by Waylon Bailey ~
Yesterday I did something I don’t ever remember doing before. I asked people to raise their hands if they knew someone who once was faithful to God and His church but had become alienated from the church.
Even I was amazed at how many hands went up.
Restoration is obviously an important and vital subject for the church.
What makes this so important?
First, the sheer number of people who once served God’s church but who are no longer active shows the significance of attempting to restore those who have “wandered away from the truth” (James 5:19-20).Think of how many people are missing in action!
What could the church be if we had these soldiers fighting the fight. Think of tithes used for the kingdom of God. Think of people who could pray, minister, and be a Godly example.
The loss of these people is a tragedy in the church.
Second, God tells us to restore those who have wandered away.Both James (5:19-20) and Paul (Galatians 6:1-2) called on the church to restore those who have strayed away. One expositor said that it’s as important to win the saved as it is to win the lost. God wants His children to be with Him. We have a responsibility to help God’s children get back on the track for God.
Third, we could be those people who have wandered away or who have fallen into gross sin.We must recognize our own vulnerability and treat others as we want to be treated.
I can’t imagine living without intimacy with God. Nor can I imagine living outside a spirit of prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. What would I do without the church?
Those who have strayed miss the benefits of all of this. We have a responsibility to “restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” recognizing that we too could be tempted in this way. We can make a real difference in the lives of our fellow believers as we “Bear one another’s burdens.”
I want to challenge you to ask God for those you can restore to living faithfully in Christ. Ask Him to open doors for you and for those who have drifted away.
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Have a great week!