The Greek root for "Grace" means; "I rejoice, I am glad." Rejoicing and gladness then should be the mark of a Christian and the reputation of our churches.
All Christians are saved and forgiven of their sins and trespasses by the grace of God, the unconditional love that He gave to the world as His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life on the cross that all humans who believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3; 16 paraphrased).
The grace of God is well-known. He tells us in His Holy Word, the Bible, how He loves us and will guide us in His ways and keep us safe from our enemies as we love and obey Him. He tells us He will never leave us and will keep and protect us. Grace may just be the most important word in the Bible -- the heart of the gospel.
The church is the institution founded to proclaim, in Paul's phrase, "the gospel of God's grace." Where else can the world go to find grace?
So, I have a question -- Why aren't people by the tens of thousands rushing to our churches? Actually, they should, because there they can truly find love and joy and peace, they can find grace.
However, they are not mobbing our churches; they seem to rather go most any place than the church. Why is this? Let's look introspectively into our churches and see if we can answer this pressing question.
My experience has been a very happy one in our church. We do have joy and gladness, we love each other and enjoy being together, we would like every one in the community to come and join us and find joy in their lives.
It may seem this would be enough to encourage them to come, but since they are not responding, there must be something else we can do. At this point, we should ask some important questions: First, we should look at our own lives. Are we living and loving and giving grace to every one we meet? Not just in the church, but in the community, the workplace, in our homes and with our neighbors?
Are we communicating with those who are not coming to our church or to any church and showing grace to them? Are our outreach programs reaching the un-churched? How effective are these programs?
How many of the Christians in our church are actively witnessing to the lost or preparing to learn how to witness effectively?
Christians are the church, not the buildings or all the great facilities provided for its members. It seems natural to me, if we live close to God and follow His plans for our lives, we will be very joyful and glad to be serving the Lord and showing and giving grace to all.
We not only need to be sure we show our love, happiness and joy in belonging to Jesus Christ, to our fellow Christians, but to all of the people in our world, our neighbors and all the people we meet each day.
If we sincerely live our lives as Jesus teaches, we will celebrate on our journey through this world and on to heaven
I challenge everyone who reads this article to take a look at his or her life. Are you showing love and concern to everyone you meet in your daily activities?
Are you showing your faith and belief in Jesus Christ by how you live your life? Are you sharing your faith to all and inviting them to come to church where they will find joy and gladness?
I pray our God will give us the grace, courage and will to be active in sharing Christ with others.