Friday, August 3, 2007

Help Is On The Way

Have you ever gotten really, really, really angry at sin? I mean to where you really hate sin? Where it just totally ticks you off?

If so, good.

We should hate sin. Our problem is seperating the sin from the sinner. Some people enjoy their sin, they revell in it. The celebrate it. But others, well, others are trapped by it. Held prisoner. Shackled.

Regardles of their position in sin....whether self-indulgent, or seemingly prisoner, we should love those who don't know the Lord. We need to show them the love of Jesus. I'm not talking about going soft on sin, but loving the sinner.

I realized I was in need of this when I was reading the book, "The Character Of A Man...Reflecting The Image Of Jesus" by Bruce Marchiano.

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In this book, Bruce talks about a guy who went and witnessed to a "house of prostitues" in Africa. One of the "working ladies" had passed away, and they could not find any preacher willing to conduct the funeral. Bruce tells the story of how this young preacher went and conducted the service....and then began to hold Bible studies with the women. Right about now my "Woah" factor is at high alert. I'm thinking, what in the world is this guy doing. Anyway, while Bruce is speaking at some churches, this guy asks Bruce to come and speak to these women. Bruce, thinks about what Jesus would do, and so he goes. He goes and shares the love of Christ. He finds some broken, hurting women. He ministers to them in the name of Jesus.

Now I'm do you do that? How do you share the love of Christ to someone who is kneck deep in sin? The same way Jesus did. He gave of Himself to those who did not deserve it. He showed them His love, His life, and they saw their sin.

As time goes on, this preacher continues to visit the women. He holds a church service right where they work! If you're thinking like me, you're going..."wait a minute....a church service in a whore house?" But, you see, the women were not welcome in the churches in the town. Everyone knew who they were & what they did...and some of their "customers" were members of the local churches. Anyway, to make a long story short, that paticular "brothel" is now closed. All of the "working women" have become children of God. They have all embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He changed their hearts, their minds, and their lives. Some are now married, others are in Bible College....but all are set free.

You see, I realized even while reading a book about reflecting the image of Jesus, I was judging the sinner, not the sin. I saw these women as hookers, whores & prostitutes. I didn't see them as people made in the image of God. I didn't see them as people that Jesus bled and died for. I didn't see them as people in need of a savior.

Which brings me to the last song I'm going to share by Steve Camp.

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It's called "Help Is On The Way".

When I saw you, you were staring
I could see the clouds that covered your eyes
And the look of desperation
If somebody loved you, it could have changed your life
Made day from night
Well I can't help you, but I can show you the One
Who can take your tears away

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need Him today
Help is on the way

When there's nothing to keep you going
Every day's a fight, and you never win
How the world can work you over
You run for cover trying to shade your eyes
From the pain and the lies
There's no where to hide, but in God's love
Oh don't you hear Him calling you

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need Him today
Help is on the way

You want to change your life
And make day from night
Only Jesus's love will free your soul
And He's reaching out to you

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need him too
Help is on the way

But the question I have to ask myself is this: Is help really on the way? When I see people caught up in sin do I offer them help, or judgement? Do I reach out to those that are less fortunate to me? Do I think that some are beyond the reach of Jesus and what He did on the cross? Do I think that salvation is best shared in the confines of a sanctified, cleaned up , neat little church building?

I need to remember the words of Jesus in Luke 5:31-32 "Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Join me in praying that the Lord will open our eyes and see those that need the help that only a relationship with Jesus can provide. Let's pray, not just that help will be on the way to those in need, but that by the grace of God, we will be the ones He uses to bring the help to those in need.

Following Jesus, one step at a time,
Pastor Dave


Deena said...

I agree, but it is very difficult to do as you say. We are so very quick to judge, and not so quick to love. Especially if it is a sin we find extra repulsive or highly attractive. But if we are to minister to those trapped in sin, we must be willing to make ourselves accountable and to be aware that 'there but for the grace of God go I' other words, you could get snared in the same sin as well if you don't watch it!

Pastor Dave's wife (I'm married to this brilliant man!!)

Pastor Steve said...

Great post Dave, glad to see you writing again...Hate sin and live the sinner is easy to say...but hard to practice. The church is so quick to judge the outside of a person...when we should be looking at thier heart (with God's help). I pray God would show us how he sees people and to love the way he does. Before you think that is impossible...Luke 18:27; 2 Cor 9:8

Thank you Dave...