A Work of Love to Important to Leave to a Few…

Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1 Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (TEV)

27  God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28  So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29  To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me. Colossians 1:27-29 (TEV)

Before Christ and my own conscience I assure you that I am speaking the plain truth when I say that there is something that makes me feel very depressed, like a pain that never leaves me. It is the condition of my brothers and fellow-Israelites, and I have actually reached the pitch of wishing myself cut off from Christ if it meant that they could be won for God. Romans 9:1 (Phillips NT) 

622 Do you realise how much depends on whether you are soundly prepared or not? Many, many souls! And now will you cease to study or work with perfection? (1)

There is a attitude in the church today, that needs to be confronted, that needs to be corrected.  It is the idea that our lives are our own, that we have no obligation to work in the Kingdom of God.  We have no obligation to tell people about God’s love, to either them, or to God.

We’d love to leave that to pastors (and pastors leave it to missionaries!) or to the religious fanatics.  We don’t want the obligation and the obligations that come when those people we share God’s love with need to be loved…. by us.  Or the obligation to know God’s word beyond the basic “believe and your will be baptized” type promises, the ones assure us that we aren’t going to hell  The obligation of even praying for people is more than most of us are willing to take seriously.

how do we feel when we read Paul’s despair over the people of Israel?  Is such love a foreign thing to us?

His is not the only love like this – look at Moses making a similar offer to God.  What about Abraham, so worried about Sodom and Gommorah that he would bargain with God, over and over.  These weren’t the best people these men of God tried to save, it was rebellious sinful people.   The same kind of people around us.  Will we hear their cries?  Will we know their pain?

The problem is this idea that satan convinced the church of, that sharing our faith is an obligation, that it is commanded and we must do it.  We buy into that, because it gives us an out – if it is law – we assume our guilt, claim to repent, and go our merry way, assured we are forgiven.

But sharing our treasured hope is not a matter of law – it is a matter of love.  To look at those who suffer under the burden of shame and guilt, who are enslaved to sin, who are broken because of it.  Who try to find their peace in bottles or drugs or anything that will numb the pain, that will allow them to ignore it, or set it aside.  To look on these people is to see the need they have, that we know can be met, that can bring about healing and holiness.

It is a matter of loving them, and remembering when we realized what forgiveness is, what the promises of our baptism brings, what it means to know that God looks at us as His children, whom He chose to adopt.

We look those who don’t know Him, whom Jesus endured the shame of the cross to save… and we know we are called ot love them…..to be the ones who point them to life, to rest, to walking with God. Can we picture them, as the burdens are lifted, as the sins are removed, as the joy fills their hearts?

Lord, you’ve made us your children, help us to be patient, and desire that non perish…..and help us to embrace any sacrifice that will help us lead others into Your family.  AMEN!.

 

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2629-2631). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 22, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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