have no choice, we cannot take away the dignity which God gave all women and men, to make their own mind up to follow or reject.  So belief cannot be forced, it will either strip people of dignity or it will be un-genuine.  
However the Gospel must be heard everywhere, if there was a cure for cancer you would let everyone know but it’s up to the person to go to the GP and be seen.  

A very helpful phrase which I think Jesus modeled, is ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Ps 34).  How profound a statement.  I’m starting to believe once people ‘taste’ genuine fellowship they’ll see how Christ is at the centre, ‘taste’ the truth of the Bible they’ll realise it can be depended on and that it’s a living book, ‘see’ the change in believers lives they realise theirs can be changed, ‘see’ the love and justice of God explained they’ll realise their need of Jesus.  

In our reaching/mission/friendships may we invite people to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Amen?

Standing on Grace

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