“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
Annisa* was upset. Her husband was gathering the children again to listen to a radio program she hated. She was a Muslim, and she hated the idea of her children listening to what she considered heresy.
“Why would a Muslim listen to FEBC radio? The word ‘Jesus’ is in the programs!” she angrily exclaimed.
One day her husband contacted a local pastor and asked him to come to their home. When Annisa found out, she was furious.
After that first visit, the pastor began to come more often, and for the first few times Annisa ignored him. But one afternoon the pastor asked Annisa, “What do you believe gives you salvation?” Annisa replied, “My amal (good deeds), my sholat (prayers), and my ibadah (religious acts).” He said, “It’s not you.”
The pastor told her that salvation does not come from her or any human effort. “The only thing that will save you is believing in the Lord Jesus.”
Annisa said that from that moment on, she was interested in learning about Christ. She attended a spiritual retreat with the pastor and church, and from her prayers to the Lord, her life was changed.
“Since then I’ve followed Christ, because I found a remarkable peace that I’d never experienced before.”
“I also learned what my prayers meant, because in the past I didn’t understand the Muslim prayers. Now, every day I listen to the radio and grow in my faith, hoping to become a faithful disciple of Jesus no matter what happens in my life.”
It is by grace that we have been saved—not by anything that we can do. The Gospel has been freely given to you and me, just as it was to everyone else. And yet, we often hold it close to our chests, unwilling to tell others about the free gift of salvation we received, and unwilling to tell others about how they can receive it too.
When Annisa found out that it wasn’t her good works, prayers or other acts that would lead to her salvation, she felt a weight lifted from her. Imagine the neighbor down the street that doesn’t know Christ, or someone you know who goes about life in a haze of depression. Imagine the joy they are missing out on because they do not know of Jesus’ unconditional, free gift of love to them. You could be that person that gives them that gift.
Lord, show me opportunities to share Your love with others. There are so many around us who are broken, believing that they are not good enough, that they have to earn Your love. Strike down these lies that Satan tries to spread in our hearts, allow me to be the voice of truth with whoever I meet. Thank You for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for all of us. You paid such a high cost to make this life-changing gift free. May we never forget that, Lord. Amen.
*name changed to protect identity