There’s an old hymn with a line that goes, “Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe.” The acronym for grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. It can never be earned or deserved but can grace really run out?
Our scripture today indicates that grace can indeed run out. After a person rejects Christ so many times; the Lord declares He will harden a person’s heart. I did hear of a man who had the gospel given to him over a hundred times before it started to sink in and then he prayed to receive Christ.
We don’t know the time frame God has ordained for each person being wooed to Himself. He does not wish for any man to perish without a saving knowledge of Himself. Over time; if any man continually refuses to beckon to God’s call, he will develop a heart of stone. Any time a person falls under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and rejects His wooing; a heart of stone can be changed to a heart of flesh.
I recently heard the testimony of a Catholic Samoan missionary who studied for many years to become a Jesuite priest. Jim Civale and his wife Emi were steeped in Roman Catholicism. God used Jim’s earthly brother’s letter to lead him and his wife to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The letter stated that Jim’s brother was leaving the Catholic Church.
At first Jim was angered by his brother’s declaration. Jim proclaimed with his own mouth how he was steeped in pride of his Catholic training. He had obtained a doctorate degree in his field but God opened his eyes to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through a letter; Jim Civale had a Damascus Road experience. Although there was no blinding light, he began to read the Holy Bible for himself and the truth of this two edged sword pierced him through and through. Eventually he led his bride Emi; also steeped in Catholic training, to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Since that day; God has done many great and mighty things through this dear couple. Schools have been established on the island of Samoia. Churches have been built. Many people have been delivered from ancestor worship and cultish practices, to the glorious saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
You see, a heart of stone can be changed when a person begins to seek the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer in Motion:
Oh God, thank You for using different ways and means to draw us to Yourself. Thank You for bringing Jim and Emi to Christ. A whole country has been changed due to their obedience. I praise You for these dear missionaries that brought light into a once very dark place. Keep Your hand upon them as they continue to do the work of Your ministry. In Jesus Name. Amen