In your efforts to bring someone back, you are not alone. Sometimes you have to go through some major personal stress to find out that you have more friends than you thought. Ask them for help in your spiritual reclamation project. Ask them to pray for the person on your heart. Ask them to pray for you. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message” (Colossians... Read More
In your efforts to bring someone back, you are not alone. In most Christian congregations there is a team of leaders whose mission is people’s spiritual well-being. They are chosen for their maturity, leadership ability, people skills, and knowledge of the Word.
These are the activities and attitudes that St. Paul wanted to see in a congregation’s spiritual leaders: “Warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
Your elders can... Read More
In your efforts to bring someone back, you are not alone. Does your pastor know whose spiritual well-being is on your heart? Your pastor can be your prayer partner, your strategic advisor, your question answerer, your Bible interpreter, and your encourager. He can help you find books, pamphlets, and web resources. He can meet with both of you in a place that will seem nonthreatening.
Concern for people’s souls is what drives pastors. It’s why they jump out of bed... Read More
In your efforts to bring someone back, you are not alone. Your congregation is a valuable ally. Everybody feels a need to belong somewhere. That’s what made the Cheers tavern so much fun. Remember the theme song? A place where everybody knows you is a comforting place to be.
God made people to need other people. We need to know somebody is interested in us, cares about how we’re doing, knows and loves our children, and is always there for... Read More
In your efforts to bring someone back, you are not alone. Remember first of all that God is loving your efforts. Winning hearts and minds and souls of people is God’s number-one agenda item, after all. He wants to help you. He will help you.
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come... Read More
Every parent feels rejected by his or her children at some point, and rejection always leaves wounds. It is one thing, however, to see your children squander money, drop out of school, or hook up with a high-risk boyfriend or girlfriend. It is far more devastating to see your children appearing to reject Jesus Christ.
You trained the child right. You taught her to pray. You took him to Sunday school and worship. But now you have a prodigal. What... Read More
How hard it must be to have an unbelieving husband—to have to pray alone, go to church alone, read your Bible alone, and receive no spiritual support. How hard it must be to feel like a widow or divorcee in church. What would make it seem even worse is a situation in which the husband once was an active believer but fell away.
Is that your life? Don’t give up—maybe just change your strategy. Not all witnessing for your faith... Read More
“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church” is St. Paul’s charge and commission to all Christian husbands of all time. Love them not as James Bond or Hugh Hefner “love” their girlfriends; love them as Christ loves us, that is, unconditionally and freely, permanently and patiently.
That means you keep loving them even if they fall away from their faith and seem to become a boat anchor on yours. True love, Christ-love, doesn’t fluctuate like feelings. Christ-love originates... Read More
I’ve been lied to plenty in my life, but there is one person from whom I absolutely must have the truth and nothing but the truth—my doctor. If I have a problem, I want straight talk.
It is indeed important to be gentle and respectful when we talk to people who seem to be slipping away from the Lord. But we still need to communicate clearly and passionately that the wages of sin is death but eternal life is God’s... Read More