Our church is not be a museum of perfect people but a place of restoration and transformation where the hurting and lonely are made to feel welcome. Jesus is the one who saves and sets free. He is the gate (John 10:9) and the only way to our Father God (John 14:6). So why do we sometimes feel the need to keep people out of “our” church? You and I don’t know what is in the heart of another person!

Romans 5:1 (NIV) tells me “we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak.” Yes we will have to put up with flaws, be generous with our mercy and love people. But we have been called to embrace the broken, the defeated, those left to die alone. We are to be God’s instrument to bring restoration and hope back into people’s lives! Jesus said “it is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick” Luke 5:31.

This does not mean that we condone what they do, but we can and must love them as God’s children! We are not excusing people‘s behavior—their actions are for God to judge! Imagine Jesus in today’s world. He would be touching and encouraging the least likely and most unlikely, and they would be restored.

Proverbs 15:4 says a gentle tongue brings healing. It’s amazing what a few kind words can do! These words carry with them healing power. Our job is to put the healing oil on the wounds, lift the fallen, be a friend to the lonely, to encourage the discouraged. When we take this approach instead of giving them what they deserve, you and I actually start the healing process.

Let’s give people a little room while they are in the process of changing! Maybe God put that person in your path not to judge but to encourage them and support them on their journey to wholeness. Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 AMP)

Our attitude should be “Dear Lord how can I help this person realize the great things God has for them? What can I do to inspire them to become better? How can I help them experience more love, mercy and a sense of belonging?”

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. (Romans 15:1-2 NLT)

Blessings,
Pastor Joel & Terri


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