Friday, May 10, 2013

Reaching Out



After I gave my life to Christ, and I don't mean when I began going to church regularly, but when I truly decided it was going to be God's way or no way, I came to the realization that I had to change my misguided and sinful ways.Although at this point, I had more faults then I have time to proclaim, there was one area in particular that I needed to address, my unfair judgment of others. In my new found Righteousness, I had forgotten that I was once lost in the same world I had begun to despise, the truth was that I had forgotten that before I was Fred from the PromiseLand, before I was invited here and there, and everywhere, I was a pawn of the enemy and a lost soul on my way to an eternity without God.

Romans 2:1-4 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 

Romans 2:4 (ERV) God has been kind to you. He has been very patient, waiting for you to change. But you think nothing of his kindness. Maybe you don’t understand that God is kind to you so that you will decide to change your lives.

Although I prefer to read the King James Version of the Bible, I have used the Easy to Read Version to better clarify the last verse of the scripture reading, God is kind to us, causing it to rain on the just and the unjust so that we may know His love and change our lives.

In my new Christian life, I had become very judgmental; unfortunately, my "I am righteous and you are not attitude" had caused me to forget one of the major principles of Christianity, Judge not lest ye be Judged. It's not my job to judge or condemn anyone, and it is not your job either; however,  as followers of Christ, it is our job to share His Love with others, to extol and lift them up when they are feeling low and to comfort and embrace them when they are facing loss or in mourning. As Christians, our job is to instruct the people and push them in the right direction when they are facing tough decisions, and to address the issues of sin in their lives without making them feel condemned or judged. This can be difficult if we do not address these issues with love and understanding; therefore, it is important to show love to the individual, while encouraging them to repent and turn away from there sinful or misguided ways.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

As the word of God teaches us here in Hebrews, the Word of God is sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel, or an iron workers acetylene  torch. Although while in the hands of a surgeon, the scalpel can be used to cut away damaged or dying tissue or it can be used to cut away the bandages that once covered a wound which has now healed. The torch in the hands of an iron worker can cut away the scraps and waste or it can be used to join together that which was torn apart; however, in the hands of the unskilled worker or those who wish to cause harm, both of these devices can be dangerous or even deadly. As a man skilled in several areas, I feel that there are not many things I cannot accomplish if I set my mind to it; however, the delicate hands of a brain surgeon or the "know how" of a skilled welder I do not have; therefore, a surgeon’s scalpel or cutting torch in my hands would certainly result in a questionable result. Clearly, I would not intend to cause harm to anyone or anything; unfortunately, the fact that I do not possess the necessary skills to operate these devices could cause serious harm, just as using the word of God as a tool of judgment and condemnation rather than Love, Reproof, and encouragement will cause spiritual, emotional, and perhaps even physical death.

II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As a believer of the Holy Word of God, and a follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, it is up to me to study the Word of God, to understand the Word of God, and then properly apply the Word of God to my life.  By studying the Word of God and focusing on Him, my life will become less of "me" and more of God, which enables me to live the life Christ has planned for me to live. When our eyes are focused on God, we have the ability to remove our own judgmental and biased opinions from our relationship with others, it becomes a "what does God want me to do?" Or "who does God see in this individual?" Instead of what do I want or who is this guy. When our issues become God's issues, we become free to share the Gospel with everyone and anyone because our biases and opinions have been removed from the equation and the Love of Christ can now Shine Through us to its intended destination.

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John 10:9-11 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

When we judge others, we build up walls, and when we build up walls, we minimize the effectiveness of our testimonies, or in many cases, we completely destroy any effect at all, this shouldn't be the case; unfortunately, all to often it is. As I mentioned in the opening, I had fallen into this "judgmental" attitude and I had forgotten from where I had come; thankfully, in that moment, God began to move. Only a few blocks from the PromiseLand, there is a men's transitional living home; living in this home are a wide variety of men, some old, some young, some down on their luck, and some convicted of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and for this reason, I had to make a change. Because of my own misconceptions and assumptions, I felt that some of these men did not deserve to hear the Word of God, they did not deserve forgiveness, and they definitely did not deserve my time; fortunately, God reminded me that I too was a sinner. God reminded me that I too had committed crimes both against man's law and scripture, and that someone felt that I was important enough to save, wow, what a sobering realization. We must never forget the  importance of reaching out to those on the outside of the "norm", we must never forget that our churches are not to be museums for the holy, but hospitals for the sick, a place of refuge for the lost, and a source of comfort for the hurting, this is what we are called to do, just as Christ has clearly instructed us, we are to be the Hands and Feet of God. One thing we all must remember is this, in due time we shall all see the Son shine, and on that Glorious day, we shall be rewarded, not for who we judged, but by what we did for God, who we have brought with us into the Kingdom, and how we treated the least of God's people.

 God Bless




 

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