Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011 … Spiritual Restoration

Passage of the Day: Galatians 6: 1 … Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

My Journal for Today: This month John MacArthur’s devotional, Strength for Today, has been helping me focus on our relationship as Christians with the Holy Spirit, …learning more as to walking, praying, and living “in the Spirit.” Well, now we get down into the trenches with this walk; and as today’s verse implies, having a relationship with God’s Spirit expresses itself with a daunting degree of spiritual responsibility and the need for Spirit-supplied courage … i.e., to reach out to other Christians who are not walking worthily in Christlikeness (as is also the subject of Ephesians 4: 1 – 2) and to help them to be restored in the faith.

To the Galatians, and to the church at large, the Apostle Paul in today’s passage was exhorting Christians to reach out to a wayward brother or sister in Christ, … one who is discerned to be walking outside of God’s way in sin. And all Christians know that this admonition may be one of the toughest responsibilities of a believer … to confront, with the love of God, a fellow believer, who has given in to an obvious pattern of sinfulness, … and to help restore the entangled believer, drawing him/her from fleshliness into fruitfulness in Christ. How many times do we Christians shirk our responsibility from Gal. 6: 1, cringing in fear or enabling the sinfulness with our own sins of omission or fearfulness? In fact, in today’s culture of “tolerance” it has become politically incorrect to be a “Galatians 6: 1” Christian, especially discerning and labeling anyone as a “sinner.”

However, I feel this charge and challenge acutely because Paul’s exhortation in today’s highlight verse is one of the heartbeat scriptural truths which drives Battle Plan Ministry [BPM - linked], the ministry I was called, and led by God’s Spirit, to found and lead. BPM is here for surrendered and/or broken disciples of Christ, reaching out to help pull these wounded warriors out of the tar pits of sexual sin into which they have become immersed or entangled. However, at times I admit that I have shirked my “Gal. 6: 1 duty” because of fears of failure or confrontation.

But at the same time, I strongly feel that any fruit-bearing Christian, especially those who have matured in their faith, knowing what it’s like to walk in Spirit-led fruitfulness (see Gal. 5: 22 – 23), should do all we can to help restore any carnal Christian, who has become mired in the entanglements of the flesh (see Gal. 5: 19 – 21). And so, I’m especially convicted by today’s reminder of my Christian responsibility to do more in this area of discipleship.

It is also my firm belief – and experience – that any true Christian disciple, who reaches out to help a flesh-driven Christian under the conviction of God’s Spirit of the truth involving today’s verse, will be bolstered by the power of the same Spirit of God to help that Christian move toward a more worthy walk in Christ. Certainly that is driving me in BPM as I post this entry on this date; and I would predict that this may be the conviction of others who read this.

If you are reading this, you may know someone who’s into some stronghold of sin and maybe they’ve even admitted that they hate that bondage. Perhaps you know of someone who declares that he/she is “gay” and even though that one hates their own same-sex attractions, they may feel that they were “born that way” and wondering why God made them that way. If you’ve encountered someone like that, how are you helping them to be restored to an abiding relationship with Christ?

Maybe you know of a Christian who smokes and hates the habit; or perhaps you know of a Christian friend who frequents gambling establishments for entertainment, even admitting that they know that these behaviors are sinful. Well, my friend, what are you doing to help them come out from under a life of living in denial and bring them back to a truth-bearing relationship with Christ?

I’m sure we all can do more to be witnesses in the Spirit for Christ under this admonition from God in Galatians 6: 1. But what will we do from here forward to live up to this Spirit-led exhortation.

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, to reach out to help others to be restored in You. Amen

No comments: