We Talk of Winning Souls, but Do We Protect them?
Devotional Thought of the Day
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.Ro 13:11–14NLT
64 What a wonderful thing to convert unbelievers, to gain souls!… Well, it is as pleasing, and even more pleasing to God, to avoid their being lost.
This week, as I prepare to preach on Mark 9, this theme keeps coming back in my devotions.
This idea of the Church, its pastors, and its people, not caring whether we cause others to walk away from the church. Whether we, with all of our theological studies, with all of our systems and programs, do not have a pastor’s heart, a brother or sister’s care to encourage people like Paul does above.
Do we encourage people to live lives that will bring God glory? Not because of their perfection, but because of the love we show others? Because we don’t look out for #1 but look out for the one, who isn’t in line? Who is starting to wander off, who is choosing the darkness, or just being tempted by it?
I am not, by any means, talking about a forced life of purity. For such doesn’t exist.
But I am talking about a life that recognizes the love of God and treasures it more than the pleasures of the moment. That knows the promises and blessings, the love and mercy of God who comes to us. A life that journeys close to the cross,
And we allow too many not even to know that is possible.
It is simple in theory to change, as we encourage each other to hear God, not just a verse here and there. But time spent understanding the breadth and depth, the width and height of God’s love. To share in that word, not just study it in a closet, to rejoice and point out the blessings confirmed to us as they flow through the sacraments. To make sure that the old who know the story best hear it alongside those who haven’t heard it, so they may all rejoice together in God’s presence.
All of us, those who have been in the church for all our lives, and those who are just coming to hear of His love.
That’s the way it has been, that is what we even see at the dedication of Solomon’s temple. All come to pray, all come to know His love.
The family, acting like a family, the people of God, gathered around Him.
Bringing others, ensuring everyone has a place, helping others continue to focus on Jesus.
May our lives be lived in Him, and may they draw others to reconcile with God and encourage
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 487-489). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.