There is no such thing as cookie cutter Christians. Spiritual growth is more organic than orthodox. People are people. They all have their own story. The church is more mosaic than model.
Some people receive Jesus and allow Him to renovate their lives rapidly. Others come to consider the matter awhile before they concede. Some people, working through great hurt and distrust, spend years around the gospel before they get it and get in.
Speaking of the gospel, it still is the good news to a lost world. It says that no matter your story, you can be a part of His story. The next chapter of your life can be filled with His life and His hope, if you become a part of HIStory. We are called to give people the good news. Yes, you are a sinner. But, Jesus loved you enough to take on your sin, die on the cross for your sin, so you could get out of sin, and live a victorious life over sin.
Noah was one called to call all mankind into the ark. The ark was God’s mode of salvation. Noah preached and compelled – and then did it again. The bible says that Noah preached that gospel for 120 years. And when the call came to come in, Noah waited by the door as fast (cheetah) and slow (turtle) animals made their way into the ark.
Why can we be so passionate about delivering the gospel, but not be patient with time? Noah’s gift to his generation was time. 120 years preaching, plus a patient pause at the door, waiting on the plodders to get in.
Time is short. Time needs to be redeemed. Time needs to be given. There is a tension that exists between being passionate about the gospel presentation, and patiently waiting for people to process the process.
Some people just need more time. If you push to hard – you’ll push them away. If you pull to forcefully – they may fall out.
God gave Moses 40 years in the wilderness. He gave the children of Israel the same allotment. Jesus gave the disciples 3 years. The man at the Gate Beautiful was given 40 years.
Give people time:
- Give people time to come to the gospel. Invite and invest in their lives some more.
- Give people time to get the gospel. They need to hear it and then hear it again.
- Give people time to change once they get the gospel. Don’t over measure. Allow their renovation to emerge from the heart (inside) to the hands (outside).
- Give people time to step into their God appointed gifting. Equipping and training for ministry is a requirement for the church. I’ve been guilty of placing people in positions that they were not personally gifted for, just because we needed more personnel.
I Peter 3:20 – when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah