I knew I would be out for a few days so when I had this article come to me via the "Elijah List"....I loved it and thought that most of you could "chew" on it for several days until I get back.
This article reminded me of things I've been taught in the past. Things I have made mistakes regarding. Things I need to get back on track with.
It was like a quick "refresher course" when I read it this morning because you DON'T hear this very often anymore.
Alot of what we hear sermon wise or article wise or on the TV and airways in "Christiandom" comes under the
convictionless," gospel of "non offense" which is very dangerous actually.
I'm not saying you have to beat people on the head with the bible of course.......but it doesn't hurt any of us to have our "cages rattled" once in a blue moon. In fact, it's a good thing because it's like strong medicine.
No one wants to take it.....but it can cure the sickness.
We see very little "exposure" taking place....well unless things go waaaay too far....then usually these things expose themselves because some one's behavior has gotten WAY out of control.
Many times at that point......it is usually done by the secular media IF they are "leaders" in ministry because this creates some great "Spin" for the networks.
If only the Body of Christ could have came in and taken care of their own problems (THAT is scriptural) when they first saw it taking place...especially with leaders..or anyone....then it wouldn't have had to be shown on Fox News or wrote about in the newspapers.
There is no repentance when exposure happens many times in that kind of case because they don't see "what the bid deal is" and we are seeing less and less of it in all cases. That is because we are under a weak gospel message at this dispensational time.
This is SO not good for the Last Day's church. We are supposed to have our "wicks trimmed and to be watching and waiting"..."ironing out the wrinkles in our garments"....you know....stuff like that.
So.....where there is no repentance, there can be no restoration of a person that doesn't see any wrong in their lives....even when it is exposed.
We are seeing many leaders and others that go along happy and carefree....doing their "thing" and no one ever says....."excuse me....isn't that supposed to be wrong???"
Restoration is what is needed after one repents......it must happen to fix a person. Otherwise they walk around damaged and wounded, never whole.
Many people become "ship wrecked." We have all seen this. People who were on fire, then had some sort of failure whatever it may be......they possibly didn't get properly corrected by their leadership.... or....they didn't take the correction ...and now....they are messed up big time. Some think they are "fine" and sit in the pew every week......some don't give a rip any longer about their faith and have fallen to the way side.
It can go several ways. But if those in charge will do what is right....and what is best......no matter how painful. Then GOD can work. I've seen it happen... I've had it happen to me, I've administered it to others.
It's not fun...believe me..either way whatever "seat" you are in....it's always humbling....and did I mention painful?
But it brings healing if we allow it to work rightly in our lives.
When we do the proper "corrections" in the body of Christ....it's like a surgery...you operate and clean out the "gunk" and then that area is able to heal up. Otherwise...it just gets worse and worse and sicker and sicker and eventually.....it may die. It's like gangrene. You could loose a leg or an arm. You won't be completely "whole."
Where may I ask are the "surgeons" that have been set over bodies of believers? Are they not performing their duties any longer or are they just sticking "band aids" on everything from one sin to another.
I'm posting this article only because I feel it's spoken in kindness and it reveals truth.....I don't put it on here in response to anything or throw it as a spear towards anyone. It's not to hurt anyone or to judge anyone.
I don't have to judge anyone because our very own "life fruit" shows who we are and what we are about.
This thing spoke to me...Joyce.
I needed to hear this and to be reminded of these principals.
I needed to check my heart as well.
WE all need to do this....it is scriptural.
2 Corinthians 13: 5 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified."
Read on.....it's long but it's sooooo good.
Years ago I learned a valuable lesson. I believed and practiced the Scripture that says, "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8.) There were people in my life who continued in sinful behavior, and I felt it necessary to "cover their sins," because love covers! What I learned was that Love does cover "confessed sin!" But sin that is unconfessed, God wants to expose so that restoration can happen. My "covering" people's sin was enabling their behavior to continue in sin. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to "go your way and SIN NO MORE" (John 8:11).
It's not religious to tell people to stop sinning!
If we fail to speak truth, we lead people into error by default. The Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross only works when people receive forgiveness as they recognize their waywardness. If we continue to deliberately walk in disobedience there is no confidence of walking in forgiveness. "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left" (Hebrews 10:26).
Restoration is based on Repentance. Repentance has fruit. John questioned the self-righteous Pharisees who knew how to twist truth to meet their own agenda and doctrines. His words were like a sword! "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matthew 3:8). Grace doesn't annul a holy lifestyle, grace simply overwhelms our confessed unholy unrighteous acts with the Love of Christ that forgives!
But having said that, neither does repentance come as a result of believers beating each other up. It doesn't come as a result of a heavy hand that extracts justice and revenge. It doesn't come as a result of judgment! It's the kindness, Not judgment of the Lord that leads people to repentance. "Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (Romans 2:4).
Just as we can "quench and grieve the Holy Spirit," we can also be contemptuous of the ways of God as He works with His kids. God lavishes the riches of Grace on us through kindness, tolerance and patience. When we step in and become the taskmaster and produce judgment beyond the parameters of Grace, we reveal hearts that are very different than our Father in Heaven.
I don't in any way believe we restore people who "continue" in sin. "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2).
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God" (1 John 3:9).
BUT regardless of the sin, we as His Children, must forgive and release people into their callings. Grace changes lives. People do change. All things become new! If we don't believe this, we don't really believe the power of the Gospel, and we are simply walking out memorized doctrines without a true understanding of Him who bought us!
I, too, am one who has borne the brunt of difficult situations against my own life, against my family, my wife, my daughters and my sons. But at the end of the day, Jesus believes His Sacrifice was plenty for not only Him to forgive those who wounded me, but for me to forgive them as well.
An Army of Grace
The examples of Scripture indicates that God used imperfect people who were changed by His Grace! When people repent, we MUST recall them to their destiny that God has for them. The fruit of their life will make evidence the changes that Grace made!
There is a vast difference between "punishing and shaming" a person and "disciplining and correcting" a person! The first is administered by the letter of the law that brings death, the other is administered by the Holy Spirit who gives life! Jesus demonstrated this grace well when He overcame the "requirements of the law" with grace as He ministered to the woman caught in adultery:
"Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin'" (John 8:10-11).
The fields are ripe. Just a couple of days ago, the Lord spoke to me that He needs more workers. In the conversation, I knew He was going to be making a profound prophetic call to some who had gone AWOL (absent without leave--deserters from His army). I knew He was going to be calling some who had been benched and were living in caves! I knew He was calling out to those with extreme failures...the ones that would give the Apostle Paul pretty close competition for his statement in 1 Timothy 1:15-16:
"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life."
Some have failed miserably. But many are going to burn more brightly than ever with His Glory!
The evidence of Grace is that God can take a man or a woman and redeem them. He can change their lives to where fruit prevails from where only baggage once was. He can show His awesome kindness to the world by overwhelming the worst with the Love of the Greatest! I am looking for that army! He is looking for that army! Broken...but covered with GRACE!
The world awaits this army of Grace! What are you waiting for? Get off the bench...His Grace is greater than all the shame. His Grace is greater than all your failures. His Grace is sufficient to reveal not your reputation, but HIS through your life!
Saved by Grace!
Overwhelmed by Kindness!
Mesmerized by Love!
Thank you Jesus!
Mountain of Worship