Monday, February 28, 2011

A Divided House-DD 2/28/2011

"Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand." Matt 12:25

When the body's immune system malfunctions and begins to attack itself instead of invaders like viruses and bacteria, it is called an autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes, lupus and multiple sclerosis are a few of the more well known examples of this malady. Nearly 15% of people are affected. In these cases, the body is clearly divided against itself.

The local body of Christ can be subject to such things as well. When members fail to find common ground, cease communicating and begin to work against one another, it has the effect of putting the family in mortal danger. It is an autoimmune disease. We are called by Christ to be on one accord. We must find ourselves, "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" Eph 4:3-4

Beloved, we are not called to agree upon every single thing. There are many different ways to do things and many different individuals capable of doing them. As times change, we must sometimes change our methods without deviating from the essentials of the Christian faith. It is these essentials that are the ties that bind. We can disagree without being disagreeable, without separating and without destroying those who do not agree with us. Should we pursue a destructive course, which surely must originate from questionable motives, we ourselves may not stand.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, February 25, 2011

Keep to the Path-DD 2/25/2011

"Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on." Prov 4:14-15

Sometimes, we as human beings just want to see. We like to try things for ourselves. I remember a specific time in high school where a group of kids had gotten together in a hallway and were intently looking up at the ceiling. Every time someone walked by and looked up, they started laughing and added to the count of those they influenced to do what they were doing.

Beloved, falling to sin can be just like this. Once we have been saved from the darkness, it always beckons to us to come back. Often, the agent of this call are (perhaps former) friends who attempt to seduce us with words like, "Oh come on, just once isn't going to hurt anything," or "This isn't a sin, we're just having fun." We are counseled by God to give such enticements a wide berth. Any contact with the object of our temptation at all can represent a fast and slippery slide.

Beware of such enticement. Remember, "to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17. We were called by the Greater. Let us not fall to the lesser.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

When All Else Fails-DD 2/24/2011

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Ps 46:1

There are times when we all find ourselves at the end of our own resourcefulness. During those times, we would have done everything we could ourselves do, taken all the advice we could listen to from friends and family and even found that professional help has come up short. These could be issues of grief, relationship woes, financial troubles, legal concerns, work problems, spiritual woes and any number of other things that send us to the end of our rope.

Beloved, it is often at times like these where we find God. This is not to say that He has not been there the whole time, but we so often fill our lives with things that crowd Him out of our awareness that we miss him altogether. It is unfortunate but sometimes it takes situations like these to put us (back) in touch with the Father. It has been famously said that, "we don't realize how much God is all we need until God is all we have."

When we have exhausted all of our other options, we will find that He is a limitless resource. Once this is truly experienced, it is seldom if ever forgotten. When He has delivered us as no one or no thing possibly could, we learn to increase our reliance on Him and our faith in Him. The hardest learned lessons are the most permanent. Learn to make Him your first (and only) option instead of your last resort.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Be Careful What You Say-DD 2/23/2011

"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless." James 1:26

There is a reason why many Christians are labeled hypocrites. As it was once said, our video does not often match our audio. To be sure, we are pious and humble in worship and around other Christians, but at work, school and around our non-Christian friends, we are more liberal with the lip.

This liberality is seen in a variety of ways:

  • "But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?" Acts 5:1-3

  • "But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;" James 1:19

  • "But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way." James 3:8-10

  • "For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting." Rom 16:18

  • "...and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting," Eph 5:4

Beloved, this is, by no means an exhaustive list. Such as it is however; can you identify with any of these issues? Are you at one time or another guilty of all? Let us instead pursue seasoning our words with salt, uplifting, encouraging and edifying our fellow man. By this use of our words and the conservative use of our lips will we attract others to the cause of Christ. Remember, we represent him who saved us and Him who spoke the universe into existence.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Relay-DD 2/22/2011 (repost)

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Heb 12:1

Who among us does not swell with pride at the winning performance of loved ones or favorite teams on the fields and courts of competition? Do we not also perhaps remember our own competitive days during which we heard the encouraging screams and yells from fans and supporters of our own?

Our scripture for the day analogizes just such a thing. First, our fore runners in the faith are cheering for us to carry the gospel forward by both sharing it verbally and leading godly lives. Imagine a packed stadium dotted with Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Ruth, Esther and so many others urging us forward. They are described as "so great a cloud of witnesses." Surely this speaks to both number and accomplishment in the Lord.

And while you were perhaps competing, do you recall hearing those encouraging yells urging you onward to even better performance? The second part of the verse is designed to do just that. There is an inherent warning that the things that can hinder our performance and therefore affect our outcome are never far away and are an ever present danger. The admonition is to be aware of those things, shed them if you've got them, keep them away if you don't and to stay the course. That is the only way that we can participate in the victory that has already been won.

Those witnesses? They ran before we did. But before they stopped, they handed the baton to us. To whom will you pass it?

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Encouragement-DD 2/21/2011

"They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed." Acts 16:40

Each of us needs encouragement. Sometimes we need to give it and other times we need to receive it. Encouragement reassures us that we can accomplish the goals that we set before ourselves. It is an urging to stay on the path laid out for us by God. It is positive reinforcement to continue fighting the good fight.

Paul and Silas had been jailed for doing the work of the Lord and found themselves released and begged by the authorities to leave the city. During their jail time, they were locked in the inner recesses and chained. Despite their situation, they sang praises to the Lord. God caused an earthquake that ultimately led to their freedom. Immediately upon being released, they went to the house of Lydia and encouraged those that gathered there. It should be noted that worship was held in homes rather than dedicated buildings in those days. In effect, they went to the church and encouraged the worshippers there.

Beloved, attend to the fact that Paul and Silas continued to praise the Lord, even in the worst of circumstances. Note also that God heard their prayers and gave them the desires of their heart. An examination of the passage will show that the jailer's life was saved and he and his family became Christians through these circumstances.

Not only were Paul and Silas encouraged by their faith, which in turn delivered them through their hardship, but they then shared their experiences with the church. No doubt, this was designed to let them know that God would be with them despite their circumstances and that he is our deliverer and protector. Imagine how that message inspired its hearers to strengthen their faith and continue to lead righteous lives. It is a story that still inspires today. Let us be encouraged and encourage others.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, February 18, 2011

Show and Tell-DD 2/18/2011

"It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." John 4:42

Jesus had a critical conversation with a woman he happened to meet at a well drawing water. They discussed religion, morality, history and the future. She left the conversation convinced that he was the Savior. She went and told everyone she knew to come and meet him, citing that he told her everything she had ever done.

The scripture states that they came and believed because of what she said. Beloved is there anyone who has come to faith in Christ on the strength of your testimony inspired by your own experience with him? To be sure, you may be the only Jesus that someone will ever meet. The question may be asked, "What if they don't believe me?" The scripture goes on to say that there were also those who believed because of their own experience with him. They were able to do this because they were told and because they came. When is the last time you invited someone to worship?

Our responsibility is to share the good news. It is everyone's responsibility to decide. Our ever lasting hope and prayer is that all of man will believe. Let us begin with those with whom we have an audience.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Decision Time-DD 2/17/2011

"And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land." 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from." Josh 2:3-4

More often than not, people focus on the fact that Rahab committed a fabrication in lying to protect the men of God. This misses the point entirely. It is true that lying is a sin and God detests all sin but at the time, Rahab was not a child of God and therefore not subject to His commands. God did not bless the lie, He blessed the faith.

The point, beloved, is that there are times when it is necessary to go against conventional wisdom, popular opinion and even loyalty to friends and neighbors in order to do the right thing. Rahab, like many had heard the stories of God and His people. She had enough belief to be willing to conceal His spies in order that she and her family might be preserved. There are many alternative actions she could have taken but ultimately, she chose God's part.

Despite her occupation as a harlot and her identity as a member of a people opposed to God, she made the right decision at the right time. This decision not only saved her but placed her in the lineage of Christ. We are all but a well timed decision away from salvation.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Praise Where Praise is Due-DD 2/16/2011

"And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." Rev 5:13

None of us are strangers to extending great amounts of praise to others. We are all familiar with experiencing jubilation over the acts of those outside ourselves. I am reminded of the recent Superbowl. It is said that over 100 million people watched this sporting event. Without a doubt, those who watched were moved to joy and were complimentary to those who made great plays at some point during the game. Local fans of the winners sold out a stadium and endured near zero temperatures to gather, render praise and celebrate their team.

I'm also reminded of this award show season, consisting primarily of the Grammys and the Oscars. We all root for our favorite artist, song, performance, movie, actor or director. We watch with baited breath and after all is said and done, we cannot wait to get to the water cooler the next day at which we seek agreement on how great "so and so" was/is and how happy we are they won.

Beloved, these are momentary thrills at best. Our loyalty is almost always based on "what have you done for me lately?" We are then on to the next new thing, praising the Justin Biebers of the world as we once did Brittani Spears and before that, Debbie Gibson (who? right!). I recommend we give praise where praise is due. It is God who is our creator, our benefactor and the supplier of all of our needs. When we are at our lowest, it is Him we call upon. When we are at our highest, it is due to His supply. He has done more great things in our lives than we can even remember. He is always our champion and has never lost.

The next time we scream and yell at a competition or ask a great player, artist or performer for an autograph as we gush over their accomplishments, let us contrast this behavior with our enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for our Creator. Let everthing that has breath praise the Lord!

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When We Leave Jesus-DD 2/15/2011

"And as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it" Luke 2:43-44

Beloved, have you ever looked up and found that you were without Jesus? This can be a blessing wrapped in a tragedy. It is a tragedy because the Christian should never be without Jesus. It is through him that we live and move and have our being. To be sure, we are nothing but condemned without him. The blessing is found at the center of this tragedy because you realize you are without him. God has given us the Spirit of discernment. It is in us to know when we are outside of His will.

You may ask how one knows when they are without Jesus. The answer is different for everyone, but suffice it to say that if we are operating outside of his commands and not doing the things that are right according to his word, we have somehow, somewhere left him behind. Imagine how panic stricken Mary and Joseph were when the realized he was missing. Let it also be pointed out here that as with us, Jesus did not leave them, but it was they who left him.

Finally, the question must be asked, "how do we get him back?" Simply do what Mary and Joseph did; they went back to where they had him last. Chances are, if you find yourself without Jesus, you know exactly when and where you left him. Go back and get him. This may involve study, counseling, surrounding yourself with brothers and sisters and most certainly, prayer. You will find that Jesus is true to his word. He will never leave nor forsake you. Once you have regained him, keep him close in your heart at all times.

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Remembering God-DD 2/14/2011

"Otherwise, you may say in your heart, 'My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.' "But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth" Deut 8:17-18

From our earliest days on earth, we are taught self sufficiency and self reliance. We are taught, that if we would just work hard, any reward and success can be ours. "No one is going to give you anything. You have to get out there and make it for yourself," said our own parents. Then we as parents share the same advice and direction with our children.

What is missing from this mentality is the involvement of God. In His admonishment to the people of Israel, He reminds them to, "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." Deut 8:11-14

Beloved, in this "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" world, we must remember who gave us the boots and the straps as well as who gave us the strength and the know how to pull ourselves up. God is our benefactor. He is the provider of all things. We are merely the blessed recipients of His grace and mercy. Let us always remember this. Let us infuse these facts into the teaching we give our children so that they will know from where their help comes.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, February 11, 2011

A Matter of Time-DD 2/11/2011

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Time is an amazing concept. It is not tangible and is wholly theoretical. Though it exist as an indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another, we rely upon it to regulate our very lives. It exists to relate sequences to each other in order to consider them past, present or future. We measure our lives in relation to both our birth and anticipated death; our beginning and our end. Eternity is a difficult concept to grasp because it represents either the absence of time or infinite time.

In this passage, time is highlighted for two reasons. First, Peter is addressing the mockery of non-believers who, question the faith due to the as yet unseen second coming of the Lord. We are reminded that God is not constrained by time and that He operates on a different scale than we do. You will recall that, "with the Lord, a thousand years is like one day and one day like a thousand years." Second and more important, God is not negligent in His promises. He said that the Lord will return and he will. Any delay, real or perceived, is designed to give us time to come to full repentance thereby developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with our Creator.

Beloved, be assured that God will do what He said He would do. It is just a matter of time. The sad tragedy is that when that moment comes, it will be as a thief in the night, which is to say, by the time we realize what has happened, it will have been too late. And if we find ourselves on the outside looking in after this great moment has occurred, the one thing we will wish we had is just a little more time.

We have time now. We have this very moment. Nothing else is promised. Nothing else is assured.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Benefit of Guilt-DD 2/10/11

"I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything" 2 Cor 7:9

One might never think so, but a guilty conscience can be a wonderful thing. It certainly is uncomfortable at the time but it is an excellent indicator of when we are off the path. One seldom feels bad about doing something good, but for those of good conscience, there is never a good feeling for doing something bad.

Paul would seem to imply that this is a gift from God. If we feel bad enough to never want to feel that way again, it leads to us resolving to never again do what caused the bad feelings in the first place. This is the essence of the relationship between sorrow and repentance.

Beloved, just as pain is placed in our body to indicate a clear and present problem, guilt and sorrow are placed in our minds concerning those things which can destroy the body and soul. Let us pursue righteousness at all times by avoiding wrong at all cost. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just Let it Go-DD 2/9/2011

"A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression." Prov 19:11

We all know what it is like to be on the south side of a north bound relationship. Discrepancies, disagreements and disputes arise among our friendships and family relationships with what can be an annoying regularity. The effects can be anything from character building to relationship destroying.

In situations like these, it is easy to place blame on the other party. We can even draw comfort and confidence in feeling that we are right. The problem is that the relationship suffers. There is a real danger in losing something that is more valuable than we are willing to acknowledge at the moment.

Beloved, Paul once asked, "why not be wronged?" Sometimes it can serve both the greater good and the individuals involved to allow things to dissipate. Yes introspection is important. Apologies should be given and or received. Above all, forgiveness should be extended. But there are some cases when we just need to let it go. Ultimately, it is ourselves that we damage by holding grudges, retaining anger and plotting responses. Let us pursue peace with our friends, family and brethren. Let us pursue peace with God.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Ultimate Friend-DD 2/8/2011

"Then Job answered, "I have heard many such things; Sorry comforters are you all. Is there no limit to windy words? Or what plagues you that you answer?" Job 16:1-3

There is not a life that is not touched by pain, inconvenience, difficulty and angst. These can be either remedied or exacerbated depending on what we do in these situations. More specifically, where we seek help can influence the outcome.

Job had several friends that came to comfort him in the time of his greatest despair. In the beginning, they sat in silence and mourned with him. After a while, they began to offer a number of opinions that were, to say the least, not helpful.

Beloved, we must be careful who we trust with our hurts. If our friends and brethren are close, we should know enough about them to know their particular strengths, weaknesses and role in our lives. Not everyone is good at everything. Jesus, among his thousands of followers, selected 12 to be close and 3 to be closest. Even the 3 fell asleep at a critical moment. Make no mistake, we need each other. Our friends can be an amazing comfort and we need to be able to call and rely upon our close inner circle. More than that, however, we need to realize that it is God that will get us through our most challenging times. Job knew that. God does that.

Loving Like Jesus,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Love Means Saying You're Sorry-DD 4/7/2011

"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering." Matt 5:23-24

In the 1971 movie "Love Story," Jennifer Cavilleri, a character played by Ali McGraw uttered the phrase, "Love means not ever having to say you're sorry." Since that time, it has become a part of our social consciousness. This is unfortunate. It highlights our lack of willingness to take responsibility for our actions. In short, we fail to realize the importance of a simple apology.

Beloved, we sometimes have a tendency to sweep things under the rug. We think that if we just say nothing, it will all somehow go away. This is furthered if the affected party says nothing. Know that God is not pleased with this behavior. We are expected to take responsibility for our actions and own up to our wrongs. Even in our relationship with the Almighty, confession comes before repentance and that before forgiveness.

Failure to apologize adds insult to injury and prolongs the strain on the relationship. Both parties and potentially all who know them suffer. With the consistent scriptural call to love others as ourselves, we cannot expect that God will allow our relationship with Him to have the status of "business as usual." In order to be right with Him, we must be right with each other.

Loving Like Jesus,


Friday, February 4, 2011

Remembering to Forget-DD 2/4/2011

"Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." He named the second Ephraim, "For," he said, " God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." Gen 41:51-52

Most of us have a pretty good memory, especially regarding the details of times and places we have been wronged and the individuals who are responsible. We remember them so well in fact that we carry these memories around with us as if they provide us with some sort of comfort. We nurse these hurts as if they are somehow beneficial. In fact, they are not. They are in many ways, self imposed prisons bars that restrict our freedom of movement and kill our joy.

In order to lead full and happy lives, we must learn to forget past wrongs done to us, but how? Joseph's woes are well documented in scripture. He was betrayed by family, falsely accused by someones wife, thrown into jail and forced to endure the heartbreak of forgotten promises and separation from those he loved. If there was anyone who ever lived that had a right to be bitter and vindictive, it was Joseph.

But the scripture says that God helped him to forget. He put his faith in God rather than man. Ultimately, he was put in position to save a good portion of the civilized world from famine. In so doing, he was made to prosper.

Beloved, holding grudges only holds us back. We do ourselves more harm than the objects of our disdain. Yes, forgetting frees them from the prison in which you have placed them, but it also frees you. What others may have meant for evil, God may have planned for good.

Loving Like Jesus,


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is Anything Too Hard For the Lord?-DD 2/3/2011

"Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" Gen 18:14

The Lord had just appeared to Abraham on His way to Sodom and Gomorrah. As He enjoyed Abraham's hospitality, He informed him that despite his age of nearly 100 years that He would indeed give him a son by his nearly 90 year old wife. Sarah overhead this exchange and was clearly amused. The Lord inquired about Sarah's laughter.

Many of us fail to understand the might and power of our God. Sarah thought she was far beyond her child bearing years. Her amusement quickly gave way to another emotion when God called her on it. The point here is that the greatness of God is certainly seen in creation, but the significance is seen in our daily lives. God made a promise to (a) man and fully intended to keep it. The expression of His power is most seen when ordinary things happen under the most extraordinary circumstances. It was common for a woman to have a baby, but at nearly a century old? It was common to have wine at a wedding but made from water? It was common for storms to rise up, but to be able to walk on them?

Beloved, we often despair in our various situations and circumstances despite our status as children of the Almighty. When told that God will deliver us, we may even, like Sarah, laugh and simply point out the impossibility of our situation. It may very well be that the response, whether spoken or not, will be the same that Sarah received: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

Loving Like Jesus,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What is Happening to Our Church-DD 2/2/2011

"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?"
Haggai 1:4

Today, many are asking, "What is happening to our church?" They cite reduced attendance, reduced contribution, reduced programs and reduced passion to name just a few things. While it is true that the movement of society away from its moral and God fearing foundation is a factor, the best place to begin the search for answers is in the mirror.

We must truly examine ourselves and ask if we are doing the things that God has commanded in order to effect results with which He would be pleased. Though far from an exhaustive list, consider the following:

• Love God with everything you have-Matt 22:37
• Show your love through obedience-John 14:15
• Search the scriptures daily to know what He says-Acts 17:11
• Do not just listen, act-James 1:25
• Give generously-Acts 4:34-35
• Introduce others to Jesus-Matt 28:19-20
• Use your gifts for the benefit of the body-1 Cor 12:4-12
• Do not fail to attend worship yourself-Heb 10:25
• Stay prayed up-Eph 6:18

Beloved, we must each take personal responsibility for the health and welfare of the local congregation and by extension, the church universal. We are placed in the church as our organs are placed in our bodies. Each has a responsibility to accomplish a function. To do anything less is to put the whole in jeopardy. If you are not satisfied with the condition of the church, know that God has already told us what we should do. It is up to [insert your name here] to do it.

Loving Like Jesus,


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Such Were Some of Us-DD 2/1/2011

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;"
1Tim 1:12-13

Beloved, we all have a past. For some, that past might be as recent as yesterday. Each of us can think back to things that we used to do and ways we used to live and hang our heads in shame. Thank the Lord that he has delivered us.

As others make that same transition, we must be mindful of the standard to which we hold them. We, who through the grace of God, have become dyed in the wool Christians can often look down our noses at those who are currently living reprobate lives but struggling toward the light. We can be very quick to tell them what they are doing is wrong instead of helping them to understand what is right.

There are two things that it is important that we remember. The first is that we were not always the saints that we have become. 1 Cor 6:9-10 contains a list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God and then pointedly states in verse 11, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." Secondly, the same Savior to whom we owe our lives and who called us, calls others who are in the condition that was previously ours. In Matt 9:10-13, Jesus was having a meal with sinners. When the Pharisees questioned it, Jesus replied, "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick (do)."

Jesus came to heal and forgive. As his disciples, let us emulate the master and not hinder those who would come to him, but help. Let those who were served and saved, serve and save others.

Loving Like Jesus,