Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Love& Devotion (17 of 21)

James 5:19-20 (New Living Translation) "My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."-Gone But Not Forgotten

Sin is addictively alluring. For the Christian, it places them in the position to choose between temporary pleasures and eternal riches. Let's get this on the table from the start, all Christians struggle. From the pastor to the parishioners, we all struggle with making the right choice every day. This fact makes our need for non-judgmental brothers and sisters in the faith, all the more relevant to our development. We especially need each other when we go astray.

Allow me to suggest that we leave the truth because it confronts the sin that we've grown comfortable in. We wander from the people who love us enough to keep it 100 with us; we wander from the truth that makes us free and from the God who found us when we were lost and loved us back to health. The word 'wander' implies that we're gone from the safety of God's care, aimless without direction.

Even though some may leave and are gone from the church/faith community, we (their brothers and sisters) should love them enough to not forget about them! Don't forget that we're all involved in the same struggle. Don't forget that we're a mere decision away from being in the same shape they're in. Our love is agape (Greek word that means in spite of), which has the ability to love without concern of perfection. We love each other, not because we're perfect but because we're pressing! We're all works in progress.

OK, let me reign my rambling in... When I say not to forget about those who're gone from the fellowship, I'm suggesting that we become mobile and not be rigid. Somebody has to go get our brothers and sisters that are hiding from the truth. When we go get them, we can't be so rigid in our religion that sin looks better than being saved. Paul says in First Corinthians 9:22 that he relates with people on their level, so he can lead them to Jesus. Don't miss the point of our salvation. It's not to die and go to heaven; but to die, go to heaven and to carry as many people with us as we can!

I know that this devotion is long but it's important. If you really love God, then you love all of us. The proof of that love is found in your reaching those who need the Jesus you have.

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