Many countries around the world, including some the Mandate ministers in, are primarily dominated by Buddhist or Hindu beliefs. In traveling through these nations, the thing that stands out is the gift of grace. We have to honor as believers to let others in on the gift just waiting to be received in their lives that is unique to Christianity.
In nations with alters filled with sacrifices, it is a reminder of the price many feel they have to pay to have their desires and prayers answered. In order to have their requests honored, they offer a price to appease the spirits. In reality, the price has already been paid, and requests are able to be made to God plainly, as “paid up”, justified sons and daughters. And you get to be a part of delivering this good news.
In other countries there may not be alters with offerings, but the concept survives. The idea that desires must be earned by achievement or bought by money. You don't have to live in a Buddhist, Animist, or Hindu nation to get the privilege of telling lost neighbors about the grace of God. Maybe your neighbor has their self worth tangled up in performance in his or her career. You get to be the messenger of grace to that person. Maybe someone you know is riddled with anxiety about finances, thinking that in order to be healed he or she must be able to buy all the treatments. You can pray for their healing with them for free, and those prayers can be more powerful and life-changing than handing them thousands of dollars.
Karma is a prevalent concept with a similar message that suggests that past actions, words, or even thoughts can predetermine or “earn” what will happen in the future. Imagine living with that pressure. Every mistake you made in the past still waiting to catch up with you. Now imagine the freedom that washes the soul when the realization happens that God and God alone holds the future. That we don't have to “earn” our future or determine what comes of us. God's redemption of our past and the plans He has to prosper us and not the harm us (Jeremiah 29:11) is available totally free. A clean slate is available for the first time. Seeing from the lens of performance and then having the grace of a fresh start truly captures what it means to be saved out of darkness and into marvelous light. Again, this is a gift of good news you can carry regardless of where in the world you are. You could be the one who goes into a prison and shares the gift of grace and forgiveness with a prisoner. You could be the one who tells someone weighted down by guilt from their past that through salvation and repentance that they have a fresh start.
One of the biggest honors we have as Christians as well as one of the most important mandates we have is to make known the gospel and along with it change the lens of performance and perfection for the lens of grace. Pray about this week how you can be part of this transformation. Pray also for those people and nations that do not know the grace of God that it would be shared with them.