When Those You Love Don't Know God

“But when he came to himself…” Luke 15:17.

When someone we care about doesn’t understand what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus, we can feel like we’ve failed them. Yet the Bible is clear that salvation is an act of God, not of man. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

It is God doing the work in hearts, not us. 

In Luke 15, the Prodigal Son didn’t return home until he lost absolutely everything and was ready to humble himself. Salvation is often found when people come to the end of themselves-- from the deepest suffering, the tumultuous seasons, and the most desperate times. The good news is that God is waiting with open arms. Like in the story in Luke, the father “…saw him while he was still a long way off, and felt compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” 

So what can we do when those we love blatantly turn away from the gospel? We can remember that God is a sovereign and loving Father. He knows what it will take to open our eyes, ears and hearts to turn to Him. Sometimes, like with the Prodigal Son, it will take losing everything. Trust that God’s timing is always perfect.

We can pray with all of our hearts for those we care about to know him. We may never know what acts or words of kindness, forgiveness, or mercy may add to someone else’s salvation story. Pray without ceasing for those you love, be the light to them in a dark world. Be faithful. Know that God hears you and He is always present and He is working in ways we cannot see. 

Father God, thank you that you are a loving and merciful God. Thank you that you are always working even when we do not see you. We pray continually for you to open the eyes of those we love so that they may recognize their need for you and experience your deep love for them through your son Jesus.