Restoring the Soul

James 5:20   (KJV)   20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

To bring back a believer who wanders from the faith is to save a soul from death. There is a possibility for Christians to err in their ways, to wander from the truth, to come to a A Helping Handpoint where their souls are in the state of death.

It’s of paramount importance that we don’t leave them without any help and any hope of restoration. They can be restored; they can be saved; their multitude of sins can again be forgiven.

We don’t give up that easily on those who turn away from God. We run after them with all our love. There are those who are obstinate for just a short time; they repent when they’re confronted about their errors. Some may take more time and effort. But we give it our best. Souls are incalculably precious to God; we won’t allow the devil to have them in his grip just like that. Each one is worth fighting for, and fight for our brothers and sisters, we will.

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Conquered Thoughts

2-corinthians-10-5-conquered-thoughts

2 Corinthians 10:5   (KJV)   Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Even in the church, there’s always an ongoing threat of contra-biblical teachers and teachings. There are good-intentioned people who are very opinionated too. There are those who aren’t aware of their biases. They end up with adulterated beliefs that they try to convince other people with. Instead of leading others to a stronger, deeper, and closer relationship with the Lord, their doctrines and practice become sacrilegious.

With love and care, with wisdom, gentleness, and boldness, with restoration as our goal, we show them their errors. Our correction isn’t based on our own opinions; God’s Word is our authoritative basis. The most important and cardinal teachings are laid out plainly and clearly in it; there’s no confusion about them. There, we cast down and take captive erroneous positions and lead them to a place of surrender to the Truth.

There’s no compromise as to this. We’ve been given effective spiritual weapons. They are mighty; they do what they’re supposed to do. God’s Words themselves will accomplish the purposes for which they are sent—not one word will fall to the ground wasted. We take our weapons and use them. Love doesn’t stop us from correcting, rebuking, reproving, and disciplining, it urges us. True love speaks truth, even when it hurts. We who love God also welcome the truth, even when it hurts. Missing the Truth is more serious than many people reckon. Jesus is the Truth: we love Jesus; we love the truth; we prefer Him over everything and anything that goes against Him, no matter how wise-sounding or spiritual-appearing they are. We pursue the truly sacred, not just the sacred looking, and we have the assurance of God’s smile upon us because our basis is His revealed will.

Essential Truths

Matthew 13:55-57  (KJV)   55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

The known truth may not be the whole truth. People were offended with Jesus because of their insufficient knowledge about Him. Everything they knew about Him was true but they didn’t know everything true about Him. They missed out on what was very important; they had a wrong conclusion; they had a wrong reaction. What a huge miss.

Never make important decisions and conclusions unless we know we have the essential truths. I’m not suggesting that we can know the whole truth about anything, but we at least need to know what’s necessary to make an informed, wise, and appropriate decision. Let’s not take this lightly; some decisions in are life altering; some decisions are eternal life altering. They’re totally worth our time investment for further investigations.

Just imagine missing out on the very solution to our biggest crisis just because we dismiss it as something useless a little bit too early. That’s really sad. Also, let’s not be so quick to conclude something as “either – or” when the answer could be “both.” How many errors have been formulated and how many cults have been birthed; how many important matters have been wasted just because we quickly chose one or the other when we could have chosen both?

Many failed to see Jesus as God’s Messiah. They waited for the conquering king but turned a blind eye to the suffering servant. How many resigned to choosing between the humanity and the divinity of Jesus? The Bible somehow presents Him as both man and God. Why choose between faith and grace? Why choose between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will? Why choose between God of love and God of judgment? Why choose between fearing God and loving Him. Is He our Master or our Father? Point made; point taken – I hope.

Jesus is a lot more than whatever knowledge we possess about Him. Let’s keep on learning. We may need to love and appreciate and trust Him more. We need to know people better – even those who consider us their enemies. We may end up on the same camp when we’ve stepped into their world. We may see the deep and painful struggles they’re under. We may understand why they’ve been pushed into becoming this seemingly repulsive person they themselves couldn’t accept. Love truth. Many have won and many have lost in life’s cases just because some have made it their practice to have their bases covered. Truth – essential truths – sufficient truths – they’re our friends.

Our dear God, we praise You for being the Truth. Please remind as always not to jump into conclusions so quickly. Let us shed enough light into enough truth for us to make wise decisions all the time. And this, most especially when the truth we’re dealing with is about You and Your Words, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Open for Correction

Psalm 141:5   (KJV)   Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

A wise person is open for correction. It doesn’t matter if the rebuke hurts; it’s humbly and gratefully welcomed. They see that the advantages of painful corrections far outweigh the hurts brought by them. They’re given to heal and not to destroy.

Corrections in life are necessary. But only works great on people who are wise and humble – people who aren’t hurt to accept their imperfection. Corrections are good for us. But we’re often left to ourselves living out our dangerous mistakes because we’re not willing to be shown the errors of our ways. In wanting to keep the peace, people would rather avoid pointing out our flaws. We need to give people the assurance, not just the impression, that it’s okay for them to tell us if we’re doing something wrong. We ought to be happy about it and thankful for people who love us for who we are, but who love us enough to save us from dangerous and destructive factors in our lives.

Lies will destroy us. Errors will destroy us. Let us accept corrections like skilled-maneuverings of a specialist physician to rid us of our deadly sicknesses although it may necessitate cutting us open first. Let us treat them as soothing balms for our sin-sick souls.

Dear God of Truth, You’re our pursuit. We want truth, even if they are ugly truths about us that we need to surrender to You. Please give us the spirit of graciousness and gratefulness towards other people who love us enough to boldly yet gently show us the errors of our ways – to restore us to the right path. Please help us to be intrepid enough not to be a passive contributor to other people’s curses – by also lovingly speaking up when we see others treading the wrong path – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Firsthand Info

Acts 25:22  (KJV)   22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

The visiting King Agrippa was informed by the then Governor Festus about the Apostle Paul and the situation at hand. The king didn’t carelessly jump into conclusion; he didn’t rashly give any opinion; he didn’t impulsively give Festus any advice; he wisely requested to hear Paul firsthand. Festus granted his request but not until the next day. There was no argument on the king’s part. He didn’t push for an immediate audience. He agreed to wait.

Much of the hurtful misunderstandings, destructive fights, wrong decisions and unfair judgments that have created so much chaos and havoc in relationships, both in familial and international scale, has been caused by unwillingness to check out things firsthand.  We  don’t process info properly. We hear something and we get affected. Now, that’s natural; what we hear will usually affect us. But it doesn’t mean we need to believe it and act on it immediately. Especially in dealing with really important or critical matters, we ought to make sure that we have all the info we can get to make a wise and fair judgment before jumping into any conclusion. Of course there are times when we don’t have the luxury of time to patiently gather all pertinent data. In most emergency scenarios, we need to make wise use of whatever facts readily available and act on them quickly. But if we have time, by all means: ask, listen, do research; we need to employ the valuable virtue of patience. It will lead us to right beliefs, right decisions, and right actions. And, it will spare us from many heartaches and headaches.

Dear God of truth and justice, please give us a heart that really pursues truth. Often, our judgments our clouded by our preferences. When a situation or an information favors our preference, we get overjoyed and under-informed. And with our unformed and incomplete basis, we march confidently forward only to find ourselves in very embarrassing position. Please remind us always that truth is our friend. Truth only threatens errors and lies. The more we find genuine materials that lead to further discoveries – the better. They may bring us closer to affirming truth we already believe in or to finding the truth that will save us from errors we may have held on to. Help us to have an attitude that is welcoming and approving of them. There are those who are in stark contrast with what we believe in. Help us to really love them and be friends to them. Many of them are on the same quest as we are. Although coming from different directions, we share the passion for the real deal: truth. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.