The grace we give differs greatly from the grace of Jesus. In our fleshly minds, we often limit our outpouring of grace to the ones we feel deserve it or those we feel will respond to it. We treat it as an investment to spend wisely rather than an endless stream of love to give lavishly. The prevenient grace of God constantly pokes the hearts of the lost before He invites us into their situations. By refusing to extend our grace to everyone, we deny that the Spirit is already there, doing a work. The Father’s grace is a continuous fountain; it never slows down, and it never runs dry. We tend to cling to the faucet to stop that flow when we feel our grace will return void. It should be our desire that God would create in us an ever-flowing fountain like His. When we’re genuinely connected to the source, we’ll never want that flow to stop.
In Luke 17, we see the story of the ten lepers. After they shout to Jesus in desperation for healing, He tells them to go show themselves to the priest and they would be healed. When they were healed, only one returned to Jesus to thank Him for His mercy. The other nine went on their way, not returning to thank Jesus for what He’d done.
So often, we take holy moments for granted. Just as the nine ungrateful lepers, it’s not rare for the generosity and kindness of the Lord to slip my mind. I can never truly give the Lord the praise and thanksgiving He deserves, but that didn’t stop Him from dying on a cross for me. God is all-knowing. He was aware of the ones who wouldn’t come back to thank Him, but He healed them anyway. The assumed response to our grace should never be the reason we extend it to the world. Jesus didn’t have an agenda in healing the ten lepers, He was simply obeying the Father and creating a moment for them to draw closer to Him. That should be our heart for evangelism.
You may feel you make an impact in one out of every ten people you tell about the Lord. When extending love is the only agenda, you will never fail. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to move, even amongst “the least of these.” Those you feel have zero chance of responding to your message have a purpose in building the Kingdom just like you and me. The grace and love you present to them may be what the Holy Spirit has prepared them to receive. Your act of obedience could be the final blow that uncovers their eyes to see Jesus and their Kingdom identity and purpose.
It’s tricky to put language to what God’s grace looks like. It’s more tangible in how we receive it than how we explain it. His motive for evangelism runs deeper in grace for the unbeliever than ours do. To be effective evangelists, we should align our hearts and motives with those of the Lord. In our post-Christian culture, where church hurt and spiritual wounds run rampant, we should be eager to tell others about Jesus with grace and kindness. Instead, we often hold it inside and wait for the right person to come along. I urge you to give it freely. Jesus died for you when you were still a slave to sin. Our response should be one with similar motives when evangelizing to the lost.