“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith,
so that you will have a full understanding of every
good thing we have in Christ.”
Our Lord’s declared purpose is stated in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” To the measure in which we make this our purpose in life we enter into a fuller understanding of His purpose. A declared intent to be involved in the lives of others in a redemptive mission with Christ brings us into His fellowship, His presence, His power, and His purpose. To follow the light we have as we reach out to others with the Good News leads us into further light, enabling us to clearly see others as only Christ sees them, “harassed, and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” We come to understand that there are only two types of people in the world; those who need to know Christ and those who need to know Him better. We are able in fellowship with His purpose, to view all people with an eye to their redemption. We understand the words of Paul in Colossians 1:28-29 “So naturally we proclaim Christ, we warn everyone we meet, we teach everyone we can all that we know about Him, so that if possible, we may bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ.” In fellowship with our Lord’s purpose, we are led into a fuller understanding of Jesus’ words in John 12: 24-26: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am there my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” A full understanding of being one with Him in His purpose enables us to anticipate many seeds without counting the cost.
Being identified with Him in His purpose enables us also to come into a fuller understanding of His perseverance. It is in continuing to be active in sharing our faith that we are stirred by His Spirit to persevere for the lives of others. For some, this may mean years. For others, it may be decades. I am currently praying for and occasionally visiting a man whom I met forty years ago. As we began the relationship, I was a customer in his business. Later, both he and his entire family were a part of my medical practice. Twenty five years ago, we asked him to consider meeting with us in a Bible study. He flatly rejected the idea. Our relationship grew, however, and we began to spend more time together. When asked ten years ago about the possibility of looking at the scriptures, he considered it three days before saying “No.” Five years ago he was admitted to the hospital and I visited him there. I gave him a book with some meditations on the Psalms. When seen a few months later, he remarked that he had thoroughly enjoyed the book, reading it morning and evening. As John Ridgeway once remarked, “although the mind is closed, the heart may be open.” We have continued to meet periodically, and he even attended a Prayer Breakfast with me several years ago. Although he has rejected Christ for forty years, I have learned to persevere with him. Luke 8:15 reminds us that it is only by persevering that lives are changed. “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
It is my prayer that in actively sharing your faith you will come into a deeper understanding of His purpose and His perseverance.