Read: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Luke 23:39-43; Matthew 16:26-27
We must have missed the doorbell. Or perhaps, the delivery driver knocked to signal the delivery of a package and we didn't hear it when we were in the back part of the house. In any case, according to the notice on the computer, at 8:58, a package was dropped off for us, and sure enough, there it was on the deck. Package delivered!! The delivery driver's job as concerns this parcel was finished. He wasn't responsible to pick up the box, carry it in or open it. He simply was responsible for bringing it to us.
We who have received the awesome gift of freedom from both the penalty and the power of sin have something in common with that delivery driver. God has given us the privilege of delivering a gift of immeasurable worth to those He places in our lives, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. When we tell others what He has done for us, and explain both their need of a Savior and His love for them, we hold out a package that is more precious than the world's wealth, Matthew 16:26-27. Yet much like the delivery driver, we aren't responsible for what anyone does with the precious Gift we offer.
This week, my sister and brother-in-law returned home from a trip to the Midwest. They weren't sightseeing this time. They had taken this opportunity to offer help and, once again speak about the salvation Jesus offers to Wayne and Bill, my brother-in-law's uncles. These gentlemen are in their 80s, and though they need physical help, their greatest need, as it is with each of us, is new birth, John 3:3. Thankfully, my sister and brother-in-law were able to help them in very practical ways; however sadly, as far as we know, these two precious men have, once again, rejected Jesus' gift of love, John 3:16. Package delivered, but refused. Even so, we all will continue to pray for Wayne and Bill. While they remain alive, there is still hope. We know that it is God's heart that they receive Him, 2 Peter 3:9. Yet, we know that Wayne and Bill might never say yes to Jesus' offer. We are reminded in the Bible that two criminals were crucified along with Jesus. One reached out for Jesus' love, knowing that He needed a Savior. The other man stayed hardened toward the Lord, Luke 23:39-43. Even after He heard Jesus' sweet words of forgiveness offered and His promise of paradise.
I think we all have precious ones like Wayne and Bill. We have reached out in love and prayed for a long time. The packages go unopened even when we deliver them with the love of Jesus. Often there are tears as the years go on. Are those tears in vain? No, whether that precious one ever receives Jesus or not, our tears are an expression of Jesus' heart. Remember how He cried over Jerusalem and the rejection of His people, Luke 19:41-44. He knew the terrible destruction they would suffer, and He wept. God says in Ezekiel that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Rather, He longs that they will turn to Him for forgiveness and cleansing, Ezekiel 33:11.
One thing we can know for certain. God sees it each time we hold out His love. Whether the intended recipient opens the box or not, God is pleased when we obey His command to make disciples, Matthew 28:18-19. Whether we speak with eloquence or stumble over our words, God sees our desire to make Him known, and our work, done out of love for Him is never in vain, 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Back to those who deliver packages. Sometimes as I step out on the deck to receive what has been dropped off, the driver lets me know the box is heavy. A kind thing to do. Or, knowing that I am blind, sometimes he will let me know where he has placed the box. Very helpful and very much appreciated. However, I still have to pick up and open the box.
When we tell others what Jesus has done on our behalf, we should speak with gentleness and respect as Peter exhorts us to do, 1 Peter 3:15. We also pray to be bold and gracious with our words and be clear in what we say concerning our Savior, Colossians 4:4-6. Even though our winsomeness makes it easier for Jesus to be seen, we need to remember how many rejected the Savior Whose words were always what they should be. After all, the scriptures say that He was filled with both grace and truth, John 1:16-17. When the Master held out His love, the package was delivered perfectly. Yet sadly, it was often refused.
Lord, Thank You that You love Wayne and Bill, as well as our loved ones so much that You sent Jesus. If any of them will receive Him, they will not perish but have everlasting life. Please continue to seek and save these precious ones.