In a recent interview, David Crowder talked about his newest album entitled, “I Know a Ghost.” “The story that I’ve told over and over from these three records is pretty redundant,” noted Crowder. “It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re done, you can’t outrun God and you can’t outrun grace.” I like the idea of not being able to outrun grace. Crowder believes, “Those who follow Jesus can make a real impact by offering grace in spaces where grace is generally the last thing offered.”
As Judy and I go about building community in a Senior Apartment complex with such a wide array of folks, we pray for each other in our desire to practice the presence of Jesus with those we come to know. We desire to be a “Christ-like fragrance” in our new relationships. “Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God” (II Cor. 2:13-14 NLT). Being the fragrance of Christ is another way of being an expression of God’s grace. In all of our relationships we pray that there might be a scent of the aroma of Jesus so that others might be open to the love of God.
As men, we each have our sphere of influence in which God will help us forget about ourselves, while having a servant’s attitude toward others. Men, we have a wonderful opportunity to be the salt and light of the gospel in dark places, where others live in suspicion and protective defensiveness, not wanting to risk being hurt and misunderstood. Judy and I have no idea what will happen in our relationships, but we already have had chances to share with others in a soulful manner. People don’t natural go there, even in familiar surroundings.
Remember you are also salt. “Let me tell you why you are here,” Jesus tells us. “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage” (Matt. 5:13 – Message). Our conversation and demeanor are to be seasoned with salt. Don’t expect quick results. Sometimes it takes years. You might be the only authentic witness in life of another.
We are also to be a light. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16 – Message). Pray to be generous with those who come to know you.
Where does God want you to be salt, bringing the favor of the gospel as you spread the fragrance of the Lord? Where does God want you to keep open house by being open and generous? Remember others can not out run the grace of God.