There is a major Toyota plant close to where I live. I’ve toured the plant twice–it is fascinating to me. There is such coordination of the parts, workers and assembly. The inventory is “just-in-time”. They only have a couple hours worth of parts sitting around. A lot of thought went into the process.
The salvation of a person is not an assembly line process. It is very personal and unique in its path. That said, their is a beginning, middle and end that is guided by someone.
The Bible declares that we were all dead in our sins at some point. We were far from God in terms of our sinfulness, inability to understand, unwillingness to trust God and so on. If we could be put on a scale from -10, where you are hostile to God, 0, where you finally are saved, and +10 where you are on fire for Jesus; we would all have been at a -10 at some time, even if was only at our infancy.
How to we get moved from -10 to at least 0? Jesus has that plan. He is our salvation engineer. Much of the important infrastructure was laid before we were born. Jesus knew who would be His from before the creation of the world. He entered the world at an opportune time. He fulfilled the Law and paid the price for our sins through His forsakenness and death. He preserved the Church and the Gospel up to our time.
Once we became part of this world, Jesus had other plans for us. Maybe we were placed in a Christian family, maybe not. Jesus prepares the hearts of people through their experiences. He puts them in contact with Christians or with His Word or sometimes even approaches them in their dreams. Jesus moves people to the point of crossing 0. Some people are even amazed that it happens. It is not necessarily an intellectual process.
For those of us in plus numbers, we care about those who are still in the negatives. We want to help. Be aware that no individual is solely responsible or capable of moving a person from negative to positive. We can only join Jesus in His ongoing plan. This is not to allow apathy. Rather it is to leave the burden of a person’s salvation with the only being who can truly do anything about it.
How can I join Jesus in his work? Lots of ways. Live as a Christian should every day and everywhere, pray for others, love them, and be ready to speak the Gospel accurately. No one is asking you to force a conversation about Jesus in at an unnatural time, no more than the person installing the steering wheel in a Toyota is supposed to jump in when the car in still getting body welds.
Being available to do your part is enhanced by being involved in people’s lives. Get to know people. Share your life with others. I am an introvert at heart. Still, I can be extroverted for professional reasons. Giving Christ to others is part of every Christian’s reason for living (vocation). You can do it because Jesus is doing it through you.
The finished automobile is a beauty to behold, especially when you consider what all went into making it. Even more so is the beauty of someone who was brought from far away to eternal life with God.
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