Who Led You to Christ?
You owe to me even your own self (Philemon 19)
If you are an obedient believer in Christ, walking in the light and life of God, you have a glorious destiny! You will eternally experience unimagined bliss in the kingdom of God and in the presence of your Lord, and a breadth of divine fellowship you never dreamed possible. If you are saved, your present situation in life is indeed blessed and your future is one of utter glory and blessedness (Romans 8:17-18).
But let me ask you a question: Have you ever pondered the debt of gratitude you owe to not only the God who called you, the Savior who died for you, the Holy Spirit who gave you life, but also to the human being who reached out to you with the saving message of truth?
Who might that be? Some of you were so blessed to learn of Jesus in your mothers lap and at your fathers knee. Like Timothy, from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15). Your mind and spirit were carefully guided into the ways of truth and your character was tenderly formed by a loving mother, a father, or both of your parents who have known God intimately themselves. When you were convicted of your own personal sin and grasped the significance of the good news of Christ, you personally responded and thus were saved from sin.
If this describes your experience, you owe so much to your parents. In effect, you owe everything to them! It is as though they have given to you a gift of $1,000,000,000,000! In reality, such a gift from God to you through your parents cannot be measured. Have you ever specifically thanked them for this godly influence on your life? Have you often expressed your gratitude to them for bringing you up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4b)? Do you thank God for using them both, or one of them (as the case may be), to teach you the good news of Christ?
Maybe it was a friend or acquaintance who first reached you with the message of God and introduced you to His salvation. You may have noticed something different about his life-style, something unusual about his character, or something radiant and peaceful about his countenance. This may have led you to an inquiry which brought an explanation of Christ Jesus who makes the difference in his or her life. On the other hand, maybe he or she sought you out and initiated a conversation or study of spiritual truth. He may have sat down with you at your kitchen table, in your living room, or maybe in his own home, and there explained the Word more perfectly to you (cf. Acts 18:26). Your eyes were opened by the Spirit as the Word of God became clear to you for the first time in your life. Through this means, you may have turned to the Lord. Thus this friend has been instrumental in reaching you with the saving message of God. Have you expressed your deep and eternal gratefulness to this brother or sister who first introduced you to Christ? Do you have a sincere regard for this beloved saint who rescued you from sin, despair, death, and hell? Indeed, you owe him your eternal destiny with the Lord!
Your present life in Christ, on the other hand, may be traced back to a proclaimer or preacher of the good newssomeone specifically in the work of reaching lost persons with the message of salvation. You may have met him almost anywhere: in the park, on a sidewalk, in a public meeting, in a home Bible study, or at a friends house. You may have first read his message through literature he wrote or heard his voice on radio. However you first met him, you can trace you initial spiritual enlightenment to the message of God through his words. He may have painstakingly discussed your need of forgiveness of sins, Christs provision of such forgiveness through His redemptive death and resurrection, and the means of appropriation of this salvation. He may have personally immersed (baptized) you in the name of the Lord Jesus. Like Paul, he could say, In Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15).
Let me now ask you: Have you ever thanked him? Have you ever expressed the depth of your love for him for being used of God to reach you? This could greatly bless him and further motivate him in his service for Jesus. You may even be able to express your gratitude by supporting him if he goes abroad to preach or if he serves the Lord locally to make Christ known to others.
It may be that you can trace your salvation to another person. Maybe your husband or wife was used of God to reach you with the good news of Christ. Paul envisions this possibility: How do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:16). How thankful you should be to this beloved mate with whom you are not only united in the flesh but also in Christ Jesus! Perhaps a son or daughter was the means of your learning the truth of salvation. You brought this child into the physical world and now this son or daughter proved to be the means of bringing you into the Kingdom of God. How grateful you should be and how you should express this gratefulness to this beloved child of yours!
Almost any Christian may have helped you to make a decision for Christ the Lord. Maybe it was someone who offered you a Bible study course by mail on online. Maybe it was someone who hosted a Bible study gathering in his or her house. Maybe it was someone who proclaimed the message of salvation through a website. And perhaps it was someone who offered you a tract or pamphlet that stimulated your appetite to learn more of the Lord and His will for you. Whoever it was, should this not draw your heart to him with love and gratitude?
Thoughtfully ponder how you became a Christian and who was humanly responsible for this most important event in your lifeand in eternity. Of the billions in this world who are lost and will perish, you are one of the few who have been saved! Shouldnt this thrill your heart and cause you to be filled with rapturous gratitude for this special one (or special few) whom God used to reach you! Paul wrote to Philemon, You owe to me even your own self (v. 19). In like manner, you owe someone (or more than one) your own selfyour eternal destiny! Why not take the time today to thank this brother or sisterin person, by phone, or by letter. Be thankful for your salvation and express it to God and to the one who reached out to save you from sin, deception, ignorance, blindness, and death (Colossians 3:15). Be thankful to God through Christ and also be grateful for the one used of God to rescue you!