Focus 40 Day 11: Extreme Living – Reaching to join God’s Spirit at work
Prayer Focus: Pray to expand your reach – Matthew 11:18-19
Extreme Living—Reaching to Join God’s Spirit at Work
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
—Acts 8:34–35 (NIV)
THE PREVENIENT GRACE OF GOD is the theological concept that God is working in the lives of those around us before we ever enter into their journey with the message of Jesus. It is illustrated here with Phillip’s encounter with the eunuch. John Wesley and A. W. Tozer are also among those who have written about it. And it’s something we all should come to expect and anticipate in our daily lives as we follow Jesus.
It’s not uncommon when sharing the message of God’s great love for us to hear people say, “My grandmother used to read the Bible to me, and I’ve carried those stories with me throughout my life.” or “This is odd, just last night I had a dream about Jesus.” It’s the Spirit of God at work long before we enter the scene preparing the heart for the message of Jesus.
A musician friend was asking me numerous questions about faith and Jesus. Over the course of our conversations, I observed that the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, had profoundly influenced his life as a musician. A bit of research showed Bach’s own passionate faith in Jesus, which is revealed through quotes such as, “The aim and final end of music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Of course, I discovered that my friend could quote this and other sayings by Bach, which gave me opportunities to join the conversation.
Jesus, give me the eyes to see those whom you are already preparing and the ears to hear your prompting to go and join a conversation that you have already begun. Amen.
Rev. Kelly Philips, Church of God Missionary to Germany