Monday, November 7, 2011

Not So Cheap Grace

On Friday I received a phone call. The person on the other end of the line asked me to come to her house to visit her. She and her "husband" (2 kids, no marriage) had come to the church on the previous Sunday. It had been obvious she didn't want to attend, but her recently converted "husband" had insisted. So she came. The following Thursday her "husband" had come to my office. From what he had told me, I never expected a phone call from her the next day.

I rearranged my schedule and went to visit her on Saturday morning. She was at her mother's house. She has not lived with her "husband" or kids for some time. The conversation was typical for people meeting for the first time under difficult circumstances. She shared a bit of her history and her problems. I listened. After 30 minutes I asked her why she had asked me to come. She told me that she was ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. She wanted to pray the prayer of salvation.

At this point I usually pray with the person. If they can articulate their need for the Lord and their desire to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, they normally they are ready to pray.
Sometimes we are quick to pray with the person, because we want to make it as easy as possible. Sometimes...many times this is a mistake. I felt a "check" in my spirit and I began to define true repentance for her. I told her that she would need to give Jesus 100% of her life, not just a small part. She could not hold back anything. I told her that Jesus would forgive her and would transform her, but she would have to give him everything, both the good and the bad. She would have to make changes in her lifestyle and live according to God's will.

Then I asked her if she was ready to pray the prayer of salvation. She answered, "No." At first I was in shock, but then I realized there was something or someone that she was not willing to give up. We talked some more and I prayed for her. I left and went home. I felt like a failure.

She came to church on Sunday. She came with her "husband" and 2 kids. She had a huge smile on her face. After church she told me that she had given her life to Jesus after I had left the house. She was ready to move forward with the Lord. She was ready for him to restore her marriage. They scheduled counseling for this week.

The angels in heaven were singing the "Hallelujah Chorus!" Another name had been added to Book of Life.

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