Today features a double header from pastor and author Max Lucado. In his book, On the Anvil, he shares the following true story.
I once knew an extremely courageous lady. For one thing, she was waging an uphill battle against alcoholism. For another, she was doing all she could to restore her relationship with God.
She chose a small church to attend, a church where she knew many members. On Sunday, as she walked toward the front door, she overheard two ladies talking.
“How long is that alcoholic going to hang around here?”
She turned and went back to the car. She never entered another church building until she died. Those ladies meant no harm, yet seemingly painless gossip did irreparable damage.
In another book, Cast of Characters, Lucado reminds us of people “Worth Saving”.
No one believed in people more than Jesus did. He saw something in Peter worth developing, in the adulterous woman worth forgiving, and in John worth harnessing.
He saw something in the thief on the cross, and what he saw was worth saving. And in the life of a wild-eyed, bloodthirsty extremist, He saw the apostle of grace. He believed in Saul.
Don’t give up on your Saul. When others write him off, give him another chance. Stay strong. Call him brother. Call her sister. It’s too soon to throw in the towel. Talk to your Saul about Jesus, and pray.
God is at work behind the scenes. And remember this: God never sends you where he hasn’t already been. By the time you reach your Saul, who knows what you’ll find.
God used Saul, who became Paul, to touch the world.
Has God given you a Saul?
As the redeemed of the Lord, we are called to reach out to hurting and broken people with the Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness of Jesus Christ. We are not called to judge or criticize them. We are not called to hold them at arm’s length or expect them to “clean up their act” before we will let them join us. Only Jesus can cleanse and make brand new. The Apostle Paul declared: “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 immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16). Glory!
We will continue our teaching series, Seven Letters to your Church, this Sunday, October 25, with Jesus’ warning to the church in Thyatira: Beware Corruption! (Revelation 2:18-29). Please don’t miss it, and please invite someone to share it with you! (Come early and be part of Bible Study classes for all ages at 9:30am. Last week’s Adult Bible study was powerful.)
If you are not able to join us in person at 10:35am for the worship service, then be sure to join us for the Live broadcast on either Facebook or our YouTube channel. It will also be posted later that day at our Church Online page. Please share the online resources with others so they can be encouraged and blessed also.
Mahalo and Aloha ke Akua!