Devotional Thought of the Day:
16 After seven days the LORD gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. 20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.” Ezekiel 3:16-21 (NLT)
673 We can never attribute to ourselves the power of Jesus who is passing by amongst us. Our Lord is passing by: and he transforms souls when we come close to him with one heart, one feeling, one desire: to be good Christians. But it is he who does it: not you nor I. It is Christ who is passing by! And then he stays in our hearts—in yours and in mine!—and in our tabernacles. Jesus is passing by, and Jesus comes to stay. He stays in you, in each one of you, and in me. (1)
674 Our Lord wants to make us coredeemers with him. That is why to help us understand this marvel, he moves the evangelists to tell us of so many great wonders. He could have produced bread from anything… but he doesn’t! He looks for human cooperation: he needs a child, a boy, a few pieces of bread and some fish. He needs you and me: and he is God! This should move us to be generous in our corresponding with his grace. (1)
I heard something the other day, that unnerved me. A pastor told one of his members that he didn’t have the gift of compassion. That it wasn’t his calling to care about people. Part of me wishes I could be so callous, part of me knows that I would be wrecked if I was, i would simply shut down.
The reason I wish I could be so callous is that it hurts to watch those who are entrusted to our care fakk into judgment, to walk away from the love of God that would heal the bruises they don’t want to admit they have. It is not like having a part of you, ripped from your body, and watching it slowly rot before your eyes. I guess you could be callous and realize your body has other parts, that it will survive, that you could ignore the pain. While we can’t brutally force them to stay, we can’t let them go without tears, without praying that somehow they would listen, they would hear – not our voice- but the voice of God. And when they walk away, we should weep, not for the failed efforts, but for their souls, for that which they will endure until like the prodigal, they come home.
I’ve known a few of these tears recenlty – know many in the past.
That is the price of being co-redeemers with Christ, about being the child who brings a couple of fish and some loaves. About being Peter, who grew from his own failure to be God’s voice, to be Dorcas, the Lady who loved and served. Yes, some of us get the “upfront” jobs Others work behind the scenes, others are there when all the chips are down. Yet it is God in all, working through all . It is Christ’s call our to people that we utter, in sermons and in coffee shops covernsations, by bedsides and in Bible Studies.
We have compassion, because He has compassion – it is He that desires to be there for them, through us. There is no option – we must learn to care as He cares. To be there, to bring His love and mercy and healing, things that come from being in a relationship with Him. There in peace, and security, for when we and they, hear the word of the watchman, we find our refuge, our keep, our fortress…. is Jesus. The One who is passing by… and taking us with Him.
So cry hard for those who have not really heard.. but pray even more for them, for the Father desires their homecoming, and Christ is going to go to them…
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2475-2484). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.