How do you see the grace of the gospel in a car break-in?

After the morning service on Sunday, I walked over to see what everyone was starring at through the window of the sanctuary.  It was 4 men, dressed in black, trying to break into the car of one of our church members.  So, how did I see the grace of the gospel in this?

Because those 4 men dressed in black coats were all men of our church, most of who are deacons now, breaking into the car of a young mother with 2 small kids–husband out of town–who had locked her keys in the car.  Each of these 4 men had a past history of “criminal like activity” like this, before they were converted to Christ.  One man I have discipled for over 10 years.  Another was converted through 12 months of meeting weekly with him over coffee.  Each of these 4 men had been so transformed by the gospel, that they put all their lunch plans on hold to stand in the cold and use their “previous skills” to serve a sister in Christ in need.  The car was successfully broken into and I even watched one of these men help carry the kids of this young mother to the car and be one of the last ones out of the church that day.

As others watching joked about these men’s “past experience” in this area, I found my heart so grateful for how powerful the gospel is to give us new minds, hearts, desires, and motives, yet still redeem gifts and abilities that were once used to serve ourselves and the enemy, now to serve Christ and his church for his glory.  Even…if it is the ability to break into a car.  

Pastors, every single one of us have examples like this in our churches.  If you cannot think of one, you aren’t thinking hard enough, your not looking for them, or your frustrations at the church have blinded you to the evidences of grace that exist in every local church where the gospel is preached and gospel transformation is inevitably present.  Look for them.  Acknowledge them to your congregation.  Then, give thanks that the Lord is indeed at work in your people through your ministry!

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism
5 comments on “How do you see the grace of the gospel in a car break-in?
  1. Hayden says:

    Great story. Reminds me of one of the pointers that CJ Mahaney has in his book called “Humility” on finding ‘evidence of grace’ in others. Not only are we to see them we are to point out such evidence to the people that we see it in.

    Love the new blog

  2. JamesBrett says:

    great post. reminds me a bit of pre-discipleship peter versus post-indwelling peter. a loud mouth (who spoke what he was thinking, regardless of the wisdom involved) turned preacher (who spoke wisdom which, through Christ, was what he was thinking). the same guy who wanted to convince Jesus not to go through with this whole crucifixion thing later preached with conviction that very crucifixion to a crowd of thousands on pentecost.

    it’s incredible to see in a Christian the reflection of where he came from and how God has transformed and shaped him into this new creation.

  3. James says:

    That’s great! I love it. I get to be that person redeemed of Christ and yet, putting the ‘past’ experience to use. In turn, as an employee of a social service agency, I work with ex-felons, mental health recipients, and former dope-fiends. I LOVE MY JOB. I get to work with people just like me! Unless I come to Christ, I am of no difference.

    - Let us all remember how each and every one of us is just as eligible for grace as the next person.

  4. Tammy says:

    So encouraging to see the power of the gospel in action! I would like to e-mail this to my pastor, but I saw the copyright at the bottom of the page. Is it ok to send this?

    Thanks!!!

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