Saving A Christian Can Be Painful, But Rewarding!

God saved us from our sin, and to do so he had to give his one and only Son! (John 3:16) How painful it must have been for Jesus here on Earth, but He endured through the paid to bring us closer to Him! Sometimes, we must also endure pain and hardship in this world to bring someone back to salvation and eternal life. Not only can it be physically painful, but it can be spiritually and emotionally painful to walk with someone when they are so clearly walking away from you and God.

God is love, therefore love is what we need to do when we want to save someone from their sin. (1 Peter 4:8) This sounds easy enough, but how do you tell a fellow Christian that what they are doing is wrong in a loving way, well believe it or not the Bible has instructions on that too! Matthew 18:15-20 tells us that there is a way to tell a fellow Christian that what they are doing is wrong, and it is in love. I would always suggest approaching God first, for strength, endurance, wisdom, and courage. Often this process of helping someone back to God can be a long process, so make sure that you rely on God’s strength and not your own. After you have talked to God, take the person aside and point out their sin. This sounds rude, but as Christians we are called to sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17), this does not mean point out their every fault, but it means that we need to build each other up, if this includes fixing the foundation of their faith, then yes point out the sin.

I have often made the mistake of sending a Facebook message or text message, and this has always back fired on me, I believe that the process mentioned in Matthew 18 needs to be done in person, I believe that this allows God to be present to the both of you, and when is that ever a bad thing.

One thing I have learned over the years, is that God does not work on our schedule. Sometimes, there is a lesson that you or the person you are trying to help needs to learn before this sin can be resolved. God is not here to relieve us of the consequences of our sin, but to save us from the sin itself. Remember, God does not work on your schedule so do not expect.

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.” —from The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

Advertisements

Find Rest My Soul

God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. – Augustine

Until a few years ago when I thought about God giving me “rest” or “sheltering me in the storm of life” I thought of it purely in a physical sense. This lead me to a lot of disappointments in God, I was not happy, because I thought that he was going to make life easy, but I was wrong. God’s plan for us is not an easy life, in fact he says other wise in the Bible, but God promises us a different type of rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (emphasis mine).

What Jesus is talking about there is a rest for our souls. God has given us the Bible for a couple of reasons, to get to know him, to understand that Jesus died for us, and to know that we have eternal life just to name a few. Out of all the things I read in the Bible, most of it is comforting. The New Testament is all about Jesus; what He did, What he is doing, and What he will do. He was born, He lived as a human man, and died on the cross for our sins. Then, He sent the apostles out to make more disciples. The most comforting of these is that He died for us so that we could have eternal life in Heaven, if that is not comforting to you I can’t think of anything that would be.

The comfort and rest that Jesus offers us is not one that will fully be available in this world, we will get a taste of it for sure. An example of that would be, if you would lose your job, but continued to have faith in Jesus, you would find peace and rest in knowing that He has more plans for you, you just need to listen and follow His lead. We will fully receive this reward in Heaven.

Until that time lets remember Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.